Industry Update
Opinion Article12 November 2020

Personalized Property Videos a Must-Have as Hotels and Venues Ramp Up Sales Efforts to Prepare for 2021

Hotels prepare as more businesses and groups that have put gatherings on hold begin scheduling summer events

By Ryan Hamilton, Co-Founder, SalesAndCatering.com and Bluebuzzard Technology Group

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For years, the HGTV show 'House Hunters' has taken viewers into sprawling homes worldwide while aiding families in their search for a new property. Although house hunting can be a daunting and time-consuming process, the show does an exceptional job of conveying the magic that many of these properties offer to prospective new homeowners or tenants. Throughout each episode, viewers feel as though they too are on the tour, experiencing every nuanced detail of the home in a way that a written description simply can't convey. Through the TV, viewers can feel what it would be like to be in the space and how it might feel to live there. If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video tour is priceless.

This is precisely the effect that hotel sales teams should look to achieve when showing prospective clients their event space. Converting leads to satisfied customers is, after all, an art form. As the hospitality industry adjusts to the 'new normal' in a COVID-19 world, video represents the perfect medium to convey the 'wow' factor that inspires a booking decision.

The Missing Piece

The travel and hospitality industry is in the business of curating exceptional moments. From romantic getaways to family vacations, 'staycations,' business trips, corporate meetings, and group events, hotels aren't just offering a room — they're offering a meaningful experience. Group business, especially, hinges on a number of details, including hotel capacity, amenities, available venue space, catering options, custom group packages, and more.

As the industry braces for recovery in the coming months, hotels and venues need to use every possible resource to engage and close group business. Coming in at the top of that list, we believe, is personalized video tours in place of on-site tours.

As businesses and groups enter the planning stage for future corporate events and social gatherings, planners will show preference to those properties that offer them high-touch, visual sales efforts in the absence of physical property visits while COVID-19 measures remain in place.

Converting Leads to Future Bookings

The success of video marketing is hardly a novel concept. Recently, brands across industries have begun dedicating a significant portion of their marketing budget and efforts to creating and distributing engaging video content. In fact, studies show that video content can make site visitors 144% more likely to purchase products after seeing it in a video. Moreover, 51% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Why? Because while expert copy helps you tell a story, video content helps potential guests get a tangible feel for the property, even from afar.

From a sales perspective, video marketing arrives in the form of personalized video presentations. Traditionally, the group business sales funnel would come to a culmination after a prospective client has toured the property and had a chance to experience, in person, every important detail of the space and package options for their event or gathering. Now, as we adjust to a social-distant business environment, sales teams must pivot. An exchange of emails is rarely enough to convert a lead into a confirmed reservation; rather, prospective clients still expect to be engaged in a personalized, hands-on manner.

The Path to Proposals that Drive More Business

The formula is relatively simple — empower your sales team, empower your bottom line. Fortunately, using the STS Cloud ProposalPath Premium Media Package, this is entirely possible. ProposalPath is an enhancement to the STS Cloud sales and catering system, and the Premium Media Package lets sales teams capture video with their mobile phone and easily upload it to accompany a property proposal.

With all-in-one software options for hotels and venue spaces, salespeople can use almost any device to guide prospective clients through the property virtually. This allows your sales team the opportunity to not only proactively manage all inquiries and requests via an intuitive, cloud-based platform but also to address any inquiries in real-time. With the help of video elements, sales agents can approach the tour and conversation in the same way they would during a formal, in-person meeting while forging more personalized relationships with prospective clients. Much like 'House Hunters', this is where the magic happens.

In the coming months, the ability to quickly create and deliver custom video-enhanced sales and catering proposals with personalized elements and specifications will, undoubtedly, become integral to a hotel's success. Those hotels with the tools in place to maintain high-touch customer service, even from afar, will be better equipped to answer client's questions, mitigate any concerns and, most importantly, convert leads to happy customers.

Ryan Hamilton

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