Your hotel isn’t going to make any money whatsoever if all you’ve got are empty rooms night after night. For the average hotel, an occupation rate of over 60% is often required in order for profitability to be maintained. Although hotels will generally receive a steady flurry of bookings from travelers to a community, it is best not to leave your bookings to chance, right? That’s why it is so important to develop effective hotel marketing strategies.
It all begins with your ability to identify your target customer. What is it that your customers tend to have in common? What price point will their budget support? Is there a critical component to the value ratio your hotel can provide, like a business center, gym, or swimming complex that others in your community are unable to do?
Effective Hotel Marketing Strategies that Work
1. Focus on the iPhone
According to recent research by Google Travel, 47% of consumers who are planning trips and needing to book hotel rooms did so through their phone. This was 2% higher than those who used a traditional PC to book the trip. If you don’t have a mobile marketing strategy in place, it means you could be losing nearly half of your business to your competition. Be optimized for tablets as well because those are faring strong as well.
2. Move Fast
According to Orbitz, more than 70% of the reservations that are made with smartphones are made within 24 hours of the room being needed. If you aren’t able to move fast with your marketing strategies and adapt to fluid circumstances, then there’s no way a customer is going to trust the value that your content is providing.
3. You’ve Got 2 Seconds Tops
More than 6 in 10 people use the internet to browse for deals on more than one screen. This means attention spans are going to be shorter for most people, requiring you to be very clear and concise with your marketing pitch. What is the one thing that you are able to provide that no other hotel in your community can give people? Put that into six words or less and you’ll be able to get someone’s attention fast… and then hold it.
4. You’ve Got To Be Online
In order for any marketing efforts to be sustainable and effective, you’ve got to be where people are so that you can be seen. Data from Google suggests that the average persons spends more than 4 hours in front of multiple electronic devices that can access the internet. If you don’t have an easy way to describe yourself online and book a room, then you’re rarely going to reach your occupation rate percentage goals.
5. It’s a Good User Experience
4 in 10 people that book a hotel room through a provider website such as Priceline are doing so from their vehicles. If you thought having a short, concise phrase was a difficult accomplishment as a marketing strategy, now imagine condensing the entire sales process into the time it takes for a red light to turn green. That’s the reality of modern hotel marketing. Simple, fast, elegant, and effective.
6. Good Graphics Get Great Results
Because researching a hotel is easier to do than ever before, customers are expecting more information from hotels than ever before. This is especially true for a target audience that primarily uses a smartphone to access the internet. Video marketing, room photographs, and virtual tours are accessed 30% more frequently from mobile devices then they are from a desktop or laptop platform. This means any marketing strategy today must include realistic, quality graphics so that a prospect can have a glimpse of what a stay there entails.
7. Be Accessible Everywhere
Your hotel is more likely to receive regular visits if it available on more than one screen. Being available on more than two screens increases the chances of having regular visits. This means your marketing strategy needs to include multiple electronic platforms AND offline platforms where name recognition is in a key placement. Don’t just settle for a big wall of brochures and chance that someone will see your info as they travel. Find places to be set apart, like having your logo placed on a restaurant table.
8. Engage Where Your Customers Are
Google indicates that 38% of people interact with media every day on a smartphone. This means you must engage where your customers are on at least three specific platforms: iOS, Android, and Windows. If you are unable to do so, you’re simply putting free money into your competitor’s bank accounts.
9. Be Sequential In Your Story
An interesting aspect of the human relationship with the internet is that most people treat a website like a book. If your user experience isn’t sequential in nature, then your marketing efforts are going to leave people feeling awkward, confused, and not wanting to book a room at your hotel. Set up all of your information so that your story flows naturally from beginning to end – with the end being, of course, a visitor booking a room.
10. Make It Personal
The ultimate goal of any marketing strategy is to develop a B2B/B2C relationship. In order to do so, you’ve got to begin on a personal level so that you can begin building a foundation of trust. To get this trust, you must have an authentic experience provided in your marketing strategy that is able to fulfill promises. With every promises fulfilled, trust is built. If a promise is broken, however, you’ll be lucky to keep that customer at all.
11. Different Segments Require Different Pitches
The importance of identifying the different segments of your overall market cannot be overstated. Different segments require different marketing strategies because each group might be interested in a different, but specific aspect of your hotel. The fact that you’ve got two floors of meeting space might attract a B2B customer, but not for your B2C family of four planning a vacation. Market individually, tie it together in an overarching way, and you’ll have an effective marketing strategy.