Digital marketing is essential across every industry today. If your company or brand does not have an online presence, you are missing out. In particular, hotels need to embrace digital marketing if they want to start catering to newer generations and growing their business into something that will last well into the future.
Generation ages change as the years go by, but Gen Z in 2022 includes anyone born between 1997 and 2012. The media portrayal of Gen Z may evoke images of youths, but the older half is actually between 20 to 25 years old at this time — old enough to have a professional job, pay bills, and travel. So it’s important to start catering your marketing to their generation as they are the current and future individuals who will be traveling and staying at hotels.
Let’s take a look at how your hotel can update its marketing and start appealing more to Gen Z guests.
Traditional marketing will no longer cut it today as newer generations, including Gen X, Millennials, and Gen Z, all primarily prefer to get their information digitally. Gen Z especially prioritizes digital over anything else as they have grown up in an entirely digital world. For them, using their phones, the internet, and other digital devices is second nature.
This means you need to consider a digital transformation of your hotel’s values if you haven’t already. Focus on newer ways of marketing, such as social media marketing, email marketing, and content marketing. To attract guests, you need to meet them where they are and appeal to their values in that space.
Innovative, creative, and original content is also important to the Gen Z crowd. They’ve seen it all and are, thus, a lot more desensitized to things. If you are going to grab their attention, you have to constantly be innovating and updating your marketing to show them something new and unique. This could be anything from short-form videos to travel tips, so follow other creators in the space to keep up.
Social Media Is King
As Gen Zers have grown up with the internet and digital technology, they are incredibly media-savvy. As such, they spend a significant portion of their time on social media. And they don’t just use social media for socializing and mindless scrolling.
Social media apps like Instagram and TikTok are where Zoomers get the majority of their information, including what brands to follow and what products or services they want to spend their money on. Travel is also big on social media, as many Gen Zers follow influencers who travel around the world, offering them tips and insights for where to go and what to do.
If you want this new generation to stay at your hotel, you have to market to them on social media. Social media is like Gez Z marketing 101. To Zoomers, if you’re not on social media, then it’s almost as if you don’t even exist.
Show Diversity and Be Inclusive
Following in the footsteps of Millennials, Gen Z is also a very mindful crowd. In other words, they have strong beliefs and values, particularly where diversity and inclusion in ads are concerned. If your advertising is not diverse and inclusive of all people, then Gen Z doesn’t want it and will be quick to label you as an unethical brand.
Of course, they don’t just want to see diversity and inclusivity, but they want to know that it’s genuine. You can’t just make your marketing diverse and inclusive — you also need to ensure your hotel company as a whole is ethical. Put effort into hiring a diverse staff and creating a hotel environment that is highly inclusive of everyone, no matter their abilities or background.
Cater To Their Financial Habits
Zoomers love a quick and easy digital payment system and exclusive offers that can help them save money. Gen Z’s spending habits are executed with proper consideration about how they use their money. When marketing to this generation, make sure you prioritize e-commerce and offer simple digital payment solutions as well as enticing offers and deals that cater to their desire to score big while spending less.
Leverage Time-sensitive Content
Adding to the Gen Z love of a good deal, they also can’t resist a special sale that is only available for a short period. This comes from their fear of missing out (FOMO) mindset. Zoomers are all about being on trend and having the latest and most unique things. This means that if something unique drops for a limited time, they are more likely to jump at the chance to have it so they can be among the few who can say they got to be a part of the trend.
This means including hotel specials that only become available on certain days or for very short periods. Try to incorporate these into your marketing strategy. For example, you could offer special, inclusive hotel packages only on Instagram on the first Thursday of every month.
Have a Sense of Humor
Memes and witty, sharp one-liners are like candy to Gen Zers. They love to see a brand being funny and cool. With this in mind, dig deep and find that sense of humor to grab their attention with laugh-inducing posts. This helps personify your brand, bringing a human element to what may otherwise be seen as an inanimate object, aka your hotel. If it’s too tough to keep up with current humor, consider hiring a community manager that can keep their ears to the ground and pick out what works.
Focus on Interactive Video Content
Of course, simply having a social media presence won’t automatically get your hotel the likes and attention you want and need. You have to go above and beyond to create eye-catching content if you want to effectively market to Gen Zers.
Again, they have seen it all, so you have to find ways to make your content more engaging if you want to stand out. This means you’ve got to take advantage of things like Instagram Lives, stories, and TikTok videos. Static posts and ads are not as appealing to this generation because it’s boring to them. They also have shorter attention spans, so bite-sized videos and content are best.
The marketing tips above are just a few of the many things you can do to transform your marketing to be more appealing to Gen Z. Understandably, you don’t want to just limit yourself to this generation. It is still a good idea to have some marketing strategies on hand to market your hotel to older generations, as well.
Nevertheless, it’s important to remember that older Gen Zers are already traveling and staying at hotels, and the younger ones will be following in their footsteps soon enough. If you wait too long to start appealing to them, you could miss out.
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to the hospitality industry, business productivity, and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.
Over to you
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About Are Morch
Are Morch is a digital transformation coach helping hotels open their digital gateways, reimagine their processes and culture, and transform experiences in a fast-paced world while earning more direct bookings without competing with the OTA!