Bringing Millenials to Your Hotel: It's All About the Experience

It's not about fancy hotel rooms with mints on pillows. Opulent lobbies don't cut it either. Innovative hotel marketing to millennials is all about selling the unique experience of your hotel and Instagrammable moments that they can post and talk about to their friends and colleagues.

In fact, marketing hotel experiencial images that can resonate with millennials on their mobile devices and on social media are particularly important these days. Just look at the numbers. A total of  92 percent of millennials own smart phones, compared with 85 percent of Gen Xers and 67 percent of baby boomers, according to Pew Research Center. Similarly, the vast majority of millennials, or 85 percent of them, use social media. And, 52 percent use platforms like Instagram, while 47 percent use Snapchat.

"Innovative hotels are looking to create and promote great and unique experiences for millennials," said Jesse Purewal, San Francisco-based associate partner at Prophet, a global brand and marketing consultancy.  

For instance, the 402-room Crowne Plaza Hotel White Plains, New York actually does hotel giveaways for one-nights, drinks, and other items on Instagram, said General Manager Monika Henry.

HX: the awards

Monika Henry

"Millennials want great deals and quick satisfaction, and they look to social media for these offers," Henry said.

Innovative marketing to this group of travelers involves showing images of your hotel in relation to the neighborhood surrounding your property, said Jonathan Wilson, vice president of customer experience and innovation at Hilton Hotels & Resorts.

"Don't only promote your hotel features. Focus on your property in relationship to the neighborhood in social media ads; millennials want to feel and experience this kind of connection to community and want to get to know a neighborhood when they travel," Wilson noted.

Social media ads and images should also be delivered from your hotel about once a per day. "People are constantly connected to their devices, and they receive a ton of content," Wilson added. "You want to make sure you get in front of them in a meaningful and impactful way."

These messages should be brief and include great photography or a short video, Wilson noted.

HX: the awards

Richard Bradbury

As a group, millennials are interested in how hotels are customized to meet to their needs. " Something that makes it seem as if the hotel will provide them with a stay unlike anything else is what captivates them." noted Richard Bradbury, vice president of strategy and alliances at Quore, a Franklin, Tenn.-based provider of hotel management software. "Pushy outbound marketing doesn’t work with millennials; they like to feel connected to a brand as if they are a part of it."

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