Millennials. If you’re not already marketing to them, you need to start. This influential demographic of 20- and 30-year-olds has got significant spending power and technical prowess, and they love to travel. They live life to the fullest and aren’t afraid to part with their money to do so.
And they’re changing the way that the average American travels, enjoys food, and makes decisions, too. Their spending power is so weighty, that markets are bending to their needs and whims. Companies around the globe have begun to cater directly to this group, which is, in turn, changing the spending behaviors of other demographics. Are you responding to these changes with your marketing efforts? If the answer is “not yet,” here’s a look at how to market your hotel to millennials.
It’s important to know about this group’s habits and preferences, because it’s an increasingly profitable market for your hotel this summer—and far beyond.
Millennials are their own travel agents
Most millennials have never seen the inside of a travel agency. In fact, they don’t know why travel agencies still exist. It’s not that they’re self-absorbed techies, lost in a mobile-device abyss and oblivious to the world around them. It’s that they learned how to use the Internet just as it was taking off, and just as they were starting to navigate life on their own. Which means that doing things online, such as perusing holiday accommodations and using booking engines, is a breeze for them.
In fact, it’s so easy and intuitive for them, that millennials’ parents’ now go to their kids to plan their travels as well. As are their parents’ friends. So in a sense, they’ve become the travel agents. Like we said, influential.
Millennials are experienced travelers with growing incomes
While they’re not the biggest spenders yet, they soon will be. Millennials already do travel for business and pleasure, and over the coming years, as their disposable income increases, they’ll be traveling even more and upgrading their choices when they do. And they’ll be bringing more people with them—parents, grandparents, and soon enough, kids.
What they want differs from what the Boomers who preceded them wanted. They’re price conscious but far from thrifty—they love a good deal, but aren’t as quick to sacrifice convenience and comfort as you might think. In fact, travelers in their 20s and 30s are very much into the design hotel scene and are scouting for more amenities. But there’s one thing they can’t live without regardless of price-point: Internet. And they stay at hotels that offer it for free, so if you do, make sure to show this on your website and hotel profiles.
Millennials are influential online
The borderline-compulsive need to be constantly online is a good thing for you. Millennials use hotel internet to post live updates and “teaser” pictures during a trip, drumming up hype for the full online photo album that’ll come later.
Attracting millennial travelers to your hotel this summer is a bit like building yourself a marketing team: their friends, family, and everyone who follows them online will know about your hotel through them. And the artistic, flattering images they post on social media in their thinly-veiled, my-holiday-is-better-than-yours competition can only work to your benefit. Just encourage them to tag your hotel in the posts, or even post them right on your social media page.
Millennials are also inspired by what’s online
Millennials don’t use the Internet exclusively to flaunt their lifestyles; they also use it to engage with the world and find inspiration. While they do enjoy the here and now of life, they fill its empty, ho-hum moments by exploring the online world of food, drink, and travel, looking for things to try out for themselves.
Use social media to share photos of your hotel and its surrounding, as millennials are likely to come upon them in their browsing—just bear in mind that they have a discerning eye for photo quality. Ahead of the summer holidays, share current, high-quality pictures of your seasonal assets such as the waterfront, beach, pool, or gardens. And focus on the details. Use pictures of summertime cocktails on your patio, or close-ups of the flowers that grace your tables, to tell your story.
Millennials are looking for unique experiences
Millennials may be an influential group of travelers with a burning need to see as much of the world as possible, but they’ don’t go to a place just to check it off of a list. Rather than destinations, their bucket lists are made of experiences they want to have: activities they want to try, people they want to meet, and cultures they want to get immersed in. So when you market your hotel to millennial travelers this summer, think about what unique experiences you can offer them.
Also, consider what is nearby. A horseback ride under the chestnut trees or a small-town festival may just be what they’re looking for. Anything that millennials can do, see, or try close to your hotel is worth mentioning on social media platforms and your hotel website, as are seasonal events.
Are you currently marketing to millennial travelers? If so, let us know how in the comments below. And if you’ve noticed a shift in the types of guests staying at your hotel, let’s talk about it here.