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Updated: Mar 16

2023 is the year to reignite wanderlust!

The hospitality industry has always relied heavily on marketing to attract visitors, but in 2023, the need for effective promotion is greater than ever! The pandemic caused significant disruptions to the African travel industry, with many hotels, game lodges, and other establishments struggling to attract new guests. However, there is hope on our beautiful horizon, as the tourism industry is on the verge of recovery.

According to a recent report, the total income from accommodation increased by 80.3% year-on-year during August 2022. This suggests that there is a pent-up demand for travel and hospitality experiences and that the industry has a major opportunity to capitalize on this trend. But how do you get butts in safari vehicle seats?

Step 1. Make engaging content

Step 2. Build trust

Step 3. Profit

Step 1: Good Content is not storytelling but telling your story well

“Camping is nature's way of promoting the motel business." - Dave Barry

Studies have found that spending money on experiences like visiting a gorgeous game lodge, camping with friends, or seeing your favourite band live is associated with greater happiness than buying gadgets and luxury goods. Some people wish to collect moments, not things, so brands need to create compelling, personalized content that resonates with the #wunderlust audience.

V5 Digital, an agency working out of Namibia, one of the world’s premier travel destinations, is often tasked with creating exciting content for the hospitality industry. They suggest doing the following:

  • Have a Strategy in place so your brand has a consistent Social Media presence with content that is relevant and timely.

  • Make sure you know yourself and your audience so your brand personality can shine through content that is reaching the right target market.

  • Show your value with beautiful designs and engaging writing.

  • The younger generations are using channels other than Google to find accommodation and experiences, so show up on their TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook feeds.

  • If your time is limited and you want the best return on your investment, consider letting a Marketing Agency handle this for you.

It’s also possible to use technology to send personalized messages, emails, and promotions to your target audience that resonates with their specific interests. Tell the Digital Nomads you offer free wifi by the pool and let stressed parents know that kids eat free at your restaurant.

Email Marketing is the perfect way to send personalised messages

However, while technology is important, we must not lose sight of the human element in hospitality marketing. By combining technology with a human touch, brands can build lasting relationships with their customers and create experiences that keep them coming back for more.

Step 2: Building trust is a matter of revealing your authentic self

Trust is the foundation of all successful relationships, and marketing is no exception.

Corné Visser and Madri van der Westhuizen, the group marketing manager and social media manager for Anew Hotels explain that the pandemic has had a significant impact on consumer behaviour, resulting in a decreased sense of stability and a significant drop in brand confidence.

There’s no doubt that building trust in your brand will be of the utmost importance for 2023 but where do you begin? Here are some digital strategies you can use to build trust and establish long-term loyalty.

  • Having a user-friendly and visually appealing website that is easy to navigate and provides detailed information about your brand's offerings can instil confidence in potential customers.

  • Utilizing customer reviews and testimonials on the website and across social media platforms can create a sense of transparency and authenticity.

  • Providing personalized and timely responses to customer inquiries and feedback can demonstrate a commitment to customer satisfaction.

  • Utilizing social media to showcase your brand's unique features, promotions, and community involvement can help build brand awareness and trust.

  • Offering secure online booking and payment options can reassure customers that their information is safe and that their reservations are confirmed.

By implementing these digital strategies, businesses can show their value to consumers who need to be discerning due to rising fuel prices, inflation, and a higher global cost of living.

3. Boost your bottom line

In the hospitality industry, it's not just about selling rooms or meals, it's about selling memories and experiences

Whether you’re a massive luxury hotel chain, or a family-run bed and breakfast using digital marketing to reach more customers and gain insights into their needs and preferences is the best way to increase your revenue and help your business grow.

If 2023 is the year you would like to start investing in the future profitability of your business, feel free to set up a no-obligation consultation with the V5 Digital Team: Here

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  • Writer's pictureFreda Smit

The V5 Digital styled Airbus A350-900 with registration V5-DIG

Are you curious about how V5 Digital got its iconic name?

This isn't a story about marketers sitting in a dark room, brainstorming into the early morning hours over cold pizza and half-drunk coffees, eventually coming up with a perfectly crafted name to represent their ideals, mission, and vision.

No, V5 Digital was not analysed or conceptualised into being. The name is simple, recognizable, personal, and ultimately comes from a place of admiration for advanced, agile planes and the family who finds them fascinating.

In 2018 Armin Wieland, the founder of V5 Digital, started searching for a shiny new name to match his shiny new Digital Marketing Agency. He knew he wanted it to be simple, immediately recognizable, different, and easy to pronounce. He looked everywhere for inspiration armed only with the mantra, “I’ll know it when I find it”.

Every great journey begins with a single step…

A blank page can be a daunting thing so Armin started throwing ideas around right away. He researched, wrote down, deleted, and rewrote hundreds of options but nothing hit just right. Exasperated he finally reached out to a brand specialist, Gary, who helped him understand all the interesting elements that go into picking the perfect name for a brand.

Together they came up with, Algorythm Digital and while this was an awesome name, it was a little tiresome to pronounce often...and probably spell correctly too. This name was quickly moved to the innovation and ideation hub at V5 Digital, becoming Algorythm Labs where this clever department that comes up with first-to-market business solutions had no trouble pronouncing…or spelling this tricky moniker.

Algorythm Labs uses the Lean Startup Way to rapidly create, test and implement custom solutions to real business problems.

Inspiration can strike at any moment…

Armin reached out to his family and friends and while they gave him many great ideas none of them resonated with him or represented his brand in the way he had always imagined. He wanted a name that would make waves in a sea of generic digital terms. However, these phone calls had inadvertently planted a seed that was about to blossom into the perfect business title.

You see the Wieland family loves planes! Armin’s uncle Gustav was an aeronautical engineer who headed the design of the Dornier Do 31 VTOL aircraft in the 1960s and his brother is a talented pilot. Some of his earliest memories are of seeing his uncle touch down in his Cessna 210 on the family farm.

Armin's late Grand Uncle, Dr Ing. Gustav Wieland (second from the left) with the Dornier Do 31

Armin says, ”Aircraft have always been a part of my life. While my personal aircraft journey only went from flying paper planes to flying drones; my passion for aircraft is stronger than ever! I still feel like a kid in a candy store whenever I get to take a flight somewhere new.”

So it comes as no surprise that when Armin finally had his epiphany, it involved his love of planes. Like Archimedes, Armin’s eureka moment hit him while taking a shower. He should call his business V5 Digital!

The name he had been looking for all this time had finally found him. However unlike Archimedes, Armin did not excitedly hop out of the shower and sprint through the streets, instead opting to run the idea by his beloved family over WhatsApp.

Dornier Do 31 E1 at the Dornier Museum Friedrichshafen in Germany

The Wieland family all loved the name and Armin even got a rare response from his brother who approved wholeheartedly. Armin “knew it when he found it” but what makes this name so perfectly suited to his now thriving Marketing Agency?

Names have power…

Armin says, “The funny part is that once I had this name, everything else started coming together. The meaning, purpose, and values of the business all lined up with the name.”

The letter V comes from the NATO phonetic alphabet and is deeply tied to aircraft and air travel. Just like the jets that Armin admires, he wanted his business to be fast, sleek, advanced, agile, reliable, responsive, and sophisticated in its use of technology.

The V stands for victory, conquering new heights, exceeding the impossible, and continually evolving and improving. It also represents the roman numeral 5 which signifies curiosity, change, freedom and balance; all core elements Armin wanted his business to be centred around.

After this everything fell into place. A name is a powerful thing. It sets the tone for everything that follows and looking at the amazing track record of V5 Digital it was well chosen. As Morris Mandel says, “A name is the blueprint of the thing we call character. You ask, What's in a name? I answer, Just about everything you do."

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Marketing to Gen-Z can be tricky, and marketing to Africa's Gen-Z is even more daunting. Our growing youth population comes with interesting consumer habits that are sophisticated, inquisitive and discriminating. Why not rise to the challenge and create appropriate marketing experiences that this group of 18-24-year-olds can authentically engage with?

So what excites and delights the new kids on the block? Well, it turns out the block is very big! Africa is not a monolith and the Memes, TikToks, and Ads popping off in Namibia are very different to the ones trending in Nigeria. It's best to narrow your market down and research, research, research!

Dali Tembo, CEO and co-founder of The Culture Foundry Co. believes that Africa's Gen-Z, even in a single country are a varied group with nuanced spending habits. Connecting with young Africans is simple says Tembo, “Spend some time with them to understand how they feel.”

But how do we understand and speak to this generation? The answer is:

Customization and Personalization

Gen-Z expects brands to speak with them instead of at them

Young Namibians, South Africans, and beyond don’t want broad messages from a global brand. They want tailored content from a local agency, they want their city’s soccer team to wear the shoes you’re selling, and they want to buy coffee from the same cafe their favourite influencer just visited.

The diversity of African youth presents both opportunities and challenges for businesses seeking to target this market. Fortunately, it's easier than ever to segment a big audience and send these smaller groups automated, personal messages inspired by their behaviour.

At V5 Digital we use Marketing Automation to help your business stand out from the crowd by sending your target audience the right message at the right time. But what is the “right” message?

Culture and Values

Gen Z values justice and equality

Africa’s Gen-Z is dealing with a lot! Everything from load-shedding in some parts to political tensions in others, social justice issues, protests, severe weather and more. The youth are standing up for what they believe in and want brands to do the same. They want to know that your business is not only concerned with making a profit but also with making a difference.

It's imperative to align your business objectives and values with those of young people living in Africa if you plan to market to them successfully. So pick a cause that your company feels passionate about and do some good in the world! As long as your message is authentic and your efforts genuine, it will resonate well with your Gen-Z community.

The best way to predict trends is to create them

To market to the youth you need to listen to the youth. Gone are the days when we looked to the US and Europe or to the affluent elite to tell us what is cool. Social media has been a great equaliser and trends are being created by an ever more connected youth on the streets of our small towns.

Get to know your local trendsetters. Speak to big and small influencers that have Gen-Z audiences, see what the kids are posting on TikTok, and use the youth to market to their peers. This market sector is often highly entrepreneurial and creative, so businesses that support and encourage these qualities are more likely to gain their loyalty and trust.

Leverage Digital Media

Gen-Z are true digital natives

Gen-Z is tech-savvy and digitally connected. Growing up in the age of social media, smartphones, and streaming services, they are used to instant gratification and expect a seamless, intuitive digital experience in all aspects of their lives. It might be worth it to invest in digital technologies that offer personalized experiences that meet their unique needs and preferences.

They are active on smartphones and tablets and your brand needs to ensure that it’s optimised for these devices. This generation is truly digital, preferring to shop online, interact on social media, and use the internet differently from other generations. Even something as small as a slow-loading website can lose you a Gen-Z customer.

Short and long-form videos are the way forward

V5 Digital used Video for its recent recruitment campaign

What does Gen-Z want? TikTok, Instagram Reels, and Youtube. When do they want it? Now! Whether it's a Twitch Streamer playing their favourite game or a beauty guru showing them how to create the perfect smokey eye, African Gen-Z loves engaging video content.

Jacobppt uses popular trends on TikTok to show off his PowerPoint presentation skills

As such your marketing strategy needs to include video content in order to resonate with this demographic. Medium found that this generation watches videos to escape from reality and destress, giving 3 tips for using videos to market to GenZ.

  1. Avoid content that feeds their already-existing insecurities. Good vibes only.

  2. Post Unboxing and Review videos. Get an influencer to try your product or service.

  3. Create authentic, trustworthy, branded content that includes an element of storytelling without pushing your brand too hard.

Medium goes on to say: “To attract the next big consumer generation, don’t try to hide the fact that your branded content is an ad for your company. However, be sure to offer viewers authentic content that’s not laden with logos or CTA’s. Instead, offer an entertaining moment or story that leaves them feeling good.”

In conclusion…

If you see Gen-Z as just another data point, you have already failed

Today's youth represent a significant and influential consumer demographic, with a unique set of characteristics that businesses must understand to effectively target them.

By leveraging social media, emphasizing sustainability and social responsibility, offering personalized digital experiences, and creating the video content they love, businesses can establish authentic, long-term relationships with this important group of consumers.

If you love the idea of reaching this important new market but would rather let the professionals handle the hard work, book a no-obligation consultation with the V5 Digital Team: Here

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