Blog / Telling Tales – Storytelling as a Marketing Technique for the Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry

Telling Tales – Storytelling as a Marketing Technique for the Travel, Tourism, and Hospitality Industry

Since the beginning of time, humans have communicated and engaged through the telling of stories.  Transcending barriers of language and culture, storytelling is one of the oldest art forms in history utilised to transmit cultural, moral, and complex information in a simple, engaging and memorable manner. Stories are most effective when they succeed in creating a cognitive, emotional or social connection with the listener, so it’s perhaps not surprising that marketers, especially representing brands competing in cluttered and difficult markets such as the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, have been using this technique as part of their communication strategy.

So how can stories be used as an effective and vital marketing tool?

Today more than ever before, the industry is seeking new ways to stand out in a highly competitive marketplace. Consumers are looking for deeper and more meaningful experiences and are not necessarily persuaded by print and TV advertising. It is this shift in consumer behaviour that has forced marketers to explore a different route, a more subtle way to market their products. By creating an emotional connection as opposed to the hard-sell approach, brands are weaving content into stories for an effective way of delivering their message.

The industry, by definition, lends itself beautifully to content-driven marketing and some examples can be seen in major brands such as Emirates Airline and Jumeirah Group. These campaigns are powerful as they showcase the stories of people and animals, their journey through life and how an experience with their brand can enhance that.

Here are a few tips on how to incorporate storytelling techniques into your communication strategy:

• Collate interesting content topics and story ideas and formulate them into an editorial calendar so they are timely and relevant.

• Stories are memorable due to their structure – remember to include an enticing beginning and a memorable and/or surprising ending.

• When writing the content, refrain from the typical corporate speak. Use personal language to really connect with the audience.

• Include emotive language that will move the reader especially focusing on dynamic verbs.

• Keep the content short and avoid unnecessary details that don’t add value.

Karen Osman
Karen Osman
Originally from England, Karen has lived the ex-pat life for the last 15 years across Asia, Europe and the Middle East. After completing a B.A. in Linguistics and English Language at the University of Durham, a two year period teaching in Tokyo was the start of a career that combined her two great loves; travel and the English language. Moving to Dubai in 2004, Karen engaged in a sales, marketing and public relations role for a luxury hospitality company. It was a great opportunity to develop communication for luxury brands, gaining experience in writing and adapting copy for both off-line and on-line channels. After identifying a gap in the market for specialised writing services for the travel, tourism and hospitality sector, Karen set up Travel Ink in 2011, steadily building the business to include some of the most high-profile hotels, airlines and tourism establishments in the region. In addition to her role as Managing Director, Karen is also the Travel and Tourism Chair Person for the British Business Group and a committee member of Business Network International.

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