No matter how great your hotel is, it will not market itself. You’ll first need to put forth the effort to develop a personalized strategy that works best for your hotel and take all necessary measures to execute it effectively. There are copious amounts of articles intensely advocating for various marketing platforms, but where do you start? We’ve sifted through the mounds of op-ed pieces dedicated to the subject and compiled a short, comprehensive list of 6 tips for marketing your hotel.
These days, depending on their location, hotels can be “a dime a dozen”. So many companies standardize their branches inadvertently wiping their hotels clean of any distinguishable features, but consumers want character. They like staying at a hotel that is different and individual. To effectively market your hotel and stand out against the “Stepford Wives” mentality you need to differentiate your hotel. Find something that makes it unique and capitalize on it. This could be the history or culture of the area, the theme of the hotel, a special feature of the hotel like a vegetable garden or the area’s largest Oak tree, etc. Something. Anything. To differentiate your hotel means giving prospective guests something to connect with. It draws them in.
A hotel without a website is not a hotel. It is a nearly, if not completely, empty building. The website is your medium to share large amounts of information about your hotel. Differentiating your hotel is important, but if you don’t show people the difference how will people know the hotel is worth checking out? Often, not having a website is an indication that your company is out of date, not doing well, or illegitimate. These are not the desired cornerstones of your hotel’s reputation.
Additionally, it’s not enough to just put up a simplistic and rudimentary website template. You cannot just “set it and forget it”. Hotel website design takes your differentiation and makes it palatable for site visitors, so the way you present information, must meet your target market’s needs. This takes research and monitoring.
3. Social Media
Social media is no longer the wave of the future. It is the wave of the present day and age. Hotel social media marketing is now widely used as an extension of hotel websites, allowing people to interact with the brand and share it with their friends. The myriad of social media platforms include social networking sites, blog pages, forums, review sites, etc. All of these can be used and integrated into your website to maximize your marketing strategy. Write blog posts about your hotel, the area around it, the staff at your hotel, unique and lesser-known attractions in the area, specials the hotel is promoting, etc. Make blog posts funny, relaxed, and original. These types of posts endear you to prospective guests and prompt them to explore your hotel further. Posting your blogs on social media accounts increases the likelihood of sharing and widens circulation, optimizing your marketing efforts. Even if the person who reads and shares the blog doesn’t reserve a room at your hotel, they’re sharing the post leads to greater visibility among their friends and potentially others.
4. Email Marketing
Hotel email marketing is a great way to develop customer loyalty, introduce the hotel to your target market, and promote specials. This form of marketing provides measurable results because of their sometimes direct and personal nature. Emails can be sent to guests before, during or after their stay at the hotel. These personal emails make guests feel special. Emails can also be sent on a grander scale when trying to promote deals and brand awareness. Of course, regardless of who your email recipient is, your email must reflect your hotel clearly. Nothing should be standardized and impersonal. Rather, let the personality of the hotel come out in the wording and graphic composition of your email. You will be able to see the results with real-time analytics.
4. Local Marketing
Don’t underestimate the effect of local marketing. Consumers’ priorities have shifted with economics turns and so sometimes frugality trumps distance. Thus, when vacation time comes around, many elect for a “staycation”, during which they explore their own city or one nearby. Promoting your hotel in local restaurants, malls, shops, etc. notifies locals of the option of staying at a local hotel for a weekend away. Additionally, word of mouth from locals to their visiting friends and family can be a great source of business.
Nothing stays the same for long. Technology changes and with that people’s needs and priorities change, so your marketing strategy must continually change. Keeping a finger on the pulse of your industry and your target market enables you to stay on top of the fluctuations of your audience. Continue monitoring the efficacy of your marketing and analyze how it impacts your sales and business retention. These are the practices of a hotel bound for sustained success.
While these tips are integral to a good marketing strategy, there are other actions to take to optimize your efforts. Blue Interactive Agency is happy to help you develop a strategy, customized to your hotel, your target market, and your budget.
Contact Blue Interactive Agency for more information on the services we provide for hotel marketing.