Marketing for a hotel can be a tricky business. You definitely need to have a promotional plan so that people can find you and you stand out amid all of your quite similar competitors in the area – but you probably don’t have the mega-bucks available to the likes of the Hilton or the Sheraton to throw at it.
What can be done to ensure your brand name gets out and you benefit from all the potential extra revenue that could come in as a result, whatever your budget? Well, there are a few easy insider tips that you can put into practice that should assist with raising your profile. Here, we’ll take a look at just a few of them and offer some advice about how they might work for your hotel. However, you’ll first need to sit down and do a little research and some brainstorming to determine what your best plan of attack should be.
What’s your budget?
Like we’ve already said, most hotels won’t have the spending power of all the really big-brand names out there and it’s important to remember this when you’re drawing up a marketing plan. There’s no point throwing money at a particular campaign if you know you’re eating into a budget that should have gone elsewhere – that’s what they call robbing Peter to pay Paul. Look into the cost of everything you want to do, check it against your monthly or annual revenues and then decide if you can realistically do it with the funds you have.
Who are your ideal guests?
A good marketing plan should also have target personas in mind – in the hospitality industry, they’ll be the ideal guest you’re trying to attract for a stay. If you don’t know who this is, work it out and then keep them firmly in mind when you’re coming up with promotions. Hotels that try to send out messages without intended recipients are likely to fail because their approach is spread too thinly and their words aren’t really appealing to anyone. Carefully targeted messages are more likely to reach out to someone on a personal level and may persuade them to make a reservation.
How can you mix your marketing reach?
Choosing just one marketing platform isn’t a good idea, as a multi-channel approach is known to work much more effectively. Look at which types of social media appeal to you, how you can link this up with your blog and email list and whether paid advertising could be a useful addition to the mix for the best results.
So, now you’ve done that background work, you can move on to some brand-boosting tactics.
To get people to remember who you are, your name and branding needs to keep popping up online on a regular basis. It’s possible to do this by retaining a presence on social media, posting useful and shareable content on your blog and working on search engine optimisation so that your hotel name climbs organically up the search listings to be clicked on.If you keep a high profile for positive reasons, you could become known as a thought leader and will certainly see your perceived trustworthiness increase as a result.
2.Be consistent with your branding
If you’re regularly making your hotel brand name pop up online, it needs to appear the same each time or your would-be guests might think it’s a different property. Work on a logo and colour and then stick to it meticulously. Also, ensure the same tone of voice is maintained whenever a member of staff makes a post on a blog or social media. If you try to appeal to millennials usually and then one day write something more appropriate to baby boomers, it’s going to leave readers confused about who you really are.
3.Work on repeat business
You always want to keep looking for new customers online, but getting revenue from people who have already been guests is certainly going to be easier. That’s why it’s important not to forget them in your marketing efforts. Collect the email details of everyone who stays and then use this to build an email marketing list. You can use it to send out relatively regular, interesting, useful content together with special ‘VIP’ offers that might tempt them to come back to you the next time they need a hotel.
4.Work on your unique selling points
There’s bound to be something at your hotel that you’re particularly proud of and that your guests enjoy too. If it’s quirky and different to the things offered by your competitors, flaunt it in your marketing material and make it your unique selling point. This could really help you to stand out amid the standard promises of clean rooms and full breakfasts that almost everyone else has.Whether it’s all-natural products used in your spa or your chef who hails from a Michelin-starred restaurant in New York, make sure you’re telling the world about it.
5.Consider getting professional help
Don’t worry if hotel marketing doesn’t come particularly easy to you. It’s a whole different industry now than it was just 20 years ago, before the advent of the internet changed everything. However, if you’re working on it and still find you’re struggling, do remember that there is professional help out there.
Hotel marketing services such as ours here at World Hotel Marketing are available to help businesses of all sizes and can put professional teams in touch with your staff to guide them at a variety of different stages. Any kind of new marketing plan might not get results straight away. But if it is a good, sustainable one, it should eventually help you to boost your bottom line.