The online marketplace is incredibly crowded for the hospitality industry and getting your message heard is a constantly evolving challenge. A successful hotel marketing mix requires a joined-up approach across various platforms, helping you to connect with key audiences, drive direct bookings, boost occupancy rates and win back bookings from the online travel agencies (OTAs). The nine steps below will help tune-up your marketing and get your online presence into shape.
1. Great Photography
Why tell your guests about your beautiful location when you can show them? People process images 60,000 times faster than text. With photos being a key decision maker when researching hotels, impressive photography has the potential to drive online bookings. Invest in a professional photographer who can ensure your hotel looks its best and stands out from the competition.
2. Social Media
People use social media to relax, so it’s the perfect place to advertise a dream getaway. Keeping active on social media is a great way to engage with previous guests and turn them into loyal repeat bookers, as well as reach new audiences. Still struggling to see the benefit of social media? 78% of businesses report that posting on Instagram increases their website traffic!
3. Mobile Optimised Web
Your website is the shop window for your hotel and with over 50% of web traffic now from mobile devices, it’s important that your website is optimised for a range of screen sizes. If your website isn’t easy to navigate and make bookings, it will put potential guests off immediately. Ensure your website makes the best first impression and converts visitors into paying guests.
4. Marketing Emails
Emails give you a direct route to deliver bespoke offers and exclusive deals straight to the inbox of your most valued guests. A high-quality database will allow you to use segmentation and personalisation to tailor messages that best appeal to particular subscribers, allowing you to maximise repeat business and increase conversions.
5. Search Engine Optimisation & Paid Online Ads
We know the importance of getting bookings directly via your website and with 90% of people never clicking past the first page of search results, appearing on the first page for important search terms is a great way to increase direct bookings. With search engine algorithms frequently changing, it’s important to be proactive and use a combination of ongoing SEO activity and a targeted paid ad strategy to ensure that potential guests reach your website first.
6. Multi-channel Approach
Before hitting the booking button, guests use a wide range of channels to research hotels. Make sure the look and feel of your brand are consistent throughout your marketing mix, including website, social media, email campaigns, OTAs and print. Consistency across all areas will assure people that what they see is what they get with your hotel.
7. Manage your Reputation
77% of hotel guests say they read TripAdvisor reviews before booking, and 72% say management responses make them more likely to book. Responding to positive reviews can turn those guests into loyal returning customers and brilliant brand ambassadors, whilst responding to bad reviews will give you an opportunity to resolve any issues. Whether good or bad, responding to online reviews shows you truly care about the guest experience.
8. Create a Remarkable Experience
It may seem obvious, but the best way to build a great reputation is to ensure you provide guests with an excellent experience. People love to share their memorable moments and positive experiences with others, whether that’s through online reviews, sharing on social media or simply in conversation with someone they know; word of mouth can be a very powerful marketing tool.
9. Develop your USP
The key to success is to find the one thing that you do better than anyone else, focus your energies on that and make it brilliant. There’s no use trying to appeal to everyone, be the best at one thing and your ideal customers will be queuing up to stay with you.
“In the battle to increase occupancy and win bookings back from the OTAs the smart hotelier must use every weapon at their disposal.”
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