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A hotel marketing strategy starts with understanding your target audience and defining your objectives. Of course, your message won’t be the same for international travellers as for locals, so it’s important to keep this in mind when defining your strategy.
Once you’ve defined your target audience, it will also help hone in on your objectives and set realistic goals to achieve those objectives. An ideal strategy will help optimize the number of bookings you generate, while at the same time building brand awareness and managing your reputation.
To meet the changing demands of the market, you need to be able to adapt your strategies regularly to meet these changing needs and stand out against the competition. So what are the best marketing strategies for hotels? Let’s find out.
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What are the best 7 marketing strategies for hotels?
A hotel marketing strategy should be dynamic, changing depending on the season, the year and the market trends. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the most up-to-date marketing strategies for today’s world.
Invest in SEO for your website
Your hotel’s website is as good as if it didn’t exist without Search Engine Optimization. With 75% of travellers starting their search for hotels on a search engine, you have a captive audience that you can capitalize on if your website is optimized correctly. This is why it’s important to invest in resources that will make the SEO of your website excellent.
Start by doing prolific keyword research to understand what your target audience is searching for. Turn those keywords that are relevant to your hotel and geographic area into engaging copy. It’s also important to make sure your website is both mobile-friendly and fast-loading.
Another important part of SEO is link building, and there are few better ways to link build than by working with OTAs and metasearch engines, which is one of the first places travellers start looking. Not only will this sort of link building help drive direct bookings but it will also increase visibility and help your website position better organically.
Don’t underestimate the power of data
Nowadays data is readily available, and one of the best hotel marketing strategies is using this information to make data-driven decisions. One of the most powerful tools is Google Analytics, which will help you understand how users interact with your web, the top channels that are driving bookings, and to better grasp the demographics of your target audience.
Another tool that is indispensable is a property management system that allows you to pinpoint your different target groups based on an analysis of your existing customer base. In addition, the data you can unlock with a PMS’ hotel rate management software like Mews’ is invaluable because you can use it to optimize inventories and maximize your profits. Furthermore, once you understand the data you can choose appropriate marketing messages to reach your objectives.
Define your unique value proposition
With a plethora of supply, why should guests choose your hotels over others? This is where your unique value proposition comes into play. Once you decide what makes you different, you can use this information in your marketing messaging to set yourself apart from the competition. Keep in mind your marketing campaigns should be equally unique.
While top-notch customer service should be at the heart of your value proposition, how you define that service is up to you. Do you give guests an extra special welcome with a special drink upon check-in? Do you have a bottle of wine waiting for them in their room, or some local treats?
These “little somethings” will be at little cost to your hotel, but will do wonders for your hotel’s image in the minds of your guests. Another plus? The better guests are treated, the more likely they are to share their experiences with others, whether that be on TripAdvisor or via word of mouth. Either way, both will do miracles for your business.
Reward direct bookings
Direct bookings are like gold in the travel industry because you don’t have to share any portion of your profits with third parties, which is also ideal for a hotel’s profitability. This is why it’s so important to reward direct bookings and return guests. You can reward them with lower prices, special discounts, upgrades or even a little welcome gift in their room. Whatever you decide to do, make direct booking and repeat guests feel special so that they want to keep coming back and encourage their friends to do so too.
Map the customer journey and have touchpoints along the way
Mapping the customer journey is about understanding the different phases of the customer’s trip and making sure you have a unique message and strategy to lure them in with your marketing efforts along each step of the way.
During the pre-trip phase, make sure they know what makes you special and offer them a chance to feel special with upgrades and customizations. Make sure you’re there to answer their questions, and have a chatbot on hand 24-7 to answer the most frequently asked questions, so these queries don’t become a barrier to booking.
Once they arrive, make sure your guests have a stellar experience and are treated with the best customer service possible, ensuring your staff checks in with them regularly about their satisfaction levels. After check-out, make sure you establish contact with them post-trip to thank them, ask for feedback, and offer them rewards for booking again with you.
Take advantage of social media
Social media is without a doubt one of the most important tools you can use to market your hotel and increase hotel revenue. Make sure you post engaging content regularly based on a content calendar. Hotel social media marketing strategies are great to drive traffic to your website and thereby increase the amount of direct bookings, but your presence must be maintained on a regular basis.
Furthermore, social media is great for building brand awareness, and can be used to post deals and promotions, and give a human touch to your hotel by highlighting staff members or important sustainable initiatives. By catching travelers’ attention with social media, you can increase your chances of making conversions.
Invest more money during peak booking season
Find out when your guests are booking for the peak season and invest more marketing dollars during this period of time to draw them in. You can check historic data to understand the busiest times of the year, when business is steady and when it’s slow, and then adjust your ad budget accordingly.
For example, most people aren’t thinking of booking their Christmas holidays when they’re lying on a beach in the middle of summer, but as the cold sets in during fall, people are more likely to start researching and making travel plans. Make sure you have an adequate ad budget allocated during these times to be able to capture these guests when they’re most likely to book.
Having an optimal hotel marketing strategy is one of the most important ways of reaching potential guests and giving them a reason to choose your hotel over the competition thanks to your unique value proposition. Start by understanding who your target guest is; find out the channels they are using in order to drive your marketing efforts around reaching your target guests through the channels they are using.
The above-mentioned strategies, while not an exhaustive list, are without a doubt helpful tools that will help grow your business, generate brand awareness and increase bookings.
Understanding the modern guest
These seven marketing strategies are the tip of the iceberg. There's so much more to say about the modern guest and how their habits and expectations have changed, and as luck would have it, we've written a guide about exactly that.
Eva has over a decade of international experience in marketing, communication, events and digital marketing. When she's not at work, she's probably surfing, dancing, or exploring the world.
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