Nov 29, 2021 | Hotel Marketing | Reading Time: 8 minutes
Why is marketing strategy important for your hotel? Do you know which strategy is best for your property?
Hotel marketing can be applied in many ways and at different times. It can be the soul of your business and help in retaining customers and winning new ones. It can also help identify the infamous ideal guest.
In this text, we will discuss how a marketing strategy is your GPS leading you in the direction of success.
We will cover the following topics:
- What is Hotel Marketing?
- Digital Vs.Traditional Marketing
- Agency or In-house Team?
- Best Hotel Marketing Service Channels
- Hotel Marketing Campaigns
- Hotel Marketing Trends for 2022
Check it out.
What is Hotel Marketing?
Hotel marketing involves planning actions that can attract guests, carrying out promotional events, and taking into account high/low seasons among many other factors. It also relates to creating materials and content that can strengthen your brand.
Strategies can be applied in two ways: digital or offline. Each format has its advantages, but it is important to keep in mind the growing digitalization of the hotel industry. The new generation of travelers is looking for easy ways to find relevant information about your space.
When choosing a marketing strategy, it is necessary to understand and apply the basics of marketing in order to set goals that address your target audience while cultivating a relationship with the guests.
As with any segment, hotel marketing also has trends that will continue to change in the future. You must constantly be updating your hotel marketing strategies to optimize your success.
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Digital vs Traditional Marketing: Which is Better for Your Hotel?
There are different ways to structure marketing for your hotel. You can focus on traditional marketing or on strengthening your digital presence. You can even choose to have a mix to reach as many people as possible.
Digital marketing is about improving your digital presence across different platforms. It includes your hotel’s website, social media, email marketing and campaigns, and creating relevant content that reflects your brand with defining colors, the logo, and so on.
Digital marketing is strongly associated with the use of social media. According to data collected by Stratos Jet Charters Inc., 83% of US adults want to book their trips online. This means that the vast majority of future guests are looking for convenience when booking a hotel.
That said, digital marketing should also address issues such as the layout of your website so that it is easy to access and practical to navigate. The website should also be optimized to work on mobile devices.
👉 This free content will guide you through a series of relevant topics for the improvement of your hotel website experience and boost your online performance. Melissa Kavanagh, Harry Fielder, Susanne Williams, and Paula Carreirão teach you how to turn your hotel website into a high-converting booking machine:
But hotel marketing is not restricted to the digital world. It can also be done in a more traditional fashion.
For example, if you are in the middle of a low season, you can try to focus on offline formats to promote your hotel in local spaces.
Partnering with local businesses near your property is a great traditional marketing option. Showing your promotions, promoting in-person events, and exchanging benefits with partners are great ways to apply traditional techniques that can also achieve good results for your hotel.
What Is the Best Format: Agency or In-House Team?
Marketing is vital to any business. It relates to all other sectors, especially sales.
When structuring your marketing strategy – whether through an agency or your own team – you need to know what your long-term goals are.
However, marketing strategies need oversight. If you don’t have a structured team that is aware of the processes and ready to solve any problems, you may need to hire a marketing agency.
🎧 In this episode of Hotel Cast Podcast, we chat with Jutta Moore, Revenue Management Consultant and Director of Moore Hotel Consulting, about sales strategies. Listen here:
What Are The Best Hotel Marketing Channels?
Hotel marketing can expand your audience in a variety of ways. The marketing channels in the hotel industry today go far beyond the classic phone call or email response.
Nowadays, hotel marketing channels include:
- Hotel Website
- Phone calls or SMS
- Social Media (organic posts)
- Ads (Google, Facebook, Instagram)
- Google (SEO)
- Online Reservation Sites
- Text Messaging Apps
Today’s travelers are spread across different channels, so it’s important that your marketing includes your potential guest’s most used channel. For instance, let’s take a closer look at Instagram.
According to Hootsuite:
- Instagram has one billion monthly active users
- 83% of Instagram users discover new products and services on the platform
Frequently, maximizing your marketing results means investing in different platforms. Knowing your target audience might help you narrow it down to two or three platforms, making it perfect for a tight budget.
There is one aspect that we need to point out. Marketing channels are often customer service channels too. How so?
Marketing and Customer Service Channels
As we’ve already said, consumers are looking for convenience and want to be able to do everything on their channel of choice. Therefore, they not only search for a hotel on digital channels, such as Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Google but also contact companies through direct messages.
Omnichannel solutions unify hotel customer service on multiple channels in one place. It simplifies hotel operations as well as the customer journey. The hotel staff are able to easily manage all conversations that take place on integrated channels. What’s more, customers don’t need to repeat themselves every time they change channels or talk to a different agent.
But keep in mind that for each customer profile, there is a preferred channel. For example, contact via email continues to be the favorite channel for baby boomers and millennials.
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How to Create a Successful Hotel Marketing Campaign:
To start your hotel marketing campaign, you need to know who your target audience is. Tracking your ideal guest makes all the difference.
If you are not sure who your Ideal Guest is, fill out this free template with the necessary information about your potential and existing guests. By analyzing this data, you will be able to build your Ideal Guest profile:
Step # 2
With this information in hand, you’ll be able to customize your language and discover the best way to get in touch with them — via social media, email, or phone.
Creating relevant content carries a huge weight in any marketing strategy. For example, writing about hygiene protocols and hotel policies can reassure travelers. Or making it clear what types of amenities are available and hotel facilities can enhance the guest’s impression of your property.
Step # 3
Aligning your expectations with the sales team is also a crucial step towards a successful campaign.
Uniting the marketing sector with the sales sector ensures that the sales team is aware of the campaigns and prepared to contact these potential guests.
🎧 In this episode of the Hotel Cast Podcast, we chat with Shona Whitehead, Managing Partner of Cogent Blue, about how to optimize hotel commercial performances, the best practices in revenue management right now, and the relationship between the commercial teams and hotel techs.
What to Expect as a Result of Your Marketing Campaign?
Your results will depend on what you are aiming for. For example, brand awareness is one of the most common marketing goals. Another target you can strive for is increased guest loyalty. It all comes down to what your hotel is missing.
One result that often happens when investing in hotel marketing is seeing your direct bookings grow. Having a closer relationship with travelers will make them more inclined to talk directly to you than to turn to an OTA.
These bookings can increase even more if you offer real-time assistance — whether from a human or a robot — during their hotel search. It’s all about being at the right place at the right time!
In addition, a guest who has a follow-up contact from the hotel after their booking will feel valued and special. Creating bonds and trust is key to maximizing your marketing efforts.
In a nutshell, a good marketing campaign for your hotel can result in:
- Guest retention/ guest loyalty
- Brand awareness
- Customer acquisition
- More direct bookings
Hotel Marketing Trends for 2022: A Sneak-Peek
Pay Attention to Instagram and WhatsApp
Instagram and Whatsapp are already part of our daily lives. No news there. But they are also progressively becoming essential for any business.
Instagram and all its resources – reels, stories, DMs – are sales machines nowadays, and the platform has indicated that they intend to invest even more in their features.
WhatsApp is another one used globally by billions. In many countries, this free app is used for friends and family, but we are seeing more and more countries using Whatsapp for Business as well.
Together, these two platforms can transform marketing and customer service.
It goes without saying that if you are not interested in using these tools, you should be. Especially now, with Facebook’s announcement to start investing in Metaverse and promising even more exciting developments.
Start Using TikTok ASAP
TikTok remains a phenomenon. Once used only by Generation Z, the platform quickly fell in favor of all ages. A trendsetter machine, it’s the next big platform for creating content.
If you’re not convinced, take a look at the views at one of the videos on the travel tag.
Sustainability in Hospitality
Sustainability is on the spot. The hotel world has always tried to balance the difficult equation of delivering comfort with ecological efficiency.
Now, Google has set higher standards for sustainability, giving certificates for hotels that are following this agenda.
Google’s new filter demonstrates how serious future guests are about being ecologically friendly. If your hotel hasn’t included sustainability in the strategy, you should start planning and making the necessary changes.
On the other hand, if your hotel is already eco-friendly, don’t forget to highlight the measures taken in your marketing campaigns.
👉 The main communication channel in the world can be the best sales channel for your hotel. Know everything you need about WhatsApp on our guide:
Marketing and Revenue Together
In an interview with experts in the hotel world, Revifine defined some trends in the sector for 2022. According to Tamie Matthews, revenue, sales & marketing consultant at RevenYou, the future of hotels is in the hands of the combination of revenue and marketing sectors.
“The hotels that are now working on their databases and their marketing are the ones who will succeed. If you are not staying on top of your website and how guests are buying you will lose out. Stay top of mind even if you are not operating. Continue to build your brand and tell your story.”
Invest in SEO and SEA Campaigns
Also in the same interview, Jolien Alferink states that the Marketing trend for 2022 lies in the wide use and specialization of SEO in social media, blogs, and other content formats at your hotel. According to the specialist, investing in this matter is to ensure competition against OTAs, which already invest heavily in SEO.
Hotel Marketing: What You Need to Know
Hotel Marketing is all about details. There are a lot of strategies you can create, different goals to achieve, and trends to keep an eye on.
Don’t forget to stay tuned on our blog to receive the latest news about marketing for your hotel, among other news of the hotelier world!