How to Improve Hotel Marketing

How to Improve Hotel Marketing and Increase Bookings

By: Frank DePino | November 25, 2022

If you’re wondering how to improve hotel marketing, you’re not alone. According to ferry service Condor Ferries, more than 700,000 resorts and hotels exist throughout the world as of 2019. The competition is incredibly steep and only growing steeper. Without a digital marketing strategy for your hotel, bookings could stagnate. How do you bolster your marketing? 

Here are some excellent hotel marketing strategies:

  • Know your audience
  • Optimize your website
  • Focus on what makes your hotel special
  • Start a loyalty program
  • Use email and social media marketing
  • Partner with local businesses

This guide to hotel marketing will expand on the above tactics as well as share a multitude of others to grow your business. By the time you’re done reading, you’ll have a solid understanding of which areas of your hotel’s digital marketing strategy to focus on first.   

How to improve Hotel Marketing

The Importance of a Digital Marketing Strategy for Your Hotel

As we mentioned in the intro, the hospitality industry now affords the average consumer more options than ever. What should make a customer choose your hotel compared to the multitude of others they could book with?

Your hotel has qualities that make you, you, and we’ll delve into those later. However, without digital marketing, you won’t ever get a chance to showcase your uniqueness. 

Here are some reasons a digital marketing strategy is so integral for hotels.

Builds Brand Awareness

Name recognition is important to today’s consumers, but not every hotel is a Hilton or Holiday Inn. 

Establishing your mark in the hotel industry requires having brand awareness. Through digital marketing, you can find your brand voice, which is exemplified in everything from your logo, your choice of colors, and your tone when communicating. 

Once you know your brand and you solidify it, you can spread your brand through advertising, building a social media following, or partnering with other businesses. 

Download Our FREE Whitepaper

10 Hotel Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your Hotel Website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your Hotel website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Increases Social Media and Website Traffic

Of course, knowing about your hotel is not enough. You want leads to find your hotel online and ideally book through your website. A digital marketing campaign can create an influx of website (and social media) traffic. 

Once these visitors land on your site, you can use opt-in pop-ups, lead magnets, and other marketing tactics to capture the lead’s contact information and engage with them.  

Elevates Your SEO

SEO dictates where your website appears in the search engine rankings. If you’re wondering how to improve hotel marketing, it begins with better SEO

After all, if you’re on page three or four of the rankings, no one is going to find you. Your leads will have chosen their hotel based on the listings on page one.

Boosts Your Bookings

Through these combined measures and the tips we’re going to share in the next section, your hotel should see an increase in bookings. Maintaining your digital marketing will allow for more consistent lead gen and thus sales. 

Tips for improving Hotel Marketing

Tips for Improving Hotel Marketing and Earning More Bookings

Without further ado, let’s delve into the tactics that we presented in the intro, as each is a viable option for increasing your hotel’s rate of bookings. 

Know Your Guests

Who is your target audience?

Without having a solid answer to that question, it’s impossible to create an effective digital marketing campaign. You won’t know what kind of advertisements to make. You won’t know which segments to target your social media posts.

If you haven’t done so recently, comb through your guest records. Reach out to those who have stayed at your hotel within the last year or even in the last six months, calling or emailing them. 

Ask them a series of questions about their demographics, geographics, and–most importantly–psychographics, or motivations and behaviors that drive their purchasing decisions. 

Once you collect this data, segment your audience based on pain points, age, location, gender, occupation, income, marital status, etc. 

Now, when you go to launch your Facebook ads, you can select audience segments that you know will be receptive to your message. Your campaign will be more successful right out of the gate, and you can avoid needlessly wasting money on ads that reach the wrong audience. 

Know Your Competitors

To defeat the competition, you have to know what they’re doing. 

Leave some time in your digital marketing plan for researching what your local competitors are up to. Don’t automatically copy them, but wait and see how their tactics play out. 

If your competitors make a misstep and fail, you know better than to try that tactic yourself. 

When your competitors succeed, ask yourself why. Then think of how you can do what your competition has but in your own way, and better. 

For example, if a local hotel had a smash hit with a campaign that entails freebies, then you might begin offering your guests free continental breakfasts.

 

Download Our FREE Whitepaper

10 Hotel Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your Hotel Website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your Hotel website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Optimize Your Website

Our next tactic for how to improve hotel marketing is to optimize your website.

A digital marketing campaign will send more traffic to your site, as we mentioned before. If your website isn’t optimized to handle this influx of leads, then you will miss out on a valuable opportunity. Many site visitors stop by one time only, so if you don’t get their contact information then, that’s it. You don’t get another chance.

Your web traffic will taper off and you won’t have more bookings to show for it.

Here are the techniques we recommend for website optimization.

  1. Use SEO: SEO tactics change as Google algorithms do, but there are a few tried and true methods you can rely on for elevating your hotel website’s ranking. 
    • If you have old content on your blog, go through one post at a time and update it. Rewrite old content or add new sections.
    • Continually produce new content that utilizes long-tail keywords. Avoid fluff.
    • A/B test elements of your website for better receptivity. 
    • Focus on the user experience across your website.  
  2. Make your site user-friendly: Speaking of the user experience, that’s our next website optimization tip. Keep your site navigation easy to use. Don’t bury the pages that people come to your site to find. 
  3. Optimize for mobile: According to Techjury, more than 50 percent of average Internet users accessed the web on their smartphones. Your hotel’s website must be mobile optimized with no misaligned text, squished images, or funky interfaces that don’t load properly. 
  4. Start a blog: Content will always be king, so if your hotel website lacks a blog, there’s never a better time to start than now. You can build out links over time, which will help your SEO. You’ll also have content to share across social media. Blog content can build your authority too. 
Hotel Marketing

Exhibit the Uniqueness of Your Hotel

Since you’ve taken the time to establish brand awareness, now you can focus on what makes your hotel unique, which is our next tip for how to improve hotel marketing. 

Every hotel has something special about it. Perhaps your hotel is family-owned and operated over generations. Your building could be historical or in a historical district. Maybe there’s something about your hotel’s design and/or architecture that makes it stand out.

Even your excellent customer service or room styles can be unique!

Take some time to meet with your hotel staff and determine the qualities that make your hotel the only one of its kind around. 

Once you know what that special something is, then whenever you market your hotel moving forward, think of how you can focus on your unique elements. You won’t always be able to, so don’t feel like you must shoehorn your uniqueness. That can get tiring fast.

What you can do is write a paragraph (or even a few sentences) about your unique element in your website description on your homepage or about page. Include it in your social media bio. Write a blog post about it, or even make an explainer video (why not both?). 

Feature gorgeous photos of your hotel on your website and across social media. Offer virtual tours on your website so visitors can get a feel for the hotel before they ever officially set foot on the threshold. 

All along, you’re differentiating your hotel from the competition in a way that they can’t do. After all, your competitor’s hotel doesn’t have what yours does and vice-versa. 

Showcase Your Location

Your location is integral to your hotel. In some cases, it could even be the unique element of your hotel, especially if you’re located in a historic district or an unconventional place. 

Celebrate your hotel’s location in your marketing. This ties you to local community and can also help in building your brand and increasing awareness. 

If your hotel has conference halls or a spacious ballroom, then maximize the use of your entire building. Host corporate events, weddings, or social events on a local scale. 

Here’s a great piece of content to produce on your blog: a travel guide to your area. Who knows it better than your hotel and the locals who live and work in the area? 

The travel guide can be an invaluable resource to tourists who are visiting the area and don’t know which places to visit. Even long-term residents could possibly learn a thing or two thanks to your knowledge.

A travel guide makes an enticing opt-in form or lead magnet as well. 

Partner with local business

Partner with Local Businesses

To further solidify that local connection, reach out to businesses in your neck of the woods and discuss a partnership with them. We recommend airlines especially, as the airport/hotel connection is a natural one.

Perhaps you can start a program where customers who book through the airline can get a discount on a hotel room. 

Another idea is to begin a referral link program where customers can save money on restaurants, bars, and local attractions such as museums, beaches, amusement parks, and shopping. 

Partnerships like these are mutually beneficial, as you’re filtering customers between you and your partner and growing your business along the way. 

Launch Loyalty Programs

In a similar vein is this next tactic for how to improve your hotel marketing. If your hotel doesn’t already have one, then start a loyalty program. 

Loyalty programs are a great option for hotels, as they encourage your guests to schedule their stays with you for all their traveling needs. You could offer rewards or incentives if your customers book through your app or website. 

The more times they book, or the longer their stays, the better the rewards would be. Those rewards can include special discounts for extended stays or groups, coupons to use at local businesses, or freebies such as a free extra night or free breakfast. 

Download Our FREE Whitepaper

10 Hotel Website Must Haves to Drive Traffic & Generate New Leads

Does your Hotel Website have all 10? Learn the secrets to driving more traffic to your Hotel website, generating more leads, and ultimately increasing sales.

Use Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most viable digital marketing tactics a hotel can rely on. 

Using your website as a vehicle to collect contact information, you can begin sending targeted emails to your new subscribers to engage with them, nurture the relationship, and hopefully inspire repeat bookings.

Outside of nurture campaigns, you can also use email marketing to send press releases and newsletters. When your hotel has a new event going on or you plan to build a new wing or modify existing rooms, your email subscribers will be the first to know about it.

You can send promotional emails as well, such as those encouraging your customers to try the new seasonal menu at your in-house restaurant. When your hotel runs discounts and deals, you might offer exclusive coupon codes to your email list.  

Start a Social Media Campaign

If your hotel isn’t already on social media, then you risk being left behind by the competition. You need an active presence on the platforms your audience members use most, from Facebook to Twitter and Instagram.

Use features built into social media platforms such as Instagram Stories and Facebook Live to post live tours or other videos of your hotel. Perhaps you offer behind-the-scenes looks into how your restaurant menu is prepared or sneak peeks into what a new room design looks like.

Your event planning staff could start their own podcast. You can work with influencers to establish brand ambassadors for your hotel. Even the staff in your hotel can work as hotel ambassadors to spread the word about your hotel and what makes it special. 

Guest Experience

Prioritize the Guest Experience 

Our last tip on how to improve hotel marketing is possibly the most important. Focus on the customer experience in everything you do, even before the guests arrive.

Personalize a guest’s stay as much as you can. Curate a music playlist for different sectors of your hotel, such as the lobby versus the elevator versus public areas like a restaurant. Use the music to establish various moods.

For example, you want to relax, quiet music in a hotel lobby to put your guests at ease. In an upscale restaurant, you might opt for classical music to create that posh atmosphere. 

When your guests check out, issue them a survey via email or text message asking about their stay. Encourage your customers to leave reviews by incentivizing them with discounts for future stays. 

Conclusion 

Knowing how to improve hotel marketing will increase your rate of bookings and lead to many more benefits for your hotel. You’ll strengthen your brand, establish a presence across social media, engage and nurture through email, and solidify your local roots.

If you’re seeking a digital marketing agency to further your hotel marketing goals, contact us. Our marketing services can increase your hotel’s lead generation, website traffic, and sales. 

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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