Making sure all your hotel marketing is singing from the same hymn sheet is vital in creating a consistent and coherent brand image. David Barrett, managing director of Pic PR, explains just how to set the right tone with your hotel’s copywriting when it comes to promoting your property.
Words mean something. Whilst they can often look pretty, there’s much more to them than simple looks alone. You want them to be engaging, you want them to leap off the page and seize hold of the reader. Otherwise, what’s the point?
A website, a brochure, or a Facebook page that looks incredible can easily fall down when it comes to its copy. If the written word fails to do justice to the imagery, then hard work can go to waste. Tone plays a huge part in this.
Whenever a new hotel client comes onboard with us, we will always start the campaign with a ‘tone of voice’ workshop. Looking at their brand now, what it means to them, the outside world etc. And then really delve into the details into what tone they should be adopting.
- Do it justice
Defining tone isn’t easy – neither is choosing it and using it. You need to consider your audience and make it appropriate. Is your hotel demographic looking for five star and luxury? Then your tone needs to convey this. Likewise, a three-star family resort is likely to have a different approach. Weigh up who you are looking to attract and use this as the tonal benchmark for everything that you do.
- Consider the medium
You need to consider the medium. The tonal approach of a novel is going to be far removed from your hotel’s marketing material. After all, you are a business. You’re not looking to induce tears from your readers, aiming to sway them to take a certain side (other than yours, of course), or ratchet up the tension. You’re looking for an upbeat, persuasive tone that offers reassurance in the process of presenting prospective guests with the information that they’re after. Whilst humour can often be good if utilised appropriately, you’re not aiming to provide fodder for genuine laughs out loud. A wry smile can generally be considered as sufficient reward for your wit and repartee.
On the humour note though, there is a lot to be said for giving your hotel some personality (something I talk a lot about). Whilst I wouldn’t recommend frivolity, the light-hearted approach can often reap rewards. As part of this, you need to bear in mind the aspect of your marketing that you’re currently taking to task.
Social media can sometimes benefit from a dose of humour, as can certain marketing materials. But be wary of being too flippant. When it comes to your website, whilst some sections might be suitable for drawing out the odd chuckle, the majority will need to convey an element of gravitas in order to demonstrate the fact that you’re a serious venue with a professional approach. This goes for most of your printed material, so avoid being too liberal with your one liners.
- Avoid cliché
One thing to avoid is cliché. And that’s not necessarily easy. Huge numbers of hotels will fall into the trap of churning out the tried and tested. How many times have you seen venues described as exclusive, luxury or romantic? Although it is hard to offer up something different – they’re all accurate descriptions that the majority of guests can appreciate, which makes them clichéd for a reason.
So there’s a challenge for you. Why not see if you can create some marketing copy that conveys an accurate sense of what guests can expect without using clichés? You’d be a breath of fresh air if you did.
- Straight talking works
Don’t be afraid to talk plainly either. Hotels often make the mistake of being overly elaborate in their choice of descriptive words. Too many adjectives restrict the flow of the text, making it stilted and difficult to read. You want to convey your hotel’s offering clearly, concisely and in a manner that’s enjoyable for the reader.
- Be consistent
This is so important. A variation in tone will look both unprofessional and, to an extent, confusing. When creating a website, e-newsletter, social media content plan using the same copywriting team (or person) throughout can help to improve the uniformity of your wording.
Informative, consistent, articulate content is an essential part of communicating your hotel’s brand. Make sure that it’s presented with the right tone to appeal to the right guests.
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