Why is hotel marketing important?
Nowadays, travellers have a multitude of accommodation options at their fingertips. Hoteliers therefore need to make an effort to reach these travellers and then convince them to book. Thanks to hotel marketing, you can differentiate yourself from competitors, increase revenue and boost occupancy rates.
Some overall tips to achieve a successful hotel marketing strategy:
- Define and communicate your hotel’s unique selling points (USPs) and personal story. What makes you different?
- Keep your target audience in mind and tailor your message to their needs. What types of travellers enjoy staying in your accommodation?
- Consistency is key. Make sure your communication is always in line with your brand, both visually and in terms of content.
- Don’t forget to track the results of your marketing efforts to further fine-tune your strategy.
- If you don't have the time and skills in-house, you can always turn to marketing agencies specialised in hospitality.
In what follows, we’ll go over some concrete marketing initiatives you can take at each stage of the guest journey.
Hotel marketing during the travel inspiration phase
Nowadays, there are a lot of factors that play into people’s travel decisions: friends & family, social media, magazines, TV programmes … During the inspiration phase of the guest journey, travellers are – often involuntarily – gaining travel inspiration and have not yet decided where to go. This is your opportunity to market your destination and inspire future travellers to visit your region or city.
For this, you can use a variety of marketing channels, including social media, online and offline advertising, your website, public relations, etc. Here are a few concrete actions you can take:
- Engage in partnerships with local events, group travel organisers, tourism offices, guided tours and excursions … They are experts at destination marketing and can help you reach more potential guests.
- Create visually appealing content on social media (Instagram, TikTok and Facebook). Increase your reach with relevant hashtags or sponsored posts.
- Use influencer marketing to showcase the unique experience your hotel has to offer.
- Encourage guests to post about their experience on social media, so they can inspire their friends and followers. Let them know how they can properly tag your official account and location, perhaps with a small sign.
- If you want, you can even set up an extra instagrammable nook in your hotel where guests can take photos.
- Get in touch with press agencies, newspapers and magazines for publicity, especially if you have interesting news to share.
Hotel marketing during the orientation phase
In the orientation phase of the guest journey, the guest has chosen a destination and is actively researching. At this stage, your online findability is crucial.
One of the most effective ways to gain more online visibility is to increase your presence on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com, Expedia and Airbnb. In a previous article, our partner Loreca shared a bunch of tips to have your accommodation appear higher in the search results on OTAs. Thanks to their billboard effect, OTAs also drive more visitors to your own hotel website.
You don’t want to be solely dependent on third-party channels, however. To establish strong customer relationships and reduce commission costs, you also need to invest in building your own brand. Partner with local businesses and regularly post on social media. With a few effective tweaks to your website, you can also gain more visibility and visitors:
- Apply SEO techniques: link building, keyword targeting, adding meta data, improving the UX & responsiveness, ...
- Add a web page that provides information about your hotel’s facilities, nearby attractions, restaurants, activities, transportation, ...
- Keep a blog on commonly researched topics: the weather, well-known events, scenic nature walks, must-visit cities/towns, museums or landmarks, …
Hotel marketing during the booking phase
Once a potential guest has landed on your website – thanks to the measures mentioned above – the next step is to convince them to book. Does your hotel website meet the following criteria?
- Your website should be easy to navigate, visually appealing and professional looking.
- Provide enticing descriptions of your room types, packages and any special offers, accompanied by high-quality photos.
- Make sure to use the same photos and room descriptions as on your OTAs to avoid any confusion.
- Integrate a user-friendly booking module that allows users to quickly check your availability with a fastbooker.
- Guide visitors to your Booking Engine with eye-catching buttons and use our Ratebox to highlight extra benefits of booking directly.
- Launch retargeting ads to remind potential guests about their abandoned bookings and optionally offer an incentive to complete the reservation.
Hotel marketing around the stay
Your marketing efforts of course shouldn’t stop once you have received the reservation. During this stage, it’s important to stay in touch with your guest and make sure the experience is in line with the expectations you’ve created. You might say providing great service is the best marketing, as it leaves you with positive word-of-mouth advertising and favourable reviews online.
Staying in touch typically involves a number of pre-stay, during-stay and post-stay messages:
- Booking confirmation with your contact details
- Pre-arrival: front desk opening hours, parking info, check-in instructions …
- Upon check-in: floor plan, book extras, breakfast, bar & restaurant info …
- During-stay: upselling through a POS system or upsell tool (Oaky)
- Pre-departure: safe journey, check-out instructions, invoice …
- Upon check-out: review request, loyalty points, discount for next stay …
- Post-stay: regular newsletters about events, promotions, …
Ready to take your hotel marketing to the next level?
If you need any help with your hotel marketing, don’t hesitate to reach out via the form below. We're happy to tell you more about our solutions or to bring you in contact with established marketing agencies.