11 Digital Marketing Tips to Differentiate Your Hotel
1. Embrace your specialization:
Your hotel should appear in the distribution channels most relevant to your market segment. For example, if you have a boutique hotel, try to get listed on tablethotels.
2. Make the most of your website:
Your website should be constantly updated, available on all mobile devices, and reflect your hotel’s unique features and characteristics. Content with professional, attention-grabbing photos can significantly increase your direct bookings.
3. Stand out from the crowd:
Be personal and tell a story! Hotels have so many things to tell; even a fifteen-room motel along the highway can have a great story.
4. Customize the guest experience:
Provide additional options for customers making a booking. Create partnerships with local attractions, tours, restaurants, and offer them as add-ons after the customer has booked with you.
5. Differentiate your booking packages:
Innovate with room types as product offers. Use your booking engine to offer promotions and special offers that you do not offer on the OTAs (e.g., a package with a day at a nearby spa or a free meal in your restaurant).
6. Rewarding loyalty:
Reward returning guests that book directly through your website. This can be easily achieved by offering, for example, a 10% discount code for any returning customer, which is still much less than the commission paid to OTAs..
7. Social media marketing for your hotel:
Have a presence on the most popular social platforms. It isn’t just a way to increase your online presence; it is also adds new communication channels. With social media, you have a platform where you can communicate with customers on a more informal level and take advantage of your distinctive traits in order to transmit a friendlier feel to your guests. Social media is a driver of brand awareness, customer relationships and retention.
8. Targeted market campaigns:
In order to provide relevant offers and experiences to your guests, you need to know not only who your target market is, but also what they do and what they want. Helpful resources to find such information include surveys, online reviews, Google Analytics, and Facebook and Twitter insights. As you explore existing data from various sources, you will start to see similarities. Use these similarities to better understand your guests, then give them what they want. Targeted marketing becomes much easier when you have a better understanding of the needs, desires and behaviors of your audience.
9. Have a digital marketing strategy:
Part of 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 and post-stay socials), the bigger edge you will have.
10. Make booking easy:
Make booking on your hotel website as simple and efficient as possible. If people can check availability and book a room on any page of the website, regardless of the device they are using and whenever they want, you will be less likely to lose them.
11. Win mobile bookings:
If you don´t have a mobile website yet, it´s time to create one! In 2016, it is estimated that more than 50% of all online bookings for US travelers will be completed on a mobile device.