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Is TikTok Hotel Marketing Worth It?

The social media platform with a twist is flooded with users and content – but is it worth the payoff for hotel marketing?

Hotel marketing runs on all things in the digital age. We moved through Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now… TikTok. The short-video app that scrolls through user-generated content at a consumable rate faster than any of its competitors. But is TikTok hotel marketing worth the effort to compete with millions of other videos appearing daily?

It’s a more hotly contested point than you might imagine.regent_marketing_analysis

On the one hand, many hoteliers insist that their target markets aren’t on TikTok, and on top of that it can be difficult to gain any traction whatsoever compared to the celebrity videos, dance challenges, comedy skits and creator-driven drama that’s plastered all over the app.

On the other hand, many hotels are now able to drive awareness, increase traffic and boost their bookings with even a single well made TikTok.

So who is right? 

Let’s talk about all things involved in TikTok hotel marketing.


Why is TikTok so Popular?

Why Don’t Hotels Perform TikTok Marketing?

TikTok & the Travel Industry

Our Take on TikTok Hotel Marketing

How To Use TikTok Hotel Marketing Effectively

Need Help With TikTok Hotel Marketing?


Why is TikTok so Popular?

TikTok is, in a word, chaotic.

However, disregard any connotations you may associate with that word, because TikTok’s chaos is actually its greatest strength. It’s got something for everyone, it has its own areas for specific interests and the algorithm drives users towards the right content for them. If TikTok is a city, it’s overflowing with districts dedicated towards #booktok for the avid readers, #foodtok for those distinguished foodies, and #memetok for those TikTok users that still want to live on Tumblr. 

It is a disproportionate mess of duets, snippets and more as users continue to cannibalise existing content in order to create their own.

But that is perfect for Gen Z.

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TikTok is the social media platform inhabited mostly by Gen Z. Millennials soon followed on during the pandemic (what else was there to do?) and Gen X and Boomers are by far in the minority.

But Gen Z are the digital generation.

While the rest of us enjoyed creating the perfect myspace page, Gen Z saw TikTok not as a way to publicly embellish their lives, but as a way to unashamedly represent who they are.

This has led TikTok to being the #1 social media platform of the current times. Every single minute, over 167 million TikTok videos are watched.

Now imagine the kind of increase in hotel web traffic you could drive with those numbers .


Why Don’t Hotels Perform TikTok Marketing?

There are several reasons why TikTok hotel marketing hasn’t quite caught up with the times. Some are more valid than others, so let’s take a look.

It’s Something New

Excuse us while we roll our virtual eyes every time we hear the words:

We’ve been fine without it up until now, so we don’t need it!

We understand that adapting to the times can be difficult. Learning the new skills necessary to market your hotel effectively on TikTok can be a learning curve. Mistakes can and will be made along the way, but there are benefits to reaching out.

Then again, we’ve seen hotels that still haven’t implemented Booking Engines on their website – so there is more work for some than others!

Gen Z TikTokers Aren’t Our Target Market for Hotel Marketing

Okay, this is one of those reasons that initially sounds like a valid excuse.

Let’s say that your ideal hotel guest type is corporate guests. Or even better – bleisure travellers! Stereotypically, they are corporate executives, 40+ years of age and, despite our best efforts at gender equality, the majority are male.

Not exactly your average TikTok user, right? But here’s the kicker:Guest_statistics

What happened to those corporate guests during Covid?

We’ll tell you; they switched to Zoom. Online meetings became far more acceptable and it even became far more convenient for video chats to replace face to face meetings. If you only define your hotel to that single guest type, you place reliance on them again and again.

By all means, lean into your USP and use all your hotel marketing tactics to promote your hotel guest type, but don’t be reliant. 

With TikTok hotel marketing you can spread your audience reach, build brand awareness and reach new potential hotel guests. Not to mention the rise of the digital nomad, the Gen Z founder and the travel bloggers are on the rise. 

These are all valuable markets for you to corner if you use TikTok hotel marketing.

The Ad Investment is Risky

For the sake of not boring you too much, we are going to steer away from the paid ads aspect of TikTok. The in-feed ads and Topview are both ways that hotels can feature their content, but honestly:

The best performing TikToks are not necessarily paid ads.

TikTok and Gen Z are much the same as boutique hotels. They value authenticity over everything else. Now pre-packaged, shoved-in-your-face, blatant advertising. 

Honest, interesting and quirky TikToks are worth more than your PPC advertising when it comes to TikTok hotel marketing.

We Don’t Know How To Use TikTok Hotel Marketing Effectively

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The easiest part is that your hotel already knows what to put into your TikToks. 

It’s all about your brand identity, and your real-life experiences. Not every hotel TikTok needs to be a hollywood-level advert involving drone shots of your surroundings, models drinking cocktails in your bar and a smouldering, tattooed bartender. 

Yes, those will help. They should be on your page. However, the hook that drives potential guests will be the real-life escapades of guests or even staff. 

If you’re not sure what kind of things could relate to guests, just ask your staff. The Gen Z members among them will be full of ideas and examples that could be produced, recorded, challenged, dueted and more.

One of our team members has a personal TikTok with tens of thousands of followers and millions of views. All they do is record themselves talking; with your hotel you could have far more!


TikTok & the Travel Industry

TikTok and Travel go together like strawberries and cream. If you don’t join in with the travel bloggers and influencers, then the OTAs will.

In fact, Booking has already made leaps and bounds in TikTok travel marketing. 

In Summer 2022, Booking launched a massive TikTok campaign labelled “TikTokMadeMeBookIt” which challenged TikTok users into reacting, responding and dueting.

If TikTok loves something, it’s user interaction.

TikTok already had a booming sector of travel enthusiasts. Booking Social Media Director Laura Kaye said:

“The TikTok community is already actively engaged in travel content – #travel has more than 90 billion views – so it is a natural fit for Booking.com to be an active part of this” – Laura Kaye

Hotels and OTAs don’t have the luxury of deciding if TikTok hotel marketing is necessary. Not with short video snippets from travel bloggers and influencers are already all over the platform.The only question is; will you take advantage of the opportunities available?

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Our Take on TikTok Hotel Marketing

The versatility of TikTok videos, the chaotic user-base and the potential of viral videos leads us to a couple of conclusions.

At its most basic level, TikTok hotel marketing is a low-risk, potentially high-reward marketing tool. Even if you don’t pump in the money to employ influencers, to invest in expensive video equipment and software to create cutting-edge shorts; you can still build your brand awareness across the globe.

If it’s done effectively, you can achieve so much more than that.


How To Use TikTok Hotel Marketing Effectively

The bread and butter of hotel marketing on TikTok without the use of paid ads can be summed up in a few simple tips.

Engage With Users

As chaotic as TikTok is, it values engagement.

Engagement drives user screen time and keeps people on the app. Every like counts, each comment needs a reply. As you engage with guests you are opening up the potential for new conversations and new shares with your prospective guests.

If you’re lucky, some of those comments will inspire more and more TikTok content ideas as well!

hotel marketing checklist regent marketingShort and Sweet

TikTok added the option to record longer videos; which is valuable for some users. Specifically for compilations or creators who have a lot to say.

However, the best performing TikToks are generally short, sweet and pack a lot in one go. The fast consumption of TikToks by users means that if that small white bar at the bottom looks too long, a user will probably skip to the next one.

The shorter the better, you’ll also make sure that you keep enough content held back to create more as you become more experienced at TikTok hotel marketing!

Keep it Light

Humour helps.

Levity will increase your chances of getting likes on your hotel TikTok videos. These can be of amusing guests, staff antics, or series called “confessions of a hotelier” or something similar.

People come to TikTok for amusement, not in-your-face advertising, so play it cleverly.

Pinpoint Your USPs

You know what your hotel has to offer. For TikTok hotel marketing, you have to show what guests have the potential to enjoy.

While you create your funny videos, or talk about the beautiful things going on around your hotel you should consider the backdrop of the TikToks. Maybe you want a hilarious story from one of your staff – so make sure that your sparkling pool is featured behind the storyteller.

Drop in hints, clues and compelling reasons for TikTokers to examine your hotel more closely.

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Launch Challenges

Just as Booking did; get users involved.

The more user-generated content that revolves around your hotel and your TikTok profile, the better! This can include general challenges to users who happen across your videos, or even on-premises challenges for guests!

Some hotels are going the extra mile with these challenges. These have included signs on-site offering a complimentary bottle of wine if guests post themselves attempting the hotel’s unique TikTok challenge!

Master the Hashtag

This is nothing new for hotel marketers; we experienced this while promoting hotels on Instagram. You probably have an excel spreadsheet somewhere demonstrating the effectiveness of your different hashtags.

For TikTok, it remains similar. However, thanks to character limits, you have to treat it slightly more like twitter. 

Remember to investigate the different communities of TikTok to ensure that your content reaches the right audience. The quality of guest leads are more valuable than the quantity of them; although TikTok offers you the chance for both!


Need Help With TikTok Hotel Marketing?

The chaos of the leading social media platform can be overwhelming if you’re looking to start marketing your hotel on TikTok. Bear in mind that, at the very least, creating some sort of content is a bonus for your hotel.

With that in mind, you’ll also need to make sure that your other bases are covered. What’s the point in generating more traffic if your hotel website isn’t up to scratch? Are your rate plans up to date? Can you optimise the guest journey?

We can help you with all of these factors and more when it comes to marketing your hotel. hotel marketing audit

Grab yourself a free hotel marketing consultation today!

There is absolutely no charge to receive a full breakdown of your hotel’s online presence. We’ll organise a short one-on-one meeting with one of our specialists, and after your virtual call, we will email you the full analysis.

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