An effective digital marketing strategy should enable hotels to differentiate their service and make their estate stand out from the crowd. Large hotel chains have the advantage of their brand recognition, expansive loyalty programs, and the negotiating ability to create multiple sales channels without contracting online travel agencies.
On the other hand, independent and boutique hotels can differentiate themselves with a reasonable marketing budget. Following are digital marketing strategies helpful for hotels in the travel industry:
Embrace your specialization: Your hotel needs to appear in the distribution channels most relevant to your market segment. For example, if you have a boutique hotel, highlight what individual aspects make your hotel stand out.
Optimize your website: A hotel’s website should always be up to date, available on all mobile devices, and showcase the hotel’s unique features. Creating website content with professional photos and valuable information can significantly increase your direct bookings.
Stand out: Hotels have a lot of stories to tell; even a twenty-room motel along the highway can have a great story.
Customize the guest experience: When customers book directly with you, provide additional perks for them. You can form partnerships with local tours, restaurants and offer them as benefits after the customer has booked with you.
Booking packages: Innovate with room types as product offers. Offer promotions and special offers that you do not offer through online travel agencies, e.g. a day at the nearby spa.
Reward loyalty: Offer rewards to incentivize return visits when guests book directly through your website. This can be done by offering, for example, a 10% discount code for any returning customer.
Social media marketing: Maintain an online presence on most popular social platforms. Besides enriching your online reputation, you also tap into new communication channels with potential customers. With social media, you have a platform where you can communicate with customers on a more informal level and transmit a friendly, welcoming feeling to your guests.
Digital marketing strategy: Knowing your target audience means knowing which tools they use to plan a trip, like search engines, specific websites, social media sites, and reviews. The more your hotel appears in searches and social channels, from the beginning of the customer journey (initial planning) to the end (reviews), the more customers you can get.
Make booking easy: Make booking on your hotel website as simple and efficient as possible. You can have quicker conversions by allowing visitors check availability and book rooms from any page on the website, regardless of the device they use.