April 03 2014

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Content is king, and in the world of digital marketing, image is everything. Companies are quickly adapting to beef up their visual storytelling capabilities. Even the social media behemoth Twitter has added photo tagging and photo album options to its iOS and Android apps. Interestingly enough, they made this announcement this week; right around the time research company eMarketer announced that the photo-sharing app Instagram had surpassed Twitter in active monthly users.

Visual storytelling has become vital to social media and marketing strategies, and for good reason. Content featuring compelling images averages 94 percent more views than those without.

Involving customers and employees in the content creation process and digital marketing outreach is a great way to build company loyalty and create brand ambassadors. Smart hospitality and leisure companies are taking advantage of it, and are seeing amazing results.

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Tourism Australia decided to ditch its Facebook practices early on in 2011 and handed their page over to their fans. They allowed the people actually experiencing Australia to create and push their content.

What was the result?

Tourism Australia’s Facebook page is now the biggest destination page in the world – they boast almost 5.5 million fans.

Marriott Hotels entered a partnership with Fast Company, Mashable, and Wired last year; these companies now support Marriott’s branded content. They did this around the same time they launched their Travel Brilliantly campaign. The campaign combines in-house and crowdsourced ideas about how to develop the next generation hotel.

Marriott Hotels has changed their press releases to include vibrant photos and videos, and most recently, they’ve encouraged their 330k employees to take pictures of what’s happening, and send it to headquarters so the social media team can include their snapshots in marketing.

When pictures aren’t enough, Barnes Creative Studios works with leisure-hotels to create videos shot by drones – capturing sights and imagery that an iPhone cannot. Travel marketers are coming up with amazing content that isn’t only beautiful, but incredibly innovative.

These kind of forward-thinking ideas and solutions are what hospitality companies need to do in order to stay ahead of the pack. This not only keeps their customers and employees excited for what’s on the horizon, but also allows them to be a part of it.

By Ronnie Coleman, Sales Executive at StayNTouch.