There is no doubt that the impact of COVID-19 has had a seriously detrimental effect on the hotel industry over the last couple of years.
Although the industry has seen increased revenue in the second half of 2021, sales in hotels are still down 10% from 2019, even though spending per customer has gone up.
In this article, we’re going to explore the importance of having an effective hotel marketing strategy and we will look at 10 up-to-date hotel marketing strategies that you can easily implement into your business.
What is a hotel marketing strategy?
A hotel marketing strategy is an overall plan for how you will attract your guests through your marketing techniques. The first step to take when you embark upon creating a marketing strategy is to define your target audience and set out your objectives.
Obviously, marketing strategies would be different for international travellers compared to domestic travellers, or for marketing to families or couples looking for a romantic getaway. So, it’s important that you are prepared for the different goals your business may have and be ready to adapt to any changes or challenges that you may face.
Why do you need a hotel marketing strategy?
Without an effective hotel marketing strategy, you can wind up spending money unnecessarily on ineffective campaigns and pointless advertisements.
There are many different marketing techniques out there and it won’t be profitable for you to try each one you come across. It’s important that you customise your hotel sales and marketing plan in a way that suits your business.
Hotel marketing strategies
We’ll now explore some of the most up-to-date hotel marketing strategies that you can easily incorporate into your business.
Build a strategy for last-minute and same-day booking
Unfortunately, with COVID restrictions still impacting travel, last-minute cancellations are happening on a large scale. Building a strategy to advertise your empty rooms with last-minute booking deals is a great way to ensure you maximise your earning potential.
Offer a flexible cancellation system
On a similar point, people are hesitant to book hotels that don’t offer a generous cancellation policy, in case they need to cancel because of situations that are outside of their control. Doing this, paired with your last-minute booking strategy, should ensure that you don’t lose out on too much revenue by offering this to customers.
Offer a loyalty programme
Customers are always more likely to re-book if their loyalty is rewarded. Offer discounts or exclusive deals to your loyal and returning customers to incentivise them to book with you again. Returning customers are also much more likely to recommend your services to friends and family too.
Partner with local businesses
This is an excellent strategy to incorporate into your hotel’s sales and marketing strategy. Partnering with local businesses is a great way to advertise yourself. You can offer exclusive discounts for local restaurants, bars or shops, and they offer the same for you to increase your customer base and improve overall revenue.
Promote yourself with online booking agencies
In today’s digital world, being present in the online community is key. It’s hard to compete with large booking services, especially for smaller hotels. Listings on online booking agencies or travel brokers can be an easy way to market yourself to a crowd of new customers. For many, this is an essential part of hotel sales and marketing strategies. However, you don’t want to solely rely on these, as they will receive a commission from each booking made through their website.
Optimise your website
So you’re not relying on booking websites, it’s essential that your own website is optimised to increase traffic. Unsurprisingly, people will be much less likely to stay on your website if it looks low quality and is difficult to navigate. Therefore, you need to ensure that your website looks professional and is user-friendly. There’s no point in having a great website if your potential customers can’t find it. Make sure that you have done effective SEO research and have incorporated keywords into relevant and useful content on your website.
Offer deals for booking directly
On top of website optimisation, it’s a good idea to incentivise your customers to book directly through your website. You could offer a discount that is less than the commission you’ll pay for a third party booking website. Make sure that your social media pages and advertisements link directly to your website too, and not to third parties.
Create a mobile app
Mobile apps are undoubtedly becoming more popular in the hotel industry. Having one space where customers can book their stay, make changes, order room service or access any other services that your hotel offers is a great way to improve customer experience. It may take a while to perfect this, but you will definitely reap the benefits.
Social media is the perfect free tool to advertise your business. It’s important that you have a social media presence and remain consistently active on it. You can do this by being active on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook. This is an easy way to access a new customer base and be interactive with them. Doing regular giveaways has proven to be a very effective marketing technique for many businesses.
It’s always a great idea to offer perks to your customers to come out on top among your competitors. There are lots of things you can offer your customers that don’t require an investment on your end. For example, becoming a Stasher host and offering safe and secure luggage storage for a low price. With later check-in and earlier check-out times, visitors to big cities are often at a loss about what to do with their luggage while they explore. Stasher offers a perfect solution to this, that your customers will appreciate.
A hotel marketing strategy is essential if you want to reach new customers and maximise your business’ potential. Implementing any of these different hotel marketing strategies into your business will see you increase your earnings in no time.