When it comes to the hotel industry, marketing plays a key role! Every organization relies on powerful marketing campaigns to promote business. As a hotel marketer, your job is to build a bullet-proof campaign that your guests won’t resist!
What is hotel marketing?
Before we get started, I’ll give you a quick definition!
Marketing for hotels refers to all actions taken to promote a hotel. It sounds simple, right?
Yet, as you become an experienced hotel marketer, you’ll discover how complex your job can be. You’ll realize that hotel marketing affects and is affected by other departments within the hotel. Moreover, global incidents that are way out of your control will also influence your hotel business.
The secret is to find a strategy that helps you foresee upcoming events and take your hotel business forward!
Why is hotel marketing important?
Even if you’re new to the hospitality industry, you know that without clients, you’ll have empty rooms in a hotel struggling to survive. So, your goal is to generate hotel revenue by encouraging potential customers to make a reservation!
How can marketing strategies for hotels help you reach your goal?
– Understand customer’s behavior and needs;
– Find gaps in the travel industry;
– Show your guests why your hotel suits their needs;
– Contact your most loyal customers.
Hotel marketing offers incredible opportunities to promote your hotel. All you need is to focus on the right hotel marketing ideas!
Key components of hotel marketing
Knowing the hotel industry like the palm of your hands will come in handy when planning your marketing goals. However, it’s not enough. You must know which marketing strategies will make an impact on your hotel brand.
Ever since the Internet, the world has never been the same! But I’m sure you already know this! Regardless of the industry, businesses worldwide had to adjust to a new reality, where consumers are well-informed and in control of their purchases.
And the hospitality industry is no different!
With online marketing, hotels are open for new reservations 24h! Travelers can book a room at any time, wherever they are. For hotel owners, this is an excellent opportunity to find new markets, rely less on traditional word-of-mouth, and get more direct hotel bookings.
So, what must you know about hotel digital marketing?
It’s the starting point of any digital marketing strategy. Any reliable business has its own webpage. So, if you want your customers to take you seriously, you must build an engaging hotel website design. It’s your opportunity to build an online presence. Moreover, it will be your home online and how you present yourself to potential customer.
Travelers will check your hotel facilities, which services you provide, and where you’re located. Take one step further and add a booking engine to your website. This way, potential guests will check your room availability and make a direct reservation.
While building your website, always remember to provide an excellent user experience and a design that matches your hotel brand. To help you stand out from your competitors, use content marketing to build blog posts focused on your target audience.
Search Engine Optimization
You simply can’t design a digital marketing strategy and not include this powerful tool. I’ll be clearer… One cannot exist without the other!
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, makes your hotel appear on the first pages of any search engine. Why is it so important?
Google, the world’s number one search engine, ranks websites using crawlers and indexing pages according to their authority and relevance. Besides, the artificial intelligence supporting Google’s search algorithm recognizes and understands the meaning behind each search query.
This means that your hotel will appear on the first search results page, even when the travelers aren’t searching for your hotel’s exact name. They might be looking for the best place to stay at your location or the closest hotel to an event they will be attending.
Although it sounds simple, any SEO strategy takes time and effort to accomplish the desired results. So, you should focus your hotel marketing efforts on these concepts:
- Keyword research – helps you understand your guests’ needs;
- Original and engaging content – allows you to stand out from your competitors and rank for specific search queries.
- Technical SEO – programming stuff that will make your website incredibly fast.
- User experience – simplifies the guests’ journey and increases conversion rates.
- Backlinking – your guests and other businesses will build links to your website, helping you be recognized as an authority in the hospitality industry.
Google helps businesses worldwide by providing incredible marketing tools.
One of them is Google My Business. Once you create a company profile on the search engine, your hotel will be listed on the results page, similar to a digital business card. There your guests can find guest reviews, your address, contacts, and location on Google Maps.
Additionally, you can use Google Ads to build an advertisement campaign. It’s an excellent way to reach out to potential guests.
Yet, there’s another tool Google developed, specifically for hoteliers.
Google Hotel Ads is a metasearch engine where travelers can find all the information they need to book a room. How does it work?
When a guest searches your hotel name on Google, they’ll see your hotel details, availability, lowest rates, and location. This is the Local Universal option.
On the other hand, with the Map Results option, when a potential customer isn’t sure where to stay and searches for “hotels in New York”, Google Hotel Ads will display a map with all the hotels listed on the search engine in that specific area.
Once a customer selects your property, Google will show them the best available rates in online travel agencies and your website. In a few clicks, you’ll receive new bookings with little effort.
After your digital marketing strategy is set, you must analyze its results. Google Analytics offers you thorough information on how well your campaign is doing.
So, what data can you retrieve from Google Analytics?
- Analyze your website performance
- Know who your potential guest is and where they’re located
- Understand how clients find your hotel website.
This information will help you optimize your website performance, improve your SEO and feed your hotel marketing plan.
In its early beginnings, social media platforms intended to connect us with our friends and family. Today, it’s one of the most powerful tools in hotel marketing.
- Your hotel gains more visibility;
- You get instant feedback from your guests;
- It’s easier to identify customers’ needs;
- Increases direct bookings;
- Improves brand awareness;
- Boosts your online reputation.
And this is only the tip of the iceberg!
Social media channels are where people spend most of their time online. Also, it’s where people find inspiration for their next travel destination. So, if you don’t want to miss out on the chance to promote your hotel, you must build a social media campaign, have an active presence and develop an online reputation.
Depending on your target audience, define which social media platform best suits your needs. If you’re a business hotel, perhaps LinkedIn will help you gain visibility with business travelers. On the other hand, if your target market are newlyweds or families with small kids, Facebook and Instagram are your best options.
Either way, there are some content ideas you can use in social media posts:
- Post high-quality photos of your hotel facilities and services. Potential guests want to know what you do best;
- Share your customers’ positive reviews;
- Promote your location;
- Increase direct bookings with special offers;
- Take advantage of user-generated content;
- Engage with followers through contests and giveaways.
Social platforms are a great reputation management tool. Moreover, you’ll be closer to your hotel guests, inspiring them to leave positive reviews and make a reservation!
Marketing in hospitality is a colossal task that you can’t take on your own. Besides the significant amount of information you need to build a successful hotel marketing plan, you must always be on the lookout for the constant changes in hospitality. Building partnerships will help you promote your property to a broader public!
Especially when you’re starting to promote your hotel, third-party channels will help you gain much-needed visibility. They have the clients you need. And you have the facilities travelers are looking for. It’s the perfect combo!
So, who are third-party channels exactly?
Third-party channels include all companies in the global distribution system, online travel agencies, and metasearch engines. Whether your potential guests search for your property online or through a travel agent, they will find all the information they need with a push of a button.
Besides making it easier for guests to book a room, for you, it’s a fantastic opportunity to promote your hotel across different markets. To make your life simpler, consider getting a channel manager. It will help you upload your rates and availability, showing them in real-time to anyone making a new reservation.
To make this partnership work, you must guarantee all third-party channels have the same information. As a result, both guests and partners will see you as a reliable hotel brand and you’ll elevate your reputation.
Of course, these benefits all come with a price… Third-party channels will charge you a commission on each new booking. However, you shouldn’t focus solely on this. In the business world, you must invest to profit!
As a hotel marketer, this may be the last thing on your mind. However, local partnerships are one of the best resources of a successful hotel marketing plan.
This strategy promotes your hotel by showing off your location’s best features. Wondering what kind of partnerships would benefit your hotel? I’ll give you a few examples:
- Guided tours;
- Beauty services;
- Doctor’s house call;
- Dog sitting;
- Laundry services;
I could make an endless list. However, you must ask yourself this: What services your hotel lacks that would enrich your guests’ stay? Aim for those! Contact local businesses and negotiate a partnership that’ll benefit everyone!
Improving guest experience
And here’s the final key to a successful hotel marketing strategy!
Investing all your time and money in an unbeatable marketing campaign is worthless when your customer service fails. In simple words… your guests will come with high expectations, then they’ll leave your hotel hoping never to return!
How does it affect your business?
Well, bad experiences are easier to remember. According to Association for Psychological Science, it’s a survival instinct inherited from our ancestors. If a guest had such an unpleasant stay at your hotel, why should they ever return?
Furthermore, an unhappy guest is more likely to find other accommodation options among your competitors and leave negative online reviews for everyone to see. In the end, the cost of poor service and a bad review is shattering.
As a hotel marketer, how can you improve customer service?
Get a customer relationship management system! This powerful software, also known as CRM, will assist your hotel staff in providing exactly what guests are expecting.
A CRM, like GuestJoy, connects you with your guests and gathers their preferences to help you build a more personalized customer experience and improve positive reviews. With GuestJoy you can speed up the check-in process, sell additional services and manage your clients’ feedback.
Moreover, you can set up an email marketing campaign based on what your guests enjoy the most. Use their email address to present special offers and encourage your guests to leave a review.
Also, consider gathering with team leaders of other departments. It’s your chance to find out your guests’ needs and how you can solve them.
Finally, your human resources department can help you hire the best talents and identify your current employees’ training needs. Although these strategies aren’t directly related to marketing, they will definitely impact your marketing strategy.
The internet changed how people travel. As a result, the hospitality industry became increasingly fast and constantly changing.
This is why marketing in hotels can be overwhelming.
As a hotel marketer, you must have a broader view of global events while paying attention to the details that will elevate your customer experience. Moreover, building a successful hotel marketing strategy involves understanding the industry’s past while setting your eyes on the future.
Fortunately for you, there have never been so many tools to help you manage the information flow and accomplish your marketing goals. Get your GuestJoy demo today! You’ll see how easy it is to fulfill your guests’ needs.