The Mews Blog > How can independent hotels boost their online marketing strategy?
Online marketing for independent hotels differs greatly from marketing for bigger chain hotels because both budget and resources are limited in comparison. That is why it’s important for independent hotels to invest as much as possible in free strategies like social media and SEO, and leverage reviews to boost your hotel’s online reputation.
As part of your marketing strategy, be sure to practice reputation management to monitor what people are saying about you in the digital environment, so that you can improve and offer the best service possible. With consumer behavior constantly changing, it’s important to closely monitor the online trends to be sure that your hotel is not left behind. Follow these winning tips and be sure to improve your marketing strategy.
Eight ways to improve your independent hotel marketing strategy
Of course, your marketing strategy should be unique and targeted towards your ideal guest. And a guest that goes to an independent hotel is not the same kind of guest that looks for a big chain hotel, so it’s important to adapt your online strategy accordingly. The below outlined tips are designed to offer you some guidelines for how to improve your strategy to attract this target audience.
1. Use an integrated hospitality platform to create targeted marketing campaigns
By choosing an integrated hospitality platform, like Mews for independent hotels, you can easily connect to specialist solutions like Revinate and Oaky to create targeted marketing campaigns. These marketplace integrations allow you to create campaigns, deliver email marketing and design hospitality marketing strategies that will help drive awareness and bookings.
A successful campaign is key to increasing profitability, and by using an integrated hospitality platform you can help increase the chances that your campaigns will be successful with the help of more than 600 different integrations that can generate more revenue.
Upselling is perhaps one of the most underrated marketing tools, but also one of the most effective ones for driving revenue. Once you have used targeted marketing campaigns to attract customers, the goal should be to boost the average spend per night they stay with you. This can be done using upselling techniques like upgrades, selling special services, and encouraging them to book a tour or dine at your hotel’s restaurant.
Using upselling techniques it’s important to understand who your client is so that you can target the offer, which will increase the possibility that you will successfully upsell and thereby increase your hotel’s profitability. With repeat clients, you can create guest profiles to customize your offer every step of the way.
3. Prices make a difference
Another powerful marketing tool for independent hotels is pricing. Optimize inventory and rates with different built-in tools available from your PMS. Use revenue management strategies to better understand market trends, pinpointing the periods where you should lower the prices to stay competitive and raise prices in order to boost revenue during the high season when demand is higher.
On the other hand, in the low season, consider offering packages at affordable prices. Packages are a great way to attract guests looking for an easy getaway. This way you can increase the average spend per night and at the same time include services that make your hotel more attractive but don’t cost your hotel a lot of extra time or money to include.
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4. Trust in the power of social media
For independent hotels, there is no more effective free marketing strategy than social media. Creating a strong social media presence will do wonders for brand awareness, for creating a community, and for helping to encourage bookings. The more present you are online, the easier it is for potential customers to find you, but at the same time it’s also great for storytelling and helping to create the sense of your hotel being the place to be.
Storytelling is one of the most powerful marketing tools because it makes your brand relatable and human, and this emotional connection is one of the strongest motivators behind purchasing decisions. Read more about how social media impacts traveler decisions.
5. Leverage influencer marketing
Influencer marketing is closely related with social media. It’s essentially pinpointing the people with a strong online presence who also have a target audience to the type of guest you’re trying to attract to your hotel. You can use these influencers to create targeted campaigns that will help to capture the attention of potential guests.
Depending on the size of the influencer’s community, you may be asked to pay a fee plus provide free lodging and other hotel services. In any case, influencer marketing does wonders for your brand’s reputation and has the ability to expand the reach of your own online presence.
6. Monitor your online reputation
Reputation management should without a doubt be a part of your marketing strategy. That is to say, you should closely monitor what people are saying about you online, having a clear plan about how you will respond to reviews, both the bad and the good. Reputation management helps you understand where your hotel is excelling and where your pitfalls lie so that you can improve. Learn more about reputation management strategies.
You can also leverage positive reviews to tell your brand’s story and inspire other people to stay with you based on the positive experiences of other people. The secret behind any successful hotel is helping to create a positive guest experience.
7. Rely on hospitality tools
Part of the key to improving your independent hotel’s marketing strategy is unleashing the power of technology. A hospitality platform like Mews can drive efficiency, not only improving operations that improve the overall guest experience, but also allowing you to connect to open APIs that further provide you with the tools you need to offer the best experience possible.
When technology works right, it can bridge the gaps where your human resources fall short, optimizing processes and taking the manual work away from your staff. So while marketing strategies will help attract clients and boost bookings, the right tools will help you make sure you keep those guests by offering an incomparable experience with your brand.
8. SEO matters
SEO is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to boost your online marketing strategy. By having an SEO-optimized website, you can increase your online web presence, which will boost direct bookings and reduce your dependency on online travel agencies (OTAs), which have high commissions that eat into your marketing budget. Keeping the below factors in mind can greatly improve the success of your hotel’s online marketing strategies.
While the key ranking factors can change, some of the most important things you should consider when optimizing your website for SEO are having high-quality content, optimizing your website for mobile, having an excellent on-page experience, a fast-loading website, optimizing your on-page content, creating a clear internal link strategy and acquiring external links. All of these together will boost your organic rankings on Google to drive bookings.
In this article, we’ve looked at the eight ways to improve online marketing for independent hotels. Without a doubt, by combining these winning tips to boost your online marketing strategies with excellent service, streamlined operations and a powerful web strategy, you can help unlock the key to profitability.
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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