Passie voor Gastvrijheid

Gisteren had ik een filmshoot in een hotel. Al jaren maak ik regelmatig korte sfeervideo’s van hotels en inmiddels heb ik bij zo’n 150 hotels in de keuken mogen kijken. Elke keer wordt ik toch weer blij verrast door het enthousiasme van de medewerkers. En soms, zoals gisteren, is het een echt feestje! Het begint al als ik de avond voor de shoot aankom, er is een kamer voor me geregeld. Prima kamer, heerlijk ontbijt, maar vooral de glimlach van de receptioniste bij aankomst en het gemeende “eet smakelijk” om 6.15 in de ochtend, is wat me doet glimlachen. Fijn dat de ontbijtdame heeft besloten met een glimlach uit bed te stappen en mij haar energie geeft zo vroeg in de ochtend!

Routinematig ga ik aan de slag met het opstellen en klaarzetten van mijn cameraspullen. Om mij heen strijkt de marketingmanager het bed strak, loopt de housekeeping met spray de spiegels te boenen en wordt een 18 jarige stagiaire in de visagie gezet.

Geen champagne op de kamer, besluit de marketing manager. En inwendig moet ik lachen; Heerlijk, je hotelkamer laten zien zoals een gast hem krijgt en niet opleuken met zaken die er normaliter ook niet zijn. Bij mij scoort ze punten. (overigens al direct toen ze de strijkbout oppakte i.p.v. deze aan haar stagiaire te geven)

Aan het einde van de middag zitten er inmiddels twee stagiaires als volleerd acteur te keuvelen aan de bar. Terwijl wij sfeerbeelden schieten, wisselen zij Facebook vriendschappen uit. Voor het beeld wil mijn collega de barvrouw eerst het glas van de man in laten schenken. Ik hoor mezelf een gouden regel prediken: jammer voor de perfecte compositie, maar eerst de man inschenken? Ladies first, de vrouwelijke stagiaire straalt; toch leuk zo’n stageopdracht!

12 uur later staat alles erop, het doet me denken aan een dagje jobben tijdens mijn studie aan de Hotelschool. De Marketingmanager geeft me drie zoenen en een snack voor onderweg mee. Of ik nog eens terugkom en dan maar even moet bellen als ik in het hotel wil verblijven.

Mijn stelregel is het ontzorgen van klanten, maar gisteren ontzorgde zij mij!

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Videomarketing for Hotels

Last Thursday I attended the Hotelwebsitemarketing Conference in Amsterdam. An inspiring day I must say as it was a personnel small conference with people from the Hospitality branche. I met hoteliers, OTA’s and some Third Party’s providing all kinds of services for the Hospitality Branche. Besides the fact that I know for sure now to book a little trip to Berlin or Dublin as rates are incredibly low there (Tips thanks to Ciaran Delaney and Uli Pilau), I saw plenty of ideas how to promote your Hotel online. Not being a hotelier myself, I am really wondering whether hotels are able to find their way in the online web. My part was a presentation on videomarketing, one small slice from the big pie of promotion possibilities. Of course I am convinced that video can help a hotel online as well as offline and in the entire process of finding information before guests book a hotel, at the time of experience their stay and even afterwards as a story teller. Its not that hard to see some good benefits of a hotelvideo, but how to make one? And how to benefit the most of that one medium? Here some tips I presented, hopefully it helps you to implement video in its best possible way!

How to make a good hotelvideo?

Identify your goal and target group

Same as with other marketing tools; what is your goal and target group? Never just make a video just to “have it”. Will you be making a video for sales purposes? Consider a goo third party like TVTrip. They give you the possibility to also create a big online exposure through the TVTrip site and partnersites like Zoover, Rumbo and SNCF Voyage. Will you be making a video to support your brand? Consider to hold on to your own rights and hire a professionnal. Also think about the guests that will view your video; Business people would like to see meeting rooms and company’s near your hotel, consumers love to see POI, Exteriors and your rooms and facilities of course!

Be prepared for the filmshoot

I have been in lots of hotels who weren’t prepared; when youd o a filmshoot in summer, be sure your fireplace can be lit…you wouldn’t imagine how many times personnel doesn’t have a clue how to do that! Be sure the terrace or garden is neat, the room that you’re filming has a clean window so that you can also show the view and have the restaurant set with napkins, cutlery etc.

Always show exteriors and Points of Interest

Guests will always take location into consideration by choosing a hotel. Let them see you are on a walking distance to the Museum, Nice Parks, Railwaystation etc. It is also a nice informative thing when you decide to show the video at the recepton desk or at the rooms TV as that is the time guests are making their choice what to do the next day!

Make the right mix of sound, images, colours and text

With video, it is the same as all other marketing tools; use your Company colours, logo and be sure that the whole package supports your brand. Never use lounge music when you’re a classical hotel, but be proud of your atmosphere and let it come back in your musical choice!

Be sure your system is ready for video

Making a video is one, but be sure your system is ready for it. Be sure you have a good host and broadband facilities so that you don’t have a long upload period. Guest will get bored by waiting and parted to another site as it takes to long or when the video shakes… Also consider to have the video embedded; guests better stay at your site then clicking to a next page and leave your site after seeing the video!

How to promote your hotelvideo online?

Make use of your own media; website, linkedin, facebook, hysves, youtube etc.

Of course you will put the video on your site, preferrable at the first page. But did you know you can put the video on linkedin these days? Here’s how you can do that:

1-Upload your video to YouTube

2- Sign in to docs.google.com

3- Start a new presentation

4- Insert video in the slide (it will direct you to pick from youtube)

5- Then use “Google Presentation” application on Linkedin to insert the presentation

6- You’re done

Make use of (free) Social Media

There are lots of free social media to share your video. Did you know that you can create a Company page on youtube? Also never forget to put it on google video, it helps you get higher in Google SERP. Consider help from www.tubemogul.com or www.yubby.com to spread the video’s. They upload it to several social media sites for you. When you do consider uploading a video on social media sites, think about some good tags to implement. They will definitively help you in gaining a high ranking at the sites!

Booking & Travel sites

Although some big OTA’s don’t have the possibility to show your video yet, I predict it won’t take years before they will. Unfortunately it will be waiting untill there is more news on what content partner they will choose. I do know that sites as www.bookit.nl , www.tripr.tv and www.hotelly.com do accept your video. TVTrip does produce the video for you, hold the rights but works with partners as Zoover, I Amsterdam, Rumbo, Lastminute.de and more partners come up soon. Hotels.nl and hotelspecials.nl also produce themselves. Best thing to do is to make a list of interesting third party’s for your hotel and do a little search before you decide what is the best party to let your video produce, also for possibility’s in future.

e-mail marketing & mobiles

When you do have a hotelvideo, it is so easy to use it as an aftersales tool. Don’t you always send your guest a little thank you after they stayed in your hotel? Why not putting the videolink in your message, perhaps they will spread it among friends or use the link in a review. You can also use your video perfectly as a sales tool when you’re sending information to company’s. Instead of making hours free to guide a prospect through your hotel, just handle the first impressions through a short 1 minute video!

Do you still have trouble to see all visible possibilities of video or the right way to get a good exposure or (sales) benefits? Don’t hesitate to commend or contact me and I will gladly help you!

Hotelvideo’s

Crisis in 2009, less and less hotelbookings…rates that are dropping dramatically? Last year wasn’t the best year in Hospitality. Luckily there are lots of hotels and restaurants that are not tempted to get in the big combat of lowering prices to seduce new guests for a stay in their hotel or a good meal in their restaurant.

There are more ways to attract guests. Because why should you give a room for a cheaper price to your known contented guest and increase your amount of guests that will again walk away next time when they found a cheaper stay? A customer searching for the best price will hardly ever become a loyal one…When you believe in having a good product, for a good price, there are still tons of new guests to make enthusiastic! And they will also stay in better times! Focus on how you can reach those new guests and how to make them enthusiastic for your hotel.

What will someone do when they have the intention to visit, lets say Amsterdam? Of course; search the internet for a nice place to stay! When you are lucky, you will show up somewhere in the big lists of online Travel Agency’s and Bookers, or perhaps a Touristic site like I Amsterdam. Lists of hotel ratings, divided by price, stars and location. How will you be just a little bit more visible than your competitor hotels? Just be literally visible and add a hotelvideo. First of all, at this moment, you’ll be one of the few who does show their innovative feeling. Secondly, not any other hotelvideo will be the same as yours; its the perfect mirror of what your guest will see when they physically will visit your hotel. As that is your core business, a hotelvideo is the perfect extension to already show your core business to potential guests in a very early stage!

Video is not only the most ideal instrument to attract new customers, what about upgrading and cross selling? A hotelvideo will show all roomtypes. Potential guests who would never think about booking a suite, might be interested when they see how your suites look like. And what about dinner? Lots of hotel guests will use breakfast but have dinner somewhere outside your hotel. Do they know you have that wonderfull restaurant with lots of excellent food? Show them! At the time they make a booking, they are still in the process of deciding and perhaps won’t even consider eating outside anymore!

Last but not least, remember that a good experience will talk for itsself! When your guest has had a wonderfull stay at your hotel, he will tell others. When he’s really enthusiastic, he will even better mail the link to your video to let his friends know this is the ideal place to stay. Doesn’t it work the same with testimonials and recommendations? Be pro active and use your after sales mail by adding the link to the video and ask them to add it into their references.

You see, three possible moments of communication with one video. There is only one “ but” ;

be authentic, be honest and don’t tempt yourself in showing more than reality. We all know the fantastic pictures in Travel magazines with the bright colours and beautifull palm trees. When you arrive, that pictures is nowhere to be found…

Guests will instantly see that their twin room doesn’t have the bottle of champagne as it shows in your video. Nobody likes to be fooled, so don’t!