The golden age of hotel digital marketing presents a huge advantage for big brand hotels. They have become their own publishers and agencies, creating hyper-targeted digital marketing campaigns.
Strategies like these leave smaller hotels feeling like they can’t keep up. So how can smaller brands capture the attention of prospective guests?
Check out these three proven digital marketing strategies your small hotel will want to focus on in 2018.
1. Inbound Marketing Strategies
Small hotels must operate transparently and communicate openly with inbound marketing. This represents a shift to strategic decision-making based on guests’ needs and preferences.
With inbound marketing, the emphasis is on earning, not buying, your guests’ attention. Do this by actively engaging on social media and producing fresh content such as blogs and videos. This combination creates a solid foundation for sales and marketing efficiency and growth.
Research has found that inbound marketing has a 75% likelihood of being the marketing approach of choice across all company types.
Companies are also 3X as likely to see a higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound. Inbound leverages the most prevalent consumer-driven approaches of the digital age and they are more cost-efficient than many traditional outbound strategies (PR, print, radio, TV advertising, etc.).
Struggling to come up with content that’s right for your hotel? Think about what your property has to offer. Don’t be afraid to take inspiration from other industries.
For example, check out Good Eggs, a web-based farmer’s market in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their Instagram account is full of ideas hotels can borrow. In the post below, Good Eggs provides timely value by giving followers an idea for DIY holiday gifts.
The value they get in return? The ingredients for the recipe are all available to purchase through the Good Eggs website.
So how can hotels put this sort of inbound marketing strategy into action? Again, think about what your property has to offer and think about your goals.
Typical goals might be to attract the attention of new potential guests and encourage past guests to book again. In this case, producing items like guides on things to do in your area may be the right strategy for you.
For example, the L’Auberge de Sedona generated engagement from past and prospective guests with a Facebook post. They talked about a beautiful hike near their property. Building engagement with your brand is only the first step.
2. Marketing Automation
Next, engage with past guests on a one-to-one level to encourage them to book directly with you again and again. How? With an all-in-one marketing automation solution.
The biggest benefit is the ability to access in-depth marketing analytics on a single platform. The right solution gathers data from all your hotel systems to create a single customer view. You can use this data to build more effective, targeted email marketing campaigns.
How much more effective are they? According to the DMC National Client Email report, targeted email marketing campaigns produce 30% more opens and 50% higher click-through rates than undifferentiated messages.
What might this marketing strategy look like for a hotel?
First, think about sending automated email interactions to guests during the stay cycle.
Are you sending transactional emails that get higher open rates than promotional emails? What are you sending your guests pre-stay? During their stay? Post-stay?
Think about the ways you can leverage data to create a personalized guest experience.
3. Think Mobile
We live in a mobile-driven world. What does this mean for hotels?
It means that a hotel’s marketing team needs to put mobile first when it comes to email marketing and web design. Responsive web design (RWD) takes a mobile-first approach to ensure web content properly scales on devices of varying sizes. By creating a consistent display, RWD helps to prevent frustrating users.
Unfortunately, a surprising number of small businesses are late to the RWD party. Only a little more than half of small businesses have a responsive website. This can mean up to 90% fewer visits to your hotel’s site.