PROFILE TREE GUIDE TO
PROFILE TREE GUIDE TO
An Introduction TO
HOTEL MARKETING STRATEGY
Knowing Your Stuff
What is Hotel Marketing?
A hotel marketing definition describes the concept as a broad term referring to the variety of ways to market a hotel, often used by hoteliers and agencies to reach out to potential visitors. Included in this term is market research around tourism and hospitality, which continuously explores how to improve hotel business in what is a now a saturated market.
Any successful marketing plan for hospitality industry businesses will kick off their strategy by carrying out extensive research into the target market for the hotel industry. This process is an essential element of marketing in the hotel industry and involves gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about the market. This information may include details on the market’s past and present, as well as its characteristics, spending habits and target markets and information around key rivals and industry competitors. On this point, it is important to understand that no two target markets for hotels will be the same: each establishment strives to carve out its own brand and personal appeal. Your hotel should do the same.
After identifying their target market, an effective marketing plan for hotel industry business will then explore how to market a hotel, aiming to showcase their credentials with the most engaging hotel marketing tools available. Indeed, the industry’s position as the fastest-growing division of industry in the world means that hotel sales and marketing strategies are crucial in separating one brand from the rest.
Follow the rest of ProfileTree’s free guide to discover how to market your hotel, including industry-leading hotel marketing tips and inside advice on how to devise a hotel sales marketing plan which highlights your business in the way it deserves.
Industry Market Value
How Will You Promote Your Hotel?
Show Your Assets!
When devising a strategic marketing plan for a hotel, hoteliers and agencies will often explore how to improve hotel sales with techniques such as hotel room advertising, hotel online marketing and various innovative hotel marketing ideas. However, before hoteliers launch a hotel marketing plan, it often pays to take a step back and appreciate the credentials of the hotel itself. Advertise your hotel by highlighting what truly separates your hotel from the others. But where is the best place to start?
In the world of tourism & hospitality, marketers follow the famous mantra: ‘if you’ve got it, flaunt it’. The prime selling point of your hotel should take account of its best features, which may include its location, history or architecture. The consumer decision-making process is frequently driven by these factors. Indeed, influential research published by the University of Primorska suggests that up to 31.5% of consumers make their choice based upon the hotel’s location alone. Identify the elements of your hotel which give you a competitive advantage over your rivals and make this the first step when exploring hotel marketing ideas.
The best hotel marketing campaigns place their hotel’s personal advantages at their core. As seen in the case studies below, creative hotels with attractive hotel names gain an edge over their competition, as well as establishments offering truly memorable and creative hotel ideas.
Hotel Kakslauttanen, Finland
Lough Erne Resort, Northern Ireland
As one of Northern Ireland’s most popular hotels, Lough Erne Resort attracts visitors based on its stunning location on a peninsula neighbouring the world-famous Castle Hume Lough. Offering one of the region’s most unique hotel ideas, this establishment differentiates itself from competitors with a memorable location and niche services such as a Thai Spa and conferencing facilities.
Lough Erne Resort have championed their marketing strategy by highlighting their very best assets.
Creative Marketing Ideas for Hotels
Hotel sales strategies often place great importance on techniques such as promotional deals and advertising campaigns. However, when hoteliers explore how to increase hotel sales, the most basic, yet effective actions are often overlooked. Differentiate your hotel’s offering from the competition by offering personal guidance to guests, recommending attractions and places to eat. This can truly separate your hotel from the online-only interaction offered by several hotel franchises, as well as services such as Airbnb. Stay competitive by going that extra mile for each and every one of your guests, ensuring that they receive the attention they deserve.
Hotel improvement doesn’t have to involve expensive marketing strategies or extensive renovations. Today’s hotel market is all about visitor experience, and there are lots of simple tips out there on how to improve your hotel business. Remove hidden fees, offer free wi-fi and always remember that your visitors experience starts before they arrive. So, keep friendly and informative lines of communication open between you and your guest ahead of their arrival.
Build Local Relationships and Partnerships
More so than businesses in any other industry, it is crucial for hotels to build networks, relationships and partnerships with local businesses, as well as tourism and enterprise organisations. Tourism boards can assist with placing events and encouraging press coverage, as well as being a valuable resource for staying in touch with other local businesses. Because tourism boards market the local area and promote local businesses, it is essential to build and maintain a good relationship with them. Marketing strategies in tourism and hospitality can be challenging – so take advantage of the skills and resources your local tourism body can lend to your business. In many cases, this can provide an opportunity to advertise your hotel for free.
The most successful hospitality and tourism marketing strategies place marketing the town, city or area their hotel is based in at the core of their plans. Allow your hotel to become a central element of the local community by highlighting local attractions and activities (for example, if you own a seaside hotel, pick out some of the best walks, seafood restaurants and boating trips). Develop partnerships with local bars, restaurants and museums, offering co-operative promo deals, advertising space or a place in your hotel to leave leaflets and rack cards.
Stress-Free Hotel Check In Ideas
Your guests’ experience as they arrive for check in should form a central element of your hotel business strategy. Indeed, thinking about how your guests are treated upon arrival should be one of your first thoughts when exploring how to improve your hotel business. It all starts with bookings and arrivals – so make sure that your booking and check-in process is simple, stress-free and visitor-friendly. Achieve this by considering a user-friendly booking service on your website (this will also encourage an increase in your direct bookings). Simplify the decision-making process with deals and discounts on booking and arrival, offering something which your competitors aren’t.
Create a lasting first impression by sending welcome emails to your guests ahead of their arrival. Whilst developing a positive rapport with your visitors, this also provides an early opportunity to highlight any special requests or requirements that they may have. Offer early check-in or a pickup service, or go the extra mile by offering a self-check-in service. Stay ahead of the curve and incorporate a smooth and simple check in process into your hotel sales and marketing plan.
Attractive Hotel Promotion Ideas
Offering your guests personalised and thoughtful promotional deals can differentiate your hotel from the competition in a way that is truly memorable. This is a particularly important factor to take into account, given the important role of past experiences when guests decide to return to your hotel. For example, offering a loyalty programme is one of the most effective sales promotion ideas for hotels. This will engage your visitors whilst increasing bookings. Essentially, you need a promotion that has never been seen before and tailored to suit the requirements and desires of your guests: all you need is some creative thinking.
Hospitality marketing ideas don’t always have to centre around advertising, discounts and loyalty programmes. Consider teaming up with your suppliers to offer promotions. For example, approach your toiletry suppliers around creating gift hampers around Christmas or Mother’s Day. Offer your guest special deals from your wine supplier, or negotiate for meats and cheeses to be included in a raffle or competition. Early bird incentives will also encourage your guests to book your hotel at the earliest opportunity. Free upgrades, last-minute discounts and promotional deals are an essential element of marketing strategy for hospitality industry businesses: it’s time your hotel got onboard.
Creative Hotel Packages to Boost Your Visitors
Memorable deals with creative hotel package names can differentiate your hotel in a hospitality and tourism market saturated with generic promotional deals. By celebrating more unusual dates and giving your package deals engaging and memorable names, you can boost your hotels occupancy rates during periods which are traditionally ‘slow’ in the hospitality industry.
Consider offering special room packages for public holidays, or events such as Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day or less prominent dates such as St. Andrew’s Day or the Queen’s Birthday. For a more local touch, celebrate local heroes or celebrities with a special theme of promotional hotel package offer. Create special offers for family and friend reunions, or reach out to local businesses for offsite meetings. When it comes to putting together creative hotel packages, the world is your oyster.
Unique and Memorable Event Ideas For Hotels
When considering how to increase hotel room sales, it is important to note that events can be a rich source of income. Whilst unique events will catch the eye of the local press, they will also help your hotel to be more-frequented by locals. 77% of events planners claim to conduct research before contacting a venue: so make sure that your offering is clear and distributed on the right marketing channels (for example, web, social or mobile). Offering introductory offers to events organisers can encourage return bookings, driving further revenue into your business.
Demand for conferencing and event space is growing rapidly and offers a significant revenue opportunity for hotel properties. Music festivals, art exhibitions, concerts and roadshows may be taking place near your hotel – so make the most out of these occasions by hosting simultaneous events at your hotel. Hotel ad campaigns can be especially effective when tied in with such events – so keep an eye on what is happening in your community, and boost your business with well-marketed information. Timing your marketing efforts with well-attended local events is one of the most popular PR ideas for hotels.
Raise Revenue With Sales Blitz Ideas
What is a hotel sales blitz? Put simply, a sales blitz is an intense sales campaign which entails going into your hotel’s surrounding area, sharing the news of your business or product with every business and organisation in the community. An effective sales blitz must be efficient and well organised to maximise its impact.
Determine who will be targeted in your sales blitz, and start off by breaking your sales-blitzing team into groups. Create a map of your hotel’s surrounding area and bring along a clipboard to take note of who you have already contacted and engaged with. Following up with every person your hotel has engaged with on your sales blitz is essential in building a rapport and guiding potential guests in their decision-making. By focussing all of your marketing and sales efforts into one geographical area, your hotel can better communicate new packages or deals whilst enhancing the confidence of your staff.
Digital Marketing Campaigns for Hotels
Digital Marketing Campaigns for Hotels
Hotel Web Design & Development
Digital marketing begins with your website, and should form the first point of your hotel online marketing strategy. Indeed, consumer decision-making has become increasingly dependent on the appearance, strength and functionality of the site they are browsing. This means that an accessible, secure and user-friendly website should form the core of your hotel web marketing strategy. A flowing and visually appealing online presence will hold the attention of your visitors for longer, making sure that your website is a place where consumers can discover, engage and make bookings.
Your website should be built with the objective of being more than a digital showcase for your hotel. Rather, it should aim to be an interactive customer engagement tool that drives visitors and event bookings. To achieve this, it is important to take account of several engagement-driving factors around your site; including security, user experience, content marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). Building a website for your hotel that incorporates all of these elements will ensure that your establishment flourishes in the digital world, both in the present and into the future.
Hotel Social Media Campaigns
In today’s digital marketplace, investing in social media should form an essential element of any digital marketing plan for hotel businesses. Navigating your hotel through these networks whilst communicating your unique message can present real challenges. Indeed, making your campaigns reach the right audiences requires skill, perseverance and insight into what makes the world of social tick. Hotels who chart a connected path to their visitors using the right content on the right channels can expect to see enhanced engagement, increased following and more bookings.
Some of the best hotel social media campaigns specifically target one platform in order to reach their target audience. For example, a Majorcan 18-30 hotel may target younger visitors on Twitter or Instagram, whilst sophisticated conferencing spaces may target professionals and event organisers on Linkedin. An extensive social hotel marketing plan can identify when and where your target audiences discusses business, giving your hotel the prominence it deserves. All of the main platforms offer opportunities for paid hotel internet advertising – so get online and get social.
Pinpointing how to socially engage with consumers can be a difficult affair, and usually depends from hotel to hotel. However, examples of social media for hotels case studies can guide you in determining your audience, as well as providing inspiration for content (including images, hashtags and appropriate tone of voice) . A strong social media marketing strategy for hotels is essential in differentiating your establishment from the rest: so invest some time and effort into establishing a social presence which engages, informs and inspires.
Hotel Video Marketing
Hotel video advertising is a truly engaging marketing tool which allows for shareable and memorable promotional content. Recently published research suggests that 82% of internet traffic will be video content by the year 2022. With that data in mind, the need for your hotel to join the video marketing revolution has never been stronger. A beautifully shot and edition video project will come as a major marketing asset to your hotel, and a huge number of options are available to boost your establishment’s appeal. For example, a 360° panoramic shot may serve as a ‘try before you buy’ video, allowing event organisers to check out your venues and conferencing videos. Indeed, some of the best hotel videos use advanced technologies such as drones to expertly capture an engaging hotel advertisement.
Continued advancements in video technology have given birth to some of the most innovative and best hotel advertisements the tourism & hospitality sector has seen. From a marketing perspective, it should be noted that video content offers one of the strong returns of investment, with research published by GuestRevu demonstrating that 66% of web users watch videos when planning a trip, and that 65% watch video when making their choice. Indeed, consumers trust video content, and a video tour of your hotel’s rooms, facilities and surrounding areas could separate your credentials from those of your rivals.
It is important to remember that effective video marketing doesn’t begin and end with a strong script and creative approach to filming and photography. Whilst these are crucial in creating a polished and engaging final piece, that content will not reach its intended audience without implementing several key marketing techniques. For example, marketing your video project via a paid service on social media can extend your outreach during certain periods of time. Furthermore, publishing your content on the most appropriate channels (eg. Vimeo, YouTube or LinkedIn) can ensure that your brand engages with the right web traffic, driving more visitors to your site.
Further extending your outreach can also be achieved via a holistic approach which implements a strong and well-researched Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) strategy. Put simply, optimising your video content with high-performance keywords, phrases, URLs and metadescriptions can raise your content’s rankings on the pages that matter: Google search engine results.
TRENDING TOPIC TARGETING
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
The modern marketplace has transformed how we receive digital content, and hotel internet marketing strategy is no different. Previous decades saw mainstream brands and multinational businesses hold a monopoly in the world of advertising and marketing. However, the advent of search engines (for example, Google, Yahoo! and Bing) has introduced new elements to online competition via complex algorithms, which change on a regular basis. These algorithms analyse digital content to prioritise high quality and useful content to online consumers, making an evaluation based upon a range of factors (web design, user-friendliness, content and back-end functionality).
When these factors are combined they affect Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). SEO is the crucial strategy which will place your website above your rivals in search engine results, allowing your brand to achieve increased traffic, engagement and sales. An essential element of hotel website marketing, SEO strategy will aim to ensure that your business uses high-performance keywords and phrases throughout its digital presence.
Investing in high-quality content or digital strategies can be a costly and time consuming affair, and making that investment without an SEO strategy can render all of your previous efforts as pointless. If you have paid for engaging content, make sure that it engages with the correct users on the correct forums. Embed a well-researched and organised SEO strategy into your marketing plans and reap the eventual benefits of increased digital prominence.
Today’s digital marketplace follows the mantra that ‘content is king’. But what does this mean? Put simply, this refers to the paramount importance of strong content in any hotel digital marketing strategy. Strong content requires effective content marketing, from the blogs and hotel about us content on your site through to video content and social media campaigns. Both for established brands and new arrivals, content marketing is an essential step in showcasing your business’ expertise or knowledge, as well as introducing your brand to new markets or prospective clients.
Establishing yourself as a leader in your industry requires a holistic approach which places a strong content strategy at its core. Whilst many businesses may immediately look towards hotel web advertising to generate engagement, a combination of hotel marketing services will ensure that your brand and its content receives the prominence they deserve.
Kicking off your hotel’s content marketing strategy with a content audit will allow you to consider all of the material in your online properties, including text on web pages, blog posts, page structure, links and word count, as well as their current performance. Whilst identifying some ‘quick wins’ for digital marketers, an extensive audit will assist you in devising an effective content strategy, including a keyword strategy engineered for enhanced engagement and sales conversions.
Building your digital presence on engaging, optimised and frequently updated content can make that critical difference between success and failure. So, consolidate your brand’s credentials with a steady stream of blogs, guides and video content.
Voice Search Marketing
Once upon a time, the experience of travelling and booking began at a travel company, where browsing and booking your accommodation was handled by an agent. However, successive developments in voice technology have transformed travel planning, with manually-entered search queries gradually losing ground to voice searches. Indeed, Google’s own voice assistant is now available on over 400 million decision worldwide, with Comcast estimating that approximately half of all searches will be voice-driven by 2020.
Hotel advertising strategies frequently overlook voice search, and staying ahead of the curve can separate yourself from the competition in an increasingly crowded market. Having a fully optimised Google My Business listing can raise your brand’s position in voice search ranking. When exploring how to advertise your hotel via voice search, using conversational language along with a keyword strategy with phrases commencing with ‘who, what, where, when, why’ will allow your business to more accurately respond to voice-driven search queries. Indeed, some of the best hotel ads come in the form of personalised experiences via voice assistants.
Expedia Digital Marketing
A simple Google Search for “how to market hotel business” brings up several industry-leading travel websites in its highest ranking results, including Expedia. Indeed, this alone demonstrates that expedia marketing is a valuable tool, reflecting what such hotel advertising websites can do for your business.
Featuring an advertisement for your hotel on such sites can connect your business to an extensive network of ecommerce brands, vastly expanding your digital outreach. In the case of Expedia, signing into a travel website marketing package can deliver your branded message at every stage of the consumer journey, with a range of digital marketing solutions available to drive both integrated and custom marketing campaigns. Whether your hotel is well-established or a new arrival, Expedia digital marketing can harness billions of travel, tourism and booking data points, revealing which travel shoppers to target, and where.
For hotels working within a tighter budget, Expedia still offers strong marketing opportunities. For example, Expedia hosts some of the best hotel review samples, allowing you to measure your performance and feedback against that of your competitors.
Travel website marketing doesn’t have to stop there: there are dozens of established travel sites out there, including TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet and booking.com.
Hotel Email Marketing
A common myth persists which suggests that email marketing is dying. However, recent research flies in the face of such a claim, with recent data published by ReachMail suggesting that 320% more revenue can be attributed to welcome emails alone. Email marketing should therefore be seen as a means of achieving cheap online advertising for hotels and a great way of trialling creative ideas to attract customers. Aside from general announcements, discounts and promotional deals, email marketing can easily share PR activities for hotels maintaining a direct line of engagement and communication with potential visitors. Given its low cost, email marketing should be implemented in any sales strategy plan for hotel industry businesses.
How you engage with potential visitors via email marketing will largely depend upon the nature of your hotel and it’s targeted audience. Whilst some larger venues and sophisticated conferencing spaces may wish to address their audience in a simple, professional tone; boutique hotels and 18-30 clubs may communicate with guests in a more informal and conversational style.
Researching your target audience and how they prefer to engage with their favourite brands can pay off, and the research speaks for itself: a recent report by Experian found that 56% of businesses using an emoji in their subject lines had a higher open rate.
56 percent of brands using emoji in their email subject lines had a higher open rate, according to a report by Experian. Welcome emails are incredibly effective: on average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails. Welcome emails are incredibly effective: on average, 320% more revenue is attributed to them on a per email basis than other promotional emails.
Expedia Digital Marketing
The devices that travellers and tourists engage with hotel operators on are in a constant state of change, with more and more consumers turning to tablets and handheld devices when browsing and booking travel accommodation. The modern marketplace is mobile, and mobile therefore offers valuable opportunities for sales and marketing in hotel industry businesses. The most effective hotel strategies to attract customers attempt to engage with them on the platforms they love to use: so take your hotel campaign to the next level with a strong mobile marketing campaign.
An effective hotel digital advertising campaign should begin with a strong, engaging and user-friendly mobile app. Indeed, research by Travel Tripper suggests that over 33% of bookings are done via mobile apps. Furthermore, hotel chain giant, Hilton Hotels, claim that their mobile app is responsible for 20% of its bookings.
When it comes to hotel mobile marketing, it’s all about user experience. That’s why embedding chatbots, social media and a reviewing system into your app can truly differentiate your hotel from the competition.
Sales and Marketing in Hotel Industry
Resorts and Boutique Hotels
Resort Marketing Ideas
Hotel advertising campaigns differ between establishments, and promoting a resort may call for a different marketing approach. A resort marketing plan may seek to highlight features such as golf courses, swimming pools and spas, whereas a boutique hotel marketing plan may seek to highlight local landmarks or luxury rooms. Define your resorts finest assets and place them at the core of your marketing strategy, using the digital marketing techniques listed above to champion your unique brand.
When done right, resort digital marketing can help you to connect with potential visitors on the channels they love to use. Luxury resort marketing may wish to target wealthier travellers, and highlighting your resorts eloquent features on social channels such as Instagram and Twitter can bring your branded message to the right people at the right time. Take attractive photos of fine dining or pristine swimming pools, and watch your social engagement translate into sales. When considering luxury resort advertising, it pays to be social.
Boutique Hotel Marketing
LOCAL AREA MARKETING
Whether you are promoting a resort or a boutique, marketing your local area can pay off with more visitors.
This video of attractions in Cairo is a great example.
Hotel Marketing Trends and Tips
LOCATE YOUR RESOURCES WISELY
CONSIDER MULTIMEDIA MARKETING
EXPERIMENT WITH EXCITING HOSPITALITY IDEAS
LOOK AT A HOTEL MARKETING PLAN EXAMPLE
HOTEL VIDEO MARKETING
Hotel Video Marketing from ProfileTree
You already know the statistics that videos are everywhere! In 2017, 45% of people watch more than an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos a week and more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube every day with 51% of marketing professionals naming video as the content that gives the best ROI.
ProfileTree has published more than 500 videos online since February 2017 generating over 1 million views for our own brands. In 2017 we have worked with Crumlin Gaol, Ulster American Folk Park and many more. We have perfected video marketing – taking our traditional SEO and content marketing skills and applied this to video.
We have created specific hotel video marketing packages – these allow a hotel to invest a small amount of resources in order to create a marketing bank of material that can used multiple times for maximum impact on websites and social media sites. Our aim is you help you share your wonderful hotel experience and provide potential customers with an insight into all you have to offer.
Silver – Key focus areas are identified and we visit with a video team who will efficiently capture all the footage we require. Back at our office we will create edits to match your exact requirements in regards style, mood and focus. These will be delivered to you quickly for review and final tweaks before sign off.
Gold – A more comprehensive shoot – requiring most of the hotel to be captured. A carefully signed off schedule will be followed to film area by area so no impact on daily life in the hotel. A campaign can be created for key events or parts of the hotel experience that should be highlighted to potential guests. You select what you need covered and how.
Platinum – A premium package covering every part of the hotel experience plus content for campaigns. We can craft advertisements and videos suitable for social media platforms. The extensive nature of this package could provide the hotel with enough video content for more than 1 year. Giving potential customers a real feeling for your hotel’s experience during the booking process means that this package provides the best ROI possible.
- We work with you to devise a video marketing strategy – we will create videos to showcase the key selling points of the hotel.
- We can create videos that will enhance your current marketing efforts.
- We can help you showcase your events and facilities.
- We can provide seasonal videos to help promote events throughout the year.
Investing in a collection of videos gives excellent ROI. They can be added to your website – then posted regularly into social media. Videos are perfect for reuse and are the top performing post style in every social media network. Contact us today to see how a custom video package can generate more bookings for events, meals, activities, and accommodation.