By Daniel Twigg, marketing strategist, Clockwork Marketing
If your marketing promotes an emotional reaction, your business will standout from competitors and be better remembered when your guests decide to book.
Researching and understanding your guests’ real needs and wants, can help you connect to your customers on a deeper and more memorable level.
After price, we make purchases based on emotion. We are fickle and make decisions to buy based on how we feel at the time. Something someone has said to us or an ad we’ve seen might push us to a product or service, but how we feel when we see the ad is critical.
When we are in a state of heightened emotion, we remember things more clearly. Hence stories that provoke emotion are remembered 22 times more than facts. Video that has an emotional impact on viewers is 70% more likely to promote a purchase (Unruly).
It’s no coincidence that the most memorable ads are those that make us laugh – think Compare the Market’s Meerkats or Three’s moon-walking Shetland pony.
But how does emotion drive our purchasing decisions?
Why emotional connection matters
There are three parts to our brain that influences our behaviour and how we make purchasing decisions: the primal, the rational and the emotional.
Our most basic needs are survival and reproduction (or food and sex). The “primal” part of our brain that influences our behaviour to meet these needs.
The “rational” part of our brain controls our impulses but also our reasoning and judgement. We will have a rational tick list of features we want when we choose accommodation – swimming pool, ensuite bathroom, Wi-Fi etc.
The “emotional” part of our brain controls our limbic system and keys into our long-term memories and emotional motivations. Things that make us laugh, feel nostalgic, make us sad or give us goosebumps for example, affect us on a much deeper level.
How to develop emotional connection
Using these six guiding principles you can enhance your marketing messages to speak more emotionally to your guests:
- Benefits over features: Many B&B’s market themselves based solely on the features they offer. But what is the real benefit to the customer of these features? When I stay at the property, how does it make me feel? Does it remind me of happy holiday memories of childhood, do I feel more relaxed after visiting, do I feel free from the grind of daily life? Tell your guests about the real benefits you offer to them.
- Use storytelling:
Remember stories that provoke emotion are retained 22 times more than facts. Place your guest at the heart of their own travel story. Is there a problem they need to overcome, where your business can provide a solution. Whether their goal is to escape from modern life, destress or splash out on some travel indulgence, identifying the travel story they want is a great way to evoke an emotional response.
- Use emotional language: In your marketing messaging and website copy, use words and phrases that trigger emotional responses. Phrases like “joyful escape”, “tranquil setting” or “rejuvenating break” create a positive emotional connection with your audience. If you don’t tell guests how they feel when they visit, how will they possibly know?
- Use visuals with feeling: Images and videos can create and reinforce emotional impact. Pictures of features don’t. Sand between toes, fingers drawing through water, people laughing together, display powerful feelings.
- Humanise your messaging: Be personal where possible to make your customers feel valued. This could be as simple as using their name in your marketing emails or using your website copy to talk to them as you would a close friend.
- Create a sense of community: As humans we are tribal and want to belong. Developing a brand community with a purpose will give that sense of belonging and build customer loyalty. This could be using social media groups, VIP offers or in-person events.
Appealing to the emotional needs and wants of your guests can give you a powerful edge to market your hospitality business – increasing direct website traffic, customer loyalty and most importantly, bookings.
If you want to know more about strategies and tactics to drive direct bookings, then register for our upcoming webinar on 22nd February at 11:00am – The 6 secret steps for boosting your direct bookings and reducing your OTA commission. Scan the QR Code below or visit https://www.clock-work.co.uk/landing-page/hotel-branding-that-wins-guests