Improving Your Hotel Marketing Strategy
You need a solid hotel marketing strategy if you want to succeed in this highly competitive industry.
A hospitality marketing strategy is a plan to promote a hotel and its services to potential guests and customers. This involves a combination of traditional and digital marketing strategies to convey the hotel’s brand message and offerings effectively.
A successful hotel digital marketing strategy could consist of a strong web presence, use of social media for engagement, SEO for visibility, email marketing for customer retention, and PPC for targeted promotions.
For example, a 5-star hotel marketing strategy highlights premium services and luxury experiences. This could include high-quality videos showcasing the hotel’s amenities, personalised email marketing, strategic partnerships with luxury brands, and exceptional online customer service.
In this article, you’ll learn to use the 4 Ps to enhance your hotel marketing strategy: Product, Price, Place and Promotion.
Target the Right Audience
Effective hotel marketing requires an understanding of your target audience. Different types of hotels cater to different demographics and traveller preferences. Identifying your target audience and tailoring your marketing efforts towards them will help you attract more relevant and qualified guests.
Identify your target audience’s demographics, preferences, and booking behaviour by conducting market research. You can create targeted campaigns and offers based on this information.
For example, suppose your hotel is near a convention centre. In that case, you may want to target business travellers and offer corporate packages or amenities tailored to their needs.
Reward Direct Bookings
Direct bookings offer numerous benefits for hotels, including higher profit margins and increased guest loyalty. Offer perks and rewards to encourage guests to book directly with your hotel.
Provide incentives such as complimentary upgrades, free breakfast, or loyalty points for direct bookings. Promote the advantages of booking directly on your website and through your marketing channels.
Group bookings can be a significant source of revenue for hotels. Develop a dedicated group marketing strategy to attract events, conferences, and other group bookings.
Offer personalised group packages, discounts, and benefits to incentivise group bookings.
Develop relationships with event planners, corporate travel agents, and conference organisers to promote your hotel as a preferred venue.
Corporate Guests & Digital Nomads
Corporate guests are an essential segment of the hotel industry. Tailor your marketing efforts to attract and cater to the needs of business travellers.
Offer amenities such as high-speed internet, business centres, and conference facilities. Provide flexible booking options, such as corporate rates or long-term stay packages.
Collaborate with local businesses to offer corporate guests exclusive discounts or perks.
Enhance Website Experience
Your hotel’s website is often potential guests’ first point of contact. To get people to book directly with you, you need a hassle-free, user-friendly experience.
Make sure your website is visually appealing, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly.
Highlight the amenities and rooms of your hotel with high-quality images and videos. Provide clear and concise information about your hotel’s features, services, and booking options.
Consider implementing live chat or chatbot features to provide instant assistance to visitors and answer any questions they may have.
Personalise the booking process by offering customised recommendations based on the guest’s preferences and previous interactions with your website.
Exceptional service is the cornerstone of the hospitality industry. Providing outstanding service to your guests enhances their experience. It encourages them to become loyal customers and ambassadors for your hotel.
Train your staff to deliver personalised and attentive service to every guest. Encourage them to go above and beyond to exceed guest expectations.
This can include remembering guest preferences, offering personalised recommendations, and providing prompt and efficient service.
Experiential marketing focuses on creating immersive and memorable experiences for guests. Offer unique experiences or packages that go beyond traditional accommodation.
This can include hosting themed events, organising culinary workshops, or partnering with local artists or performers for live entertainment.
Encourage guests to share their experiences on social media, generating publicity for your hotel.
Create Branded Welcome Gifts
Create a memorable first impression by offering branded welcome gifts to your guests. Personalised gifts, such as local treats or small amenities, can leave a lasting impression and make guests feel valued.
Include your hotel’s logo and branding on the gifts to reinforce your brand identity. This small gesture can enhance the guest experience and encourage positive word-of-mouth recommendations.
Create Instagrammable Areas
Create visually appealing, social media-friendly spaces or installations within your hotel, such as rooftop bars, colourful murals, or stunning views.
Encourage guests to share their experiences on social media by providing hashtags and photo props.
Effective financial forecasting is essential for budgeting and resource allocation in hotel marketing: Analyse historical data, industry trends, and market conditions to project future demand and revenue.
Use financial forecasting tools and techniques to estimate the return on investment (ROI) for different marketing initiatives. This helps you make informed decisions about budget allocation and optimise your marketing spend.
Allocate More Budget During Peak Booking Seasons
Peak booking seasons vary for hotels depending on their location and target market. It is important to identify when your hotel experiences high demand and allocate a more significant portion of your marketing budget during those periods. Increasing your marketing efforts during peak seasons can capture more bookings and maximise your revenue.
To determine your peak booking seasons:
- Analyse historical booking data and trends.
- Look for patterns and fluctuations in demand throughout the year.
- Once you have identified your peak seasons, plan your marketing campaigns and strategies accordingly. This may include increasing your online advertising budget, launching special promotions, or partnering with local businesses to attract more guests.
Focus on Location/Destination Marketing
Promoting your hotel’s location and the surrounding destination is an effective way to attract travellers. Highlight the unique features and attractions of your location, such as nearby landmarks, cultural sites, or natural wonders.
Create content showcasing the destination and positioning your property as a great base for exploring. The content can include blog posts, videos, and social media posts highlighting local experiences, hidden gems, and insider tips.
Build Local Partnerships
Building partnerships with local businesses and attractions can be a win-win for your hotel and the community. By collaborating with local restaurants, tour operators, or event organisers, you can create unique packages and experiences for your guests.
For example, you can partner with a popular restaurant to offer a discounted meal voucher to guests who book a certain number of nights at your hotel. You can also collaborate with local tour operators to offer guided tours or excursions to nearby attractions.
These partnerships enhance the guest experience, generate additional revenue for your hotel, and support the local economy.
Enable Social Media Bookings
Social media platforms offer a convenient and accessible platform for guests to book directly with your hotel.
Enable social media bookings by integrating a booking engine or chatbot into your social media profiles.
Streamline the booking process by offering personalised recommendations and instant confirmation. Promote exclusive offers and discounts on social media.
Map the Customer Journey
Effective hotel marketing requires an understanding of the customer journey. Map out the different touchpoints and interactions a guest has with your hotel, from initial awareness to post-stay feedback.
Identify opportunities to enhance the guest experience at each stage of the journey.
This includes personalised email campaigns, targeted ads, recommendations, and post-stay surveys to gather feedback and improve your services.
Stay informed about your competitors’ marketing strategies and offerings.
Conduct regular benchmarking to identify areas where your hotel can differentiate itself and offer unique value to guests.
Monitor competitors’ websites, social media channels, and promotional activities. Analyse their strengths and weaknesses and use this information to refine your marketing strategy.
Regularly audit your printed and digital marketing assets to ensure they are up-to-date and aligned with your brand.
Review brochures, flyers, and other printed materials for accuracy and consistency.
Audit your website to ensure all information is current and relevant. Check for broken links, outdated content, and opportunities for improvement.
Update your online listings on third-party platforms to ensure accuracy and enhance your online presence.
Develop Brand Tone & Communication Guidelines
Maintaining consistency in tone and communication is key to building a strong brand.
Develop brand guidelines that define your hotel’s tone of voice, style, and messaging.
Make sure that all marketing materials adhere to these guidelines, including website copy, social media posts, and email campaigns.
Master the Art of Storytelling
Storytelling is a powerful tool in hotel marketing. Write a story about your hotel, its history, and its unique features.
Share stories about memorable guest experiences, local legends, or the hotel’s role in the community.
Use storytelling in your marketing materials, website content, and social media posts to captivate and inspire your audience.
Create Engaging Content
Content marketing helps you get found by your target audience. Create informative and inspiring content relevant to your target market’s interests and travel preferences.
Prepare a content calendar that combines blog posts, videos, events and social media posts.
Share travel tips, destination guides, and behind-the-scenes stories about your hotel. Create compelling content with local influencers, photographers, or travel bloggers.
Videos are a powerful storytelling tool that can bring your hotel to life.
Create high-quality videos that showcase the unique features and experiences your hotel offers.
Use videos to give virtual tours of your hotel, highlight amenities and services, and share guest testimonials.
Engage potential guests by posting videos on your website, social media, and online travel platforms.
Embrace Augmented Reality
AR (augmented reality) is an emerging technology that can revolutionise hotel marketing. Use AR to create virtual tours or interactive experiences that allow potential guests to visualise themselves in your hotel.
This technology can help potential guests make more informed booking decisions and increase engagement with your brand.
Automation can streamline your hotel marketing efforts and improve efficiency. Send personalised emails, manage social media scheduling, and track guest interactions using marketing automation tools.
Implement a customer relationship management (CRM) system to centralise guest data and streamline communication with your guests.
This allows you to personalise your marketing messages and target specific segments of your audience based on their preferences and behaviours.
Public relations (PR) is an effective way to generate conversations and increase brand visibility. Identify PR opportunities, such as participating in industry events, hosting press trips, or partnering with local media outlets.
Develop relationships with journalists, bloggers, and influencers in the travel and hospitality industry. Pitch story ideas and press releases to secure media coverage and increase awareness of your hotel.
In addition to local partnerships, consider forming brand alliances with other businesses or organisations that align with your hotel’s values and target audience. Brand alliances can help you reach a wider audience and enhance your hotel’s reputation.
For example, suppose your hotel prides itself on sustainability and eco-friendly practices. In that case, you can partner with environmental organisations or participate in community clean-up initiatives.
By aligning your brand with like-minded organisations, you can attract environmentally-conscious guests who value sustainability.
Collaborating with niche experts and influencers with a strong online presence and following can help promote your hotel and reach a wider audience.
Identify influencers who align with your hotel’s brand and values. Reach out to them and propose collaborations, such as sponsored stays or influencer-hosted events.
This can help create authentic and engaging content that showcases your hotel uniquely and appealingly.
Enhance Search Engine Visibility
In the digital age, search engines have become the go-to resource for travellers searching for accommodation.
Optimising your search engine visibility is essential to ensure your hotel is easily discoverable online.
Start by implementing a robust search engine optimisation (SEO) strategy. Find the most relevant and high-performing hotel keywords by doing keyword research. To improve your website’s search engine ranking, use these keywords in your website copy, meta tags, and headings.
With more and more travellers using mobile devices to book their stays, having a responsive website is a must-have. Bookings can be lost if a website takes a long time to load. Optimise your website’s performance by compressing images, minifying code, and leveraging browser caching.
Incentivise Potential Guests
In a competitive market, giving potential guests a reason to choose your hotel over others is essential. One effective way to do this is by offering incentives that make your hotel stand out.
These incentives range from discounts and special offers to unique experiences and amenities.
For example, you could offer a complimentary spa treatment or a welcome drink upon arrival for guests who book directly through your website. You can also create exclusive packages that include tickets to local attractions or partner with nearby businesses to offer special discounts to your guests.
By providing added value and unique experiences, you can differentiate your hotel and attract more bookings.
You can use remarketing to reach potential guests who have previously shown interest in your hotel. With a tracking pixel, you can track visitors and deliver targeted ads across your digital platforms, like social media and display networks.
This helps keep your hotel in mind and encourages visitors to return to your website and complete their booking.
To make the most of remarketing, create specific ad campaigns tailored to different segments of your audience.
For instance, offer discounts or incentives to users who abandon their booking process. Personalising your ads and offers can increase the chances of converting potential guests into bookings.
Encourage Guest Reviews
Positive guest reviews are invaluable for hotel marketing. Encourage guests to leave reviews on TripAdvisor, Google, and social media platforms.
Show appreciation for positive feedback and address any concerns or issues from negative reviews. This demonstrates your commitment to guest satisfaction and helps to build trust with potential guests.
Implement a Customer Loyalty Program
A customer loyalty program is an effective way to incentivise repeat bookings and foster customer loyalty. Offer exclusive benefits and rewards to guests who join your loyalty program, such as discounted rates, complimentary upgrades, or access to special events.
Promote your loyalty program through your website, social media, and email marketing campaigns. Encourage guests to sign up during their stay or when booking.
Regularly communicate with loyalty program members to keep them engaged and informed about exclusive offers and upcoming events.
Email & Newsletter Marketing
Email marketing remains an effective tool for engaging with your audience and driving direct bookings. Develop an email marketing strategy that includes regular newsletters, personalised offers, and targeted campaigns.
Segment your email list based on guest preferences, booking history, or loyalty program membership. Personalise your email content to make it relevant and engaging for each segment.
Identify brand ambassadors within your organisation to represent your hotel and help promote your brand. These can be key personnel, such as the general manager, executive chef, or concierge, who embody the values and ethos of your hotel.
Empower your brand ambassadors to share their expertise and engage with guests. Encourage them to participate in industry events, deliver presentations, or contribute to industry publications to enhance your hotel’s reputation.
Social Media Community Building
Building a solid social media community is essential for effective hotel marketing. Engage with your followers by responding to comments, sharing user-generated content, and hosting contests or giveaways.
Encourage guests to share their experiences on social media by creating a unique hashtag for your hotel—feature user-generated content on your social media channels to showcase the authentic experiences of your guests.
Prepare for the Marketing Channels of the Future
As technology advances, new marketing channels and platforms will emerge. Stay ahead of the competition by preparing for future marketing channels today.
Keep an eye on emerging technologies such as virtual reality, voice search, and artificial intelligence. Consider how these technologies can be deployed in your marketing efforts and how they will impact the hotel industry.
Improving your hotel marketing strategy requires careful planning and execution. To get started, follow these steps:
- Audit your current marketing strategy: Assess the effectiveness of your current marketing efforts and identify areas for improvement.
- Assess your resources: Evaluate your budget, personnel, and technological capabilities to determine your marketing resources.
- Outline your objectives: Set clear and measurable goals for your hotel marketing strategy, such as increasing direct bookings or improving brand awareness.
- Review your marketing budget: Allocate an appropriate budget based on your objectives and available resources for your marketing initiatives.
- Implement the recommended strategies: Incorporate the tips and tricks in this article into your marketing plan.
- Track and measure your results: Regularly monitor and analyse the performance of your marketing campaigns to assess their effectiveness.
- Continuously refine and optimise: Use the insights gained from tracking and measuring to refine your strategies and optimise your marketing efforts.
These insights can improve your hotel marketing strategy and drive more bookings.
With a well-executed hotel marketing strategy, you can enhance your hotel’s reputation, attract more guests, and increase your revenue.