In the hotel trade, there’s always plenty of competition for potential customers. So, how can you stand out from your rivals?
The best hotel marketing approach is undoubtedly to find ways to communicate and stay engaged with your current and future guests. And the best method of doing this is to employ a variety of channels and platforms. Here are some examples:
Develop your social media presence
Your target audience are sure to be on social media, so you need to have a presence there.
Employ a strategy that fits well with the demographic you want to attract and use content optimised for the platform you are addressing.
This could mean exploiting the sheer variety of reach and content available on a platform such as Facebook. Or perhaps taking advantage of the popularity of Instagram to post some high-quality photos of your rooms or your meals – this showcases your hotel to good effect.
If you have the means, then high quality video content is another excellent way to spark interest in what you offer and is easily accessible and affordable in today’s technological advanced society.
Create a blog
Once you start to gather intelligence about your guests – their interests, and what problems they experience – you are in a good position to generate content that meets their needs.
A regular blog is a great online tool for hosting guest-friendly articles. The more you learn about your target group, both through actual conversation and by researching social media, the easier it becomes to engage with them online.
You might include topics such as travel tips, information and advice about popular tourist spots in your area, mini-reviews of good restaurants in your neighbourhood, and much more.
Send out a regular newsletter
Invite your website visitors and returning guests to sign up to receive a regular newsletter (perhaps offering them a small incentive to do so). You can then email in advance about details of any forthcoming deals, seasonal promotions or other upcoming events.
Try to avoid newsletters filled with boring, generic information. If you can generate content which interests your previous guests and also offers some genuine value(e.g. targeted discounts, competitions and the like) you are more likely to maintain an engagement with this audience.
And, if they stay engaged, you have a better chance of securing repeat bookings.
Establish a positive presence on review websites
Your rating on review sites is important! Focus primarily on TripAdvisor, which is the largest travel review site in the world.
TripAdvisor believes 83% of all users habitually refer to TripAdvisor reviews before making their final decision about a hotel booking.
Develop the habit of encouraging your guests to place a review on such sites. Make sure, however, that you do this sensitively.
Even bad reviews represent an opportunity. The details are already ‘out there’, but you can respond in a pleasant, professional manner that expresses your genuine concern.
Offer some sensible resolutions to the problem and demonstrate to all potential future guests that you have their best interests at heart. Evidence shows this approach is often a very good way of creating new trust in your business.
With every platform you use to engage with your audience, make absolutely sure your branding remains cohesive and coherent throughout. In particular, the aims of your business and the evolving story you communicate.
Make sure your website is up to date, attractive and easy to find via online listings. And most important of all, operations such as bookings should be made as customer- friendly as possible.
And finally, remember to be constantly proactive. To be truly engaged means nothing but consistency!
By Anthea Taylor, Assistant Editor at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including BusinessesForSale.com, FranchiseSales.com and PropertySales.com as well as other industry publications.