It’s been a rocky ride for the accommodation and tourism industry these last few years with a global pandemic, economic challenges, fierce competition for the tourism dollar, and low occupancy rates. So it is a perfect time to take a moment to reflect on the tourism sector and share practical, actionable and cost-effective hotel marketing strategies that will drive brand awareness and bookings for your hotel or accommodation.
Optimise Your Website Experience
Your hotel website is often the first point of contact between your property and potential guests. Therefore, it’s crucial that your site is optimised for both search engines and user experience.
First make sure that your website is image rich and aesthetically pleasing, but also has quick load times to keep the interest of potential guests.
Your website should be easy to navigate and showcase your hotel’s accommodation options, amenities and special packages or offers. It should feature engaging content including high-quality images and videos, destination guides, local event updates, blog posts and guest reviews.
Ensure your website and booking engine are optimised for mobile, as a significant portion of travellers use smartphones to research and book accommodation.
Optimise your website for search engines (SEO) to improve its visibility by using relevant keywords, meta tags, and descriptions. Focus on local SEO to target travellers searching for accommodation in your region or city.
Be Strategic With Social Media
Social media continues to be integral to every hotel marketing strategy in 2023 as a powerful tool for reaching large audiences, increasing brand awareness and building relationships with past, present, and future guests.
Be active and establish a strong presence on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. Establish your content pillars and share quality photos and videos across a variety of content themes. Content ideas could include product and promotions, local attractions, guest reviews, behind the scenes, Q&A with the team and branding posts. Use hashtags and location tags to reach a wider audience, and don’t forget to engage with your followers to build an engaged community.
Pro-Tip: Look ahead in the calendar and plan posts and promotions around celebrations, special days and new seasons. Think about Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day and long weekends as a start!
Encourage user-generated content (UGC) by suggesting guests share their experiences of your hotel by creating unique hashtags, photo challenges or running competitions. Repost and share on your social channels to enhance brand credibility through third party validation.
2023 might also be the year for your hotel to launch a TikTok account and start creating short-form video content. As the most downloaded app for the past wo years, TikTok is far from losing momentum and can help your hotel to build brand awareness and attract new customers (hello Gen Z!).
Implement Email Marketing Campaigns
Build a database of past and potential guests and send targeted email campaigns to segmented email lists. Share updates about your hotel such as new season menus, planned improvements, new partnerships or accommodation packages and upcoming events to keep your audience engaged. Offer exclusive promotions, discounts, and loyalty programs to incentivise bookings and drive people to your website.
Consider an automated pre-arrival, welcome on arrival and post-stay email trigger campaign to keep your guests engaged throughout their customer journey. After their stay, thank your guests for business and encourage them to leave a guest review, with direct links through to your hotel’s TripAdvisor, Google Business and even Facebook account.
Pro-Tip: Don’t forget to share any great guest reviews and testimonials. These can make great social media posts or inclusions in electronic newsletters.
Craft Creative Packages
Create special accommodation packages and promotions to drive direct bookings. These can be tailored to different types of guests and can include incentives such as complimentary room upgrades, dining credits, spa & massage treatments, or packaged experiences with nearby attractions or events.
Tap into your hotel’s unique selling points. Do you have pet friendly rooms for those who love to bring their pooch on holidays, or interconnecting rooms perfect for families? By offering these types of packages, you can differentiate your hotel from competitors and attract guests who are looking for a unique, personalised experience. Promote your special offers and packages on your hotel website, to your email database and social media channels.
Implement Influencer Marketing
Collaborate with local influencers or travel bloggers to promote your hotel with their audiences through social media channels or blogs. Do your research to find influencers who align with your brand values, consistently produce quality content and have an engaged following. Ask to review their media kit or audience insights to ensure that their followers align with your target audience.
Regardless of whether the collaboration is complimentary, in kind or paid, establish clear expectations, goals, and guidelines in writing. Discuss the content format, timeline, posting frequency, and any specific messaging or brand guidelines that should be followed.
Make sure the influencers tag your hotel on social media so that you can reshare on your channels. Finally, be sure to measure results by monitoring engagement, website traffic, sales, or any other relevant metrics.
Engage in Local Partnerships
Partner with local businesses such as restaurants, tourist attractions or event organisers. Cross-promote each other’s offerings to increase brand exposure and attract potential guests.
Collaborating with local businesses can help your hotel reach new audiences and increase bookings. For example, you could partner with a local winery, brewery or distillery to craft a “Stay and Sip” room package for your guests, or negotiate with a local tour company to secure discounts on activities for hotel guests.
When trying to identify the best local partnerships, consider the proximity to your hotel, guests demographics and interests (are they passionate about shopping, festivals or sports), as well as trends i.e. what’s new, hip and happening in the market.
Remember, consistency is key when implementing your hotel marketing strategies. If you don’t have the time or resources to implement the above marketing activities, our expert tourism team in the Tower are here to help take your hotel marketing to the next level.
Get in contact with us today!