Corporate Travel Storytelling Guide: Getting The Business Traveler To Choose You

2,851 views
2,733 views

Published on

Attracting business travelers is starting to feel like aiming for a moving target for hoteliers, due to their ever changing preferences and shopping habits. You’ll be surprised to find that they have a lot in common with leisure travelers and are visually driven when it comes to travel shopping. Let us reintroduce you to the new business traveler. Download this guide to learn how to attract this lucrative demographic with visual stories.

Published in: Travel
0 Comments
2 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Views
Total views
2,851
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
0
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
106
Comments
0
Likes
2
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Corporate Travel Storytelling Guide: Getting The Business Traveler To Choose You

  1. 1. Corporate Travel Storytelling Guide:Getting the Business Travelerto Choose You Tweet this Email this
  2. 2. The good news for hotel marketers is that business travel showed positive growth in 2012 and this trend is expected to continue in 2013. According to Frequent Business Traveler magazine, one-third of business travelers from around the world said they anticipate taking more trips in 2013 than they did in 2012.1 This means there are expanded opportunities for hoteliers to attract the corporate traveler and ultimately drive more revenue. In order to appeal to this audience, you need to understand and embrace the shifts in digital marketing. Right now it’s all about visual storytelling as the “digital landscape (is changing), and pictures are a main catalyst” (iMedia Connection).2 It is best practice to apply visual storytelling to your communications across all channels including corporate, social media, online travel agencies and your hotel’s stand-alone website. While the demographics, shopping habits, and values of business travelers shift, targeting them is starting to feel like aiming at a moving target. This guide will help you with your digital marketing strategy and plan by reintroducing you to today’s business traveler and equipping you with the necessary information to craft and amplify your hotel’s story.-1- Tweet this Email this
  3. 3. 1. Get to know them – who are today’s business travelers? Business travelers are a lucrative market; they travel frequently, are ready to buy and simply want their specific set of needs met. Managed and unmanaged business travelers According to research conducted by PhoCusWright, 30% of business travelers are constrained by corporate travel guidelines. On the other hand, 70% of business travelers are “going rogue” and don’t have any real guidelines to booking a hotel.3 This is blurring the lines between business and leisure travel as 35% of business travelers stated that they are looking for Hotel News Now “more boutique-style, more social-type hotels for their travel experience.” 4 The main distinction between these two groups is that managed business travelers are required to book through company mandated channels, while35%of business unmanaged business travelers have the freedom to search and book their own travel arrangements using online and offline channels.travelers International business travelersare looking As inbound and outbound international corporate travel increases, especiallyfor a “more in the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) markets, hotels need to startboutique-style, targeting these specific demographics5. In particular, Chinese travelers, aremore social- expected to become a major inbound market, according to HoteliTour. Theytype hotels seek a truly “individual experience and look for travel discoveries off thefor their travel beaten track.”6experience.” Different generations of business travelers Young business travelers under the age of 32, also called millennials, currently make up approximately 13% of business travel, up 40% since 2011.7 They’ve grown up with technology, and are the first to adopt new tools such as mobile check-in. They are also an extremely influential force as they pass their knowledge on to less technologically savvy travelers. -2- Tweet this Email this
  4. 4. 2. Find out what they like – what are most business travelers looking for in a hotel? Think about a day in the life of a typical business traveler. What does your hotel have to offer that can help make their experience more comfortable, successful and/or convenient? Here is a list of the typical activities a business traveler will experience on a daily basis along with some of the main features and amenities they’ll look for:-3- Tweet this Email this
  5. 5. 3. Learn how they shop for hotels – where and how are business travelers researching and booking? There may be variations in where business travelers shop for hotels, but one thing is certain - they shop online. In fact, “7 out of 10 unmanaged business travelers said they used online travel agencies when researching travel” (PhoCusWright).8 They are checking as many as 22 different websites before they finally feel prepared to book (Google).9 Cleary, unmanaged and managed business travelers have different shopping behaviors due to the nature of their restrictions, or lack thereof. This diagram shows some of the similarities and differences in how these two groups shop for and book hotels: 80% 70% 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% Travel Provider Companys OTA website Search engine Travel search Travel review travel booking engines website website-4- Tweet this Email this
  6. 6. How Mobile Plays a Role It’s hard to ignore mobile’s role in travel shopping today as 57% of corporate travelers regularly use smartphones and tablets to do research and make travel arrangements. 11 According to Google, 61% of consumers will leave your website if it is not optimized, and are likely go to your competitor’s.12 This is why mobile optimization should be a top priority if you want to attract this lucrative segment.61%of consumerswill leave yourwebsite if it is notcompatible Google -5- Tweet this Email this
  7. 7. 4. Start crafting and telling your story – use what you have learned to tell visual stories that attract business travelers Now that you understand who today’s business travelers are, how they differ, what they want and how they shop and book, you’re ready to start telling your story through visuals. The goal is to capture their attention, earn their bookings and keep their loyalty. Follow these tips to get started! Craft Your Story Tip 1: What is your hotel’s story? It is important to understand your hotel’s story. What do you have to offer a business traveler? Is it finely appointed rooms that make guests feel at home? Is it a complimentary happy hour so business travelers can unwind with their favorite beverage? What do you do to cater to this segment? When a potential customer compares your hotel with another in the area, make sure your value proposition is clear and stronger than your competitor’s. Highlight the things that business travelers value most using engaging visuals with short and easy-to-digest text. Tip 2: Show the details that matter Don’t just show generic room images; enhance the traveler’s shopping experience by adding panoramic images of your rooms, floor plans and videos that showcase a day in the life of a corporate guest. Be sure to highlight the features that business travelers value the most, such as free Wi-Fi, in-room chargers, a relaxed atmosphere and local attractions and coffee houses. This approach will help business travelers visualize themselves at your hotel.-6- Tweet this Email this
  8. 8. Tip 3: Take control of your visuals on corporate booking channels and other online channels Since both managed (approximately 30% of business travelers13) and unmanaged travelers check a variety of sources before making a reservation, it is important to ensure that your hotel’s visuals are up-to date and relevant across all channels. Frequently visited websites include corporate booking channels like Concur and nuTravel as well as OTAs (online travel agencies), social media sites and of course, your own hotel website. The best strategy to ensure that your hotel makes a positive impression is to create customized multi-media galleries and refresh your media often.-7- Tweet this Email this
  9. 9. Amplify Your Story Tip 1: Tell your story across the web Make sure your hotel stands out and grabs the business traveler’s attention across the web by syndicating your business travel focused videos, virtual tours and photos. Use well-organized multi-media galleries to display on third-party sites and include a section with media focused on corporate travelers. Tip 2: Showcase your local attractions Although they may be traveling for a meeting or conference, a business traveler will appreciate knowing about local restaurants, shopping, and nearby attractions. Show them what’s nearby and what you recommend! Tip 3: Optimize for mobile devices Be sure that regardless of whether a business traveler is on a smartphone or tablet, they’ve booked your hotel or are just browsing, that they have a positive experience when they visit your hotel’s website. Every hotel website needs to be properly optimized for smartphones and tablets and must include adequate information, visual media, contact information, and booking engine capabilities. Tip 4: Don’t forget about business travelers on social media Many hotels focus their social media efforts primarily on the leisure travel market, with little emphasis on business travelers. Offer them business focused multi-media experiences and visual wall posts that speak to their needs.-8- Tweet this Email this
  10. 10. Check out these hotels that are using visual stories to attract business travelers. The Orlando Airport Marriott Hotel created “a day in the life of a business traveler” video to show potential business guests what the experience of staying at their hotel is like. It is displayed on Marriott.com, YouTube, online travel agencies, review sites and more. The Radisson Fresno customized a multi-media “Meetings” app on Facebook that targets corporate travelers and shows off the array of business amenities that the hotel offers.-9- Tweet this Email this
  11. 11. The Holiday Inn Denver Lakewood customized their online experience on select corporate booking channels with multi-media that appeals to the needs of corporate travelers. Now that you have the knowledge to successfully attract business travelers through visual storytelling, put it into action and you’re bound to see positive results.- 10 - Tweet this Email this
  12. 12. About VFM Leonardo VFM Leonardo’s VBrochure™ helps hotels connect with business and leisure travelers via compelling, engaging online experiences. VBrochure™ makes it easy to tell your hotel’s story through rich multimedia and narrative content across the web, on your own websites (mobile and desktop), online travel agencies, social media and more. A VPowered Mobile Hotel Website is included with VBrochure Ultra Premium, which provides mobile users with a seamless, multi-media experience on their smartphones and tablets. Visit VFM Leonardo online to see more examples of what VBrochure™ can do, and contact us today to learn how you can take a leadership role in mobile hotel marketing! @VFMLeonardo www.facebook.com/vfmleonardo blog.vfmleonardo.com www.vfmleonardo.com- 11 - Tweet this Email this
  13. 13. Sources: 1. PR Newswire: Business Travel to Increase in 2013 According to Survey of Very Frequent Travelers (http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/business-travel-to-increase-in-2013-according-to-survey- of-very-frequent-travelers-185866042.html) 2. IMedia Connection: Why Visual Storytelling is the Future of Digital (http://www.imediaconnection.com/ article_full.aspx?id=32879) 3. Hotel News Now: Business Travelers Going Rogue (http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles. aspx/7947/Business-travelers-going-rogue) 4. Hotel News Now: Next Gen Blurs Lines of Corporate, Leisure (http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles. aspx/8682/Next-gen-blurs-lines-of-corporate-leisure) 5. Hotel News Now: Corporate Travel Outlook Positive for Hotels (http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/ Articles.aspx/?ArticleId=8680) 6. Tnooz: Tnooz Predictions 2013- The Biggest and Best List in Travel Technology (http://www.tnooz. com/predictions-2013) 7. The New York Times: Young, Social and Paperless (http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/19/business/ travel-industry-adjusts-to-serve-the-young-business-cohort.html?pagewanted=all) 8. Hotel News Now: Business Travelers Going Rogue (http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles. aspx/7947/Business-travelers-going-rogue) 9. NewMedia TrendWatch: Online Travel Market (http://www.newmediatrendwatch.com/world- overview/91-online-travel-market?showall=1) 10. Google: The 5 Stages of Travel (http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/featured/five-stages-of- travel/) 11. Google: The 2012 Traveler (http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/library/studies/the-2012-traveler/) 12. Google: Mobile-Friendly Sites Turn Visitors into Customers (http://googlemobileads.blogspot. ca/2012/09/mobile-friendly-sites-turn-visitors.html) 13. Hotel News Now: Business Travelers Going Rogue (http://www.hotelnewsnow.com/Articles. aspx/7947/Business-travelers-going-rogue) - 12 -VFML_GUIDE_CorpTravel_0115 Tweet this Email this

×