The growth of online social media platforms and travel forums such as TripAdvisor has meant that the way people travel and stay at hotels has changed by enabling communication with other potential guests, tourists and locals, and influencing the way they choose their holiday breaks, work visits or their next local drink.
These 6 types of digital marketing practices can help today’s hotels to compete with other local hotels and here, we explain why.
1. Try sponsored search engine advertisement
A quick Google search can literally put your hotel on the map through a paid advertisement, such as Google AdWords. These advertisements integrate Google reviews, star ratings and photos giving a searcher a quick summary of your hotel. As such, a paid advertisement can help position your hotel as a prominent place to stay, which in turn can help narrow down a searcher’s choice in the local area and shine a spotlight on your hotel.
2. Write relevant, local content
Online content is a digital marketing favourite thanks to its effect on search engine rankings. It makes good marketing sense to promote the area and other businesses in a two-fold attempt to bring business to your hotel. For example one approach would be to use attention grabbing headlines with strong keywords such as ‘Top 3 Places to Visit at Christmas in Leicester’ with the aim of drawing in search engine traffic but also providing potential guests with an itinerary for their stay with you, once your post has captured their attention.
3. Make your website SEO and mobile friendly
Hotels, particularly smaller independent ones, need to make sure their websites are up-to-date and user friendly. Lots of guests today make their hotel booking through their mobile phone, so it is important that hoteliers have made their websites mobile friendly and easy to use. It is even more important this year to make sure your website is mobile friendly with Google’s Mobile First policy being rolled out. This means that mobile optimised websites will be prioritised in search engine rankings. If you want to send search engine traffic to your website, ensuring your hotel website is optimised for mobile is an important place to start.
4. Actively engage on social media platforms
According to The Drum 97% of those aged 18-34 post about their trip on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Whether the reviews of those staying at your hotel are positive or negative, the Internet and its instantaneous nature demands that businesses stay on top of mentions and online feedback by positively engaging with customers and by being seen maintaining positive customer relations with guests. A partnership with a local sporting event, such as a race and related offers (a discounted stay for racers, for example) can help attract customers and provide an opportunity for guests to tag themselves and share posts on the event further afield.
5. Engage with local businesses and community
Although the first instinct is to draw in visitors from outside of your area for overnight stays, a hotel can also offer their local community a nice place to interact and socialise. Consider a cross-promotional strategy with a local business, such as offering the local brewery the opportunity to produce a limited edition beer for your hotel, or try a local business coffee morning held at your hotel, to raise its profile with local business people. Local social media engagement with communities and businesses alike will cast a wider net of social media coverage through this cross-promotional approach.
6. Utilise email marketing for return customers
Email marketing is still used regularly by most businesses to keep previous customers engaged and aware of on-going events and promotions. Through email marketing, hotels can encourage repeat business by promoting hotel updates and great deals directly to their inboxes. Furthermore, following up with guests using an email designed for customer feedback will encourage a positive bank of reviews.
Advice about marketing your hotel
To speak to someone with experience of marketing hotels like yours, contact a member of our team today. Whether you’re looking for tips on strategy or advice about which online or offline marketing techniques to try, we’ll be happy to help. Call us on 01858 445543 or email [email protected]