Here are six tactics you should consider including in your 2018 hotel marketing plan:
Tactic #1: Use social media
Social media works! Facebook has more than two billion monthly users and always increasing. Twitter and Instagram are also popular. Social sites are where your guest are most active and since it’s an open platform, you have the freedom and creativity with your marketing to capture attention. Video is great way to build brand awareness and to deliver strong marketing messages to get direct bookings. Youtube can stretch a lot further too with majority of social media users saying they would share an online video if it was entertaining.
Tactic #2: Personalise guest experience
You can use the data you collect from online travel agencies (OTAs), your hotel’s own website and social media accounts. Knowledge of guest booking behaviour, purchase habits, and amenity preferences goes a long way into personalising the guest experience. Google analytics provides you with a profile of travellers including age, ethnicity, gender, and reason for travel. With all this information in your hands, your guests should feel like they’re staying at their parents house, with every need anticipated and every desire fulfilled. This is what customer service should be.
Tactic #3: Use mobile marketing
Mobile is now one of the strongest marketplaces when it comes to booking travel. People rarely sit in-front of a desktop computer to research their trip. So whether it’s via mobile browsing or on an app, they use their smartphone to find information, look for deals and make bookings. According to Google, half of smartphone owners use their device for travel-related activities – so a mobile presence is a must for your hotel. Start your mobile marketing by having a mobile responsive website with an instant booking system, one that looks great on both desktop and mobile devices.
Tactic #4: Improve your OTA profiles
Surprisingly, most of your guest will have seen your hotel first on an online travel agency (OTA) website. Improving your online travel agency profile will not only help you get more bookings but will also allow you to better promote the positive reviews you receive from your guest. Start by uploading the best photos of your hotel, pictures that tell your story, images that highlight your unique selling points. Each room you sell on the OTA sites should have at least 3 photos, one for the room layout, another for the bed or sleeping area, and another to highlight what makes the room unique i.e. oceanview.
Tactic #5: Respond to your online reviews
Once you have your reviews on the OTA sites as well as all the review sites like Tripadvisor – It’s important to respond to them whether the reviews be good or bad. 80% of travellers consider online reviews when they book and 85% of TripAdvisor users are impressed by a thoughtful response to a bad review. A response to a review shows that you care enough to listen and fix the problem. A bad review can be turned into a positive experience with the proper response. Use reviews to fix problems internally and improve your service.
Tactic #6 Update your digital marketing tools
New technology and new products from reliable sources such as Google and companies like Hotel Link Solutions are a big help to your team to reach their sales and marketing goals. As you head into the New Year, the questions you should always be asking yourself are; who is staying in my hotel? why are they staying? where are they coming from? If you know these answers, your job as a hotelier becomes a lot easier.