Brands are constantly on the lookout for new and cheap ways to promote themselves and hotels are no different – in a competitive industry, they need to stand out above those close to them or they’ll lose valuable revenue. But what methods can be used online to gain valuable exposure that might not already have been capitalised on? How can hotel websites draw people in and encourage them to stay long enough to make that all-important booking?Here are five ideas that might come in handy the next time you’re drawing up your hotel’s online marketing strategy.
1. Start a blog Blogs are really easy to set up and maintain even if you’re not tremendously technologically savvy, and many providers offer them for free if you only want a basic package. However, you can add extras for varying fees depending on your requirements.They can act as content hubs where you can post interesting and relevant articles for your audience, including the top tourist attractions in your resort, the latest news from your hotel, guides to travel-related issues and much more.The most successful blogs achieve millions of hits, but even if you don’t scale these dizzy heights, you should benefit from better results in searches due to increased visibility, potential shares of your content that may go viral and the establishment of your brand as an expert in your field.
2. Create pages on hotel social media Businesses can quickly and easily set themselves up on social media and these days, there’s really no excuse not to. Facebook has 1.44 billion active users, Twitter has 284 million and Instagram has 300 million – can you afford to miss out on audiences like this? You should always keep on top of publishing content on these media as people will lose interest in pages that only get updated once in a blue moon – and don’t forget to write different content for them, as each site enjoys a different demographic.
3. Employ an SEO strategy Search engine optimisation continues to be as relevant as ever for marketers, but strategies are different than they once were. Rather than keyword-cramming, focus on long-tail keywords woven naturally into your content, clever page titles and meta descriptions and backlinks from trusted, popular sources that bring people back to your website.You can also consider boosting the parts of your site that don’t perform as well in organic search by opting for pay-per-click ads, even if it’s just a few pounds’ worth every so often.
4. Improve calls to action It’s important to persuade would-be guests that your hotel is the place they need to stay for a great time at their destination, but some travellers might still be on the fence even with the best marketing content you can offer.You need to give them that final push to make a booking by placing prominent calls to action at relevant places on your website and in any other marketing copy (email and social media, for example).Try making them colourful (red works particularly well) and use language that suggests a sense of urgency without being pushy to maximise the chances of conversion.
5. Don’t forget email Email marketing continues to be surprisingly effective when it comes to return on investment and repeat bookings, so do a little research and learn how to use it for maximum results. Segment your marketing lists so that you’re speaking directly to different audiences and craft a unique tone that appeals to your customers.You should also pay attention to the subject line to make it irresistible and prevent your all-important message from going straight to the deleted folder – and again, include that call to action at the end.There are lots of things you can do to boost the success of your online marketing efforts, so why not try a few today?