One of the most important aspects of hotel marketing is to make sure that your guests get the best experience possible. A hotel should be the place where guests feel comfortable and safe. You should make sure to offer a variety of services and amenities to keep guests happy and coming back for more.
As you can imagine, travel can be expensive. While some hotels offer discounts for booking online, many offer travel incentives that attract guests to book via the hotel's website. That being said, if you are a hotelier, how can you improve your online bookings?
Technology has taken over. Today, travelers are empowered to do their own research without leaving the comfort of their beds. That's why you need to be EVERYWHERE online for potential bookings. Your hotel needs to be easy to find, so that people can find it when they need a place to stay.
But wait! There's more to organic optimization than just being organic. The SERP for "hotel-related searches" is heavy with monetization. This means that people will see ads first, as shown in the screenshot below. You'll need to bid aggressively on Google's Search and Display Networks (don't forget hotel ads!), Bing, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.
Don't limit yourself to just one social platform, search engine, or travel website. It might not be necessary to have a strong presence on every website imaginable, but take the time to find out where people are booking from and create an engaging and competitive presence on those platforms.
The abandonment rate of booking hotels online is about 70% industry-wide. This means that 7 out of 10 people visit the booking engine, fill in the information but get distracted and abandon the process.
It could be any reason, they got a phone call and forgot what they were doing before the call. Or they were interrupted in some other way. Whatever the reason is, this means you should be reminding these people of your hotel through remarketing ads (see example of a remarketing banner ad below).
Through remarketing, you can decrease your abandonment rate and increase your direct bookings by targeting these people with persuasive ads to the people who visited your booking engine. This should remind them of your hotel and the offer.
A remarketing ad should give the website or booking engine visitor a reason to come back and complete the booking.
One way to do this, is to give them a little extra incentive to book with your hotel instead of your competitors. You should also remove all possible frictions in the booking process.
You're not just marketing a hotel. You're marketing a destination and an experience. The experience you offer will be different based on your location, and we can help you make sure you're targeting the right people to maximize your profits and conversions!
There are so many different hotel customers, from the ones paying for expensive presidential suites to the ones looking for a deal. The marketing campaigns need to account for all of these things!
Nowadays, you can run separate campaigns for different audiences with tools like Facebook's targeting options. Just remember to define your audiences so that you can send the right message to the right person at the right time!
Depending on the location of your hotel, you should be aware of the peak season that has an impact on your bookings.
You probably already know when the peak season of bookings is, but you may be forgetting an essential step when it comes to calculating your ad budget. It makes sense to spend more of your annual budget into your busy season instead of your “down” season.
Find out which months are busy, steady or slow and then adjust the ad budget accordingly.
Why should a potential guest stay at your hotel compared to your local competitor? One that has better prices or better location?
Your hotel should have a reason for guests to book a night at your hotel. If there are no obvious reasons, like having the lowest prices or most 5-star reviews. You could come up with some other unique incentives or offers to provide to your potential guests.
Examples of this could be:
Most probably you are surrounded by other businesses that are also trying to attract visitors. This could be the local famous restaurant, fitness gyms, attractions or the massage place around the corner.
If you work together and promote each other, you can create promotions such as a discount for your guests when they go to the restaurant.
It is a win-win for both you and the restaurant owner, you can give your guests a discount on a night out. The restaurant owner does not have to spend a marketing budget attracting clients. By highlighting this promotion on the website, conversion rates should increase.
If you own, manage or operate a “vacation” style hotel, most potential visitors still don’t know where they will be going on holiday in the beginning of the year.
This is a great opportunity to sell the physical location of your hotel, the bustling city or the peaceful village with local breathtaking views.
Don’t just focus on your hotels’ amenities when reaching out to these people. If you are the first point of contact when learning about your destination, this gives you a definite competitive edge in the booking process.
A functional, nicely designed website, this might seem like a non-brainer to everybody. We thought so too, until we were onboarding new clients. Before we run any ads, we go through the website and check the functionality, email newsletter, booking process, etc. It is here where we come back to the client and tell them what needs fixing. It’s mostly small stuff, but when you remove friction for the web visitor, the web visitor can easily find what they are looking for and therefore, conversion rate increases.
Examples of this could be:
Customer service and marketing in the hospitality industry go hand in hand. If you let the customer feel that he/ she has the holiday of a lifetime, they are very likely to become ambassadors of your hotel. They will boast that they stayed at your hotel and will recommend your hotel to all their friends and on social media.
How can you accomplish this? The primary step is to employ and train staff with a customer-first mentality. Although this can be challenging in some cases, putting the customer first is crucial.