There are multiple ways to promote a hotel. Many big brands spend a fortune on marketing through banner ads, hoardings etc. as they have a good financial budget set for their marketing plans. On the other hand, small and medium sized hotels don’t have that kind of budget to market their properties well.
Small and mid-sized hotels require a strategy different from those employed by the big-name hotel chains with unlimited budgets. Smaller hotels tend to have smaller pockets, and the majority of their funds go directly towards guest experience. Whether they are investing in new linens, offering more amenities or boosting their restaurant menu, their priority is to satisfy the guest. But when it comes down to it, they need guests in order to satisfy them, so drawing potential customers is equally important to the long-term success of a property.
Establishing a hotel’s marketing strategy depends on the particular property. Hoteliers need to know their unique value proposition and how to communicate that to people who are searching for a place to stay.
Try these seven marketing ideas for small budgets:
Be a social butterfly – One of the easiest ways to get free press and free advertising is through a solid social media presence. Create a personality for your brand and interact with readers. Sharing deals and savings may draw the attention of potential guests who were not even on your radar. Business travelers are usually very active on social platforms and it is likely that they will tweet about you or inquire your hotel’s information online. By answering to all their queries online, you can garner their trust and prevent negative buzz. Take your strategy seriously and you will automatically see an increase in visitors.
Reach guests on the go – Updating your mobile site can make a world of difference. About 21 percent of all hotel searches are now done on mobile devices, so it stands to reason that a confusing or incompatible mobile site could lose you a potential guest. Developing a mobile friendly site is definitely a worthwhile investment that will show great returns. (Read: Keep your Hotel in your Guest’s Pocket)
Reward those who are loyal – Creating a loyalty program will encourage guests to choose your brand stay after stay. Building a loyal following will give you a secure foundation, and the small perks you offer may be the tipping point when a guest is trying to decide between two properties. You don’t need to offer ostentatious perks, something as simple as free breakfast can keep you within your budget.
Paid ads – HeBS, hotel internet marketing firm, recommends that the bigger portion of your marketing budget should go to paid search engine marketing. They suggest that if you analyze performance, optimize your campaigns consistently and keep up with the latest advances in search, you will see immediate increases in your bookings. Prioritizing your budget will allow you to spend wisely.
Email marketing – If you wish to yield high ROIs then create an email list of addresses of your customers and make sure you send them regular emails highlighting all your special offers and discounts. This initiative will keep them updated with your offers and at the same time make your guests feel wanted.
Corporate and private events – If your hotel has the right resources to conduct business meetings and conferences, then promoting corporate events is a fastest way to increase revenues regardless of the season. You can also hold private events for guests such as anniversaries, weddings, birthdays etc.
Use your web space for blogs – Your website can be more than just a place for bookings. Start a blog to get potential guests engaged and become a thought leader in the industry. You will build your reputation and possibly catch the attention of guests who were not originally in your target market.
Small and mid-sized hotels guests follow different behavioral patterns when it comes to searching a hotel or booking a room. Big brands generally have loyal customers who are often entitled to the points and savings of the big brands. On the other hand, a small hotel’s audience relies more on reviews and recommendations through platforms like TripAdvisor, Facebook, blogs or other review sites.
Incorporate the above marketing strategies in your upcoming plan in order to build a good customer base and make a solid presence in the market. Once you have successfully created a good customer base, then budget won’t be a constraint at all!
Do you think these marketing strategies will work well for properties with low budgets? If you have more opinions, we’d be pleased to hear from you.