Paris Sklavos, Content Strategist at Travel by Interest shares with Hotelier Academy eight useful tips that will contribute to your hotel's successful Christmas promotion
Christmas. A season of festivities, cheerful events, and a demanding schedule that needs lots of preparation and development. And it’s not just that. Christmas is also a season of opportunities: to stand out from the other properties in your area and create such a unique set of experiences for your guests, that will deeply carve your hotel into their memories.
To achieve that, every Hotelier needs a solid strategic plan that will help implement the festive spirit of Christmas into the hotel. This means that each property must create high-quality content that will spread the word to the travellers, in the most fun and engaging way.
Before going through our recommended tips below, we need to point out the most crucial step that needs to come before everything else: Preparation. Preparation means that you have to sit down with your team and examine who’s your audience, what do they require during Christmas, what did you do last year, and if your past actions worked. Having all these questions thoroughly answered, you are ready to start following the below tips, create your re-marketing database, and communicate your exciting Holiday Content to your global customers.
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1. Christmas Decorations: The foundations of your content.
This is the cornerstone of your Christmas campaign. You need to make sure that you create a beautiful, festive atmosphere within your Hotel, that will convince your guests to share it on their social media. Keep in mind that “just a Christmas tree in the lobby” is not enough; you need to look into the Christmas decorations topic more seriously and create something unique, that the travellers will never forget.
Smart Tip: Create special Instagrammable Christmas corners with fun decorations, or even Christmas messages and wishes, where your guests can take their festive selfies. Also, if you are a family hotel, you can have a Santa Claus in your lobby for a few hours every day, taking pictures with your younger guests.
2. Christmas Photography: A picture is worth a thousand words.
Plan ahead for next year, and make sure to capture your property’s amazing festive atmosphere through a professional set of photographs. These photos can be used in your next year’s Christmas campaign, allowing you to share the unique holiday spirit of your hotel with potential guests from across the globe. Never forget that a picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure to invest wisely in creating an excellent photo shooting of your Christmas Hotel atmosphere.
Smart Tip: Real-time photos taken with your mobile phone can have a huge success to current and future guests — sometimes, this type of photos can even be more successful than the professional ones. People are more easily engaged to images that capture the reality and showcase the actual experiences within the property. Plus, these are images you can use right now, without having to wait a whole year before sharing them with your guests!
3. Social Media Strategy: Your profile pages are your hotel’s digital facade.
- Christmas decorations. ✓Check.
- Special Photoshooting. ✓Check.
The only thing left now is to communicate your content to your potential guests. Change your cover photos and dress up your Social Media profiles to be colourful and festive. Use clever messages and engaging images to create unique Ads that will target your re-marketing audiences and bring more traffic and sales to your hotel.
Your amateur photos and videos can be used for Instagram Stories & posts, that will share your property’s exciting holiday mood with the rest of the world. Of course, don’t forget about newsletters. Create fancy newsletters, dress them up in red, gold & silver, make them festive, and send them to your past visitors. We are sure they will love them and appreciate the fact that your hotel has created this amazing content just for them.
Smart Tip: Create your own Social Media holiday #hashtag, making sure to make it easy and catchy, so that your guests can easily understand it and start using it. Moreover, your Instagrammable corners in the hotel will now be at their peak, since people will start taking pictures and posting them using your original hashtag.
4. Festive Housekeeping: Share Motivation & Excitement.
Housekeeping is one of the most important departments in a hotel, that can create or destroy a property’s reputation. It is also one of the few departments that allow you to offer small surprises to your guests, that can enhance their overall experience. During the whole Christmas period, you can ask your housekeepers to add a touch of a more Christmas-y note to the rooms after cleaning them.
For example, you can have a daily Christmas treat offered to each guest, or add a small Christmas Card (with your hotel’s logo and image) to the rooms, wishing ‘Happy Holidays’. You can even share your social responsibility with your guests and inform them that part of their reservation cost will be given to a children’s charity organization, so that “all children in the world can wear a big smile this Christmas”.
Smart Tip: Make sure that these festive ‘touches’ are as strong, emotional and pretty as possible, so that they have more chances to be photographed and shared on your guests’ social media.
5. Special Christmas Menu: Bring the holiday spirit into your restaurants!
In addition to developing a cosy Christmas-y atmosphere within your hotel, you can ask your Chef and F&B team to create a special holiday menu with delicious delicacies, that will be only served during this special season. With a little imagination and a talented chef, you can even create special dishes that can only be found in your hotel.
Don’t forget to include local Christmas recipes and delicacies of your area, to give the necessary feeling of ‘blending with the local culture’. A hotel in Greece cannot but offer “kourampiedes” and “melonakarona” (the most popular Christmas sweets), while a hotel in the United Kingdom must definitely serve the traditional Christmas Pudding. Moreover, a hotel in central Europe is expected to serve the traditional glühwein or glogg, even during breakfast!
Smart Tip: Make sure to print special Christmas Menu Cards presenting your exclusive holiday menu. A more attractive presentation can definitely lead to more sales!
6. Special Events & Offers: Make your hotel a Christmas hot-spot!
Make your hotel a Christmas hot-spot through a wide array of events that could also be open to the public. Be sure that these events are under a specific topic, and not just random events that happen to take place in the same venue. Think of unique Christmas concepts that your hotel could pull off based on your target groups’ characteristics.
Also, create special Christmas offers that could attract more travellers to your property, either during the holiday season or even throughout the year. Everybody loves reductions and, especially during holiday seasons like Christmas, when travellers tend to spend more money on themselves or on Christmas presents.
Smart tip: Set-up an early Christmas booking offer at least 2 or 3 months prior to Christmas, and guarantee a fully-booked holiday period for your hotel!
7. Spread the word: Publish Special Content in 3rd party websites.
Publishing content in third-party platforms is always a clever way of promotion and positioning for a hotel. Try to find selected platforms and social media that would be interested in publishing your Christmas content or ask a content creating website to develop original Christmas content about your hotel. This can be used to promote your property to markets that you have not developed yet. After all, everybody loves Christmas, as well as hotels that join the Christmas spirit.
Smart Tip: If you have your own content creators, write a few themed articles and send them to bloggers or other websites, that will give you valuable back-links. This will increase your SEO ranking in Google or other search engines and benefit your hotel’s overall visibility in the web.
8. Ho Ho Ho: Send Special Presents to your Loyal Customers & Partners!
Christmas is a period of festivities, events and… presents. Make a small surprise to your loyal customers and closest partners by sending them a special holiday card with wishes for “Happy Holidays”. Or, you could take it one step further and, instead of a simple card, send small gifts like tailor-made, printed Christmas ornaments, or even good-luck charms. If your gift is handmade, the appreciation will grow even bigger!
Smart Tip: Send something unique, inspired by your local culture, in order to increase the chances of being shared on the recipients’ social media. This will further increase your overall awareness in the market.
Travel by Interest wishes you a joyful Holiday Season!
Travel by Interest is a Content Generating platform, that can create new and original content about your hotel and use it to promote your property to a global travel audience. Travel by Interest helps travellers find the right hotel for them more easily, by sorting the various properties into fascinating Hotel Collections, either based on important niche travel markets (gay, luxury, food and wellness) or on special themes and topics.
A Christmas note from Hotelier Academy
If you follow the above tips provided by Travel by Interest, you will manage not only to create a unique festive atmosphere in your hotel, but also share your efforts with your past, current, and future guests. Keep in mind that everything you do inside your Hotel has a great effect on your guests’ experience. At the same time, you must remember that the methods and messages you use to communicate your Christmas mood can bring more sales to your property, not only during the holiday season but also all around the coming year.
If you make a correct planning and schedule the various activities you want to do during Christmas at least 2 months ahead, then you will be able to truly relax and enjoy the holiday season, seeing your hotel being fully booked and your guests absolutely excited and happy!