Want to know how to keep your hotel marketing strategy fresh and relevant? We’ve gathered our 26 most unique ideas for marketing your hotel or hospitality business that are guaranteed to help you stand out from the competition.
Keep Track of Local EventsIf you’re located near a buzzing tourist spot or somewhere that hosts seasonal events, festivals, fairs or sporting and music events, make sure they’re always on your radar. (Pop them on your calendar so you never forget!)
Although it can be tempting to ramp up prices during busy times, it’s also important to remember that your competitors will be thinking the exact same thing. Offer competitive prices and deals – because those are the things that will win over potential customers who are visiting for specific events.
Host CompetitionsEveryone loves a holiday. Especially if it’s free! Competitions are a fantastic way of getting your name out there and getting new and potential customers excited about your business. You can run this as a multi-channel campaign over email, social media and on written feedback slips.
Freshen Up Your MenusThere’s nothing worse than an old menu with curled corners and ketchup stains. Make sure you’re regularly printing new menus. The print you present to customers is a representation of your business – so make it count!
You could also run seasonal offers to appeal to holidaymakers throughout the year. If your hotel is known for its restaurant, there’s nothing wrong with making this a key focus of your marketing.
Specify Your Target MarketFor any business, knowing your target audience is key – and this is also true in the hospitality industry. Keep your audience in mind when creating a marketing plan. Is it families? Couples? Business professionals?
And once you know it, take a look at what other hotels with similar demographics are doing to promote to the right groups of people.
Utilise Travel Guides & MapsYou’re probably an expert in local tourism – but don’t forget, your customers might not be! Use all that expertise and knowledge to provide customers with all the know-how they need for a successful trip.
(Travel Like a Local)
Keep Voice Search in MindWith 2 in 5 adults performing a voice search at least once a day (Location World), it’s crucial that you write your hotel website copy to suit this.
We recommend having an FAQ section about your hotel that answers common questions you’d expect customers to ask about your website – how far it is from the town or beach, how many rooms there are, can you book meetings and conferences.
Create a Virtual Tour3D diagramming is an awesome technique for showing customers a panoramic view of your rooms and event space. There are loads of different software tools you can use for this so it’s a great one if you’ve got the marketing budget for it.
Give Video ToursEver sat and watched hotel tour videos on YouTube for hours at a time? A cheaper option than 3D diagramming, all you need is a smartphone with a decent camera and a YouTube account!
Video marketing shows the location, what the facilities are like and gets customers excited for staying in your hotel – all in all, a great technique for boosting hotel bookings! When you do upload your video, make sure you use keywords and hashtags – think about what people will be searching for to find your video. Type it in and see what other videos come up for inspiration. This will make it even easier for customers to find you.
You can also give mini video tours on social media using the Facebook and Instagram live functions. This will notify your followers that you’re going live and can help boost views.
Host a Local EventA great way of boosting business, especially during slower seasons, is to host a special event. For example, if November is your hotel’s slow month, why not host a limited availability event like a bonfire weekend with free drinks and snacks?
If you want to encourage local people to attend, post flyers or invites in the surrounding postcodes with discounts on. Use digital marketing, like emails and social media, for advertising further afield. Here are our top tips for making the most of local marketing in your area.
Offer Upgrades & AddonsWill you be joining us for breakfast?
Offering add on services is another way of boosting profits, especially since these customers are already staying with you! You could offer transfers from airports, meals, or even room upgrades. Either add these as tick box options during your online booking process or ask in person when they’re checking in.
Prioritise Customer ServiceCustomer service is the key to success in the hotel industry. This should be a priority before, during and even after your guest’s stay. Make sure they’re greeted in a friendly professional way and are give lots of support during their visit. When they leave, ask them to fill in feedback on a postcard.
It’s also really important to monitor TripAdvisor. Hotel guests read 6-12 TripAdvisor reviews before booking a hotel (PhocusWire). If you’re getting negative online reviews, it’s essential that you respond to these and make amends with the customer. Ignoring them only makes you look like you don’t care, even if that’s not the reason for not responding.
Cater for BusinessesIf you have a function room, you can offer this out to businesses for training and presentations. You could even offer to create presentation folders for these events at an additional cost with all the necessary equipment needed for these events. One up it and offer a marketing pack filled with notepads and pens!
Sell Your Location - Not Just Your HotelWhen searching for a hotel online, many will look for ‘hotels in X’ with their ideal location in mind. That’s why it’s just as important to sell the location to your customers as it is to sell your hotel. People will want to know what there is to do around the hotel.
(North Wales Hotel Group)
Show off all the fun local events that are going on, what the best sights and tourism spots are, nearby restaurants and bars, if there’s a beach or town nearby. These things will only make your hotel more attractive.
Remarket to Potential CustomersEver search for something online and then all you see is ads for that website? That’s called remarketing. With abandonment rates for booking hotels online at a whopping 75% (PhocusWire), that leaves you a lot of opportunity to get in there and seal the deal with customers you know are already interested.
You can run targeted ad campaigns on most social media sites. And you never know, it might be the push your potential customer needs to take the plunge!
Make the Most of Peak Booking TimesWhat time of year do most of your bookings take place? Once you’ve figured that out, it’s time to implement a strong marketing strategy.
Send marketing emails running up to the peak booking time to make sure you’re always on your customers’ radar. You want to be their go-to choice for booking a holiday! This is also a great time to start your competition as it will build a lot of traction.
Advertise Your Facilities ExternallyIf you want to attract passers by to your hotel’s restaurant, spa or events, PVC banners are a great way of getting their attention. This waterproof advertising tool lets you share a message no matter the time of year and can be a great way to boost sales alongside the holiday element of your hotel.
Master Hotel Marketing SEOPutting effort into your hotel SEO (search engine optimisation) is key for your digital marketing. There are a few ways to go about making sure you’re optimised and appear high in a Google search:
• Do some keyword research – use keywords that are super-related to your business. Tools like Google AdWords are a great place to start, or the ‘searches related to’ section at the bottom of a Google search.
• Create a Google My Business account – when you search for a business using Google, it’ll sometimes bring up where it is on the map, the contact details and reviews. This is because they’ve set their business up on Google My Business. Sign up for free here.
• Make your website easy to use – usability is a huge factor for website optimisation. And the easier it is to use, the more booking you should get!
• Place your brand name second – chances are, people aren’t going to be searching for your hotel by name. So, in your meta title, include something they will be searching for first and then add the hotel name, e.g. London Hotel Near O2 Arena | Rosewood Pub and Hotel.
Personalise EmailsOne of the benefits of running a hotel is that you have access to a lot of data for marketing (check here how to use it under GDPR). Knowing exactly who’s on your email list means you can target them much more effectively.
For example, if you split your emails into single travellers, couples and families, you’ll be able to send emails with news and deals they really want to see.
Stand Out with a Catalogue or Travel BrochureAn excellent option if you have multiple hotels or just to show off room options, get into potential customers doors with catalogues! Print marketing is coming back in a big way – and now is the perfect time to utilise it to stand out.
Make your catalogue extremely visual, but give customers everything they need to know to book a room such as the price, how many people it sleeps and information on booking.
Hire a Professional PhotographerImages are so important to selling your hotel to guests. They’re what potential customers are going to be drawn to, and what they’ll be most keen to look at when weighing up their options.
We recommend hiring a professional hospitality photographer to make sure your rooms and facilities look the best they can.
(Peter Jackson Photographer)
Use Posters Around the HotelGot a spare wall? Or maybe you want to give guests something to read in the elevator? That sounds like the perfect marketing opportunity to us!
Hang posters around where you know guests will be waiting around, like by the elevators and in reception, promoting your addons like Wi-Fi, breakfast and spa. If your guests aren’t aware that you offer these extra services, this acts as a gentle reminder.
Show Online Reviews on Your WebsiteUser-generated content is the holy grail of content marketing. An example of this that you can use to boost trust and authority in your hotel business is the user review.
You can get webpage banners from online review sites like TripAdvisor, which automatically update with customer reviews. Or, why not allow customers to leave comments? Either way, a good review could be the final push a potential guest needs to book a stay.
Put Breakfast Menus in RoomsIf breakfast is an addon service you charge guests for, make it extra tempting for them by putting menus in their rooms. With the right menu design, we know they won’t be able to resist!
Send Image-Based EmailsThe most effective marketing emails for businesses in the hospitality industry are those that use high quality images. If your location is picturesque, make sure to show people in the email!
Got any more ideas? We'd love to see them! Tag us @instantprintuk on social media for a chance to be featured.