Your hotel has a great location, comfortable accommodation, a multi-cuisine menu with delicious food, state-of-the-art amenities, a dedicated set of employees… Well, you could go on; your hotel is great! But are you doing everything to attract potential customers to come do business with you? Well, it all depends on the hotel marketing strategies you employ to build your hotel.
In this article, we’re going to talk about the best hotel marketing ideas you can employ to grow your hotel business to its full potential. So, let’s just get to it!
1. Invest in a Website for Your Hotel
Give your hotel a website. Period.
In this day and age, everyone exercises their privilege of finding business information before they make a purchase transaction. By having an informative, well-designed, SEO optimized website in place, you’re ready to create online campaigns.
Your website needs to have a detailed description of your hotel, contact details, tariff rates and pricing, the amenities and facilities that you provide, and a photo gallery with good resolution images of your hotels.
Creating a website might sound very expensive, but it is not an option given how consumerism has evolved. If you think hiring a web designer is expensive, you can create a website on your own with tools like Wix or Squarespace. You can read more about it in this article by Fundera. Although, it is best if you invest in creating a good website for your business if you’re looking at creating an online presence in the long term.
2. Now, Optimize Your Website for SEO
In addition to creating a website, you need to make sure that it is optimized for search. In fact, “SEO” needs to be the cornerstone of all your online hotel marketing efforts. In order to optimize your website with SEO, you’ll need to do a thorough keyword research to find out what exactly your customers are typing out or speaking (because, voice search, duh!) when they conduct searches. Once you find the best-suited keyword, you’ll need to optimize your website with it.
Expand your keyword research to long tail keywords as well so that you can prepare for voice search SEO as well. You can learn more about how to optimize your business presence for voice search here.
3. Employ Seasonal Keywords into Your Keyword Strategy
When you’re running a hotel, you are prone to having a larger portion of customers during the holiday season. So, when you’re doing your keyword research for all your online ads and other website content, you’ll need to incorporate keywords that have a higher search volume. Plan out a keyword calendar and regularly track the performance of these keywords so you can take advantage of them when they are peaking.
You can use the Google Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest to generate relevant keyword ideas, or you can use Google Trends to track the search volume and search behavior of these keywords as well. This can be a great hotel marketing exercise for you! It’s going to help you get a better idea of what will work for your hotel online, and what your potential customers are looking for during these seasonal bouts.
Read more about creating a content strategy for seasonal keywords here. And about coming up with an ad strategy for seasonal keywords, you can refer to Todd Saunders’ article on the Search Engine Land about ad strategies for Valentines Day. This will help you get a clear idea of what you need to do for special holidays.
4. Create a Blog for Your Hotel Website
A hotel is a multi-faceted establishment of services, and you have a plethora of topics out there that you can blog about. Being an expert on topics like travel, food, and tourism, your hotel blog can cover a good number of keywords to get the attention of a wide audience set. Additionally, creating a blog will also increase your website’s domain authority.
Think that it’s a little unconventional? Given that there are several hotels out there who are your competitors, you need a something unconventional. A food blog would help you reach a larger spectrum of audiences and make for a fun branding exercise.
Here are some resources to help you get started.
- Learn about the nitty-gritty of starting a blog by One Day in a City
- Before you start a blog, you need to find topics to write about. Here are some killer blog ideas by HotelSpeak
- Now, it is important to note that starting a blog doesn’t end at just publishing posts; it is crucial that you promote it. Here’s an article by Coschedule that can help you with just that.
Another important way to make sure you’ve got a way to keep your blog going is to begin sending out a periodical newsletter. This would be a great way to take your blog to the next level, get your readers to engage with you, and increase website traffic among other perks.
Essentially, you’ll need to start with:
- Building an email subscriber list.
- Find an email marketing tool that suits you best.
- Create awesome emails with your latest blog articles.
This is an oversimplified summary of the things you’ll need to do. This is because it isn’t very easy to build a subscriber list. So, you’ll need to make sure that you’re able to add value to your readers’ with the content you disseminate; in order to do this, you need to find ways to incentivize your readers when they see your opt-in or pop-up to sign up for our newsletter. For more ideas to incentivize your readers to sign-up for your newsletter, you can refer to Smart Blogger’s article.
6. Get in Touch With Local Food and Travel Bloggers
Having a well-renowned food or travel blogger review your establishment is a great hotel marketing tactic. Reach out to food bloggers and travel bloggers and invite them to come and experience your hotel and write a blog or a review of it. This means that you’ll have to incentivize their contributions. Additionally, you can ask one of them to also write a guest post on your blog. In doing so, you can still expand your reach to a larger audience who follow your choice of blogger.
7. Get Your Hotel Listed!
The most important thing that needs to be on your hotel marketing priority list is getting listed on all relevant business directories. When you get your hotel listed, you are maximizing the chances of online discovery. These directories include Google, TripAdvisor, Bing, Yahoo, Yellow Pages, Facebook, etc. Aside from the major online directories, you’ll need to also look at directories specific to the hotel industry. Here’s a list of directories you’ll need to take a look at:
- Your local Chamber of Commerce
In addition to the above, you’ll need to make sure that your online listings are accurate and consistent. You’ll also need to make sure that the sites you’re signing up for don’t already have your hotel listed. In case you’re listing already exists, you’ll need to claim and verify the listing.
Get Your Hotel Listed Now!Synup is a dedicated local marketing tool that can get you listed on 48+ directories all in one shot. And the best part is that you can manage all these listings from one easy-to-use dashboard. Make it super-easy for your potential customers to find you online.
Reviews are the voice of a customer and it absolutely essential for your hotel to invest in online review management. Once your business is listed on major online directories, you are bound to get reviews. You need to make sure that all your reviews are responded to, be it positive or negative. [You can use these review response templates to come up with responses to positive and negative reviews.] Aside from responding reviews that your customer may write, you need to be smart about your online review management strategy. Essentially, your goal should be to have a good star-rating (above four stars). So, the process you create must focus on two things:
- All your customers are leaving you reviews of a positive experience.
- All unhappy customers are attended to before they leave your hotel a bad review.
The best way to do this is to make sure that you collect your customers’ contact information. At their time of checkout (or after – mostly in 24 hours time), you can ask them if they had a good experience or a bad experience. Consequently, you can ask all your happy customers to leave you a review on important sites like Google, TripAdvisor or Yelp. However, when your unhappy customers give you feedback, respond to them and try to make a better impression. Synup can help you do it along with our listings management services. Learn more about how we can add to your hotel marketing efforts here.
9. Build a Google My Business (GMB) Page for Your Hotel
For any business out there trying to build an online presence, you MUST have a Google My Business listing. Given how Google, the mammoth search engine, provides a brilliant platform that is optimized for search and discovery, you have to make sure that your hotel is listed on Google My Business.
[You can learn how to create a Google My Business Page here.]
In addition to its prevalent prominence, announcements made last year, and the updates announced during the Google I/O 2018 event has added greater value to Google My Business. Here’s a list of what’s new on your Google My Business dashboard:
- Reserve with Google is a feature where you can add a reserve button to your listing when it appears on the search engine results page (SERPs). So, someone searching for your business information online can reserve a table with your hotel’s cafe or restaurant or make a booking.
- Google Q&A is a crowd-sourced FAQ platform that appears directly on the SERPs. Make sure you post some common queries customers have about your business and answer them as well.
- Google’s Service Menu is an area that you can use to showcase all your packages and services, and it will directly appear on your listings as well.
- Google Chat and Messaging will help your customers reach out to you through their mobile device’s text message application or through Google Allo, straight from the business information that appears in their search.
10. Leverage Social Media: Create a Facebook Business Page
A Facebook business page is a great way for you to give your hotel more exposure. Facebook has a whopping audience base of two billion users, and you can’t go wrong with investing your hotel marketing efforts on a Facebook business page. Once you set up a Facebook business Page for your hotel, you can repurpose your marketing on Facebook and garner a larger user engagement.
Facebook is equipped with several audience engagement tools. You can create posts with a variety of multimedia elements, conduct polls, boost posts, create targeted ads, create events, etc.
Learn more about how to create Facebook business Page and market your hotel here.
11. Build a Referral Program
Reviews may be a great source of information for people about your hotel, but it is also a great resource that you can use to spread the word about your hotel is with help from your past customers. Build a referral or a loyalty program that will help you reach a larger set of audiences. When you incentivize your happy customers to spread the word about you, you’re bound to get more customers. This is a simple concept that you can improve on. For example, use a coupon code that your customers can pass on to their friends and family, and give them a discount for their next stay when someone they refer avails it at your hotel.
Don’t limit this to your happy customers alone. Referral or loyalty programs are, for the most part, made to get others to advocate your hotel for you. So, get your employees involved in your scheme of all this referral. Incentivize them for their efforts to help you promote your hotel. You can ask all your employees to post Facebook statuses, Instagram posts, Snaps or Tweets for a hashtag you’re trying to promote. You can give them gift vouchers to a spa treatment, or give them a monetary incentive based on the number of referrals that convert.
12. Promote and Partner with Other Local Establishments
You might be running a great establishment and there has to be a lot that you can promote there. However, your hotel marketing efforts will pay off only when you reach a greater set of audiences to get more coverage. Involving other local establishments can help you tap into this. This means creating partnerships with a local bakery, an auto detail shop, an NGO, etc. You can cross-promote your hotel by creating a mutually inclusive setup; create posters for your hotel events, your amenities, or your services. And you can reciprocate the same for the establishment that you are partnering with. This need not be limited to traditional media, you can cross-promote these on your relevant social media handles as well.
Here’s a simple idea you can try out try out. Reach out to the local home-stays, vacation rentals and places that lay people rent out to tourists on sites like Airbnb, and try to promote your hotel. For example, you pass on little care packages with soaps, hand towels, toothbrushes, etc, – all with your hotel’s branding. This can help you increase brand awareness, and create better networks within your locality.
13. Promote and Localize your Hotel’s Cafe, Bar, or Restaurant
When you build a hotel marketing strategy, make sure that you promote your hotel’s cafe, spa, or bar, or restaurant as well. If you think about it, your hotel can target a wider audience set. Or let me put it this way, your hotel will not only reach tourists and those who are traveling, but you can also engage with your local crowd. You can do promote these areas of your hotel’s services on social media, and through your traditional advertising methods.
14. Live Events
A great way to attract customers to your hotel business is to host events with live music or comedy. By setting up a gig, you are sure to make your hotel a crowd-puller. Get in touch with a local up-and-coming band or a comedian, and create an event. The best way to go about this is to make sure that you place it strategically during the week when everyone can attend your show. Additionally, make sure that you advertise it well in advance and post it on social media.
15. Advertise Hotel Space for Business and Community Events
Your hotel is a huge package of utilities, and promoting your hotel’s conference rooms or halls will help you market your other services as well. There are several community events that your hotel marketing must target. Create packages with certain amenities at specific prices, and add all of these to your hotel website’s catalogue.
16. Get a Chatbot for Your Website
When people are led to your website, you need to make sure that it is optimized to inform and assist people. A chatbot is a great way to engage them, and aid in converting them into customers. When a person is led to your website, they are looking for information about the services your hotel offers like, amenities, pricing, accommodation, bookings, etc. With a chatbot on your site, people can find out all the information that need, all from the homepage. It’s like having a virtual help desk on your website. Additionally, you can use the conversation data to derive insights about what your customers want to know about you. You can use this data to revamp your website content and your SEO strategies.