As marketing evolves from traditional methods to digital and social media marketing, we’re developing strategies to help hotels navigate through these changes.
We know you’re busy, so we’ve created a list of tips and tricks across a variety of digital marketing topics to as a quick reference guide.
1. Know your hotel’s story. Who are your guests? What makes your hotel unique? The answers to questions like these help shape your narrative.
2. Tell a complete story, from once upon a time all the way to happily ever after by highlighting your key features and amenities, special services and capabilities. Remember to include highlights from your local surroundings to complete the experience.
3. Involve employees who aren’t traditional contributors to your marketing plan, like front-line staff. They may see things from a fresh perspective!
4. Speak to your target audience by telling stories tailored to their needs on the channels they use to research, plan and book. Want to attract more business travelers? Try customizing your message on Concur.
5. Treasure your best customers. Honor these loyal guests by acknowledging their valued business. Foster that relationship and they’ll become a great a source of referrals and references.
6. Nearly half (46 %) of all travel plans begin on mobile devices (bazaarvoice.com). It’s time to become mobile optimized, not just mobile compatible.
7. Attend relevant webinars and subscribe to industry blogs to stay in tune with the latest trends.
8. Crowdsource images from guests to create more innovative content marketing for your hotel. Start by inviting guests to tag you in images on Facebook and Instagram.
9. Stand out. Tell your story visually through pictures and videos that are lush with people and emotion, supplemented with descriptive, but concise text.
11. Ensure your hotel’s story can be amplified by having clear website navigation to sharing widgets.
12. Keep your hotel imagery at the heart of your hotel’s website, minimizing heavy, hard to read blocks of text.
13. Make sure your hotel website is current so guests are always up-to-date. Keep them updated on hotel news, like renovations, local events or special hotel offers.
14. Tell a consistent story everywhere travel shoppers are. Your website, research and planning sites, review sites and of course, social channels. Credibility online is critical.
15. Plan ahead! Develop a plan to keep focused and disciplined when executing your marketing initiatives.
16. Use a combination of your own content, paid advertising and earned engagement on your Facebook page.
17. Excite your guests by creating seasonal campaigns and special offers. Targeted promotions will keep customers returning time and again.
18. Get visual with video! 45% of leisure travelers and 72% of business travelers said they were prompted to book as a result of watching travel videos online while planning.
19. Be search engine optimized. Create content that can be found easily on search engines, like Google or Bing, to make it easier for travel shoppers to discover your hotel. One of the best ways to get started on this is to tag keywords and phrases in your posts.
20. Create a constant flow of information on Facebook. A study suggests that your hotel should post, on average, 4 times a week in order to create and maintain a social connection with your guests (socialbakers.com).
21. Include Online Travel Agencies as part of your hotel marketing strategy. These channels are a valuable research tool as travel shoppers hit over 20 touch points before making a booking decision with many of them being one or several OTAs. (New Media Trend Watch).
22. Be cautious not to spread yourself too thin. There are a lot of social platforms out there, choose the ones that best align with your desired customer segments.
23. Utilize Facebook Apps to target specific guests. If your venue is the ideal setting for a wedding or conference, customize your Facebook to display relevant images and information.
24. Create a hashtag (#) that guests can use when talking about your hotel online. Having one specific hashtag will produce a social media trail for your hotel, making it easier for guests to find your property online.
25. Reply in a timely manner to your guests’ questions and comments online. Let them know you value their opinions.
26. Refrain from posting on your social media accounts too frequently, as this can overwhelm travel shoppers. It is suggested that your hotel posts about 4 times a week on Facebook, 2-3 times a week on LinkedIn, but throughout the day on Twitter (socialmediatoday.com).
27. Post relevant questions on Facebook and Twitter to create a conversation with your guests. Ask about their favorite memory from their trip, or best meal they had while on vacation.
28. Create a presence on new online platforms, like Instagram or Vine. Being a leader in your community will have big pay offs.
29. Be flexible. Change happens and embracing it can create even more opportunities to tell your story.
Start with these ideas and add to them as you maneuver your way through this exciting and sometimes challenging world of digital marketing.
For additional insights on using social media, download A Playbook for Amplifying Your Hotel’s Story on Social Media.