TikTok has become one of the top ways businesses market their services. According to research, 72% of users find TikTok adverts more inspiring than other social platforms. As a result, TikTok is witnessing exponential growth worldwide, especially in the hotel and travel industry.
The newfound interest in TikTok—with hashtags such as #smallluxuryhotel and #besthotel—is pushing people to book trips as COVID-19 travel restrictions end. However, what’s the best way for hotels to use TikTok hotel advertising to boost the brand and deliver hotel marketing results?
What Is TikTok and Why Should Hotels Use It?
Let’s start with the basics: TikTok is a social media platform that allows companies to share short-form video content. The app is rapidly becoming one of the world’s most influential platforms, especially with younger generations. TikTok recently announced they have 1 billion active monthly users.
TikTok was the first prominent social media app created outside the western hemisphere (it started in China). As a result, the app has a massive influence in all global markets—including Asia. Although the younger generations dominate TikTok demographics, people of all ages—including celebrities and huge, established brands—are now using TikTok.
A prime example of the power of TikTok is the Cavo Tagoo Mykonos account. They’ve used user-generated content to create snapshots of their hotel. In turn, they’ve generated millions of views. The #cavotagoomykonos hashtag alone has had over 100 million views. Can you imagine getting 100 million eyes on your hotel 30 years ago without breaking the bank? (Not even Hilton Hotels could have dreamt of such hotel marketing reach).
To compete in the latest independent hotel marketing trends, TikTok hotel advertising should be a top consideration for your direct hotel channel mix.
The Best Ways To Use TikTok for Your Hotel
The younger generations—including Gen Z—are hugely influenced by social media. Still, there’s one trend that’s starting to change: they are becoming less influenced by travel cliches, such as food shots, landmark selfies, and shots of legs on the beach (you know, the type of stuff that fills your IG fees daily on those dreary winter days.)
Sure, some younger people still love classic travel cliches—but it’s always wise to use something fresh for TikTok hotel advertising. Here are some ways you can use TikTok content to boost your hotel’s online profile:
Create a TikTok Challenge or Contest
The younger generation adores a TikTok challenge, and it’s an excellent idea for hospitality marketing. Hotwire used the hashtag #HotwireHotelGoals to promote hotels. They hired around twenty content creators to start the TikTok hospitality advertising campaign.
Of course, HotWire has a significant marketing budget to hire creators to start a challenge or contest, but some creators will work for free in exchange for hotel benefits—including a free night’s stay. It could be invaluable as you kickstart your TikTok campaign. Better still, you don’t always need costly influencers to start challenges or contests (we’re sure you’ll be glad to hear about that.)
Work With Travel Influencers
Travel influencers still hold massive power in the travel industry; if you can afford to work with the best influencers, you should hire them. In general, influencers will work with you for payment or services. You can use influencers to feature your hotel in their roundups, such as this roundup of the top affordable hotels in New York.
Here’s the truth: you can be significantly creative when you work with influencers. Many types of influencer content deliver incredible results on TikTok. Find the one that suits your brand the most. Remember, you don’t always require huge marketing budgets to work with influencers.
Hop On a TikTok Trend
Like fashion and food—TikTok is all about trends. These include daily dance routines, etc. Here is a prime example of a hotel trend on TikTok. The creator, Chris Olsen, perfectly showcases the hotel’s amenities through a unique slow-motion video.
Another tremendous example of a TikTok hotel trend is from @alexrsbn. He combines dancing with popular travel destinations. You could start the same movement with hotels. If you can dance—a gift we don’t all possess—you could make these TikTok hospitality advertising videos without using an influencer.
Repurpose and Distribute Your Content
So you’re creating excellent TikTok content for your hotel? Good job! But you need to share this content on other platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook. Short-form videos aren’t just popular on TikTok; they’re prevalent on all social media platforms.
Try not to place your eggs in one basket. Ensure you spread your TikTok content widely.
In addition, create other blogs—including written and longer video blogs—to create a wall of marketing content that’s certain to deliver results. If you’re struggling with TikTok ideas, check out your previous content on other platforms for TikTok hospitality advertising inspiration.
Showcase an Experience
Of course, you want to show guests how incredible your facilities are, but you shouldn’t overdo it. Your guests—although they love excellent amenities—will feel inspired if they can watch an experience through your TikTok hospitality advertising.
Therefore, simply walking around with a camera showing your sauna and spa facilities won’t always hit the mark. You should show guests—or influencers you hire—enjoying using your facilities. It will inspire people to use your facilities too (as long as it’s not cheesy acting.)
Share User-Generated Content
One of the best ways to use TikTok is using user-generated content (UGC.) That’s especially the case when creating hotel content. User-generated content is simply content shared by your guests. When you build this into your hotel’s marketing campaign, it can be a powerful tool.
Better still, you don’t need a large marketing budget for it. You can ask guests to share content in exchange for a free drink or meal. User-generated content isn’t unique to TikTok: all social media platforms use it. It builds trust and authenticity—two critical components of a successful independent hotel marketing campaign. It’s a must-have in any TikTok hotel advertising campaign.
Engage With Relevant Accounts
Engaging with relevant accounts through meaningful comments and replies is an excellent idea for TikTok hotel advertising. It’s not enough to post videos about your hotel. You need to be proactive in replying to comments.
It’s wise to tap into existing subcultures on TikTok, such as the backpacker and digital nomad communities, to find relevant accounts. Once you’ve discovered these communities, you can set aside time to communicate with them through messages and video comments.
Tap Into TikTok Advertising
One of the fastest ways to reach a wider TikTok audience is through paid TikTok hotel advertising. Is it free? (well they didn’t become billion-dollar companies by giving everything away for free… sadly).
But, with that said, if you already have a paid social media strategy—why not add TikTok into the mix? You can create paid ads that act as feature advertisements for your hotel brand on the platform’s feeds.
TikTok offers a vast range of ad options—including top-view advertisements, branded hashtag competitions, and branded effects. One of the main benefits of using TikTok advertising is how time-effective it is.
However, ensure the content is natural and not overly branded or ‘sales-like’ when paying for TikTok hospitality advertising (users can sniff ‘over-promotion’ like dog poo on the bottom of their shoe; keep it natural.)
Have Fun With It
TikTok hotel advertising is all about having fun. It’s far more light-hearted and less curated than other social media platforms—such as Instagram and YouTube. You can genuinely showcase the personalities of your staff through TikTok. Videos that are slightly silly, funny, and informal do better on this platform.
One of the features TikTok users adore is the music and editing effects. As a result, you’ll find countless quirky dancing and singing videos throughout the platform. Why not showcase your personality through these? Sure, this wouldn’t work as effectively with the older generations, but they don’t use TikTok as much. If you have an older generation of followers, tailor the TikTok hotel advertising to them.
Use TikTok Analytics To Measure Success
Starting a TikTok hotel advertising campaign is useless if you don’t track your success. Fortunately, TikTok makes this straightforward via TikTok analytics. You’ll find three tabs on TikTok analytics: overview, content, and followers. These can help you determine how well your campaign is performing and whether you need to adjust.
- Overview – You’ll find video views, profile views, and follower count in the overview section from the last 7 to 28 days. If you witness a spike in views on a particular day, dig a little deeper and find out why. Then, double down on what you did well.
- Content – The content section is terrific for gaining insight into how your videos perform over time. If your top-performing videos share the same formats, features, or hashtags, you may have found a sweet spot for your hotel.
- Followers – The follower section helps you delve into your TikTok audience deeper. Try to notice any trends and determine how to reach your target audience.
Play around with these analytics as you adjust to the platform. You’ll soon use them to your hospitality marketing advantage.
Directly Target Your Guests
It’s essential to know your guests—including their demographics and backgrounds—before you start a TikTok hotel advertising campaign. That way, you can directly target your content to specific guests through hashtags. Ensure the content provides relevant and valuable information for them.
If your guests are older, create more serious content; if they’re younger, pull out the quirky content (and perhaps your awful dancing shoes).
Utilize TikTok Marketing for Your Hotel Now
TikTok is rapidly growing and offers incredible marketing opportunities to ALL hotel businesses (not just huge hoteliers.) The TikTok algorithm helps small creators and brands grow vast audiences by using fun and creative content on their feeds.
If your hotel isn’t using TikTok hotel advertising to compete with other hotel brands, including the giant hotel chains, you’re truly missing out. TikTok hospitality advertising could indeed transform your hotel business and hospitality marketing success in the post-COVID travel era.
- 03 Nov 2022 By Ellie Care