20 Essential Hotel Marketing Tips To Increase Hotel Bookings

Prabhash Bhatnagar
Prabhash Bhatnagar

20 Essential Hotel Marketing Tips To Increase Hotel Bookings

To own and run a hotel has never been an easy task. Although it has become even more challenging to maximize your revenue and increase direct bookings in the current post-pandemic era, your hotel can make the best of the expected industry revival by implementing a strong hotel marketing plan.

We’ve put together a few key hotel marketing strategies that would help you stay ahead in this ever-competitive industry.

1. Know Your Guests Well

It is extremely crucial for you to understand your customers and what their needs and requirements are while they are looking to book a room in your hotel. According to a report by InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG), the ‘35-year-old and younger’ demographic are the ones who have been the most active market segment since after the pandemic.

Knowing your target market can help you create the right hotel marketing strategy in order to provide the best amenities for your guests.

2. Make Your Hotel Website Intuitive And User-Friendly

Post-pandemic, most guests are researching the safety protocols and hygiene standards of hotels through their website and social media pages. Be sure to tell your guests extensively about your covid prevention measures as part of your hotel marketing plan.

The hotel’s website should be designed in such a way that people find everything you are offering, is easy to navigate, fast, and reliable. It also needs to be mobile-friendly.

Always remember, an intuitive website establishes credibility as a business and if you lack it, you are definitely running behind.

3. Showcase The Uniqueness And The Strengths Of Your Property

It is important that you have complete knowledge about what makes your hotel attractive to guests and those unique factors should be highlighted on your social media handles, website, and hotel marketing campaigns.

For example, if your property is pet-friendly, it would be great to put up photos of guests walking into your hotel, spending time with their pets.

4. Prize Your Guests If They Book Directly

Why should someone come over to your hotel’s website to make a booking when they have multiple options on an OTA?

Make sure you give your guests ample reason to book directly with you- surprise gifts, or special services, for example. These kinds of gestures would leave a great impression on them and will help you create long term guest relations.

It would also improve the guest experience and increase the chances of them recommending your hotel to friends and family, or leaving excellent reviews online.

5. Go Little Overboard With Customers Who Are Loyal To You

When a guest makes a return booking with your hotel and when they arrive at your property, they may expect you to acknowledge them for their loyalty. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant- small gestures like a ‘Welcome Back’ email or a placard or a complimentary beverage would make them feel special and welcomed.

6. Guest Experience Should Be Your Top Priority

Guest experience is what matters the most. No matter what hotel digital marketing campaigns you have in place, without a positive guest experience it is unlikely you will yield positive results.

Guests are more likely to return to your property when they are satisfied with the experience. And this not only applies to their time spent on your property but also to their experience during reservation, arrival, check-in/out, and departure.

Happy guests leave good reviews, and good reviews will drive more revenue to your property.

7. The Pricing Of Your Hotel Rooms Should Be Aligned With Seasonal Factors

Setting up prices for your rooms is a strategic task and you must learn to master it. When you set a price for your hotel rooms, you should do it by considering various factors like the season, special day, or even the local events happening during that time. This would ensure that you also have increased RevPAR.

Remember these busy seasons, and increase your hotel marketing efforts during these times to make your hotel more visible and drive more visitors.

8. Reviewing Your Hotel Should Be Easy For The Guests

According to a survey conducted by TripAdvisor, 96% of their users consider reviews very important before they consider making travel plans or booking a hotel and more than a half of them say that they wouldn’t book a hotel that has no reviews.

When the guests are about to check out, make sure you ask them to review your hotel. Whether it’s on OTA or TripAdvisor or even your hotel website — ask them to share their experience.

9. Hotel Pictures Should Be Attractive

A hotelier must ensure that the property pictures on the hotel website or any OTA are authentic and attractive. For this, you may also hire a professional photographer.

Furthermore, you may also upload these photos on the hotel’s social media handles to promote direct bookings.

10. Recommendations Should Be Personalised

Most travelers today prefer experience-based vacations. Give your guests personalized recommendations about the best things to do or the best places to see in the surrounding areas to add to a great guest experience.

You can either manually ask for preferences or power your website with a recommendation engine to look at guest behavior and suggest packages, rooms, sightseeing, etc.

11. Have A Dedicated Blog

Blogs are undoubtedly one of the best hotel marketing strategies. Hoteliers must ensure that the blogs’ contents are spot on, best-in-class, and deliver real value. The better the content, the greater the chances of website traffic which would lead to direct bookings.

12. Opt For A Channel Management Software

Channel managers are game-changers. Period.

When your property is listed on several OTA’s it’s not an easy task to update room inventory regularly. However, when you have a channel manager integrated with your hotel PMS, your room inventory gets updated in real-time, saving a significant amount of your time and preventing any loss in revenue.

13. Social Media Should Be Used As A Marketing Strategy

Travelers these days often prefer to look at a hotel’s social media like Instagram or Facebook before booking a hotel room. If you are not in the social media game yet, then it’s high time now. It has become crucial for hotels to promote their property and services on their social media handles.

14. Upselling Counts My Friend!

Yes, it definitely pays! Just a few days before their arrival, you can shoot an email to your guests, inviting them to upgrade their room or go for other services that your hotel offers — it could be a candlelight dinner or a Spa service, or any other add-on service.

15. Know Your Competitors Well

Keep a close eye on your competitors to understand how they promote their services. You don’t have to copy the same thing but it will help you get an idea of what strategies they are working with, and you can later tweak the ideas and apply them to your property.

16. Keep In Sync With The Requirements Of Modern Travellers

The travelers of today look for more personalized experiences. That is why they want access to all kinds of information at their fingertips with convenience. But how would you gather these modern-traveler preferences? The best way to do it is by watching travel vlogs or researching on platforms like Instagram or reading blogs.

Once you know what travelers of this generation are looking for. Incorporate them on your property and shout it out on your social media handles.

17. Make Most Of Your Mobile App

Having a mobile app for your hotel can help guests in booking rooms, buying services, reviewing your hotel, and even share pictures. A mobile app would not only help in increasing direct bookings at your property but also help increase the number of returning guests too.

18. Attract Guests With Off-Season Offers

Off-season offers are a game changer! There are people who prefer to travel during the off-season and during that period, you can attract bookings by creating some special packages or by organizing events at your property. This will help you maximize your bookings and revenue during the off-season.

19. Special Packages And Discounts For Groups And Extend Stays

Guests are important— whether they make single reservations or book in a group or are from a large corporate. Try creating special packages for them, offer discounts to guests who go for an extended stay, and do your best to make their stay experience at your hotel the best. This is an effective marketing strategy in the hospitality industry. At the end of the day, it’s the guest who would spread the word.

20. How About Letting Your Guests Have More Power On The Mobile App

Give your hotel guests the privilege to order room service on the mobile app. For example, if they want the room to be cleaned, they don’t have to call the front desk, they can just do it right on the mobile app. Or maybe they want to order something to eat from the POS, they can do that too. This access on their phone would make them feel great and safe during these post-pandemic times.

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