When a new calendar year comes along, it is time to brainstorm on how your hotel can boost the number of guests you attract and how much revenue can be driven. There will always be new challenges brought every year as well as potentially new brand marketing strategies even though tried and tested methods hold firm. It is essential to take careful note of arising trends, but you will also need to execute effective plans for your hotel and take advantage of the technology at hand.
The following tactics should be considered in the 2018 hotel marketing plan:
Make personalisation a priority:
Guests realise that you have the capability to personalise their experience. With data systems and technology continually improving, guest preferences can be understood, and there is no excuse for this; the same thing goes for delivering individually catered services.
To create an in-depth knowledge of guest booking behaviour, amenity preferences, and purchase habits, use the data you collect from online travel agents. You can also gather information through the direct booking engine, your hotel’s website, and an app – if you have one. In addition to that, make it a point to know the complete profile of the guest, including gender, ethnicity, age, and reason for travel.
When you have all the necessary information in your hands, make sure your guests feel like they are staying in a relative’s house with every desire fulfilled and every need anticipated. Giving them the royal treatment will entice positive reviews from guests who tend to expect more.
Acknowledge that social media is a powerful tool:
Businesses have long been using social media as a playground to sell their products. Facebook itself has over two billion users, and there are more than 50 million small business pages that are active at present and transactions are always increasing. Instagram and Twitter are almost just as popular, and there are dating sites such as Tinder have started accepting business advertisements.
Consumers are most active on social sites, so it would make sense if you would also take part in these spaces. Social media gives you the creativity and freedom with your marketing to gain attention. Video content is excellent to build brand awareness, and it is on the rise. It can also be used to disseminate strong marketing messages and possibly drive direct bookings. According to 76% of social media users, they would share a video if it piques their interest, thus widening its reach.
Avoid marketing to the “average traveller.”:
There is no such thing as the “average traveller”. Using a blanket approach in the hope to effectively attract the guests you want in your hotel is impossible, and this is because the path-to-purchase is so complicated. This emphasizes the importance of accurate data.
In recent years, the locations travellers can head off to make a booking have significantly multiplied, and so have their accommodation options. Your potential to directly compete will depend on your willingness to be as noticeable as possible. You want to be unique and target different niche groups. For example, if you are a luxury hotel located in Hobart and want to differentiate from the other hotels in the area, you could also offer a fabulous fine-dining experience to Hobart visitors and locals.
Getting synchronised with the mobile trend:
The most robust marketplaces when it comes to booking travel are mobile apps. Nowadays, people are very busy and don’t have the time to sit at home and research. They take their smart devices everywhere they go and do mobile browsing or use an app to find deals and make purchases. According to Google, 51% of people who own smartphones use their devices for activities related to travel. Therefore, mobile presence is imperative for your hotel.
Be loyal to email marketing:
The result of success is longevity. In that regard, email marketing should not be dismissed just yet because two-thirds of consumers still prefer to hear from companies via email. It is still one of the best options for a good return on investment.
Email allows you to have direct interaction or contact with the customers as well as better targeting, and a more strategic approach to content. When effectively used, customers will look forward to engaging with you and receiving your emails. Read more about how you can improve your email campaigns.
Update your strategy in digital marketing:
The team at your hotel should take note of new technology and products from reliable sources like Google. When developing digital marketing plans and contributing to the strong brand building, here are some factors you should typically take into account:
- Social media
- Fresh content and SEO (search engine optimisation)
- Domestic and international engagement
- Website traffic
- Performance and measurement
- PPC (pay per click) campaigns
- New action plans
The questions you should be asking as you head into a new calendar year are: Who are staying in my hotel? Where did they come from? Why are they staying? Knowing the answers to these questions will make your job as a hotelier a lot easier.