By: EZ Texting
For you to be an effective hotel marketer, you need to be aware of — and master — a wide variety of skills. Successful marketing strategies require you to understand the full breadth of hotel marketing topics, skills, and tools available to you.
Once you learn how to build powerful campaigns, potential guests will be impacted by your brand whenever and however they choose to plan, research, and ultimately book their trip.
We have the experience to know what works, and what doesn’t when it comes to hotel marketing. You can leverage our insights and avoid wasting time weeding through ineffective tactics.
Check out these phenomenal hotel marketing ideas that are absolutely worth investing in right now.
7 Hotel Marketing Ideas Worth Investing in Right Now
These seven ideas will help you take a major step forward this year with your marketing strategies. You will learn how to outshine your competitors, better engage your prospective guests, and beat your rivals by ensuring more bookings at your hotel.
1. Take Prospects on a Virtual Tour
Technology is continually advancing what’s possible from a marketing perspective in a wide variety of industries around the world. It only makes sense that the hotel industry is also impacted.
Virtual reality, or VR, is one of the latest innovations that is drastically impacting a guest’s experience before they ever set foot on your property. When most people think of VR, they think about gaming and the impact that the immersive experience has had. However, it’s much more than that.
Hotels everywhere are beginning to tap into this technology to create virtual tours.
- 92% of Internet users say that the ability to view a 360° tour is essential when they are browsing online.
- Hotels with a virtual tour are clicked on an average of 10 times more than those without one.
A virtual tour gives you the ability to take your guests on a 360° walkthrough of your entire hotel. They can get a “hands-on” feel of your on-site amenities, your rooms, and the overall ambiance that you offer. While more hotels are beginning to use this technology, you still have an opportunity to be at the leading edge if you get started soon.
2. Leverage the Power of Loyalty Programs
Loyal customers are a powerful source of recurring revenue for your hotel. These are the people who like to book a room with you every time they’re in town for business or a family vacation. They continue coming to you because they have had exemplary service.
Your marketing strategy should include ways to increase the number of loyal customers.
Some of the most common loyalty programs utilized by hotels include the accrual of points. As guests continue to come back, they build up points that they can then redeem for various benefits. The important thing is to make sure that the points can be used on things that are meaningful to your guests.
- 20% of guests don’t join a loyalty program because the benefits don’t interest them.
- 61% of guests are interested in being able to choose their own rewards in a loyalty program.
3. Invest in Text Message Marketing
It’s no secret that guests prefer prompt communication with your hotel staff. This promptness is true across all of the services and amenities that you offer.
- When they need more towels or blankets, guests want to know when they’re coming.
- If they plan on going for a swim, your guests want to know how late the pool will be open.
- During their meal planning, guests have questions about what times room service is available, what items are on the menu, and what the prices are.
- Even from the first interaction, guests have questions about what rooms are available and what the rates are during different times of the year.
Text message marketing gives you a whole new way to stay in communication with their guest without expecting them to learn any kind of new technology. Through the power of text messages, you can have near-instant communication with your guests.
They simply use mobile phones that they already have to communicate with you. After they send you a message, they have opened up a two-way channel for communication. This channel allows you to send them special offers, welcome messages, share important information, confirm their reservations, and even ask for reviews after they leave.
4. Encourage Online Reviews
Your hotel’s online reputation is one of the most important aspects of your overall marketing strategy. If you do not have an established and positive online reputation, your hotel simply will not receive the same number of reservations at your competitors will.
Improving your online reputation means that you need to incorporate managing your online reviews into your strategy.
- You need to have active listings on sites like TripAdvisor where reviews are commonly posted.
- You should be actively responding to both positive and negative reviews. Remember, when you are responding to reviews you are on stage — potential future guests can see your interactions as you respond.
- Your marketing strategy should also include ways to encourage new guest reviews.
5. Share User Generated Content via Instagram
When it comes to using Instagram successfully for hotel marketing, Instagram themselves have the following to say:
“When developing content, we recommend focusing on your business objective or goal rather than hashtags. Having a growth strategy that targets the right audience is essential to success on Instagram. Good content on Instagram is simply good creative.”
One of the best strategies for creating good content is to get your guests to help you. Ultimately, the goal of your content is to connect with your target audience. So what better way to build that connection than to let your guests tell others just like them about you in their own words and with their own images.
According to a recent study by Salesforce:
- 92% of consumers trust online content from friends and family above all other forms of brand messaging.
- 53% of millennials say that content generated by other users influence their purchasing decisions.
- 50% of consumers find user-generated content to be more memorable than content produced by the brand itself.
6. Create a Digital Community Guide
When guests visit your hotel, they are looking for more than just a place to stay. They are looking for the experience.
Yes, their experience does include their stay at your hotel — but it’s more than that. They are experiencing your local community and everything that has to offer.
The large majority of your guests will be coming from out of state, and even potentially out of the country. They will not have the same experiences in your local area that you have.
This experience gives you an opportunity to create additional value for current and potential guests alike. You can share your neighborhood insights into the best attractions, eateries, and other local highlights. This insight can include everything from the best times of day and days of the week to avoid the crowds to hidden jewels perfect for a quiet lunch.
7. Use Twitter as a Customer Service Tool
Twitter has become a tool for customers to engage with brands in a way that no other social media platform has. Customers head to Twitter to share reviews, vent their frustrations, and communicate quickly with companies.
Research has shown that when a customer sends a tweet to a business, and they receive a response, they are willing to spend 3 to 20% more on an average-priced item from that business in the future.
To start leveraging Twitter as a customer service tool, you should keep a few things in mind:
- Make sure that your profile includes your support hours so that people know when they can expect to receive a response.
- Enable the use of direct messages so that private customer details and complex issues can be shared directly with you instead of posted on your feed.
- Turn on the support option so that customers can see that your Twitter account is immediately customer service friendly.
- Monitor brand mentions and keywords to identify customer service opportunities.
Get the Full Hotel Text Message Marketing Playbook
As a hotel marketer, you have a lot of strategies to learn and enact in your marketing campaigns. We know how daunting that can seem, and we want to help. That’s why we created a free resource to help you.
Text message marketing is an effective channel and one that you can get started leveraging within minutes, especially if you download our Text Marketing Playbook for Hotels and Resorts.
This playbook is filled with text messages that have been proven to yield results. You can copy and paste these text message templates into our platform and begin sending messages today.
Photo: Adobe Stock/AboutLife