Nowadays, looking for innovative marketing tactics is essential in any sector, but especially in highly competitive ones such as the hotel industry. The hotel marketing it is a very complex discipline, and it is important to make the most of your resources to achieve satisfactory results.
For optimal performance, you need to bring a creative and strategic approach to appeal to the modern traveler. That is why we bring you five keys that cannot be missing in the marketing strategy of any hotel establishment or vacation rental:
1. Have a website to process reservations
Having your own website has always been an important challenge in the hotel industry, given that means direct sales avoiding sharing commissions with online travel agencies and portals like Airbnb or Booking.com. The pandemic, which has changed the habits and expectations of travellers, has given a great push towards the digitization of the sector. McKinsey indicates that 58% of all customer interactions are now digital, (compared to 36% before the pandemic).
Therefore, having your own website, with a built-in reservation processor, is essential for each type of tourist accommodation that wants to achieve direct sales and more income.
In addition, you will take advantage of the billboard effect or “billboard”, which refers to when a traveler discovers a hotel establishment in an online travel agency (OTA) such as Airbnb, Booking or eDreams and then searches the direct website of said property, which is where they finally make the reservation. To take advantage of the billboard effect, it is also important create property profiles on Google My Business and Google Maps.
2. Experiment with search and metasearch engine marketing
Other essential element within your marketing strategy is the SEM (Search Engine Marketing, for its acronym in English), the marketing of paid search engine ads.
With a small investment, hotels can compete even with the main OTAs, appearing in the first search results, using the Google Hotel Ads tool and selecting suitable and very specific keywords for your destination. Apart from Google, other great metasearch platforms that are very effective in driving direct bookings are Trivago, Kayak or Tripadvisor. To learn more about this topic, check out this guide on Hotel Ads by Google.
3. Create relevant content
A well-optimized website is not the only way to attract and increase organic traffic. Another very effective method is harness the power of content marketing. For a hotelier or host it is easy to create content within their website or blog that is interesting for their target audience: the traveler interested in the destination.
Here are some ideas you can use:
information and advice about events, attractions and restaurants around your property.
Videos with anecdotes or stories behind the scenes about your property.
Various contents related to the travel sector that can attract potential guests.
Strategies for Direct Guest Engagementsuch as sharing content about your property in exchange for a free stay or special discount.
An excellent tool that will be very useful when deciding on topics is the Google Keyword Planner. This tool helps you find ideas and frequently asked questions from users about your destination. Once the content is published, it is important to promote it on social networks and through email marketing.
4. Get the most out of email marketing
Another very valuable element is email marketing, which allows you to obtain direct reservations in a specific and profitable way. The first step for hoteliers is to get the necessary information directly from their guests, such as email addresses and permission to send promotional messages.
A very effective strategy is to create special email incentives to drive early bookings, fill off-season dates, and drive upsells from guests who have booked the property through an OTA.
Another tactic to increase income through this tool is to send an email prior to the stay, which will allow earn extra income by selling added servicessuch as activities, restaurant reservations and much more.
5. Use digital marketing tools
Developing an effective marketing strategy is easier when you use specialized tools to achieve your goals. However, this does not necessarily mean that you have to invest a lot of money when buying these tools. Today, there is a wide range of free marketing software for increase campaign effectiveness and control ROI (Return on Investment).
One of the main allies to develop your marketing strategy is Googlethat offers valuable free toolssuch as Google Analytics and Google Keyword Planner, keys to your SEO strategy.
If, on the other hand, you want to invest in more specific marketing tools, there is also a huge range of payment options covering a wide range of servicessuch as email automation software, social media management tools, automation tools, photo retouching software, and many more. All these tools will allow you to be more efficient and effective when carrying out your SEO, social media or email marketing strategies, achieving better results… and selling more.
You can consult some of the most interesting ones in our Martech Guide that we launch annually.
Putting the hotel marketing keys explained in this article into practice helps with the challenge of increasing visibility and revenue, maximizing direct bookings.
For a sector affected by the pandemic and lack of staff, it is important to start with a marketing plan tailored to the establishment and its resources. Do not be afraid to rely on industry experts to achieve even higher goals.
By following these simple steps, efforts will be optimized, obtaining maximum benefits. Results will continue to improve over time and profitability will increase accordingly.
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