To own and run a hotel is no easy task. It is even more challenging when it comes to maximising your revenue and increasing direct bookings. However, this can become much easier when you have a strong hotel marketing strategy in place.
In this article, we are going to share some of the essential marketing strategies for hotel business that would help you stay ahead in this ever-competitive industry.
1. It Is Important To Know Your Guests Well
It is extremely crucial for you to understand who exactly your customers are and what are their needs and requirements while they are looking to book a room in your hotel.
Every time they make a reservation on your website, make sure that you have additional fields on your booking system to collect information about their preferences and other details. This would give your guest a sense that you as a hotelier is serious about the guest experience.
2. Make Your Hotel Website Intuitive And User-Friendly
It is important for hotels to have a website that is user-friendly. The hotel’s website should be such where people find everything you are offering, easily and swiftly.
The website should be easy to navigate, should tell the whole story, and speedy and reliable. It also needs to be mobile-friendly, as more and more tech-friendly which means that they are accessing many websites on their mobile phones only. Always remember, an intuitive website establishes credibility as a business and if you lack it, you are definitely running behind.
3. Showcase The Uniqueness And The Strengths Of Your Property
It is important that you have complete knowledge about what makes your hotel attractive to guests. You should know what the guests like about your property and those unique factors should be highlighted on your social media handles, website, and marketing campaigns.
For example, if your property is pet-friendly, it would a great hotel marketing strategy to put up photos of guests walking into your hotel, spending time with their pets.
4. Prize Your Guests If They Book Directly
Why would someone come over to a specific hotel website to make a booking while they can do it from an OTA where they would find multiple options?
However, you as a hotelier can change the game by incorporating a certain strategy. There are several marketing strategies in hospitality industry and one of the best ones to bring more direct booking is by giving discounts.
So, make sure you offer attractive discounts to guests who book your property directly, surprise your guests with certain gifts when they arrive in their rooms. These kinds of gestures would leave a great impression on them and helps you win long term guest relations. And there are possibilities that they would share their experience with others.
5. Go Little Overboard With Customers Who Are Loyal To You
When a guest makes a return booking on your hotel website and when they arrive at your property, s/he expects you to acknowledge them for their loyalty. And how would you do that?
With gestures — like a welcome back email or a placard at the time of arrival or a complementary food item. Such things would make them feel special and welcomed.
6. Guest Experience Should Be Your Top Priority
Guest experience matters! Guests are likely to return to your property when they are satisfied with the experience. And this not only applies to their time-spent in your property but also to when they are on your website grabbing those offers.
This leads to positive feedback and reviews on your website, resulting in many more direct bookings from people who make bookings after reading the reviews.
7. The Pricing Of Your Hotel Rooms Should Be Aligned With Seasonal Factors
Setting up prices for your rooms is a strategical task and you must master it. When you set a price for your hotel rooms, you should do it by considering various factors like the season, special day or even the local events happening during that time. This would ensure that you also have increased RevPAR.
8. Reviewing Your Hotel Should Be Easy For The Guests
When the guests are about to check out, make sure you give them a gentle reminder to review your hotel property. Whether it’s on OTA or TripAdvisor or even your hotel website — ask them to share their experience.
9. Hotel Pictures Should Be Attractive
A hotelier must make sure that the picture of its property on the hotel website or any OTA is attractive enough. For this, you may also hire a professional photographer. Furthermore, you also upload these photos on the hotel’s social media handles.
Word to the wise: just for the sake, do not upload photos of some other good-looking property. You definitely don’t want your guests to be surprised by seeing a completely different property than the ones uploaded on your website.
10. Recommendations Should Be Personalised
The guests today prefer staying like locales. And when you give personalised recommendations to them regarding the best things to do or the best places to see they will be more than delighted.
You can also power your website with a recommendation engine. How does it work? A recommendation engine would see your guest behaviour and based on that it would suggest things like packages, rooms, sightseeing etc. You can also manually ask for preferences and based on that, curate a package with inclusions.
11. Have A Dedicated Blog
Blogs are undoubtedly one of the best marketing strategies. It’s all about educating your customers and then go onto to acquiring. Hoteliers must ensure that the blog contents are spot on and best-in-class and deliver real value.
The better the content, the more are the chances of website traffic, which would lead to direct bookings. Also, plan the number of blog posts you would publish and execute accordingly. If done right, this could be a great strategy for hotel marketing.
12. Opt For A Channel Management Software
Channel managers are game-changers. Period. When your property is listed on several OTA’s its not an easy task to update the room inventory. However, when you have a channel manager in place, integrated with your hotel PMS, your room inventory gets updated real-time, saving a significant amount of your time.
13. Social Media Should Be Used As A Marketing Strategy
Travellers these days often tend to look at social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook to see the photos or even read comments about hotels, before booking any hotel room. So, if you are not in the social media game yet, then it’s high time now. It has become crucial for hotels to promote their property and services on their social media handles in the most appropriate way. Social media promotion in the hospitality industry is undoubtedly effective.
14. Upselling Counts My Friend!
Yes, it definitely pays! Just a few days before their arrival, you can shoot an email to your guests, inviting them to upgrade their room or go for other services that your hotel offers — it could be a candlelight dinner or a Spa service or any other add-on service.
15. Know Your Competitors Well
Keep a close eye on your competitors to get ideas on how they are promoting their services. You don’t have to copy the same thing but get an idea of what strategies they are working with. It would let you brainstorm, and you can later tweak the ideas and apply to your property, in a much better way.
16. Keep In Sync With The Requirements Of Modern Travellers
The travellers of today look for more personalised experiences. That is why they want access to all kinds of information at their fingertips with convenience. But how would you gather these modern-traveller preferences? The best way to do it is by watching travel vlogs or researching on platforms like Instagram or reading blogs.
Once you know what travellers of this generation are looking for. Incorporate them on your property and shout it out on your social media handles.
17. Make Most Of Your Mobile App
Having a mobile app for your hotel can help guests in booking rooms, buying services, reviewing your hotel and even share pictures. A mobile app would not only help in increasing direct bookings at your property but also help increase in the number of returning guests too.
18. Attract Guests With Off-Season Offers
Off-season offers are a game changer! There are people who prefer to travel during off-season and during that period, you can attract bookings by creating some special packages or by organising events at your property. This will help you maximise your bookings and revenue during this non touristy phase.
19. Special Packages And Discounts For Groups And Extend Stays
Guests are guests — whether they walk alone or in a group or even if they are from the corporate side. So, even for group bookings, you can try creating special packages these bookings and also, offer discounts to guests who go for an extended stay. This is an effective marketing strategies in hospitality industry. At the end of the day, it’s the guest who would spread the word.
20. How About Letting Your Guests Have More Power On The Mobile App
Give your hotel guests the privilege to order or what they want to avail at your hotel all on the mobile app. For example, if they want the room to be cleaned, they don’t have to call the frontdesk, they can just do it right on the mobile app. Or maybe they want to order something to eat from the POS, they can do that too. This access on their phone would make them feel great.