Gone are the days when you had to have the extraordinary talents of Picasso to create a visual masterpiece and be considered an artist. With the evolution of technology, photography has become an increasingly popular art form embraced by the masses. Now, thanks to the advances of smartphone cameras, anyone, anywhere can take a picture and become the inspired artist behind the lens.
This photography trend has taken the general public by storm, but has your hotel utilized this opportunity yet? In this recent blog post by Ann Handley, the endless opportunities hotel marketers have to become the artist behind their visual story was made clear.
Every hotel has an interesting story to tell, but it’s how you choose to tell it that makes the difference. It’s important for hotel marketers to seize the opportunity to use art as a marketing platform by engaging their customers and amplifying their story. As Anne says in her blog, “The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing.” Tell a story that’s so visually compelling that consumers can’t help but share it.
So, who’s doing this right?
ALT Hotel has found the perfect way to share their visual story by engaging their customers with the launch of a major marketing campaign. For 28 consecutive days, ALT Hotel asked participants to post their most creative Instagram shots, which related to that day’s specified theme. Each day a winning photograph was chosen and that lucky participant received an overnight stay at an ALT Hotel of their choice. Not only did the participants have the opportunity to win a night’s stay at the contemporary hotel, they also got to see their photos included in a gigantic collective piece of art, featured in the lobby of ALT Hotel in Halifax.
Why was this contest so successful?
Over the 28 day span of the contest, over 80,000 photos were submitted. Could ALT Hotel drive this much traffic to their corporate and social media pages without the contest? The reality is, probably not. The amount of unpaid exposure that was created for their hotel brand by involving the community was brilliant. ALT Hotel found a way to share their story by tapping into a booming creative market at the height of its popularity. Guests want to know they have a voice, and ALT Hotel gave their customers that voice by giving them the chance to be a part of their hotel’s creative concept with crowd sourced images. So, was this marketing or was it art? The answer is both! ALT Hotels struck the perfect balance between a genius marketing campaign and a gorgeous work of art.
Being an artist is far from what it used to be. It no longer means you have to be a suffering soul. Today, being an artist has taken on a whole new meaning and it has given hotels the opportunity to amplify their story to the broader public by creating visually appealing stories. Whatever your hotel’s story is, find an authentic way for the world to relate and your hotel will be sure to reach new and unexpected markets. So, get out there and find your inner artist and don’t forget: the best marketing, shouldn’t feel like marketing.
Don’t forget to check out Instagram: Where Hotels Need to Be to learn more about visual storytelling.