The most effective marketing strategy for hotels and businesses in the hospitality industry are those that are targeted toward a specific audience, focused on major benefits based on the audience’s point of view and interests, and delivered at an appropriate time—when the audience is most likely to be attentive to and interested in the message being delivered.
Indeed it can be challenging for hotel owners to view their business and their services from the outside in, but that’s precisely what they must do if they hope to be successful in their marketing efforts.
Marketers need to understand and consider customers needs and concerns and note potential objections that they can work to overcome in their marketing efforts. In doing so, they can identify key benefits to focus on that will be attractive to the target audience.
Also, note that a message about female incontinence delivered through a poster on the inside of a restroom door in the lobby is hitting an audience at just about the perfect time. The same message delivered on an overhead announcement in the same lobby would probably not have the same impact.
Effective marketing seeks to reach audiences when they are most likely to be open and attentive to the message. Don’t also forget that the type of hotel you run – budget, boutique, luxury, independent, or a chain – will make a huge difference on the best approach or strategy to market your hotel and who you market to, so the initial research and analysis you do is extremely important.
Once you have confirmed your brand and target market, that’s when you can divert your attention to all the nuts and bolts of marketing your hotel and making it a visible, viable booking option for travelers
The importance of having the right hotel marketing strategy is difficult to overstate, as it is a key part of launching a hotel, optimizing the number of bookings you generate, building brand awareness, and managing your reputation. Developing workable marketing strategies for your hotel business is a challenge, however, here are strategies you can start utilizing to drive more guests to your hotel and encourage direct bookings.
Best Marketing Strategies for Hotel
Leverage Technology to Better Market Your Hotel
Regardless of the type of property you are managing, your potential guests will be looking at your hotel online before deciding to make reservation with you. Therefore, one of the best strategies you can leverage involves using the technology at your disposal to showcase all elements of your property.
You should consider making a virtual tour of your hotel or rooms for guests to get a 360-degree view of the space and get a better feel of the place. This is a result oriented marketing strategy for hotels and resorts, and guests will appreciate having the inside view, especially to more anxious travelers who prefer to know exactly what they’ll get before booking.
2. Promote Yourself With Online Travel Agencies
In this current digital age, no hotel can secure regular business without capitalizing on online travel agencies and travel brokers. Note that a simple listing can generate thousands of bookings in the long term, but it is worth understanding that each time a booking is generated through such an agency, a commission will be applied.
However, never rely solely on online travel agencies when it comes to your hotel marketing efforts, ensuring such websites are used to generate additional sales, rather replace your direct sales efforts entirely.
Reward Guest Loyalty
If you find you are seeing frequent familiar faces at your property, you may want to consider a rewards program for your guests. Note that this may include free or discounted stays, vouchers for breakfast or nearby restaurants, or discounted tickets to attractions or theme parks in the area.
Depending on your location, this hotel marketing strategy can appeal to a vast audience, which will more or less build stronger relationships between you and your guests. Repeat travelers may refer your property to friends, family, or co-workers who need to travel to the area.
Get Recommended by Real Authority
Have it in mind that one sure-fire way of securing new customers is to get your hotel listed with local tourist offices. Whether it is a printed flyer in a brick and mortar office or a prominent link on a local tourism website, you’re sure to take premier listing over many rival competitors.
If you intend to appeal to the business traveler, nearby convention and exhibition centers are also a wonderful place to promote your hotel.
It is also advisable to talk to local marketing and event companies in the region as many of these may only offer part-package deals to their own customers, meaning you can cover the accommodation needs and bolster your bookings in quieter seasons.
Differentiate Yourself From The Rest
Note that to really contend with the competition, your hotel will have to offer something unique and distinctly different to entice potential guests.
Your hotel marketing campaign needs to be equally individual. Quality customer care has to be at the core of everything in the hotel and hospitality industry. Have it in mind that going that extra mile for your guests can yield massive returns.
However, ensure you’re doing something different, from providing customers with a little treat at check-in to nabbing local press and PR connections to shine a light on hotel marketing events.
Partner with Local Businesses
The hospitality industry offers various and unique opportunities to partner with local businesses in the area to boost their guest experience. Having a partnership with a local restaurant or small business is a win-win in hotel marketing.
Notably, you are able to promote a special offer if guests stay at your hotel, which both encourages guests to book with you and helps generate revenue for the business you have partnered with. Strengthening relationships with local restaurants through delivery services or discounts can help them to be an advocate for your hotel as well.
Take the Time to Analyse Your Data
Note that one of the best hotel marketing strategies involves capitalizing on the availability of website data, turning to tools like Google Analytics, and leveraging this information to understand which demographics are best interested in traveling to your hotel, or most eager to do so.
In doing so, your primary target demographic may need to change. Leverage your property management system to explore different groups within your customer base and analyze the data. Which demographics are most likely to travel?
Which demographics are least likely to travel? What are the major areas of weakness and what can you do to address the issues? How much growth potential does your hotel have? After you have these answers, you can start to think about changing some of your marketing messages.
Highlight Safety in Hotel Marketing & Guest Communication
When it comes to responding to the threat of coronavirus and the changes in behavior of customers, the single biggest marketing message that hotels need to get across is that safety and hygiene measures are in place.
After all, for guests to stay with you and enjoy their visit, they need to feel that their risk is as low as possible. Ensure to communicate the hygiene and safety measures you are taking on your website homepage, on social media, during the booking process, and in your pre-stay communication.
Ensure to update descriptions on third-party platforms and look into ways you can go above and beyond, such as using contactless check-ins and payments.
Provide Value & Flexible Cancellation Policies
Since people are feeling more reluctant to stay in hotels during and after the pandemic, it is more pertinent than ever to highlight your USPs. People want to be convinced, so focus on what separates your hotel from rival properties, whether that is your design, your location, the quality of your facilities, the reputation of your restaurant, or nearby attractions.
You do not necessarily have to cut your rates to attract guests, as long as you deliver value for money. Note that this could mean offering extra services, like room service breakfasts, complimentary drinks, massage services, bike rentals, and other things your guests will remember.
Ensure to also respect the fact that coronavirus is still on people’s minds and they may wish to cancel their booking or reschedule for another time. Try to offer a generous and flexible cancellation policy when possible.
Don’t Forget Email Marketing
An email is a powerful tool in your arsenal of hotel marketing strategies. Reaching out to guests after they have stayed to encourage them to leave a review will indeed help to boost your review flow, and guests can easily see recent experiences when researching your property.
Have it in mind that word of mouth is influential in the service world, as many guests use reviews to gauge what other guests have encountered when visiting your property. Furthermore, if you have your guests sign on to a rewards program at your property, you can utilize email marketing to send newsletters about upcoming events or promotions.
Marketing plays a crucial role in helping hotels to maximize bookings and revenue. It is the main way in which those in the hotel industry are able to reach out to potential customers, conveying their unique selling proposition and brand values.
Having effective hotel marketing strategies is imperative for businesses wanting to gain and maintain momentum in any market.