You’ve got a great hotel. You’re focused on delivering a wonderful experience for your guests. Isn’t that enough?
If you want to grow and build upon your success, you need to get the word out there. You have to make sure people know about your hotel and why they should stay there. By marketing your hotel, you can expand your customer base. At the same time, you can build lasting relationships with the guests you already have.
This is what we’re exploring in this guide. Read on to learn more about key hotel marketing strategies and trends.
What Is Hotel Marketing?
Hotel marketing brings together tools and strategies that promote your hotel. The aim is to attract lots of new guests while keeping those existing customers.
People love traveling, and they love staying at hotels when they are on holiday. This means there is a huge potential audience out there. You need to highlight your hotel’s best features to draw in guests. As part of the marketing campaign, get to know your audience and competition. Get this right, and you’ll bring in more bookings for your hotel.
Why Is Hotel Marketing Important?
Marketing plays an important role for several reasons:
- It drives awareness for your hotel. The more people who know about you, the better.
- It makes your brand credible. Getting the word out there makes you a well-respected player in the hospitality industry.
- It builds trust among the right people. When you provide strong messaging relevant to your audience, you drive real growth.
How to Build a Hotel Marketing Strategy
Understanding hotel marketing and why it’s important is just the beginning. Next, you need to build your strategy. Let’s take a look at how you can do this in five steps:
Conduct Extensive Market Research
Start by assessing your hotel’s current situation. Think about the SWOT criteria — your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. SWOT analysis gives a real insight into your market position. It’ll also help you understand your competitive advantage and any areas for improvement.
Get to know your competition too. Competitor analysis is a great way to assess how you’re doing relative to other hotels. This might include factors like hotel location, niche, and price range. Use online tools like Google Trends and Tripadvisor to gather your data. Look at social media as well, and learn more about your market and your competitors.
Define Your Marketing Goals
The second step on your journey to a great hotel marketing plan is all about goals. It’s time to define your marketing objectives and think about how you will measure them.
There’s another acronym to think about here: SMART. It’s crucial that your objectives are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For instance, you might want to increase your hotel occupancy rate by 15% over the next quarter. This hits all the SMART points. In another example, you might want to grow direct bookings for your hotel by 20% in the next twelve months. This is another great SMART goal.
You’ll also need to track progress and check your results. With this in mind, getting to know your key performance indicators (KPIs) is crucial. Here are some important hotel KPIs to consider:
- Website traffic
- Conversion rate
- Revenue per available room (RevPAR)
- Guest satisfaction
Understand Your Target Customers
The third step in creating your hotel marketing plan involves identifying your targets. From here, you can segment these targets into different groups. Each group should be based on their characteristics, preferences, and behaviors. This gives you a handy foundation as you tailor your marketing messages and channels. The more you can personalize your hotel marketing, the more relevant it will be to your audience.
Use a few different criteria as you segment your hotel guest profiles:
- User demographics
- Original location
- Travel purpose
- Booking behavior
- Loyalty level
Additionally, it’s important to create hotel guest personas that vividly represent your ideal customers. Make sure each persona’s details are a specific set of needs, wants, pain points, and motivations.
Develop Your Plan for Reaching These Customers
Let’s move on to the next step in your strategy — making a plan to reach your audience. This will mean bearing in mind the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion.
We’ll begin with product. This is based on your hotel offering, so think about what you provide to your customers. What rooms, amenities, facilities, and services do you have available for your guests? Emphasize your unique selling proposition (USP) — we’ll look at this in more detail below. Think about how to solve customer problems and go above and beyond their expectations.
Next up, price. Think about various factors, such as costs, demand, competition, and value perception. This will help you understand your price and your market positioning in the hospitality industry.
What about place? Your place is where you are going to market your hotel and make your product available to customers. It’s also where you are going to distribute offers and promo materials. Optimize your distribution channels, like your website or online travel agency (OTA) listings. This will enhance the visibility and accessibility of your product.
The fourth and final element is promotion. In other words, how are you doing to promote the hotel? Use a mixture of online and offline marketing tactics to reach your target market. Remember, you also need to convince them to book with you.
Online hotel marketing tactics may include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising
- Email marketing
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
Offline hotel marketing tactics might involve:
- Traditional print ads
- Word-of-mouth marketing
- Billboards and signage
Set Your Budget
The fifth step is to establish your hotel marketing budget and decide how to apply your resources. You’ll need to make sure that your budget is realistic and flexible. It will also need to align with your objectives and wider strategy.
When planning your hotel’s marketing budget, consider your return on investment (ROI). Use tactics that generate the most profit without pushing costs too high. But how do you actually go about calculating this marketing budget? You’ll need to think about:
- Your expected conversion rate for leads
- The expected cost per conversion
- How much your competitors are spending
- How much your potential guests may spend at the hotel
- Your track record of success with a particular marketing method
Apply Your Marketing Strategy, then Analyze Your Plan in Action
The final step in creating a hotel marketing plan is to execute it. Make sure you have a clear idea of how you’ll apply your plan. Keep in mind:
- Who — Who is going to be marketing your hotel? Which team members are handling which roles?
- What — What marketing activities are you going to use? What do you want to achieve?
- When — When are you going to market to your audience? How often will you contact them?
- Where — Which platforms are you going to use to reach your audience? Where will your audience segments engage with your promotions?
- How — How are you going to measure your progress? How will you make changes or alter your strategy?
This last idea of measuring and changing is very important. You’ll need to keep track of your hotel marketing strategy and adjust it as needed.
To ensure the smooth flow of your hotel marketing operations, it is important to have a monitoring system in place. This system should collect and analyze data and feedback from different sources. For example, analyzing your KPIs, your customer behaviors, and your competitors’ actions. Tools like Google Analytics and CRM software can help you measure your performance. Meanwhile, hotel guest surveys are great for getting direct input from your customers.
Review your marketing plan on a regular basis. Remember to make changes based on your findings and current market conditions.
Hotel Marketing Strategies: Tips
How do you craft the best marketing strategy for your hotel? Following the guide above is a great start, but there’s more. Let’s look at some handy hotel marketing tips to give your strategy the best chance of success.
Know Your Unique Value Proposition
With so many options available, why should guests choose your hotel over others? Your USP is the key here. Once you determine what sets you apart, put this to work. Build this into your marketing messaging and show why you’re better than your competitors. Remember to communicate this USP in all your marketing campaigns.
Boost Your Online Presence
Your leads may interact with your hotel in lots of locations online. They might input your web address and find you directly, which is great. They might search for you on Google or another search engine. They might use a travel website to find your listing and make a booking. They might click your link in an article or blog post on another website. Or they might find your hotel on social media.
All this is your online presence. This is what your leads see when they find your hotel online. So, you need to make sure that this online presence is working for you. Consider the following:
- Optimize your own website.
- Make sure you have full listings on all relevant travel sites.
- Put SEO first — we’ll discuss this in more detail below.
- Encourage organic third-party mentions with great service.
- Ensure all your social media channels and strategies are the best they can be.
- Keep on top of your hotel reviews online.
Your hotel’s online presence should be expansive — your guests should be able to find you all over the internet. But it should also be positive — it must reflect well on your business. These are important parts of hotel marketing.
Focus on SEO
Without search engine optimization, your hotel’s website may as well not exist. Huge numbers of holidaymakers and travelers are now using search engines to find hotels. This means you have a huge opportunity to build your customer base online. But only if your website is properly optimized. With this in mind, it’s crucial to invest in resources that will enhance the SEO of your website.
Start by conducting extensive keyword research. With this research, you’ll gain insight into your target audience’s search queries. Use these relevant keywords to craft compelling and engaging copy. Each piece of content should be tailored to your hotel and geographic location. Next, optimize your website for mobile and achieve fast loading times for all users.
In today’s digital era, search engine visibility is vital for businesses. Our “Keyword Research” service helps you optimize your online presence:
- Manual keyword research: Our SEO specialist performs targeted keyword research, aligning your content with what potential patients are searching for.
- Industry-leading SEO tools: We use Ahrefs and Google Keyword Planner to understand your field and find opportunities to make your services stand out.
- Full keyword analysis: We analyze your and your competitors’ sites, identifying unique opportunities for your healthcare services.
- High-value keyword recommendations: Depending on your niche, we provide 20 to 50 key terms that can drive high traffic to your site with low competition.
Get Email Marketing Right
Building a signup form into various sections of your hotel’s website is essential. Putting a form in the footer and contact page is a great way to start, but you can do more. For instance, adding a pop-up form to the hotel website can drive subscriptions. Make sure to send a confirmation email to all new subscribers. A follow-up lets them know they have successfully subscribed to the mailing list.
Personalizing each email will give you the biggest benefit from this type of marketing. If you want to achieve optimal results, you will need to tailor your emails. Look at your email subscriber list and think about how you can segment these subscribers. Customize each of your emails to make it relevant to a given segment.
Our Content writing service can help leverage your marketing efforts by providing engaging and compelling content that captures the attention of your target audience. Here’s what we offer:
- Skilled writers: Our team will hand-pick a talented writer specifically for your projects. They will be briefed on your requirements to deliver high-quality content.
- Timely delivery: With our efficient ordering system, we’ll ensure your content is delivered on time.
- Revisions: Our experts will review the writing. If revisions are needed, we will work with the writer to refine the content.
- On-going or on-demand content: Choose what suits your needs at any time.
Recognize Where Your Leads Are in Their Journey
What are your leads thinking when they interact with you? This will depend on where they are in the funnel:
- At the awareness stage, leads are getting to know your hotel brand.
- At the consideration stage, leads are researching hotels and comparing options.
- At the decision stage, they are ready to choose. This is where you persuade them to choose your specific hotel.
- At the follow-up stage, the lead is now your customer — you can start to build a long-term relationship with this hotel guest.
This influences all aspects of hotel marketing. In email marketing, for instance, discount offers are best for leads at the decision stage. Review requests and pre-arrival messages should be kept for the follow-up stage.
Learn From Guest Reviews and Feedback
It’s nice to receive a great guest review for your hotel, but there is more to it than this. Reviews are also an important resource that you can use for marketing, direct communication, and data collection. When guests have a positive experience, they are more likely to recommend your hotel. This is why you need to keep track of positive reviews. They might turn into word-of-mouth referrals and reduced marketing costs.
On the other hand, unhappy guests can have a negative ripple effect. This leads to negative reviews and potential damage to your reputation. Responding to a bad review shows that you are serious about your hotel’s customer service. It can also turn an unhappy guest into a happy one. On top of this, you could learn something from your guest feedback. Put this feedback into practice and improve the guest experience in the future.
Hotel Marketing Done Right
You need a strong marketing plan for your hotel. This plan needs to include a range of digital marketing elements, like social media, SEO, review management, OTA listings, and inbound content marketing. Once you have a strong strategy in place, you can really begin to grow your business.
Think of this guide as a starting point. After all, growth is ongoing, and hotel marketing is something you will keep on refining and improving. With this strategy as your foundation, the sky is the limit for your hospitality industry business.
Sep 20, 2023