by Robert Clough
35% of American families will go on at least one vacation during any given year. Given that the total American population is over 300 million, that represents a ton of opportunities for your hotel to book guests.
The bullish economy we've been enjoying as of late has created a lot of competition in the hotel niche though...
Buildings are going up faster than during previous years. Deals are getting better. Guests have more choices.
Amidst that increased clutter, how can you hope for your establishment to stand out?
The simple solution is to start initiating digital marketing strategies.
Digital marketing strategies embody a variety of marketing tactics that you carry out online to bolster your guest pipeline. Below, our team shares with you 10 strategies that are most worth a hotel's time.
1. Start a Blog
Blogging and running a hotel don't seem like a great fit for one another but in today's day in age, a blog can compliment just about any business.
Blogging is a key way that companies get Google's attention. When you get Google's attention, the search engine will start surfacing your blog's articles high in its results which can result in a steady stream of clientele.
The trick to making sure your blog posts net you customers is to ensure they always have a call to action ("Book Today") and that the articles you write are always hyper-relevant to your customer avatar.
2. Invest in PPC
A lot of companies invest in pay per click ads through Google and for good reason. Google fields billions of searches every day which means billions of opportunities to get in front of consumers.
Since Google makes its money from serving ads, it works hard to get its advertisers in front of its searchers.
If you're looking for an easy way to start scoring brand deposits and bookings, PPC is the way to go.
3. Try Facebook Ads
A lot of social media platforms are now selling ad space to businesses. The platform that's impressed us the most is Facebook.
Facebook knows a tremendous amount about its users and because of that, it makes it easy for businesses to really niche down and connect with their perfect prospect.
Many hotels neglect Facebook advertising when putting together digital marketing strategies. We're telling you that you shouldn't follow in those hotel's footsteps.
4. Manage Your Online Reputation
This is getting increasingly important, especially in the hospitality sector. When people leave you reviews online, you need to be prepared to manage them.
Good reviews you're left should always get a response across all major platforms as that encourages repeat visits. Bad reviews should be responded to tactfully as well so onlookers understand that you care about all of your guests.
5. Double Down on Your Marketing Budget During Peak Seasons
If you have a marketing budget you should not allocate it evenly throughout the year. After all, there are some months where no matter what you do, booking is going to be down.
We recommend allocating more marketing spend during your hotel's peak season to make your marketing dollars go further. Rely more on organic (free) marketing during low seasons.
6. Offer Incentives Coupled With Urgency
People love a good deal and they hate to see one pass them by. That's why we advise that hotels always run some sort of promotion that's time sensitive.
The promotion doesn't have to be huge.
Free breakfast for new guests. Free parking. A 10% discount.
All that matters is that guests feel like there's a deal in front of them and that they need to book it now in order to not miss out.
7. Partner with Local Businesses
Your network is your net worth.
You've probably heard that saying and we're here to let you know that it's hyper relevant to hotels.
You should be partnered with every business in your area from restaurants to hotel financing companies and beyond.
These businesses should always be ready to promote you to their customers and you should always be prepared to send your customers to them.
Cross-promotion is a powerful and often a free way to market your hotel.
8. Get Social Savvy
If your hotel isn't on social media yet, it needs to be.
Platforms like Instagram offer your brand an excellent way to share the beauty of your property and its surrounding area with prospective guests. It also gives you a place to share topical promotions that may be going on.
Be sure to not be overly salesy on your social platforms. If you are, you're going to have a difficult time building a following.
9. Build Your Website Around Getting Bookings
Website clutter is one of the top reasons why many company's websites don't do what they're supposed to.
Don't fall into that trap.
Your website exists to get bookings. Make sure that every page on your site does something to push visitors towards that intended end.
10. Always Pride Yourself on Superb Hospitality
You work at a hotel. We shouldn't have to tell you that hospitality is a big deal.
Remember, guests have a lot of choices today. If they feel like they were burned by your customer service, they're never coming back. Period.
Always go above and beyond when it comes to making your guests feel cared for.
Use These Digital Marketing Strategies to Put Your Hotel on the Map
From focusing on hospitality to cross-promoting with local businesses, there is no shortage of digital marketing strategies out there that can help put your hotel on the map.
Pick which ones work best for your team and best of luck building your business!
For more information on all things digital marketing, check out more of our content on Search Engine Guide today!
Be sure and visit our small business news site.