On average, millennials take 4.2 trips per year, compared to 2.9 trips for other generations. This generation has become increasingly interested in the concept of personalized travel experiences, with many investing their time and energy to find “once-in-a-lifetime” getaways.
Given that millennials travel more than any other generation, they are a very attractive segment to target. To appeal to this lucrative travel segment, your hotel’s digital marketing strategy needs to be tailored to their love of adventure and technology.
Here are 3 innovative and straightforward ways hotels can engage millennials and create a more memorable guest experience.
1. Personalize, Create and Embrace
Creating an emotional connection is the first step to ensuring millennial travelers enjoy a positive experience. One way to do this is to discuss or provide a survey to guests prior to their visit or upon arrival at your hotel, for instance, find out whether they’re commemorating a special occasion during their stay. Depending on their answer, you can help them celebrate that occasion in various ways. Customizing a guest’s room or suite with birthday balloons, chilled champagne or a graduation gift is a thoughtful touch that won’t go unnoticed.
The Atlantic Hotel and Spa impressed a guest by providing them with a personalized handwritten card upon arrival, which not only created an emotional connection with the customer but also inspired them to post about it on social media. Creating shareable moments puts enormous power in the fingertips of the millennial traveler to influence others within seconds.
Millennials are always ready to capture special moments for social media: only 8% said they would consider taking a trip without their smartphone or tablet. Going that extra mile to create a more meaningful experience for a hotel guest helps you control what is being posted about your property on social media, and turns your current guests into brand ambassadors who promote your hotel to their followers.
Social media is one of the more popular forms of communication among millennials, which means it can have a strong positive (or negative!) effect on your hotel’s online reputation, depending on both how you use it, and how you are portrayed on it by your guests.
In general, encouraging guests to write reviews can help other potential travel shoppers solidify their decision. However with Millennials, their consistent use of social media for their validation and documentation makes it clear that hotels must provide an unparalleled experience, validated by engagement from the hotel.
For more information on how to develop a consistent review strategy check out our previous community article here.
2. Utilize, Advance and Adapt
As a technological generation, millennials are using devices to handle almost every aspect of their lives. With the choice of smartphones, tablets, laptops and Smart Watches, it’s easy for hotel’s to interact with guests. However, virtual assistants such as Amazon’s Alexa are now being placed and requested in hotels. Recently, Amazon announced a special version of its platform called Alexa for Hospitality, which gives millennials the opportunity to order room service, answer questions about hotel services, control some in-room connected devices like lights, and more. One popular feature is the ability to access the content of your own devices such as music and audiobooks.
Incorporating more technology in your hotel can provide a sense of exclusivity and importance in the eyes of millennial travel shoppers. The ability to check-in or check-out via mobile devices is not something that will appeal to all demographics, but is something this specific generation enjoys and takes advantage of due to its immediate and swift process.
3. Partnership, Packages, and Promotions
With holidays such as New Years, Valentine’s Day and Christmas being prime revenue generators for hotels, there can be substantial competition with various properties targeting travel shoppers in your area.
Creating a promotional package related to various events, festivals, and businesses within your city is a great way to show off your local knowledge and provide a unique experience that captures millennials’ interest. By heading over to your city’s tourism website, you can find tons of attractions and events to create some tailored packages and promotions around.
Microtel Inn & Suites Decatur has capitalized on creating packages targeted towards millennials based on the various events throughout the city.
As millennials conduct an increasing amount of online research to develop their own opinions and conclusions, it’s important to adopt a personal, engaging, and consistent online presence.
Reach out to your Success Coach for more tips and tricks to ensure your digital marketing efforts are aligned and aimed towards this growing demographic.