When it comes to the hospitality industry, some things will never change. And yet, technology advancements and customers’ expectations will always evolve. Thus, certain updates are vital to the health of the hotel business.
Of course, those changes won’t be worth a thing if consumers don’t know about them — that’s why marketing is an invaluable tool for hoteliers everywhere. Many hotels are integrating relevant strategies to keep their marketing up to snuff. Here are some effective marketing strategies to borrow from popular resorts:
Elicit Positive Reviews
Keeping up your online reputation is essential. If you don’t have a high rating on sites like TripAdvisor, Hotels.com, or even Facebook, potential lodgers might choose another place to stay that has more favorable reviews.
You can’t edit ratings once they’re out there, so do your best to take care of every detail for your guests. Clean rooms, updated fixtures, friendly front desk staff, helpful concierge suggestions — all of it will boost your hotel’s reputation and guarantee a steady flow of guests.
Make a point to respond to negative reviews, too. Offer apologies, and, if there’s a valid explanation, write it out. That way, other potential visitors won’t be turned away by one bad experience. In fact, you should respond to every comment and query you receive as quickly as possible, whether they appear on social media, review-centric websites, or an industry page.
Take Hyatt as an example — they created the position of a Twitter concierge. Staffers who man the online page are available 24 hours a day to respond to whatever customers say about the hotel chain.
Make It Personal
Guests want to feel understood and cared for when they stay in a hotel. In fact, 80 percent of survey respondents said they would be willing to switch brand loyalties if another service better tended to their needs.
So, gather as much data as you can about your guests to make their stays meet or exceed their expectations. You can mine information from your online booking form as well as your hotel’s app, if it has one.
Although different guests will expect different levels of service, there are some amenities that everyone will want. For instance, mobile connectivity, Wi-Fi, and USB outlets will suit travelers of all ages and backgrounds.
Combine Business with Pleasure
Today’s business traveler doesn’t necessarily want to get in and out as soon as possible. If they fly to an exotic destination for work, they may stick around for an additional few days to explore before going back home — and back to work.
Make your services appealing to both business and leisure travelers, so the former can stay longer and become the latter. Villa Punto de Vista in Costa Rica is a prime example of how to transform a tourist destination into a viable place for business.
The spacious dwelling has plenty of room for conferences and group gatherings, and all of that takes place amid the rainforests and beaches of Central America.
Suggest the Best of What’s Around
As previously mentioned, hotel guests want an experience — whether they’re there for business or leisure. Your hotel’s concierge team or front desk can make that goal a reality.
Get to know your guests and find out what they want out of their trip. Then, make suggestions for where they should eat, what they should see and do, etc.
Try crowdsourcing a list of local favorites from your staff and mark who shared what, so customers know they’re authentic and honest suggestions.
The hotel chain Red Lion took this concept to the next level. They rolled out a series of microsites that provided activity suggestions to help sway potential visitors pre-booking.
Helping guests plan their getaways before they get there? That’s even better customer service — and for Red Lion, it boosted online bookings.
Update Your Digital Marketing Plan
This might seem like a no-brainer, but the final step in improving your marketing scheme is to sit down and re-evaluate your tactics. For most hoteliers, the optimization will look at things like SEO, website traffic, engagement at home and abroad, pay-per-click campaigns, and more.
Your update should also slash outdated forms of advertising. Remove these tactics from your arsenal and replace them with thoughtful inbox marketing campaigns, for instance. Be sure to only target those who are on your mailing list — your messages are most likely to pique their interest.
Adapt and Advance
These five strategies will only strengthen your business’ online presence, boost its reputation, and make it more appealing to potential visitors. In other words, it’s vital to update your marketing strategies to match what today’s customer wants.
Remember to revisit your plan regularly so you’re always working toward what your clients desire in a hotel. That way, everyone will be perpetually pleased and proud of the services you provide.
Author Bio: Kacey Bradley is the blogger behind The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Along with writing for her blog, she has written for sites like U.S. News, SUCCESS, Ruffled, and more.