Your hotel marketing should be consistent enough to support strong brand identity but flexible enough to accommodate fresh ideas and changes in the rapidly evolving hospitality industry. When it comes to attracting new guests or encouraging loyalty in the ones you’ve got, small steps can take you a long way.
It doesn’t take a marketing overhaul to see results, and here are 7 little changes that’ll make a difference with your hotel marketing.
Respond to Comments on Travel Sites
Particularly if there are other hotels near your property with similar price points, guests may base their decision about where to stay on things like ratings from other travelers and the responsiveness of management to concerns, even those expressed online.
You can decide whether to respond to every comment – positive or negative – or just the critical ones. TripAdvisor recommends always having at least one management response to the top 10 reviews on the site at all times.
TripAdvisor also offers five tips for managers about responding to traveler reviews: “respond quickly, be courteous and professional, thank the reviewer, address the specific issues and highlight the positives.”
One-Up the Competition
If the property across the street offers free continental breakfast, kick your offerings up a notch by adding made-to-order omelets or waffles. If their VIP lounge offers appetizers from 5 to 7 p.m., extend your hours until 8 p.m. – and add dessert. Offering even small incentives can leave travelers feeling like they got a better deal with you.
Partner with Local Restaurants to Offer Deals to Guests…
Having a relationship with the hottest or closest restaurants in town will bolster both of your brands and give you an edge over the competition. Ask the restaurant to set aside a certain number of tables for hotel guests or some other nod, such as free appetizers or dessert.
…And That Includes Food Trucks
Designate one night of the week “Food Truck Fest” and have the most popular mobile restaurants park outside your property offering deals to guests. You’ll offer a hip local experience to guests and a ready-made audience for the food trucks.
Keep An Open Mind About Collaborations
Restaurants and food trucks aren’t the only partners you can have on your side for mutually beneficial marketing. Be creative about collaborations, for instance:
- Encourage guests to shop local with discounts at locally owned small shops or retailers.
- Offer discounted meeting space to the local chapters of large national organizations. When it comes time for the chapter to host their national convention, your property will be a natural fit.
- You may already offer discounted corporate rates for the biggest companies with offices in town, but what about small or midsized businesses? Encourage their out-of-town guests to choose you, too, as a way to build relationships and loyalty.
Make Your Eco-Friendly Efforts the Star of the Show
Make sure all existing and future guests know of your property’s commitment to the environment through information on your website, signs in public areas and cards in each room. Showcase everything from your light bulbs to your laundry service to woo eco-savvy travelers.
Entice Guests with High-Tech Experiences
You may not be ready to go all-in on Virtual Reality or other immersive experiences just yet, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give guests an opportunity to dabble. Have a few VR headsets available for guests to check out for a day at a time, for instance.
As the hospitality industry continues to evolve to keep up with changing customer patterns and demands, your hotel marketing should follow suit. Being creative and responsive can set your property apart, making you a go-to for new and returning guests alike.