7 min read

Gen Z's Impact on the Marketing Funnel: Are You Ready?

Discover how Gen Z is reshaping the marketing funnel, leverage Instagram's new features, and stay ahead with Meta's verified plans. Plus, trending tips for hotels!
Gen Z is flipping the marketing funnel.

Welcome to this week's edition of Smart Hotel Marketing. Dive into the latest trends and insights that can help elevate your hotel's marketing strategy and stay ahead in the competitive hospitality landscape.

In today's newsletter:

  • 🚨 Learn how Gen Z redefines the traditional marketing funnel and what this means for your hotel.
  • 📈 Explore how Gen Z and millennials' evolving travel preferences are shaping the hospitality industry.
  • 🔎 Find out why low reach doesn't mean your content is bad and how to leverage high-quality visuals.
  • ☑️ Get the details on Meta's new subscription tiers and their potential impact on your social media strategy.
  • 🚀 Turn bad days around with a trending TikTok trend that resonates with everyone's desire for a positive shift.


55% of people prefer researching products and services on video and social platforms versus traditional search platforms. (source: The Science of Search on TikTok, 2023)


How we understand and use marketing funnels is changing, particularly with Gen Z. Research by Archrival highlights that Gen Z does not follow a straightforward path from awareness to purchase.

Instead, their consumer behavior forms a continuous cycle of discovering new things, connecting with communities, and staying loyal to brands that resonate with them, all happening primarily through their interaction with digital platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

These platforms are more than just a social platform for Gen Z—they're where they chat, connect, entertain, be entertained, shop, and get inspired. We encourage you to read the whole article from Vogue Business, but some of the eye-popping findings that caught our eyes were...

  1. Social Media as a Primary Source of Inspiration: 77% of Gen Z and 79% of millennials in the US actively seek inspiration at least monthly on social media, with almost half of those searching specifically on platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.
  2. Preference for Authentic Experiences: Despite their digital inclination, 74% of Gen Z think in-person experiences are more important than digital ones, indicating a significant opportunity for hotels to attract young guests through tangible, memorable experiences.Third Takeaway
  3. Influence of Peers and Influencers: 51% of Gen Z believe that social media influencers are trendsetters, highlighting the importance of influencer partnerships in marketing strategies for hotels looking to attract this demographic.
  4. Engagement with Brands: 84% of Gen Z are more likely to buy from brands they perceive as 'cool' or part of their community, suggesting that hotels must build strong community ties and brand loyalty to appeal to this generation.


How Post-Pandemic Preferences Are Shaping Travel Trends for Gen Z & Millennials

  • Gen Z and millennials are expected to spend more on leisure travel in 2024 than in previous years.
  • There's a shift towards more spontaneous travel planning, with many starting only one to three months in advance.
  • Travel values have evolved; younger generations emphasize immersion in local cultures and relaxation.

Impact on Hotels & Resorts - The evolving travel preferences of Gen Z and millennials highlight a significant opportunity for hotels and resorts to adapt and cater to this demographic. By offering personalized experiences and robust loyalty programs, and aligning with the spontaneous and culture-rich travel desires of these younger travelers, properties can enhance guest satisfaction and loyalty. This strategic alignment with modern travel trends can drive increased bookings and revenue.

Meta Expands Verified Subscription Plans

  • Meta introduces three new subscription tiers for businesses: Plus, Premium, and Max, with monthly fees ranging from $44.99 to $349.99, offering advanced features like link additions to Reels and priority support.
  • The baseline standard plan, priced at $14.99 per month, includes a verification badge, improved search ranking, and additional support features.
  • The new tiers are available in Australia and New Zealand, the expanded Meta Verified program is set to extend to countries like Argentina, Mexico, and several European nations. No timeline was given for when this will roll out in the United States.

Impact on Hotels and Resorts:
Meta's new verified subscription plans could significantly alter the social media landscape for hotels and resorts. With a shift towards paid features for enhanced visibility, properties might need to adjust their budgets and strategies to maintain or improve their reach on platforms like Instagram. We're keeping our eyes on this one...

Instagram Releases New Stickers for Stories

  • Instagram has introduced an array of new stickers for Stories, designed to enhance interaction and expression.
  • The new stickers allow accounts to kick off music trends, create custom stickers from photos or videos, post a secret story, and more.

Impact on Hotels & Resorts - The new stickers in Instagram Stories present a valuable opportunity for hotels and resorts to enhance their social media engagement. By incorporating these creative tools, properties can craft more engaging and relatable content that resonates with their audience's interests and activities. The 'Reveal' sticker could work nicely for properties that want to offer exclusive discounts, offers, or packages to their followers.

Adam Mosseri Explains: Low Reach on Instagram Doesn’t Mean Your Content is Bad

  • In a recent AMA with Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, he addressed the following question: "Why don’t all my followers see when I post?? Does it mean my content is bad?"
  • Adam explained the various factors that can impact the reach of Instagram content but reiterated that not all followers will see your content.
  • Somewhat related, this reminds us of Adam's stance on Follower counts. The bottom line is to stop worrying about your follower counts.

Impact on Hotels & Resorts -
Adam Mosseri's insights emphasize that while Instagram reach might fluctuate, it doesn't necessarily mean content quality is lacking. For hotels and resorts, this underscores the importance of maintaining high-quality visuals on their profiles. Despite variations in reach, potential travelers frequently discover hotel offerings during their research phase in the buying cycle, making compelling visuals crucial for attracting their interest and consideration.

This week’s spotlight shines on a captivating TikTok trend that’s all about finding a silver lining on a rough day. Sure to resonate with everyone’s desire to escape the daily grind, this trend showcases users thinking they're having a bad day – maybe even feeling under the weather – but then something shifts their perspective and brightens their world!

What's the Trend?

Creators share their mini-transformation moments in a short, engaging one-clip video. For example, someone might start by feeling down due to an oncoming cold, but then their day takes a positive turn, realizing that what they actually needed was just a change of scenery – cue the dramatic reveal of a sunny vacation spot or retreat! Check it out on TikTok.

Why It Works?

This trend connects because it’s relatable – we’ve all had those days that start off poorly but take an unexpected and uplifting turn. The sudden shift in context from the mundane to the extraordinary provides a perfect, bite-sized escapism that hooks viewers.

How Can Hotels + Resorts Leverage This?

Hotels can creatively employ this trend by suggesting that sometimes, all you might need is a spontaneous getaway. Imagine a short video of a guest arriving tired and weary, then encountering the lavish comfort or stunning views your hotel offers, instantly revitalized and happy. Tagline? "Thought you needed a sick day… turns out you just needed to stay with us!"

Now I know you're thinking, how can this TikTok trend be relevant for our hotel if you aren't on TikTok? Well, in today's landscape, we often see things begin to trend on Instagram 2-4 weeks after they've been trending on TikTok.

The reality is that trends don't start on Instagram.

💡 TIP OF THE WEEK - Craft an Influencer Brief Next Time You Host an Influencer

Creating an influencer brief is essential to enhance the effectiveness of influencer collaborations. Here’s how hotels and resorts can guide content influencers/creators to produce impactful, authentic UGC:

  • Offer Brand Talking Points: Provide talking points that align with your brand's message, encouraging influencers to add their personal touch to resonate with their followers.
  • Detailed Shot List: Specify the types of shots you need, like showcasing the luxurious amenities or highlighting unique experiences at your hotel. However, do allow flexibility for influencers to capture these elements in a way that fits their style.
  • Clear Guidelines: List the do’s (e.g., focus on food & beverage programs, highlight local culture) and don’ts (avoid showcasing competing brands, refrain from negative language about the location) to keep the content on-brand.
  • Collaborative Planning: Arrange a meeting with the influencer to discuss the brief, clarify any questions they may have, and brainstorm additional ideas to enhance the campaign.

This approach ensures content aligns with your marketing goals and builds a stronger partnership with the creators, leveraging their creativity for genuine engagement.


  • Our team is soaring to new heights in content creation, skillfully incorporating drone footage to capture breathtaking perspectives that elevate our storytelling.
  • Many of our clients inquire about the difference between a Casual Fridays Content Visit and a Professional Lifestyle Production. To help you see the distinct advantages of each, we've created galleries that illustrate the magic we bring to every project.