Hospitality tips for hotels form the very backbone of the hotel industry. It’s all about creating an environment where guests feel valued, comfortable, and cared for.
The Anatomy of a Memorable Hotel Experience
Crafting the First Impression
First impressions matter. A friendly welcome, a seamless check-in process, and a well-maintained lobby area all contribute to setting the right tone.
Room Essentials – Comfort Meets Luxury
Quality of accommodation plays a pivotal role in a guest’s experience. Cleanliness, comfort, and a touch of luxury in room service can enhance a guest’s stay.
Providing Personalized Services
Personalization is a game-changer in the hospitality industry. Remembering a guest’s preferences or catering to their unique needs makes them feel special and appreciated.
Empathy in Customer Service – The Unseen Comfort
Empathy isn’t something you can pack into an infographic, but it’s an essential trait for all hotel staff. Understanding a guest’s perspective can significantly improve their experience.
Leverage Technology for Enhanced Guest Experience
Technology Integration – The New Normal
In an increasingly digital world, hotels can leverage technology to enhance their guest’s experience. Mobile check-ins, personalized digital communication, and automation are just the beginning.
Social Media as a Hospitality Tool
Social media is more than a marketing tool. It’s a platform to engage guests, address their queries, and showcase your exceptional service.
Food and Beverage – The Heart of Hospitality
Dishing out Delicacies – Culinary Experiences
The way to a guest’s heart is through their stomach. Exceptional culinary experiences can leave an everlasting impression on guests.
Exemplary Bar Services
A well-stocked bar, knowledgeable staff, and a comfortable environment can set your hotel apart from the competition.
Employee Training – The Key to Hospitality Excellence
Training for Perfection – The Foundation
Employee training is the foundation of excellent service. Training programs should instill hospitality values and provide the necessary skills to serve guests effectively.
The Importance of Ongoing Training
Regular training sessions ensure that employees are up-to-date with industry standards and prepared to provide outstanding service.
Infographics and Their Role in Hospitality Education
Visual aids such as infographics can be a powerful tool for presenting hospitality tips for hotels. They simplify complex information and make learning more engaging.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can I improve my hotel’s hospitality?
Invest in employee training, personalize guest experiences, maintain high cleanliness standards, and leverage technology for seamless service.
What role does technology play in enhancing hospitality?
Technology can streamline check-in/out processes, provide personalized communication, and even offer keyless entry. It’s all about enhancing the guest experience.
Why is ongoing training important in the hotel industry?
Ongoing training keeps staff updated with the latest industry standards, helps them develop new skills, and ensures a consistent guest experience.
What are some effective ways to personalize guest experiences?
Remembering guest preferences, offering customised packages, and acknowledging special occasions are some ways to personalize guest experiences.
How can infographics be used in the hotel industry?
Infographics can visually present complex data or instructions to both employees and guests. They can enhance learning and communication.
What is the role of food and beverage services in hospitality?
F&B services significantly contribute to a guest’s overall experience. Exceptional food, drink, and service can create memorable experiences.
A hotel’s success is directly tied to the quality of its hospitality. With these comprehensive tips for hotels, you’re ready to elevate your service, enhance guest satisfaction, and carve a unique identity in the hospitality industry. Remember, the heart of hospitality is service, and service is all about creating a memorable guest experience.
With over four million hosts globally, Airbnb has drastically changed the hospitality industry. But as more people list their spaces, competition is intensifying. To stand out, hosts need to understand how to optimize their listings for higher visibility and bookings. In this article, we’ll delve into different strategies for Airbnb optimization to help your listing rank higher. Find out how to drive Airbnb optimization strategies and insights, consider reading this comprehensive article.
Harnessing the Power of Photos
A picture is worth a thousand words, especially when potential guests are scanning through Airbnb listings. The photos of your space create the first impression, and it’s crucial to make that impression count. High-quality, professional photos can drastically improve the attractiveness of your listing.
Investing in professional photography for your space is worth considering. Ensure your photos are bright, clear, and showcase the best aspects of your space. Don’t forget to highlight unique or distinctive features, like an amazing view or a stylishly designed interior.
In addition to overall quality, the quantity of photos matters too. Provide various photos covering all areas of your space – bedrooms, bathrooms, living areas, kitchen, and any outdoor spaces. This helps guests visualize your space and understand exactly what they’re booking.
Crafting Compelling Titles and Descriptions
Next to photos, your listing’s title and description are crucial elements for attracting potential guests. The title should be catchy, succinct, and include key features of your property, like the type of space, location, or unique attributes.
Your description, on the other hand, should be comprehensive, engaging, and highlight what sets your space apart. Detail your space’s unique characteristics, any special amenities you offer, and what guests can expect from the surrounding area. While being descriptive, it’s also essential to remain accurate and honest to prevent misunderstandings or disappointments.
Airbnb values hosts that are responsive and communicative. Fast response times to inquiries and booking requests not only show that you’re a dedicated host but also improve your response rate – a factor Airbnb’s algorithm takes into account when ranking listings. A good practice is to respond to any message or request within 24 hours, but the quicker, the better.
Accumulating Positive Reviews
Reviews play a massive role in your listing’s visibility. High-quality, positive reviews signal to Airbnb’s algorithm and potential guests that you provide an excellent experience. Encourage your guests to leave reviews after their stay, but remember that the best way to secure positive feedback is to provide a memorable stay.
If you do receive less favorable reviews, it’s important to address them professionally and promptly. Constructive responses to negative feedback can show potential guests that you’re committed to improving their experiences.
Pricing Your Space Competitively
Pricing is a delicate balancing act – price too high, and you may discourage bookings; too low, and you may raise doubts about the quality of your space or even lose potential earnings. Your pricing should reflect the value you offer compared to similar listings in your area.
Airbnb’s Smart Pricing feature can be a helpful tool. It adjusts your price based on factors like demand, location, type of listing, and guest reviews. However, it should be used as a guideline rather than an absolute rule.
Embracing Instant Book
The Instant Book feature, which allows guests to book your space without needing pre-approval, can give your listing a significant boost. With Instant Book, you can increase your chances of securing last-minute bookings, a frequent occurrence among Airbnb guests.
Ensuring Frequent Updates
Regularly updating your listing, particularly your availability calendar, shows that you’re an active host. Airbnb favors up-to-date listings in their search rankings, so ensure to block off dates when your space isn’t available and open updates as soon as you know your space will be open.
Completing Your Listing
An incomplete listing is a missed opportunity. Ensure all sections of your listing are filled out, including amenities, exact location, house rules, and the space’s description. The more detailed your listing, the more likely it is to match guest preferences, positively impacting your visibility in search results.
Achieving Superhost Status
Airbnb’s Superhost program rewards hosts who provide excellent guest experiences consistently. To earn Superhost status, you need to meet several criteria, including high response rates, a high number of stays, excellent reviews, and low cancellation rates. Achieving Superhost status is a surefire way to improve your listing’s ranking.
Providing a Variety of Amenities
The amenities you offer can significantly affect your listing’s attractiveness. Basic amenities like Wi-Fi, heating, and workspace are expected by most guests. However, offering additional amenities like a full kitchen, in-unit laundry, or unique features like a hot tub, can differentiate your listing and appeal to more guests.
Accuracy in your listing is paramount. Misleading information about your location, amenities, house rules, or space can lead to cancellations, negative reviews, and a lower search ranking. Ensure all the information you provide is accurate and up-to-date.
Accepting More Bookings
The more booking requests you accept, the better. A high acceptance rate is a positive signal to Airbnb’s algorithm. This doesn’t mean you should accept every single request, but aim to accommodate as many potential guests as possible.
Remember, optimizing your Airbnb listing is an ongoing process that requires testing and adjustment. But with these strategies, you’re on your way to improving your listing’s visibility, attracting more guests, and potentially increasing your earnings. So take the time to implement these practices and stay patient as your Airbnb success grows.
In the ever-growing world of Airbnb, having an optimized listing is no longer just an option; it’s a necessity. Mastering the art of Airbnb optimization requires commitment, understanding, and consistent execution. It’s all about creating a balance between presenting a compelling, honest representation of your space and delivering a superb guest experience.
Remember, the key elements to focus on are high-quality photos, engaging titles and descriptions, prompt communication, gathering positive reviews, competitive pricing, regular updates, detailed listing information, striving for Superhost status, offering a wide array of amenities, maintaining accuracy, and accepting more bookings.
While this might seem like a lot, each aspect contributes to the larger picture of creating an irresistible listing that ranks higher, attracts more guests, and ultimately, drives more bookings. Keep in mind that each change you implement brings you a step closer to becoming a top-ranked host on Airbnb.
As you embark on or continue your Airbnb journey, patience and persistence are your allies. Changes might not reflect immediately, but over time, these strategies will mold your listing to stand out in the Airbnb market. Happy hosting!
The hospitality industry is highly competitive, and with the increasing reliance on online bookings, it’s essential for hotels to have a strong online presence. Search engine marketing (SEM) is one of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your hotel’s website and increase online bookings. In this article, we’ll explore the key components of a successful SEM strategy for the hospitality industry.
What is SEM?
SEM stands for search engine marketing, which is a form of digital marketing that involves promoting a website through paid advertising on search engine results pages (SERPs). SEM can include a variety of tactics and channels, including pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, display advertising, and social media advertising.
Why is SEM important for the hospitality industry?
The hospitality industry is highly competitive, and with the increasing reliance on online bookings, it’s essential for hotels to have a strong online presence. SEM can help hotels to increase their visibility in search results, drive traffic to their website, and ultimately increase bookings and revenue.
How to increase your online hotel bookings
Increasing online hotel bookings is critical for the success of any hotel, and there are several strategies that hotels can use to drive more bookings through their website. Here are some effective strategies for increasing online hotel bookings:
Improve Your Website User Experience
The user experience of your hotel website can have a significant impact on the number of bookings you receive. Your website should be easy to navigate, visually appealing, and optimized for mobile devices. It should also load quickly and provide users with all the information they need to make a booking, including room availability, rates, and amenities.
Implement a Strong Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Strategy
SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). A strong SEO strategy can help to increase the visibility of your hotel website and drive more traffic and bookings. This can include optimizing your website content for relevant keywords, building high-quality backlinks, and optimizing your website for local search.
Use Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising
PPC advertising is a paid advertising strategy that can be highly effective at driving targeted traffic to your hotel website. With PPC advertising, you only pay for clicks on your ads, making it a cost-effective way to drive more bookings. PPC advertising can be targeted to specific demographics, interests, and behaviors, making it an effective way to reach potential guests who are most likely to book a room.
Offer Special Promotions and Deals
Offering special promotions and deals can be an effective way to incentivize potential guests to book directly through your website. This can include discounts on room rates, free upgrades, and special packages that include additional amenities. Special promotions and deals can help to differentiate your hotel from the competition and drive more bookings.
Utilize Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing can be an effective way to promote your hotel and drive more bookings. This can include creating engaging content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and using social media advertising to target potential guests. Social media can also be used to engage with guests, respond to customer inquiries, and build brand loyalty.
Partner with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
Partnering with OTAs like Expedia, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor can be an effective way to increase the visibility of your hotel and drive more bookings. OTAs can provide access to a large audience of potential guests and can help to promote your hotel through their own advertising campaigns. However, it’s important to carefully manage your OTA partnerships to ensure that they are cost-effective and don’t cannibalize direct bookings.
Increasing online hotel bookings requires a comprehensive strategy that includes improving your website user experience, implementing a strong SEO strategy, using PPC advertising, offering special promotions and deals, utilizing social media marketing, and partnering with OTAs. By implementing these strategies and continually optimizing your approach, you can increase the visibility of your hotel, drive more traffic and bookings, and ultimately increase revenue.
Components of an Effective SEM Strategy for the Hospitality Industry
Keyword research is the foundation of any successful SEM strategy. It involves identifying the keywords and phrases that potential guests are using to search for hotels online and incorporating them into your advertising campaigns. Keyword research can help you to identify high-impact keywords with high search volume and low competition, as well as negative keywords to avoid.
Targeting is a critical component of SEM, as it helps to ensure that your advertising campaigns are reaching the right audience. For the hospitality industry, targeting can be based on a variety of factors, including geography, demographics, interests, and behaviors. By targeting your ads to specific audiences, you can increase the relevance and effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.
Ad copy is the text that appears in your advertising campaigns and is critical for attracting potential guests and driving conversions. Ad copy should be compelling, informative, and relevant to the keywords and audience being targeted. It should also include a clear call-to-action (CTA) that encourages potential guests to book directly on your website.
Landing pages are the pages on your website that potential guests land on after clicking on your ads. Landing pages should be optimized for conversions and provide a seamless user experience that encourages potential guests to book directly on your website. Landing pages should be relevant to the keywords and ad copy being used in your advertising campaigns and should include a clear and prominent CTA.
Budget management is a critical component of SEM, as it helps to ensure that your advertising campaigns are cost-effective and generating a positive return on investment (ROI). Budget management involves monitoring and adjusting your advertising spend to ensure that you are getting the most value from your advertising budget.
Analytics and Reporting
Analytics and reporting are critical components of SEM, as they help to track the effectiveness of your advertising campaigns and make data-driven decisions. By monitoring key metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per acquisition (CPA), you can continually optimize your advertising campaigns to improve their effectiveness and ROI.
Testing and Optimization
Testing and optimization are essential for any successful SEM strategy. By testing different ad copy, targeting, and landing pages, you can identify what works best for your hotel and continually optimize your advertising campaigns for maximum effectiveness and ROI.
How can I measure the effectiveness of my SEM campaigns?
Measuring the effectiveness of your SEM campaigns is critical to understanding how well they are performing and making data-driven decisions to optimize them. Here are some key metrics and tools to use to measure the effectiveness of your SEM campaigns:
Click-Through Rate (CTR): CTR is the ratio of clicks to impressions and is a key indicator of how well your ads are resonating with your target audience. A higher CTR indicates that your ads are more relevant and compelling to potential guests.
Conversion Rate: Conversion rate is the percentage of users who take a desired action, such as booking a room or filling out a contact form, after clicking on your ads. Conversion rate is an essential metric for measuring the effectiveness of your SEM campaigns at driving bookings and revenue.
Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): CPA is the cost of acquiring a new customer, and is calculated by dividing the total cost of your SEM campaigns by the number of conversions. Lower CPA indicates that your SEM campaigns are more cost-effective at driving bookings and revenue.
Return on Investment (ROI): ROI is the ultimate measure of the effectiveness of your SEM campaigns and represents the amount of revenue generated by your campaigns relative to the amount spent on them. A positive ROI indicates that your SEM campaigns are generating more revenue than they are costing, while a negative ROI indicates that they are not generating enough revenue to justify the cost.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide valuable insights into the performance of your SEM campaigns. It can help you track website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates, as well as monitor the effectiveness of your SEM strategies.
Google Ads Dashboard: The Google Ads dashboard provides a wealth of information about the performance of your SEM campaigns, including impressions, clicks, CTR, conversion rate, CPA, and ROI. By monitoring key metrics on the Google Ads dashboard, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your SEM campaigns and make data-driven decisions to optimize them.
Overall, measuring the effectiveness of your SEM campaigns requires monitoring a variety of metrics and using tools such as Google Analytics and the Google Ads dashboard. By analyzing key metrics and making data-driven decisions, you can continually optimize your SEM campaigns to increase traffic, bookings, and revenue for your hotel.
SEM is a highly effective way for hotels to increase their online bookings and revenue. By implementing a comprehensive SEM strategy that includes keyword research, targeting, ad copy, landing pages, budget management, analytics and reporting, and testing and optimization, hotels can improve their visibility in search results, drive more traffic to their website, and ultimately increase their online bookings and revenue. For more information about SEM strategies for the hospitality industry, consider reading this article about Hotel advertising strategies. By working with a reputable SEM agency that specializes in the hospitality industry, hotels can develop a customized SEM strategy that meets their unique needs and drives results.
In today’s digital age, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses to succeed. For hotels, this means having a website that is not only visually appealing, but also optimized for search engines. This is where a hotel SEO agency comes in – they specialize in optimizing hotel websites for specific target markets, helping them reach their desired audience and increase bookings.
Understanding the Target Market
Before diving into the specifics of hotel SEO, it’s important to understand the target market. Every hotel has a specific audience that they want to attract, whether it’s business travelers, families, couples, or adventure seekers. Knowing who your target market is will help you understand what they are searching for online, and what keywords to focus on in your SEO strategy.
For example, if your hotel caters to families, you may want to focus on keywords such as “family-friendly hotel” or “kid-friendly activities”, while a hotel targeting business travelers may focus on keywords such as “conference facilities” or “business center”.
What are some common mistakes hotels make when optimizing their websites for SEO?
While optimizing a hotel website for SEO can be complex and time-consuming, there are some common mistakes that hotels should avoid to ensure they maximize their efforts. Here are a few of the most common mistakes hotels make when optimizing their websites for SEO:
Ignoring the Mobile Experience: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that your hotel website is optimized for mobile devices. A responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions is critical for improving the user experience and ensuring that your website is accessible to all potential guests.
Keyword Stuffing: While it’s crucial to include relevant keywords in your website’s content, overusing them can actually harm your SEO efforts. Keyword stuffing can lead to penalties from search engines, and it can also result in poor user experience as the content becomes difficult to read and irrelevant.
Duplicate Content: Duplicate content can occur when the same content is used on multiple pages or when content is copied from other websites. Search engines penalize websites that use duplicate content, as it can be seen as a manipulation of search results. It’s important to create unique content for each page and ensure that any content taken from other sources is properly cited.
Lack of Quality Content: Content is the backbone of any successful SEO strategy, and hotels that fail to produce high-quality content risk falling behind their competitors. It’s essential to create content that is informative, engaging, and relevant to your target audience. This can include blog posts, destination guides, and other types of content that provide value to your potential guests.
Poor Website Structure: A poorly structured website can make it difficult for search engines to crawl and index your pages. It’s essential to have a clear and organized website structure that makes it easy for users and search engines to navigate. This includes using header tags, creating a sitemap, and optimizing URLs.
Neglecting Local SEO: Local SEO is critical for hotels that rely on local guests. Neglecting local SEO can result in poor visibility in local search results and a lack of bookings. It’s important to create a Google My Business listing, build local citations, and create location-specific content to improve your website’s visibility in local search results.
By avoiding these common mistakes, hotels can ensure that their SEO efforts are effective and drive more bookings. Working with a reputable hotel SEO agency can also help avoid these mistakes and create a customized strategy for your hotel’s unique needs.
How can I measure the success of my hotel’s SEO strategy?
Measuring the success of your hotel’s SEO strategy is essential to understand how effective it is at driving traffic and bookings. Here are some key metrics and tools to use to measure the success of your hotel’s SEO strategy:
Website Traffic: Monitoring your website traffic is one of the most important metrics to track to measure the success of your hotel’s SEO strategy. This includes analyzing the total number of visitors to your website, as well as the source of that traffic, such as organic search, social media, or referral traffic.
Keyword Rankings: Tracking your keyword rankings is another important metric to measure the success of your SEO strategy. This involves monitoring the position of your website in search engine results pages (SERPs) for specific keywords and phrases related to your hotel and its amenities.
Conversion Rates: Analyzing your conversion rates is critical to understanding how effective your website is at converting visitors into bookings. This includes tracking the number of bookings made on your website, as well as the number of leads generated through contact forms or other conversion points.
Google Analytics: Google Analytics is a powerful tool that can provide valuable insights into your website’s performance. It can help you track website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates, as well as monitor the effectiveness of your SEO strategies.
Google Search Console: Google Search Console is another valuable tool for measuring the success of your hotel’s SEO strategy. It can help you monitor your website’s performance in search results, identify technical issues that may be affecting your SEO, and provide insights into your website’s search traffic.
Revenue: Ultimately, the success of your hotel’s SEO strategy should be measured by its impact on revenue and bookings. By tracking your revenue and booking data, you can gain a clear understanding of how effective your SEO strategy is at driving bookings and generating revenue for your hotel.
By tracking these metrics and using tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your hotel’s SEO strategy and make data-driven decisions to continually improve it. Working with a reputable hotel SEO agency can also help you develop a customized strategy and monitor its success over time.
What are some best practices for optimizing my hotel’s website for search engines?
Optimizing your hotel’s website for search engines can be a complex and ongoing process. Here are some best practices to keep in mind when optimizing your hotel’s website for search engines:
Conduct Keyword Research: Keyword research is the foundation of any successful SEO strategy. Identify the keywords and phrases that potential guests are using to search for hotels online and incorporate them into your website’s content.
Optimize Page Titles and Meta Descriptions: Page titles and meta descriptions are critical components of on-page optimization. Ensure that each page has a unique, descriptive title that includes your target keyword and a concise meta description that accurately describes the content of the page.
Optimize Page Content: Content optimization involves creating high-quality, informative content that is relevant to your target audience and includes relevant keywords and phrases. Use header tags and bullet points to break up content and make it easier for users and search engines to read.
Optimize Images and Videos: Images and videos can improve the user experience on your website and help to engage potential guests. Ensure that all images and videos are properly optimized with descriptive file names, alt tags, and captions.
Ensure Mobile Responsiveness: With the increasing use of mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that your hotel’s website is optimized for mobile devices. A responsive design that adapts to different screen sizes and resolutions is critical for improving the user experience and ensuring that your website is accessible to all potential guests.
Improve Website Speed: Website speed is a critical factor in user experience and SEO. Ensure that your website loads quickly by optimizing images, minimizing HTTP requests, and using a content delivery network (CDN) if necessary.
Build High-Quality Backlinks: Backlinks are an important factor in SEO and can help to establish your hotel’s authority and credibility online. Build high-quality backlinks from relevant websites, such as travel blogs and local directories.
Monitor and Analyze Performance: Monitor your website’s performance regularly using tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Analyze key metrics such as website traffic, keyword rankings, and conversion rates to continually improve your SEO strategy.
By following these best practices and working with a reputable hotel SEO agency, you can improve your website’s visibility and drive more bookings from search engines.
In conclusion, optimizing a hotel website for a specific target market requires a comprehensive SEO strategy that includes both on-page and off-page optimization, as well as localized SEO. A hotel SEO agency can help identify your target market, conduct keyword research, and develop a customized SEO strategy to improve your website’s visibility and drive bookings. For more information about hotel SEO, consider reading this article about Airbnb Seo. Remember, having a strong online presence is essential for hotels in today’s digital age, and investing in SEO can help your hotel stand out in a competitive market and attract the right audience.
If your hotel website is not optimised, your content won’t amount to much. The need of the hour is the adoption of right SEO practices, the content on the website should be keyword optimised, informative and engaging. Very few hoteliers adopt good content strategy, such as posting a blog regularly in the resource section. This is a great way to provide travellers the information they need the most such as local sightseeing places, art and cuisine while also improving organic search results. Hotel owners who have adopted SEO optimisation can see it yielding good conversions.
To be successful at marketing your venue or destination on social media, you must start viewing channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn as any other ad-supported medium. If your venue is willing to allocate a portion of the marketing budget, you can reach targetable and distinct mass audiences that you never had access to before.
What are the best ways to use social media advertising to get the optimum ROI? How can you be sure to reach your target audience at the right stage of their travel planning?
Here are four tips to help you make the most of your hotel’s social media advertising:
1. Invest in promoted content
You now have to pay to play. Even when you’re posting for an audience that has voluntarily “liked” you. You might have 15,000 fans on your Facebook page, but only a small percentage might actually see a photo you posted if you don’t pay to promote it. Be sure you include content that stimulates every phase of the planning experience. Travelers and planners in the dreaming phase will be inspired by vivid photos of destinations and experiences, while those in the planning and booking phase will be motivated by a concrete offer or specific package that showcases value or creates urgency. For the experiential phase, promote content highlighting your destination, as well as reposting social media content from current guests themselves.
2. Know the unique reach of each type of social media platform
Be sure to choose the platforms that reach your guests and can achieve your campaign goals. For instance, business travelers tend to favor Twitter over YouTube; Pinterest is the best platform for reaching wedding planners and Facebook; and Instagram and Snapchat are the top three channels (in that order) for millennial engagement.
3. Make your social media ads part of a larger multi-channel campaign
For maximum effectiveness, you can integrate ads on social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram to coincide with your hotel’s other marketing channels, like email marketing, Google Display Network, or search engine marketing.
Even better, utilize ADARA, Sojern, or other travel ad networks to help your social media ads reap even greater returns. Using first-party data from top travel planning and airline websites, these travel ad networks target users while they’re planning trips. This extra layer of data added to your social media ad campaigns helps to target your audience when they are closest to the booking stage.
4. Target smarter to stretch your budget
Custom audiences allow social media advertising to truly outshine its media predecessors. Using targeting tools on each social media platform can yield big results for even the most limited hotel budgets.
For instance, YouTube’s unique in-market capabilities utilize search behavior to target users who are planning a trip to your destination and suggest videos that will positively influence their choices during the booking process. On Twitter, follower targeting makes it possible for marketers to reach followers of a relevant Twitter handle. What if your ad popped up on the Twitter feeds of all the followers of a celebrity who recently tweeted from your hotel? You can also target the context of individual tweets by selecting keywords, such as “beach” or “skiing” if those apply to your hotel. Facebook allows you to target your email list, but also a “look alike” audience whose profiles match those on your email list.
Social media will continue to drive modern communication. Never before has it been possible to reach so many travelers with so little effort or capital outlay. Experiment with your top two social media channels, use their different targeting tools, and try out different budget amounts. Keep a close eye on your analytics to find which formulas work best for your property. Most importantly, stay up-to-date with your chosen social media platforms, as new features are being released all the time.
Independent hotels are small businesses, and as such they do not have the same abundant resources and corporate guidance enjoyed by the major chains. Instead of benefitting from a nationwide hotel brand marketing campaign, independent hotels must devise and carry out their own marketing strategies based on the quality and style of the hotel, its price point, and who the target consumers are.
Mass Market Promotion
Large-scale online travel sellers have the reach and the marketing power to deliver big numbers when it comes to room nights sold. They have names that nearly every travel consumer knows, with dedicated websites supported by advertising campaigns in markets around the world. They contract both large chains and independent properties, selling hotel rooms at a discount online. The exposure they provide can be invaluable and well beyond the means of any small-business owner to attain independently.
People searching for a room in a given location will look up the available hotels, and yours will pop up as an option. Online travel sellers select properties based on their location, the selection of available amenities, and the ownership’s willingness to provide commissions and special rates.
The use of travel agencies as a selling tool tends to be more of a targeted effort than national mass sellers. Agencies have had to develop in new ways to compete with large online sellers, and as a result, they have turned their focus more toward specialties or market niches in many cases.
For example, some agencies will specialize in a given region, such as an area known for winter skiing, and will provide agents who know that region inside and out: where to stay, what to eat, how to save, and where to shop. These specialized agencies are often a place for independent and lesser known properties to make their case as a viable option versus major chains and costly luxury brands. Specialized agents will take the time to learn the property and convey its unique marketing message to the traveling public in a way that mass market sellers will not be able to.
Discounting works much the same way in the hotel business as it does in any other: Potential guests are promised rates that are lower than normal for rooms booked under certain conditions. A hotel might offer discounts for extended stays or frequent visits, for example, or during slow periods. In theory, these promotions all lead to more room nights sold and to customer loyalty. They fall short with pass-through travelers who will visit only once, and who cannot, therefore, benefit from long-term rewards. In this case, the use of a one-time special-rate discount is key, no matter the season or the potential for a future stay.
Independent hotels that work with local government tourism boards to promote special rates on tourist maps and in welcome-center brochures stand to gain a lot of traffic even from the one-night-in-town set. The costs of ads or sponsorships in tourism literature is relatively low, and the potential for return is high.
Promotional strategies that incorporate the needs of more than one business are often cheaper to put together than solo marketing efforts, and appeal to a broader audience. For instance, if you sign a partnership marketing agreement with a local surf shop, you will gain an audience of surfers that you might not otherwise have been able to reach. The surf shop in turn gains the attention of all of your guests, some of whom may be considering their first board purchase or lesson. When the two businesses go half on the costs, the expense is reduced and the reach of the strategy can extend further than an individual campaign would have been able to. Promoting local businesses is always beneficial to local business as a whole, and the same goes for hotel marketing.
Value-added promotions are appreciated by sellers and clients alike. They provide rewards to the customer for a basic night’s stay and help make your property easier for travel agents to sell. For example, if your competition is offering a double room for $100 per night, and you are offering a comparable room with free breakfast, airport transfers, and Internet access, your property just jumped to the top of the list of options for many travelers. You probably already have Internet service at the hotel, airport transfers will only apply to some guests, and breakfast is inexpensive to put together. The cost is low but the potential for return is high. Value-added items can be customized to fit the style and amenities of the hotel, and can include such amenities as spa treatments, dinners, champagne or free parking.
Your social media platforms, email marketing, website and paid advertising all work together to brand your hotel and sell your rooms.
Have you thought about your digital advertising strategy for the upcoming year, yet? If not, it’s time to think about moving beyond the status quo and trying some new things.
While digital advertising is an ever-changing arena, and each year ushers in a whole new set of trends, you can take control of your digital marketing today.
To help you, we’ve prepared this article of hotel digital advertising trends and predictions.
Before we get started with the specifics, let’s touch on a few important points to guide you as you begin to develop your digital strategy:
Humanize Your Hotel
In today’s marketing climate, consumers want to have touch points with your hotel brand. They see your hotel’s reputation as a reflection of what they can expect when they stay the night.
While you may have great service and great rooms, if you aren’t focused on building a relationship with your visitor online, you’ll likely lose the booking. To humanize your hotel online, tell stories, share anecdotes, be funny and most importantly, have empathy with your guests especially when they have a bad experience.
If you aren’t currently spending money on digital advertising, the time is now. In this article we’ll touch on some of the best ways to do this in the coming year. You want to be where the consumers are, and that is online. Traditional advertising is hard to track, so eliminate or cut this budget down so you have money to spend digitally.
Test and Evaluate
Use the tools available to you to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Change things up as necessary. Test, measure, evaluate and revise are the keys to your hotel’s digital advertising.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the basic tenants of digital advertising, let’s get to the details.
The Continued Rise of Social Media Advertising
As we turn the corner into a new year, you can be assured that social media is a viable, worthwhile marketing strategy, and one you should use. Here are several trends we anticipate taking root:
Social media will continue to cater to users’ sense of immediacy. People want in the moment updates. If this truly catches on, scheduling your posts days in advance will have to take a back seat to instant updates.
Buy buttons in paid social media advertising will be huge. Facebook and Pinterest have already launched buy features. In fact, their mobile users can use one click to purchase something without leaving the app. Imagine the possibilities for your customers.
Diversify Your Social Media Marketing
For years, Facebook has been the biggest game in town when it comes to advertising your hotel. Facebook will remain at the top of the heap, but it’s a good idea to diversify your paid social media advertising.
Paid advertising options are available on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat as well as Facebook.
What do all of these options mean for you? They mean multiple platforms for you to promote content, engage customers, build relationships and drive website traffic.
As in other marketplaces, competition encourages innovation and quality. Look for new features on all the platforms in the coming year.
Video Marketing is the Hottest Trend
If content is king, video marketing is the emperor. Visual storytelling will dominate, as hotels can share videos across social networks, through their website and with their email marketing.
Some of you may be scratching your heads and wondering just how a travel-related video can help your bottom line. Here are some ways you can stay on top of this hot trend and use it to your advantage:
Inspire your future guests. Use video at various stages of the planning process. The hotel booking process for most customers takes several trips to the website before completion. A well-crafted video can help expedite the process.
Share videos on social media and use paid advertising to promote the video. You’ll create brand awareness and increase your SEO with links to your website.
Industry experts predict that travelers will look less to travel review sites and more toward first-hand video stories of your customers’ experience at your hotel.
Video ads also take hold. Google is soon to incorporate video advertising in their search results, and this has great potential for paid advertisers. Once this happens, video is certain to drive hotel advertising. So, it’s time to start creating your videos so you stay in front of this trend.
Retargeting Leads the Way
Retargeting is a trend that may sound complicated, but it’s one you should take advantage of. Here’s why:
Booking abandonment, the rate at which your website visitors abandon reserving your hotel, is staggering. Studies show the rate to be more than 65% for hotels.
An Expedia study found that in the 45 days leading up to a booking, a consumer may visit as many as 38 websites. It’s important to know when and how to engage and re-engage with these people. Retargeting is an exceptional tool for converting users and helping them with their complicated decision-making process.
Why do people abandon your website in the middle of booking a reservation? Here are a few of the reasons:
They were just looking and in the middle of the research process.
The price was too high.
There were technical issues or the process was too long.
While this may seem all gloom and doom, that isn’t necessarily so. With retargeting, you can reach back out to these customers to engage them and attempt to meet their needs.
We mentioned the personal relationship earlier. Retargeting allows you to re-engage with your website visitors in a personalized manner.
Social media retargeting – show ads to people on social media after they’ve left your site. For example, a consumer tries to book your Dallas hotel. They leave and go to Facebook. Your ads automatically retarget them on Facebook and show them the hotel room they might stay in at your Dallas hotel.
Email retargeting – a subtle reminder to users who started booking your hotel and stopped.
Retargeting is a paid digital advertising medium and one worth a look.
Search Engine and Display Advertising
This year brings you customers who split their time online between multiple devices. In their journey to booking a room at your hotel, they may view your website in an app, on a smartphone and a desktop computer. Their voyage towards conversion is fragmented.
Every encounter they have with your hotel online creates a digital pathway leading to the next interaction and the next, until ultimately they are engaged, and they take action.
Because of this, expect display advertising to take a greater role than search advertising as part of your paid search strategy. While search ads continue to drive business to your website, display advertising has come of age, and the reach potential is enormous.
When potential hotel guests are searching for a place to stay, will you show up in search results? With paid advertising, the odds are much better. We recommend allocating a generous budget to both search and display ads.
Search engine advertising, including paid search and display ads, is essential to your digital advertising success. Let’s look into the ongoing importance of paid search and display advertising.
Hotel marketing teams will move towards more automated marketing. Just what is it? It’s the use of technology to manage and automate the process of converting consumers into paid hotel guests.
Consider the past hotel guest who booked your hotel over spring break last year. With automated marketing, you can reach back out to that person two months prior to spring break with a message that it’s time to make their reservations.
This trend, if you take advantage of it, will save you time and money while allowing you to customize messages to your hotel guests or website visitors.
Marketing automation is part of the relationship building we discussed earlier. It humanizes your hotel and allows you to communicate personally with your customers.
Digital advertising is expected to become the number one media category, according to a comScore report released to CNBC earlier this year. Next year is the year to allocate a budget for digital advertising.
You’ve learned about a few of the digital advertising trends for your hotel including social media advertising, search engine advertising, retargeting and video marketing.
We’ve given you a lot of information about these digital advertising trends for your hotel. One of the most important things to remember is that they are all interwoven and co-dependent.
One digital advertising trend affects another and vice versa. Your social media platforms, email marketing, website and paid advertising all work together to brand your hotel and sell your rooms.
In an age of ever-expanding digital interconnectivity, hotel digital marketing professionals must adapt to changing customer demands.
But the best in the business aren’t satisfied to just adapt. And they would rather lead than follow, by surprising and delighting clients with daring and imaginative initiatives.
The top hotel companies know how to shape customer preferences better than anyone, which helps to explain their immense success. Hotel managers and marketing experts everywhere can learn a lot from their example and must learn from their example if they expect to ride the digital wave to glory.
Best practices in hotel digital marketing are changing on the fly. And here are five you should be up to speed on, along with fascinating examples of how the world’s most prestigious hotel chains are putting them into action.
1. Embracing digital media with gusto.
Example: Marriot International’s Travel Brilliantly digital magazine.
Travel Brilliantly began as a website targeted at millennials. It has now evolved into a sleek digital magazine that caters to the desires of travelers seeking new adventures, new perspectives, and new vistas.
Diverse in long-form content, Marriot’s quarterly digital publication features interviews with prominent thinkers from various walks of life. It discusses emerging trends in travel, introduces specific hotel innovations, and offers fresh contributions from partner companies like the art/tech company VSCO and the media organization TED. Each issue is organized around a single theme that challenges travelers to rethink their old assumptions. And to also reimagine what is possible, in a world where new experiences are always just beyond the horizon.
Travel Brilliantly Marriot is marketing the entire travel experience to younger clients and anyone else looking to explore unchartered territories. In doing so Marriot is repositioning itself as a “smart travel” resource. It’s expanding the scope of its expertise and giving potential clients good reasons to return to their Travel Brilliantly site.
2. Letting the customer come to you (or at least letting them think they’re coming to you).
Example: Hyatt’s Google Lightbox Ad campaign.
In response to surveys that suggested problems reaching female business travelers, Hyatt launched an ambitious video advertising campaign. This took place across multiple digital platforms with the help of Google Lightbox Ads. When viewers hold their cursors over a Lightbox Ad for two seconds, it blooms to cover the full screen. It creates a memorable visual experience with a brand-specific message that entertains even as it informs.
So far Hyatt’s approach has proven wildly successful. And they’ve surpassed the industry average with a 2.8 percent engagement rate on their Lightbox video packages. Using this aggressive yet unobtrusive hotel digital marketing strategy, Hyatt has expanded its demographic reach as desired. They offer carefully customized content in an opt-in/opt-out format that puts the customer in the driver’s seat.
That feeling of autonomy and personal choice only strengthens the impact of well-crafted advertising. They have eliminated the normal resistance a customer might feel when confronted with obvious marketing tactics.
3. Marketing digital convenience in a package format.
Example: Hilton’s HHonors loyalty program plus complementary app.
If greater convenience is what hotel customers seek, why not give it to them in a fully streamlined package? That’s what the fine folks at Hilton Hotels & Resorts have done, with their HHonors customer loyalty program plus accompanying app.
To help spread the good word about its amazing benefits, Hilton supported the HHonors rollout in 2016 with a ‘Stop Clicking Around’ informational campaign. And this introduced travelers to the ease and convenience of direct booking. ‘What’s good for us is good for you’ was the message of this campaign, and as of early 2017 Hilton was snaring an average of one new enrollee every three seconds.
But the HHonors initiative was only part of Hilton’s plan to market a smoother customer experience. In conjunction with their HHonors enrollment, clients can download an associated app that lets them choose specific rooms, check-in, and check-out remotely and even open their hotel rooms with the app’s digital key.
Nothing offered in the Hilton HHonors program is overly exotic by modern industry standards. But they’ve gotten a jump on the competition by packaging digital benefits together, and that syncretic approach to customer service is one of the best ways to make an impression on the discriminating digital-age traveler.
4. Never forgetting that travelers prioritize the destination over the accommodation.
Example: Choice Hotel’s Travel Top 6 Guide for European tourists.
European travelers can explore the continent’s most popular and desirable destinations from the comfort of their own homes by visiting Choice Hotels’ Travel Top 6 online tourism hub.
To begin their adventures, Travel Top 6 visitors can simply click on a photograph of Rome, London, Frankfurt, Cannes, Vienna, Budapest or two dozen other well-known tourist meccas. Before their eyes, a menu of options will appear that will introduce them to the spectacular sights, sounds, tastes, smells and overall ambiance of their chosen location.
Direct booking options are readily available on each travel destination page, entirely appropriate since Choice has facilities in each city, village or region.
Choice Hotels’ centralized model for browsing is perfect for European vacationers. But it provides an ideal template for smart hotel marketers everywhere who want to market their locations in addition to their facilities. Choice is building brand loyalty by anticipating its customers’ traveling preferences and catering to them profusely, and there’s nothing to stop any other hotel from doing the same.
5. Never put limits on what the technology can do—and what you can do with it.
Example: InterContinental’s experiment in virtual reality.
Even the biggest hotel companies can’t offer accommodations everywhere in the world.
But InterContinental Hotels Group has found a way to work around that problem. Or more specifically, the technology to work around that problem: virtual reality. As a result, visitors to several InterContinental properties in China can now enjoy a fully immersive virtual reality experience. And this can be done in a special gaming and entertainment zone or from the privacy of their own rooms.
Hype and techno-wizardry aside, virtual tourism and entertainment will never be a substitute for the real thing. But as a three-dimensional supplement, it can bring unprecedented depth and breadth to the travel experience—and offer a ridiculous bounty of marketing opportunities to those smart enough (like InterContinental) to jump on the train before it hits full speed.
Virtual tourism in many ways is the final frontier, and InterContinental is boldly going where no one has gone before. This pilot project will break new ground in hotel digital marketing, and the sky is the limit on what InterContinental can accomplish as they blend and bend their best digital marketing strategies to accommodate the brave new virtual world.
Hotel Digital Marketing: Finding the Winning Edge
In each of our five examples, these hotel giants evaluated customer preferences and expectations. They then devised strategies not to meet them, but exceed them. Innovation means staying one step ahead of the game, and the best way to do that is to rewrite the rules as the game progresses.
In hotel marketing, being proactive and inventive always equals success. That formula can make a winner out of any marketing professional regardless of the size or reputation of the hotel that employs them.
What do hotels need to understand about content marketing?
The bare bones of content marketing is obviously about publishing and distributing content online to a targeted audience, but it gets much more complex than that. Major considerations have to be given to what type of content is used and for who, when and how often content is produced, as well as what results hotels can expect to see.
Ben believes content marketing is very much a patience game.
“The most important thing is to be realistic with your expectations. Content marketing will not drive any results for at least three months,” he says. “Secondly, hotels need someone who understands search engine optimisation (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and the value of channel providers who know the industry and can create lasting relationships.”
“Hotels must also pay attention to the marketing metrics that content marketing provides. Every piece of content should be driving new customers to your hotel – if it doesn’t, then change it. If it does, keep doing it.”
Once established, a content marketing strategy can be very effective, although Ben stresses each hotel will be unique in how they approach it.
“There’s a number of strategies that can work very well,” he states. “But they depend on the hotel itself; its digital properties (including website, email relationships, strength of social media channels) and what exactly the hotel is trying to do. However, generally these techniques present a good repeatable path towards driving high-value customers. The greatest thing about content marketing is that it is low-cost, measurable, repeatable, and it builds upon itself. Once the foundation is in place, customers roll in at increasing rates.”
What is holding some hotels back from achieving optimal results?
Developing and maintaining a content marketing strategy can seem like hard work, too much at times for some hoteliers. Seemingly easier options to drive traffic and bookings may present themselves, but Ben remarks these may not be your best option.
“From our conversations in the industry, we assume that many independent hotel owners are resolved to ride the coattails of Groupon and other more established channel providers. We certainly respect the value and the reach of these providers, but we also look at the total margin that they take and we see a lot of hotels that are on what we call the ‘Groupon Treadmill’ – meaning their hotel continues to get by, but
“When we start shifting the balance from 60% Groupon down to 45% Groupon and then eventually down to 20%, there’s a lot of cash flow hotels can then use to tackle capital improvements or upgrade the facility.”
Often it may also be a case of independent hoteliers lacking the knowledge to lure customers via a content marketing strategy, instead relying on providers such as Groupon. But there are simple ways to change that situation.
What are some useful content marketing recommendations for hoteliers?
Whether you’re just starting out or have been at it a while, concentrating on becoming very good at simple strategies is always a good option. For instance, maintaining a blog on on your hotel website is a no brainer. Ben agrees, saying it’s a great help in getting your hotel found via Google.
“If your hotel is in a popular tourist area (such as Palm Springs, California), it would make sense for you to post a blog on different restaurants to try in Palm Springs. We like to look at a website as a repository of all of the unanswered questions potential customers may have. Answer those questions accurately and often and you’ll start to see new customers coming in your door.”
There are various forms of content your hotel can use. High-quality images, videos, written copy, virtual reality, social media etc. all have value in engaging potential customers.
According to Ben, however, there is still one thing which trumps them all.
“Our research has shown that the most powerful path to new customers is to continue exploring new search terms for relevance and brand fit,” he advises. “Once we find these opportunities, we put the terms on our client’s website. This approach generates a lot more search traffic for the client. While there is awareness value in imagery and video – few things have surpassed the conversion performance of search marketing.”
This is why it’s so vital to be conscious of collecting and analysing customer and prospective guest data. For Ben, any modern business that isn’t utilising data is missing out.
“In some ways, customer data is the untapped economic potential of the 21st century,” he states. “It tells you who your customer is, why they are your customer, what they are looking for, and how you can stay connected with them in the future. Hotels that harness customer data to drive more-personal guest experiences are likely to have the most loyal customers and will see the new revenue streams.”
“The best method to achieve this is to build out a data management plan, which includes where and how customer data can be captured and utilised to drive more business results. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but getting started collecting, managing, and using data is a great journey for any business in the 21st century.”
There’s also merit in capitalising on user-generated content and making sure your hotel is marketing specifically to target segments.
“User-generated content has a tonne of potential,” says Ben. “Hotels should be looking at user-generated content through the same lens that they look at all marketing channels. First and foremost, what can we start doing with it today that can help us and secondly, what do we need to build holistically to use it more aggressively in the future?”
“As for demographics, content certainly engages different segments on different levels. Making sure that your message is being delivered to the right audience through the right channels is important. That said, the concepts of reaching an audience (regardless of their demographics) is very much the same – speak in their language and solve their problems. Do this consistently and you’ll be on a good path, whether you’re serving millennials or baby boomers,” he finishes.
As the hospitality industry continues to grow and independent properties gain even more traction, it’s key to look into the marketing trends that will define the year. Marketing is a powerful tool that has the ability to make or break a business, or even an entire destination.
Take Iceland, for example, which did such a great job at marketing that they now have an overtourism problem. While Iceland might be the extreme example, it just goes to show the power of marketing. No matter your property size or marketing budget, there are a lot of things you can do to put your property in an opportunistic position.
Local SEO has gained traction over the past few years as internet directories and review websites have become more popular. Examples of local SEO opportunities include Google My Business, Bing Places for Business, Yelp, TripAdvisor, and even large OTAs like booking.com or Expedia.
Local SEO’s goal is to help the person searching for something find relevant, local results. Usually, when we discuss local SEO, we’re talking about how people within a certain destination find results in that destination. But in the case of travel, local SEO comes in handy when people are planning their trips as well.
Almost all online directories, including Google My Business and Bing Places for Business, are free. All you have to do is claim your listing and fill out your profile in its entirety. Usually, this includes your address, phone number, operating hours, and a description which you should use to include relevant keywords. Relevant keywords could include things like “best hostel in Belgium” or “cozy cottage in New Hampshire” – anything that will help potential travelers find you. For help on local SEO and what to prioritize, we suggest using Moz’s library of content.
Facebook is seeking to rebalance users’ feeds. Therefore, posts that are passively consumed, like a static image that has been turned into a video to “trick” the feed will soon lose their virality. But, there is a way around this, and that’s through building a community and then tailoring your content to them. Facebook will rely more on engagement metrics, like shares and comments from friends, to gauge what to place in your feed. Posts that promote discussion and action will win.
This means hard sales and pushy posts will not do so great (they haven’t in a really long time). Whether we’re talking about Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, the focus should turn to building an audience of people who care about your business and feel a certain way towards it. It doesn’t and shouldn’t push a sale, or booking, or whatever else. In the long run, what’s most beneficial is sharing knowledge, tips, insights, and building community. Consider engaging your employees in the Tik Tok account of your hotel as well.
Some ways to build community: create a Facebook group for past guests to connect with one another or for people who are huge brand advocates. Or on Instagram, find relevant hashtags and comment thoughtful things on peoples’ posts to build an audience.
Reputation Management Continues to Be Important
Whether we like it or not, reputation management is here to stay for all business types. Review websites, like the ones we discussed in the local SEO section, have incredible power. Not only are they some of the top results on search engines, they’re actively sought out by travelers. Most consumers today will not book without first looking at at least one review site. And most of the time, if they’re booking on an OTA, they reviews will show up right alongside the “book now” button.
Reputation management is part proactive and part reactive. To be proactive, properties should directly ask happy customers to leave reviews – therefore positively padding your online presence.
Regardless of whether a review is positive or negative, someone from your property should respond to the review. In both the case of a positive or a negative review, a response shows that your property cares and listens to feedback. For negative reviews, always try to find a resolution, ideally off the public forum.
For 2018, create an action plan for reputation management that includes both asking for positive reviews and responding to any and all reviews on the most important sites.
Content Becomes the New Driver of SEO
SEO and content marketing go hand in hand. It has been a long time since creating a super optimized website with static content has been enough to get discovered online. Over the past few years and countless algorithm changes – websites that make frequent changes and have regular quality updates are in the best position to do well. Share timely content, city guides, local events, and other interesting information about your property and destination. You don’t have to be extremely well versed in technical SEO tactics to set yourself up for success. Do keyword research on a topic, and include them in your posts. Moz has fantastic learning center to get you started.
Communication is key and live chat windows, either on your property’s website or through another platform like Facebook Messenger, are among the newest and most effective communication channels
Over the years, we’ve been introduced to countless different mediums of communication. From SMS and email to Facebook Messenger and chatbots, there are countless ways for customers to get in contact with you.
Live chat works well because you’re able to supply information and fulfill requests in real time, unlike emails which may take longer to respond to. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are poised to be two of the next big things, especially in service industries like hospitality. The possibilities with artificial intelligence are endless, and we’ll soon fewer paper guides and maps in properties. Technology already has the ability to replace in-room guides, but artificial intelligence will take it to the next level and for guests to experience a new level of personalization without even talking to someone.
However, the chatbots and the artificial intelligence that will power them are still a couple years away from making their prime time debut, especially for independent properties.
A Wider Distribution Network
Specifically regarding the travel industry, one of the best ways to market your property to a wider audience is through distribution partners. Online travel agencies (OTAs) big and small offer properties of all types and sizes the ability to reach new and expansive audiences.
Large OTAs like Expedia, Hotels.com, or Booking.com cater to millions of travelers every single day – even if you are compared side-by-side to nearly every single one of your competitors. And then there are smaller, more niche distribution channels which help your property reach people of certain demographics or travel types. Take for example a company like Hipcamp. They cater to the young, adventurous camper who is looking for their next off the beaten path destination.
It’s always interesting to look back on the trends that were predicted for the previous year and see how things panned out. We were told video would dominate; mobile use would surpass desktop; reputation management would take off, and that print media wasn’t dead. While the last one is still up in the air, for the most part, those hit the mark or are well on their way.
So, here we go again. Feel free to check back in at the end of the year and let me know if my batting average should put me into the All-Star game or have me sitting on the bench.
1. OTA Advertising
OTAs have become synonymous with high fees, large percentages of business, and just overall market dominance with large ad budgets. For most properties, if you’re not playing ball with the OTAs, you are either in extremely high demand and don’t need to or you don’t have a clue. In recent years OTAs, specifically Orbitz and Expedia have introduced their own ad platforms. This isn’t necessarily new (and Orbitz was acquired); however their capabilities and importance in the advertising channels are increasing rapidly.
Typically these advertisements operate as part of the hotel search in a “sponsored placement” position (see image below). When clicked, the ad would take the visitor to the landing page for the hotel on the OTA. This is a great strategy for combatting low occupancy with targeting for specific periods. Most recently though, Expedia is offering the ability to advertise and link directly to the hotel’s website. Yes, it comes at a slightly higher CPC, but the opportunity is to drive direct and bypass the OTAs while using the OTAs.
Another notable mention in this space is TripAdvisor’s new system allowing for sponsored search. We expect this to be a focal point for TripAdvisor’s sales team in the coming year and beyond. So if you haven’t heard from them yet, don’t worry, you will!
2. Experiential Marketing
Sounds ominous, but it’s pretty straightforward; you want to sell an experience. Staying at a hotel isn’t just about a good night’s sleep. It’s about making memories. The goal of experiential marketing isn’t to pre-promote your hotel, but to compel them to lock in that memory so they can talk about it to their friends when they get home. Get where this is going?
Yep, Facebook, Instagram et al are highly effective in communicating more immersive experiential content. If potential customers see others who have stayed with you plastered all over their pages, and they look like they’re having a wonderful time doing cannonballs into your pool, that can go a long way. Denise Wong, the president of George P. Johnson Experiential Marketing, says: “Experiential work is where the rubber hits the road—where advertising meets the Amazon review.” You want your guests experiencing your hotel, not just dropping by.
3. Mobile-First Indexing
Google doesn’t sit still very long, which has its benefits and annoyances. But, like the IRS, it doesn’t really matter whether you like their changes or not. What matters is that you learn them and figure out how to take advantage of them. Their new deal is that your website performance on mobile is soon going to be primary and desktop performance secondary. No one is quite sure when this will happen, but Travel Tripper says that the rumor is it will formally appear later this year. Like a successful vacation, it’s all about planning.
If you’ve been dragging your feet for the last ten years and still don’t have a mobile-friendly version of your website, things may get a lot worse for you very soon. Google is going to base your search rankings first and foremost on your website’s mobile performance. The bottom line is, if you have somehow managed to appear on the first page of a results page without optimizing for mobile, you can probably kiss that goodbye.
In their summary, Moz.com drew up a simple diagram of the comparisons between the old and new systems, and how they will differ from each other:
4. Voice-First Speech
Ah, the good old days. Remember when you had to be able to type to find anything on the web? We may never be completely rid of the screen-first module, but the speech component in many devices like phones, tablets, and now Amazon’s Echo have really gained traction. Search Engine Land reports that 40% of adults now use voice to search at least once each day. Once again, your search engine optimization (SEO) is probably going to need some tweaking.
When SEO first gained prominence, and the importance of keywords began to evolve, we learned that when typing searches into Google, your search phrases didn’t need to be grammatically sound, as long as the keywords were intact. For example, Forbes notes that when typing, you might search for “luxury hotels in Beverly Hills,” while when speaking you would phrase it as a question such as “What are the best Beverly Hills luxury hotels?”. The most important takeaway from all of this is that long-tail keywords are going to become more important when distinguishing between these two types of search, and they will create less competition in site rankings. Google’s goal is always to connect the search with an appropriate result, and spoken details will make that outcome more likely.
5. Beacons and AR
Apparently, “reality” as a concept has lacked diversity. In addition to virtual reality, the hospitality industry now engages with terms like augmented reality (AR). Expect to see growth over the next few years.
Beacons are essentially the technology or the carriers for AR and other features. Most beacons for hotels are in the form of an app, which gives them access to hotel features. For example, Starwood Hotels & Resorts has an app for preferred customers whereby they can receive a digital key that unlocks their rooms. Virtually every major hotel chain offers rewards program apps giving guests access to local discounts, along with offers on food, drinks, spa, and golf. Beacons are a great option if you’re looking to incorporate new technology into your hotel and impress your guests with your amazing ability to adapt to change.
AR is a form of animation that happens in real time right on the device you’re using. You must have not only the technology for the device but the external hardware to connect to it to achieve real-time animation. Holiday Inn used AR with four different Olympians in its UK properties to promote the summer 2012 Olympics. Hospitality Technology suggests that hotels could use their print brochures and turn them into AR, or to incorporate AR into a hotel restaurant’s menu. Check out this example of a brochure utilizing AR technology.
6.Curated Videos and Photos
Let’s say you have a choice between reading a page of content and watching a two-minute video. Both have the same exact content. I don’t know about you, but I’m all over the video. More hotels are now taking video to the next level by curating or assembling existing online videos and presenting them in an organized fashion.
For example, if your hotel is near a major attraction, consider gathering existing videos and images from other sources and setting up a page on your website devoted exclusively to that venue. We aren’t all located in Orlando, but every town has some unique aspect it can highlight. Just be sure to credit the sources.
For those of you who still think videos are ineffective, check out some of these stats:
The average person retains about 95% of the content from a video versus 10% when reading it.
60% of people prefer to watch a video, given the option.
Video promotion is proven to be 600% more effective.
And here’s the big one. The average website visitor spends 88% more time on websites that offer video.
Your website is the most important distribution for your business and the crux of any good online marketing strategy. No matter which hotel marketing tactic has directed a potential customer to your website, this is the place where people can learn more about your individual business and decide whether or not to book a stay with you. It’s also the only online distribution channel where you can generate direct online sales, so it’s crucial your website has a booking engine to handle self-service reservations. As more internet users rely solely on their smartphones and tablets, a mobile friendly website is necessity these days.
2. Follow the SEO staples
There’s no point in having a website if its difficult for potential customers to find via their preferred search engine. Make sure you’re following SEO (Search Engine Optimization) online marketing basics like ensuring your content is rich and relevant, with strong keywords and keyword combinations that give your website the best chance of being clicked upon. Consider likely search terms when planning your hotel marketing SEO campaigns and don’t forget to combine your main keywords with strong secondary ones like the name of your local neighbourhood or district.
3. Differentiate yourself from the rest
To really contend with the competition, your hotel needs to offer something unique and distinctly different to entice potential guests. Your hotel marketing campaign needs to be equally individual. Quality customer care needs to be at the core of everything in the hotel and hospitality industry. Going that extra mile for your guests can yield massive returns. Make sure you’re doing something different, from providing customers with a little treat at check-in, to nabbing local press and PR connections to shine a light on hotel marketing events.
4. Get recommended by real authority
One surefire way of securing new customers is to get your hotel listed with local tourist offices. Whether it’s a printed flyer in a bricks and mortar office, or a prominent link on a local tourism website, you’re guaranteed to take premier listing over many rival competitors. If you’re looking to appeal to the business traveller, nearby convention and exhibition centres are also a great place to promote your hotel. It’s also worth talking to local marketing and event companies in the region as many of these may only offer part-package deals to their own customers, meaning you can cover the accommodation needs and bolster your bookings in quieter seasons.
5. Promote yourself with online travel agencies
In the modern digital age, no hotel can secure regular business without capitalising on online travel agencies and travel brokers. A simple listing can generate thousands of bookings in the long-term, but it’s worth remembering that each time a booking is generated through such an agency, a commission will be applied. Never rely solely on online travel agencies when it comes to your hotel marketing efforts, ensuring such websites are used to generate additional sales, rather replace your direct sales efforts entirely.
6. Global Distribution Systems
A Global Distribution System (GDS) is a network that enables automated transactions between travel service providers (airlines, hotels, cruises and car rental) and travel agencies. When connecting your hotel to a GDS provider your hotel can be booked via hundreds of travel agencies worldwide. You can also use such systems to target specific travellers, including those venturing from home turf on business.
7. Appoint a sales rep and reap the rewards
When it comes to hotel marketing, you should always take best practice in hospitality out into the field when promoting your business. If a local business is regularly recommending you to potential customers, make sure you’re maintaining a mutually beneficial relationship with strong incentives. Appointing a dedicated sales representative is definitely worth considering for hotel businesses looking to expand. Any good rep should be taking stock of potential companies in the area worth making a connection with, while ongoing procurement efforts to lock down new partnerships should be at the forefront of any hotel marketing effort.
8. Get savvy with social media
If you’re not utilizing social media in your online hotel marketing campaign, start now. It’s free to create accounts with the likes of FaceBook, Twitter, FourSquare, Instagram and YouTube and it’s never been easier to create dynamic social media pages in moments. However, there’s no point launching a social media presence if you don’t mean to maintain it. Make sure you’ve got at least one person appointed to keeping your hotel marketing social media message live and engaging. Fresh content is pivotal, so make sure you’ve got a content delivery schedule. If you’re strapped for time to create new content, consider launching a hotel blog you can link back to from your social pages regularly.
9. Keep an eye on reviews and recommendations
A great review can earn you a new customer. A poor review can cost you hundreds. Try to encourage better reviews and recommendations from previous guests by engaging them after checking out. Your hotel could feature dozens, if not hundreds of times on review websites, so you need to ensure that each page is loaded with positive reviews and complimentary content. Monitor reviews on the most popular sites, taking note of any bad reviews and engaging dissatisfied guests with helpful and constructive feedback. Neutralise negative feedback wherever you can.
Hospitality Marketing Strategies
Since the technological revolution of the world nearly 20-years ago now, the nature of marketing and how we locate brands and services has changed entirely. What used to be “cold-calling” is now messaging on Instagram, direct messaging on Twitter or email marketing.
We’re cognizant of the ever-changing nature of hospitality and travel marketing strategies in our world today, which is why we offer a fusion of marketing solutions, digital marketing support, and social media marketing campaigns, catered perfectly to fit your brand.
One of the most effective ways of getting content on your hotel or restaurant location out into the world is through blogging. Travel blogs are easily liked, commented, and shared on social media with thousands of readers in a matter of minutes. Not to mention, people use social media correctly to locate blogs today. Consumers want free information, and your blog is the place they’re going to find it. Our company offers high-scale blogging content curating, editing, and posting, with unique content that will improve your SEO rankings.
Custom Brand Campaigns
It’s no secret the competition is stiff out there today. To outshine your competitors, you need custom brand campaigns that are creative, original, and engaging. We design custom campaigns for a variety of social media and other blogging channels on your behalf. Our team formulates the campaign idea, develops it through graphic expression and copyediting, and pushes it out into the world on your behalf. We then measure the results and ensure the campaign is continually performing.
Social media has given rise to an entirely new group of individuals with powerful marketing capabilities. Influencers can be everyday people that have mastered their niche on Instagram. Those with 100k, 1 million, and even 5 million followers can significantly affect consumer’s behavior and purchasing decisions. We collaborate with the industry’s leading travel influencers to give your brand greater exposure.
International Media Opportunities
The nature of the tourism industry means you need to get your hotel’s name out into the world, far away from your home location. One timelessly effective way to do that is through international PR opportunities. Quite simply, as your PR agency, we work on your behalf to develop press, pitch it to journalists, and secure your exposure in newspapers, blogs, websites, TV, radio, and the list goes on.
Local Partnership Opportunities
Every travel excursion is about more than the hotel, brand, or tour company. By partnering with other businesses around you like high-end restaurants, flower shops, luxury phtographers, and local vendors you’ll be able to offer your guests the whole package. We work to develop connections with you and valuable business owners that can provide something to your guests.
Marketing Partnership Strategies
Pairing up with other people in your niche industry and working together on marketing strategies is incredibly popular today. Many brands host co-giveaways to engage consumers for both of their operations. We research and recommend marketing partnership strategies that will be beneficial to your business in the long run.
ROI matters, and we’re here to prove it to you. We provide measurable results regarding all of our marketing services, and take the time to go over the numbers, impressions, and clicks moving forward. We want to work with you to make sure the best possible strategies are being executed for your operation.
As a travel and hospitality public relations firm, media networking is one of our specialties. We’ve worked hard to accumulate a reputable list of reporters with big-time media outlets that can get your hotel or travel company the exposure it deserves. We are always building media lists and nurturing our contacts to ensure favorable coverage time and time again.
And of course, for everything else you desire from us, we provide strategic consultancy on everything related to hospitality and travel marketing strategies. Whether it’s campaign ideas for Live Video on Facebook, or chasing down a reporter at a newspaper halfway around the world, we’re here to provide 24-7 communication, support, and success for you and your operation.
The secret to running a successful bed and breakfast is cultivating the right environment to create the best experience for your guests and team members.
Living in a beautiful house and meeting new, interesting people on a daily basis sounds extremely appealing, especially if you compare it to some monotonous office jobs. Running your own bed and breakfast can help you achieve this dream while allowing you to do something you truly love.
Although managing a bed and breakfast is fun, there’s also a lot of work that happens behind the scenes. From cleaning bedrooms to carrying out regular maintenance, you have to stay on top of your home to give your guests an unforgettable experience.
Read on to find out how to run a bed and breakfast successfully and create an inviting atmosphere.
1. Know Your Audience
Although many managers choose a wider approach, you should try to create a distinct vision and run your bed and breakfast focusing on a specific demographic. Learn everything you can about your ideal customers and equip your bed and breakfast according to their preferences.
For instance, if you’re targeting young families with active lifestyles, offer outdoors activities that are suitable for people of all ages.
2. Prioritize TripAdvisor and Other Online Travel Agencies
TripAdvisor is a great tool that can help you gain the recognition your bed and breakfast deserves. Many people have a love-hate relationship with the platform, but we recommend putting your personal feelings aside and work on enhancing your TripAdvisor profile.
What’s more, there are dozens of new up-and-coming online travel agencies (OTAs) that provide a great alternative for B&Bs to reach their target audience. There are more than 4 billion active internet users, so it’s safe to assume that a good portion of your target is online at all times. On top of this, there are now specialized online platforms like AirBnB that specifically target consumers focusing on these accommodation options.
Hiring a professional photographer to take pictures of your B&B as well as spell-checking your listing will improve your chances of landing more guests.
3. Work Out How Much Your B&B Is Worth
Remember to match your price according to the quality of the accommodation you’re providing. If the bed and breakfast you run offers high-quality rooms and social areas, you can’t charge bargain-cheap prices.
In the US alone, travelers spent more than $1 billion in 2017, so it’s safe to say that consumers are willing to pay as long as they think it’s worth their money. It’s vital to be honest with yourself to avoid overcharging customers or leaving money on the table.
4. Create an Awesome First Impression
Guests love to be pampered and treated like royalty. You can improve their experience by going the extra mile and creating an awesome first impression. Welcoming guests with fresh treats, drinks, or simply helping them book meals and tours can help make their stay a bit more memorable.
5. Keep Spares
Even the most prepared travelers forget something every now and then. It’s important to keep extra accessories in case your guests forget anything. Common items include:
Toothbrush and toothpaste
You may also want to get anironing board and spare neckties in case the folks that stay at your inn need to borrow them.
6. Be Obsessive About the Chores
Nothing is perfect, but if you decide to run your own b&b, you should start to be obsessive about the small details, your guests will be more likely to overlook any issues that may arise.
Don’t fall for the “that’ll do” trap – put in the effort, and you’ll notice a big difference in your guests’ behavior.
7. Enjoy Yourself!
Like we mentioned at the beginning of this post, running a bed and breakfast should be fun – after all, you get to meet travelers on a daily basis. Creating a fun atmosphere is critical for both guests and staff members, so make sure you have a good time and create great memories for everyone in your B&B.
Setting Up Your Bed and Breakfast
What’s a Bed and Breakfast?
Also known as a B&B, a bed and breakfast can be defined as the perfect combination of a private home and a boutique hotel. Bed and breakfasts are characterized by extremely personalized service and a cozy, home-like atmosphere.
Financial Aspects to Look to Run a B&B
Remember that a B&B is primarily a business. You have to look at the financial aspects while setting up marketing, sales, customer service, and branding plans.
You should also look at the demand of the area where you want to open your inn. After all, the number of people that come to your B&B will make it or break it!
Lastly, keep in mind that most bed and breakfasts are small family businesses that don’t necessarily make a huge profit. You need to be persistent, flexible, and extremely sociable. Evaluate your situation to make sure it’s what you want to do before making any big decisions.
Type of Ownership
Bed and breakfast managers often fall into one of three categories:
Owner – Many B&B managers actually own the property where the business is set up. If you own the house outright, then you get to keep a bigger portion of the profits right off the bat. Owners who have a mortgage will also start seeing more profits after it’s paid off, adding a nice incentive at the end of their payments. The only downside of owning an inn is that you have to take care of all the repairs yourself.
Renter – Renting a property means you don’t have to deal with maintenance. However, it also means that your renting agreement can be canceled, forcing you to find a new property to rent. Remember that you can take extra precautions, like establishing a long-term contract that allows you to rent the property for an extended period of time.
Hired Manager – By far the simplest scenario, hired managers work for the person that owns the B&B. This means that the actual owner doesn’t have to worry about any maintenance or chores. This is not the best choice if you’re looking to enjoy the experience of hosting yourself.
If you want to start a B&B on your property, you’ll also have to answer a few questions. First off, consider the living arrangements you’re most comfortable with. While sleeping in the same building as your guests is perfectly acceptable, you may want to seek more privacy and set up your room in a separate building.
As we mentioned before, demand is the name of the game when it comes to running a successful bed and breakfast. Do your research and select a city that boasts of a regular, healthy flow of tourists. You’ll also want to find a destination that’s relatively affordable without sacrificing the quality of your inn.
Some of the up-and-coming cities and neighborhoods in Europe include:
Capucins in Bordeaux, France
Koukaki in Athens, Greece
Triana in Seville, Spain
Hammerbrook in Hamburg, Germany
Laws and Security Considerations
It’s important that you understand the laws and regulations governing the country where you run a bed and breakfast. This includes staying on top of the permits you need to obtain and sorting out all other paperwork to make sure your business complies with all the necessary laws.
At the same time, you need to establish a contingency plan in case of emergencies as well as review fire and food safety regulations periodically.
Running a Successful Bed and Breakfast
Creating a mantra that makes you and your guests happy is critical to the success of your B&B. This is one of the reasons why consumers choose bed and breakfasts instead of hotels or hostels – because they offer a unique feel that is both familiar and lavish.
You’ll also have to define the services you’re going to offer and decide if your B&B will be open seasonally or year-round. Moreover, consider the number of meals you’ll serve per day and make sure you’re offering enough food choices to cater to all eating habits.
Another great way to improve your guests’ experience is by offering them extras, even if they are simple. A basket to take to the park and other small accessories will make your guests feel appreciated and comfortable, even if they don’t actually take you up on the offer.
Branding, Sales, and Marketing
Remember that your B&B is a business, and you need to think about turning a profit off it at some point. To do this, you’ll also have to create a blueprint that outlines your plans from a marketing and financial perspective.
To boost your branding efforts, you can:
Set up a website
Contact the local chamber of commerce and your local tourism office
Attend local fairs and events
Create a listing on bed and breakfast sites and Airbnb
Create a listing on Craigslist
Create a newsletter and start building a reader base
Learn the basics of SEO
Update a blog on a regular basis
Set up partnership agreements with local businesses
Remember that creating a good reputation for your business takes a lot of time and effort, so you’ll have to develop a keen eye for detail and work on developing a positive brand image in the long run.
Benefiting from Online Marketing Channels
Digital marketing channels have changed the face of advertising, and for good reason. Unlike traditional platforms, online advertising allows you to track the performance of your ads and make adjustments while they are still live.
Moreover, you can target specific audiences that have particular search patterns, increasing your chances of collecting quality leads that actually become guests.
There are different online channels you can take advantage of and use to market your bed and breakfast. Social media platforms, search engines, and display networks provide both organic and paid options that engage with your audience and create a lasting impression.
Start Your Bed and Breakfast on the Right Foot
You now have all the tips and know-how necessary to set up and run your bed & breakfast. If you’re interested in finding out more about our marketing services, contact us today by giving us a call or filling out our online contact form.
Are you in charge of advertising a hotel, but can’t seem to crack the top page on search results?
Do you need to be top of mind when it comes to travelers looking for accommodations?
If you’re struggling with putting your hotel on the map, you may need to take a look at your online strategy. Other than putting out ads on Google’s display ad network and sponsored posts on social media channels, your hotel’s website may be what’s dragging you down in the rankings. Your site may be overdue for some SEO magic.
So where do we start?
The answer is simple, really, but the execution may take a little more effort.
Actually, it’s going to take a lot of effort. And money.
1. Figure Out Your SEO Plays
Content and optimisation go hand-in-hand. Yes, you’ll need important, unique, and original content on your site, and you need to make sure your site is optimised for search engines. That means putting the right features in place for spiders—that’s the bots search engines like Google use in order to find content all over the web to list on their results— to crawl and find your site.
Make sure your content is not only unique to your business, but also keyword-dense (without overdoing it), and with outbound and inbound links. Post content regularly, pertaining not only to your hotel, but also about and links to attractions and things to do in your city or nearby areas. That would make your site informative and useful, which Google really likes… then it’ll do the rest.
2. Shape Your Hotel’s Brand
Nowadays, what works online – and especially on social media – are businesses that don’t sound and look like businesses. Coming off too traditional will likely force you to hard-sell your hotel and turn people off. Instead, try to humanise your social media strategy and digital presence in order to build connections and relationships with potential and existing customers.
You may have to consider a warmer, friendlier, and more familiar tone when it comes to online interaction, and a skilled team of social media managers may be able to provide this for you. The more you establish yourself as another person on the other end of the internet—the more you engage with the customer and capture their attention— and the better you can communicate and convey what your business has to offer.
3. Invest In Strategic Advertising & Paid Social Media Promotion
With so many people and businesses competing for the ordinary social media user’s attention online, you’ll have to find an effective advertising strategy so that your hotel can rise above the competition. When you put up a post on your hotel’s social media page, only a fraction of your followers in any platform will get to see your post organically. Fortunately, this is easily improved on when you promote a post on social media. Yes, you’ll have to pony up to do better online, but promoting ads on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even Google Ads is now relatively cheaper with better ROIs than other traditional forms of advertising, especially for hotels that may have the power of a marketing budget behind them.
If you don’t feel comfortable building an hotel advertising strategy by yourself, you might also do well to hire a digital media manager, who is familiar with the ins, outs, and best practices of all the advertising strategies across the web. Sometimes you’ll have to run a specific kind of advertisement on social media to get the best results, and a person who is specially trained to handle this may do better and bring more optimised results than a marketing manager who’s only familiar with traditional marketing strategies and tools. They can also propose more intricate and complex digital strategies to effectively advertise your business.
Need to get people to use your site’s online booking feature?
There’s a particular kind of Facebook post for that.
Need to spread the word about a promotion you’re running?
Be sure to select a page post ad boost to make the most of it. Don’t target everyone, target those who are most likely to book at your hotel, and keep retargeting customers who have already expressed interest or patronised your business. Your social media promotion and digital advertising can be made relentless.
If you’re not able to hire someone else to do this, it’s something you can easily learn as well and add to your skillset. This will likely be a trial and error thing for your business, but once you get the hang of it and find your groove, you’ll see your social media promotion—and your money—work hard for you.
4. Partner Up With Online Travel Sellers, Agencies & Other Businesses
Travel sites like Trivago, Expedia, Booking.com are far more likely to put your hotel on the radar thanks to the sheer number of people using them. They’ll also help you drive business as they can easily advertise any discounts or promotions you may be running, or come up with discounts for you to drive customers to your business. It may easily be the biggest step you could take for your business, especially if you’re a smaller establishment as opposed to a part of a bigger chain.
It may also be in your and your business’s best interest to partner up with specialised travel agencies as well. They can include accommodations at your hotel as part of a travel package for tourists, and it would mean a steady flow of customers who are visiting your area. If you can, you should also take this further by associating with retail or other tour businesses, allowing customers who stay at your hotel to avail themselves of special discounts and deals at these partner establishments. The more you link up your business, add more value to your deals and offers, and add yourself as another important part of a thriving local economic ecosystem, the more you’ll benefit and entice customers. If you establish a valuable partnership offline, make sure the travel agencies will also advertise it on their own website.
5. Design A Loyalty Rewards Programs
One way to retain your existing customers and draw in new ones is the institution of a loyalty rewards program. It’s an advertising strategy pretty easy to execute—come up with a card to give them, and put up a list of rewards they can avail when they have repeated stays at your hotel or accumulate points for each transaction. Such programs are also easy to advertise for the hotel on social media and generally online with minimal investment and effort. You can even use your hotel’s site as a landing point for them to check their loyalty points and the list of rewards, which would naturally mean an opportunity for them to check the rest of your site out and add to your hits.
6. Utilise The Power Of Social Media Influencers
You may have noticed that there are people on social media whose followers number well into the tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands, and sometimes millions. If you need a quick way to promote your hotel, business, or even city or town your business is in, you may want to consider partnering up with these social media influencers. They’ll normally just take a free stay in your hotel in exchange of their online advertising activity: primarily posting on social media photo and video. You’ll likely be just ponying up the cost of one or two persons’ stay at your hotel for the interest of their many followers in return.
Just be sure to vet the influencers you’re looking at properly—sometimes people will cheat the system, using “bot” followers to increase their follower count. As much as possible, you may want to hire someone who’s an actual celebrity, even if they’re not world-famous. Many people online try to call themselves influencers even though what they have is only a padded follower count.
Final Thoughts on the Hotel Advertising Strategies to Put in Place
So there you have it — digital advertising may sound daunting and intimidating, but once you have a strategy to follow, the possibilities are endless. If you haven’t already, or if your efforts on the digital side are still rudimentary and basic, now is the time to take full advantage of the media all your customers are already using.
Hotel online advertising and promotion is not just the future; it’s the present, and it’s waiting for you to start using it.
Invest a little time, effort, and money, and soon enough you’ll see bookings rise faster than you can imagine.