From our experience in the luxury hospitality market we are finding that social users not only want real-time, in-the-moment access to content but also the ability to select exactly what, when and how they’re accessing. As the social landscape in social media is rapidly changing there are even more different types of content and platforms to choose from. What will you be focusing upon in 2018?
Ephemeral content for the best engagement rate
Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook stories have all led to the increasing popularity of “ephemeral content.” The majority of ephemeral content is shared for up to 24 hours and then disappears. Leading Hospitality Brands and individual properties are now creating engaging ephemeral content for their social channels as well as having a separate strategy for their ephemeral content marketing.
Ephemeral content when delivered effectively allows you to be more authentic, we are seeing many brands using their Instagram and Snapchat to some extent to deliver high-quality real-time content to help deliver their marketing and sales strategy.
There is increasing popularity with Instagram Stories and the official statistics reveal that over 250 million people use Instagram Stories each day, not bad for being just one year old! Instagram Stories will continue to attract brands in 2018 and they are currently generating 220% year-on-year spend growth.
The most important factor is take into consideration is impact and finding the best ways to make your stories count in an ever-crowded feed. All hospitality brands interested in connecting with Instagram users must include Instagram Stories in their strategy. We are also seeing for many of clients that Instagram is also the biggest referral source to our client’s websites.
Having stories that appear at the top of your follower’s feed helps keep your brand at the top of their minds. Live streaming has now become a mainstream part of social media to capture the attention of followers. Snapchat, features such as the Snap Map, geofilters and AR feature have enabled it to beat Facebook and Apple in terms of daily users.
Recommendation: Have a clear plan in place to reach new audiences with the help of an ephemeral content marketing strategy across the social channels that are relevant to your client’s audience which will tie back to your marketing goals and your editorial content plan. You will also need to consider a budget for paid and sponsored promotions. We would also recommend incorporating Live Streaming into your content plans.
Short Form Video Campaign for social media
We recommend a short form video Campaign short-snackable content series produced specifically for Instagram and Facebook engaging our audiences This will enable us to take advantage of Facebook’s algorithm changes that gives higher priority and greater organic reach to video and link posts.
We saw the importance of social media video content grow in 2017 for all of our clients and in 2018, video marketing should be an even more important part of your content strategy. Social media videos generate 1,200% more shares than text and images combined! As video represents a significant element of a customer’s journey, it’s so important to have a strong social video strategy in place with a collection of bespoke films that together help brands reach, inspire, influence and engage today’s “always-connected” customers. All brands, properties, resorts and destinations have many stories to share and many USP’s that the consumer, travel trade, press and social media users need to explore further. Video is the perfect medium to present this content.
It’s estimated that by 2019, video will account for 80% of all consumer internet traffic.
Ensure you plan social media video strategy to support you 2018 marketing and sales goals. Each video should be tailored to suit the relevant platform and audience. A/B testing works well with social video.
UGC (User-Generated Content) continues to dominate all channels. Social media is the ideal medium for finding appropriate posts and then sharing them. For 2018 it is important to ensure you maximise all appropriate UGC for your brand and individual properties as research shows that people engage more with users photos on social media compared to brand photography.
Look at ways to provide interesting ways for people to capture new content whilst they are with you.
Recommendation; Perhaps provide gopro for guests to use whilst on and off property to capture a sense of place on and off property. Develop effective campaigns to encourage people to share more content.
Continued investment in influencer marketing
Like it or loath it, Influencer marketing is still the fastest-growing online customer acquisition method and the most cost-effective method. Some of our clients can receive between 20-40 request a day for a “social media collaboration.”
It is important to have a budget for influencers but due to the fact there are now so many digital touch points for influencers to reach out with their collaboration request it is important to ensure you can identify the most suitable influencers that will appeal to your audience for hosting opportunities. 59% of marketers are planning to increase their influencer marketing budgets over the next 12 months and 90% of brands who have an influencer marketing strategy believe it is successful.
Micro/Glocal influencers – are often really effective – they have smaller follower numbers (usually up to 10,000 fans/followers), but often have a real niche that their followers are super engaged with so often results can be even more impressive that a celeb or insta famous person.
The right influencers can help to;
- Improve your search ranking – Good SEO relies on high-quality organic links from high-authority sites. Working with influencers for blog content creation, vlogs and social media content helps you build high-quality links to drive traffic and improve your search engine ranking
- Engage a new customer base of loyal followers – Influencers tend to have really engaged followers who trust them and want to emulate their lifestyle. This type of marketing is immersive and relies on the following to rely on recommendations from influencers that they idolise.
- Generate content – Most influencers tend to be great photographers – or have a traveling companion who is great at photography and/or videography. They think not just about how to show off the setting, but how to create stand-out images.
Drive engagement – Working with influencers to run competitions or promote content where the mechanic involves following the brand and using specific hashtags drives consumer engagement
- Boost credibility – Association with well-regarded influencers – whether they’re bloggers, celebs or well-known creatives in their field – elevates your brand, as their fans trust their recommendations
- Extend your reach – Working with influencers allows you to get on the radar of future customers who otherwise wouldn’t come across your property
- Create brand awareness and boost visibility – If you keep cropping up on people’s feeds, they’re more likely to want to engage with your brand
Recommendations; Plan an Influencer Management Strategy and take control of who you wish to be associated with your property and/or brand. Google analytics provides you with a raft of information to show which influencers have generated referral traffic back to your website.
Rise in the Cost of Social Advertising
Organic reach is greatly declining due to changing algorithims pushing people towards paid promotions. We would suggest the implementation of a paid advertising budget. As an example; spending on Facebook adverts alone increased by 74% and Instagram 138% year on year in 2017.
A report by 4C Insights suggest that Snapchat and Instagram have seen ad spend rise by 73% and 55% as new offline features and benefits brought added value to advertisers.
2018 will be another year of great change for marketers. Emerging trends in search focused social, and the growing influence of video will present opportunities for your brand.
Recommendations; Plan a robust paid content marketing budget that is flexible. Focus on the platforms that work the best for your audience and do not invest in paid campaigns that are not relevant to your brand.
Virtual Reality (VR)
Here’s why VR and 360-degree video should be central to your marketing strategy in 2018.
In a recent Google study they ran 2 variations of the same advert – a traditional video versus a 360 VR-degree video, the 360 version performed with 41% more earned actions, including subscribes, shares & views. The impact of social media marketing is huge. 360 videos produce more engagement and retention than standard videos. Their immersive and interactive nature increase likes, shares, view-through-rates and total views. They can also be used on your website, Facebook and YouTube.
Viewers are able to interact and choose the content they want to see therefore, this technology provides brands a complete new way of storytelling through social media. Putting guests at the centre of the story is changing the way a guest experiences, interacts and engages within the hospitality and travel industry. Travellers seek engagement in many different ways and VR is also such an incredibly social and exciting experience offering unique storytelling possibilities.
The Factor Fifty app was developed for today’s traveller with easy to use navigation that works on any smartphone or tablet device. Some of the features include smart functionality, automated or manual tour function and room by room navigation. Seamlessly switching between VR headset mode to 360 video mode with an intuitive layout and dropdown menu. The app also includes a book now call to action helping to boost bookings and revenue.
Recommendation; VR and 360-degree video should be central to your marketing strategy in 2018.
Award Winning Social Media Services for Luxury Hotels and Resorts
As leading experts in fully outsourced social media marketing to the luxury hospitality industry, we work alongside our valued clients’ marketing and sales teams to find new ways to increase brand engagement. This is achieved by embracing a pro-active content management strategy and distributing stories in rich visual and engaging ways. Social media plays an ever increasing role in the luxury hospitality industry. It is an increasingly important method to build a brand, encourage conversations and increase engagement with guests between stays. With so many social media channels to manage and maintain a presence on, hospitality social media management has become a full-time job and an art in itself.
What makes us different in our approach to social media management is our ability to deliver creative and clever social media campaigns to suit your audience. We know how to inspire followers with a balance of visuals, graphics, GIF’s, video, as well as paid and organic brand appropriate promotional techniques. Our strategies have led many of our clients to become prominent figures in the social media space for luxury hotels.
We deliver integrated brand campaigns with impact and reach utilising digital and social media. All of our campaigns ensure we uncover content and unique travel stories that showcase authentic guest experiences. We specialise in brand building and encouraging user-generated content to ensure you stand out in what is often an overcrowded feed. Ultimately, we ensure we drive traffic back to your site to increase bookings and revenue for Spa, F&B outlets and we can demonstrate a return on investment. We offer affordable packages based on 12 months and 18 months. Please contact us for more information; Kirsty Beasley – firstname.lastname@example.org