How to market your hotel at a low cost
Sometimes it can be hard to decide on how to market your hotel, especially when some ways can be very expensive. In order to allow you to overcome this challenge, we have created a list of the four best ways to advertise your hotel without breaking the bank.
Email marketing is the method with the best return on investment (ROI). You should prioritize this method if you want to market your hotel at a small cost. In order to engage in email marketing, you obviously need email addresses. In this situation your PMS software becomes your best ally as it continuously collects your client’s data. The only thing left for you to do is to use this data to segment your newsletters. Every piece of data collected by your PMS can be used for an email marketing campaign. The more segmented and personalized your newsletters are to meet your clients’ needs, the more efficient they will be. You can split your newsletters by the type of package your clients previously booked, the dates of their stay, the amount they spent at your hotel, where they live, etc. You can also send general emails to announce, for example, the completion of your hotel’s renovation, new services or last minute deals.
By knowing who you want to send these newsletters to, you will be able to advertise your hotel easily by carrying successful email marketing campaigns. When the time comes to write your newsletters, make sure you have a catchy subject, carefully pick which pictures you wish to use and do not forget your call to action button (CTA). Your newsletter subject should be short and intriguing, while giving a good insight as to what the reader can expect to read in the email. Your pictures should be high quality and your call to action button needs to attract the reader into clicking and thus bringing them to the next step. You also need to respect email marketing laws, avoid spelling errors and make your newsletters responsive.
Social media represents an essential platform when it comes to promoting your hotel. Make no mistake: not only young people are using social media. Every age group has their own preferred social media. While Facebook is present in every age group, Instagram and Snapchat are more commonly used by the 18-34 age group. On the other hand, LinkedIn is a social media aimed towards professionals aged between 30 and 64. In order for you to pick which social media are best, think about which clientele you are trying to reach. If you want to promote a deal for business travellers, LinkedIn could be a better platform than Snapchat.
Once you have decided which social media platform you wish to exploit, you need to decide which content you will promote. Social media posts tend to work better when they come with a picture. Snapchat and Instagram are, for example, especially designed to work with pictures. The hospitality industry is known to be a dreamy industry, so make that work for you! Show some pictures of your hotel and services, ask your employees to take selfies, and encourage your clients to share their pictures on their own social media. You can also post about awards your hotel recently won or share pictures of the fun activities available in your surroundings. All of this is free and easy to create content which can fill your profiles. You should also encourage your clients to follow you on social media. You can do so in numerous ways, such as in your thank-you email, on their bill or where you display the Wi-Fi password.
Do not forget to create some contests where one needs to like, comment and/or share your post in order to boost your number of followers. It is also crucial to answer any comment left by your guests and respond to all posts where you are mentioned. This way you will reach a broader audience and it will show your friendly touch.
If your hotel is not present on OTAs (online travel agencies), you can be sure that your competitors are. People go on these websites to compare hotels, especially when they are looking for hotel somewhere they have never been before. You therefore must be on these websites, and also be able to know your competitors in order to be able to market your hotel better than them. Optimize your profile by picking high quality pictures, writing a hotel description that makes you stand out and keeping an up to date list of all you services. Your rates and availabilities need to be updated continuously. A yield management module and a channel manager can be of great help here. Potential clients often visit OTAs to read about other traveler’s comments. It could thus be of interest to ask your guests to leave reviews when you send out thank-you emails and/or have a contest for clients who left comments, whether they be positive or negative. Responding to these comments/reviews using your hotel’s account will make a good impression and show that you care about your guests’ opinions and well-being.
Search engines play a great role in your hotel’s visibility. If you only appear on the third page when you type “Hotel Montreal”, you significantly reduce your chances of being seen by potential guests and thus you may be losing many bookings. Fortunately there is a free way to counter this: SEO (search engine optimization). SEO allows you to insert key-words throughout your website’s pages in order for you to be in the first suggestions in the search engines.
Google set up a free tool called Google My Business. This allows you to enter information about your hotel in a template created by Google in order for people searching your hotel to able to have a quick summary of any information they could need. From this Google service, potential guests can book directly on your website, or call you by clicking on the Google My Business call to action buttons. It is therefore very important that your Google My Business page be optimized and up to date.
There are plenty of platforms for you to market your hotel on. However, by starting with newsletters, social media, OTAs and search engines, you will achieve the visibility that you need to boost your hotel’s presence without breaking the bank.