The top tips & advice about Hotel Marketing in 2019, that will significantly enhance your hotel’s sales and brand awareness11 mins read
When it comes to contemporary marketing, Hoteliers are one of the most well-informed groups of professionals. Among their daily tasks, they have to apply the latest and most advanced marketing techniques, in an online and offline level. However, year after year, the marketing requirements grow and competition becomes harder. As a result, Hoteliers are obliged to constantly search for new marketing techniques, that would efficiently support and enhance their hotels’ sales.
But what is changing in 2019, regarding the hotel marketing techniques that a Hotelier must use? Are there any new means or channels that the Hoteliers should take advantage of, or should they focus on achieving better results through the already existing ones? For 2019, the answer would be to focus on the already existing marketing means and techniques, aiming to achieve better results and to inherit a completely new approach when it comes to using the common channels such as OTAs and Social Media. At the same time, it is also essential to turn to their customers, who can become the reference point of a hotel’s revenue, as well as an enhancement pillar for future sales.
Live streaming and spontaneous video on Social Media become the hotels’ most influential type of content, leading to new reservations and increasing service sales to staying guests.
*A fabulous Instagram moment from Levin Iglut Hotel in Finland, showing a group of friends enjoying one of the hotel’s unique facilities.
Social Media has become one of the most important parts of a traveller’s search for a hotel since they are able to present the most honest and direct content, that showcases the hotels’ actual image and experience. Especially Instagram is rapidly turning into one of the travellers’ most beloved media, since they can find, in addition to each hotel’s own posts and stories, additional photos and videos that are uploaded by other travellers staying at the hotel.
Given the above, it is clear that spontaneous videos from within the hotel, have now become the most influential type of content since they allow travellers to get a more direct image of the property and the experiences it offers. The video dynamics are further enhanced through the live streaming possibility that popular apps like Facebook and Instagram offer. These platforms, actively promote the use of live streaming by ensuring higher reachability, while they also provide the possibility of posting the material that was created during the live show at a later stage, for users that were not online at that moment.
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In collaboration with your hotel’s bartender, arrange a live streaming of a fancy cocktail’s preparation, asking intriguing questions that will keep the viewers’ interest alive. In this way, not only will you provide a positive image of your hotel to distant travellers who are checking out your social media during their search for a hotel, but you will also increase the desire of your current guests to try out your cocktails.
Hotel staff becomes more active in your hotel promotion since they appear to have a great effect on traveller reviews, that often influence a future guest’s booking decision.
One of the most dynamic marketing techniques for 2019, is the efficient use of the hotel staff, on branding as well as on operational level. After all, it is widely known that a guest’s experience is highly influenced by service, which becomes even more important when the hotel has managed to provide a certain concept around its service, or even a more personalized and direct character.
Therefore, before implementing your staff into your hotel’s brand identity through photos and/or videos, it is essential to give a specific concept to your entire service, that will enhance the guest experience and lead to better reviews as well as to an increase of the property’s additional service sales. This character can be also enhanced through specified procedures in your service and operation, that will give a differentiated point of view to the visitor’s experience and make the hotel service truly memorable.
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Since the housekeeping staff is the one that comes into more direct contact with your guests, you can arrange a special photo shoot and present your housekeepers through a special section in your website or even through your dedicated hotel TV channels. As soon as you have convinced your guests about your staff’s effectiveness and professionalism, set specific procedures that will bring them in even more direct contact with them. For example, the housekeepers could leave a small note with a personal ‘hotel or destination tip of the day’, along with a homemade treat. This will significantly support your hotel’s personalized service and increase your staff’s enthusiasm since they will now feel even more involved in the shaping of the guest experience.
Hotel Design, which is the main reference point for all Hotel Content, requires more than just good aesthetics: a dynamic concept that promises unique experiences.
*A picture from the fascinating Keemala Hotel in Phuket, with a Design Concept that focuses on elements from the local nature and culture.
Something that is not widely discussed, is the fact that the hotel design is one of the strongest parts that highly affect a hotel’s sales and marketing strategy. The design of a property is the setting for all the guest experiences, and the images that capture this setting, either used in B2B presentations or in Social Media, are the ones that play the bigger role in a new sale.
However, the requirements here have increased as well. The modern travellers, in addition to good aesthetics, now seek inspiration through the hotel’s Design Concept, that will evidently shape their entire staying experience. This means that today’s hotels must be designed in a way that would have a special story to narrate, leading to the creation of an original marketing material that will significantly support their sales.
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If the area your hotel is located in has any special features or characteristics, make sure that your Design Concept draws inspiration from them. Of course, before finalizing your Design Concept, it is essential to thoroughly study your competition, so that you don’t develop something that already exists. After this, make sure to create special Instagram corners within the hotel, where guests can take pictures and selfies. And, above all, do not underestimate your destination’s local culture and traditions. Something that might look folklore or ‘old-fashioned’ to you, will most probably seem unique and special for your guests.
Hotel SEO now passes to reliable third-party channels, while OTAs are a hotel’s most important promotional channels to a ready-to-book audience.
A picture of the Travel by Interest team, that specializes in targeting important niche markets of tourism, through personalized Hotel SEO articles. At the same time, Travel by Interest creates themed Hotel Collections, through which they present the best hotels based on niche markets (gay, luxury, food, wellness), special themes or destination features (e.g. sea view hotels, hotels with outdoor Jacuzzis etc.)
2019 is by far one of the most well-established years for digital marketing, since important terms like Search Engine Optimization (most known as SEO), have been sufficiently explained and analyzed and allow their more efficient use and practice. It is a fact that a hotel website’s SEO perspectives are quite limited, and any investment — other than the development of targeted blog content, is most probably useless.
For this reason, Hoteliers are now turning to reliable third-party channels, with increased authority in specific areas, a factor that even Google takes into serious consideration. At the same time, this technique provides a quality backlink to the hotel’s website, which increases its own SEO positioning.
What is also interesting is that OTAs are now transforming into Hotel Search Engines, since this is where most travellers begin their online search for a hotel and, in most cases, end up visiting the hotel’s official website as well. For this reason, it is essential that your profile pages within OTAs are as complete as possible since they play a significant role in your property’s increase of direct traffic.
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Given the fact that a large percentage of your hotel’s direct traffic comes from searches within OTAs, you must ensure that all the benefits of a direct reservation with you are immediately and clearly stated in your official website. Also, you must make sure that you place clickable ‘Call us’ and ‘Send us an email’ buttons at a central spot in your page. It is also advised to provide alternative communication options, such as WhatsApp and Viber. This will enhance the feeling of direct contact, which big OTAs are not able to provide.
Hotel Websites become dynamic concierge spots, while the right content presentation seems to have a great effect on booking conversions.
*A screenshot from the itineraries section of Diles & Rinies Villas in Tinos, Greece, that give inspiration to the travellers regarding the most existing things to do in the area.
The hotels’ influence in shaping the travellers’ daily schedule, is now greater than ever. The travellers use the hotel as a one-stop-shop, through which they try to arrange their entire trip — from airport transfers to car rentals and excursions. For this reason, more and more hotels are now providing a complete and detailed presentation of their destination experiences, thus becoming dynamic concierge reference points. The complete and well-designed presentation of the local experiences and the additional hotel services that the travellers can purchase at a later stage can increase the possibilities for direct booking since the hotel seems to cover most of the guests’ needs.
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Create a special section within your website, where you will present selected things to do around the hotel, and convince your customers that you are working really hard to ensure their most complete experience. Choose reliable and fascinating restaurants and give personal tips, in order to enhance the guests’ loyalty and trust towards your property.
Your Hotel’s WiFi network is the most dynamic tool for promoting additional services such as restaurants and spa, that enhance your overall revenue.
What is certain about 2019, is that your guests will make great use of the free WiFi you are providing in your hotel, in an effort to stay in touch with the online world. The various network companies that provide WiFi services, have realized the importance of this field, and have transformed it into an important tool, that allows Hoteliers to contact their guests through the WiFi network with personalized messages, and promote their additional services.
However, besides being a useful promotional tool, this technique can transform the guests’ stay into a more interactive experience, that will enhance their satisfaction and — why not — lead to more positive reviews.
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Create a digital personal for your Hotel (e.g. ‘Your Digital Travel Buddy’), that will accompany your guests throughout their stay and share useful automated tips and ideas with them, depending on the time of the day. You can even create different scenarios depending on the length of stay and help your guests plan their stay in the most original way, recommending them at the same time to use your hotel additional facilities.
Nikos is the person behind successful tourism startups like Travel by Interest, Destsetters & Hotelier Academy. With his important experience in the Hospitality Industry, he helps both hotels & companies to succeed in the tourism market while at the same time he loves sharing his knowledge with professionals around the world. Hotel Concept Making, Travel Digital Marketing & Tourism Strategy are few of his habits and he is always open to fresh collaborations! You can find him as an author in Hotelier Academy or as a C.E.O in Travel by Interest or directly to his LinkedIn profile for new challenges!