By Divya Bhat
It is true that technological trends don’t necessarily wait for a new year to dawn upon us, before making their grand entrance. But what’s also true is that every now and then, we as hoteliers like to take a step back to reassess our strategies and weigh their efficacy.
And in that context, what better time to reevaluate your hotel marketing strategies than the new year!
Let’s get right into it and see what trends continue to rule the roost, when it comes to hospitality marketing.
1. Mobile first
No list of ‘hotel marketing ideas‘ is complete these days, without at least one mention of mobile technology. The last decade has revolved around the mobile and this trend will continue, given the scope and success it presents. This is what makes it an ideal fit for your hotel marketing plan in 2019.
Mobile Booking is already widely accepted and popular as the new norm and finding newer ways to use mobile technology can be a real game changer for the hospitality industry. From proximity marketing or age/gender/geo-based targeted ads, to throttling time-sensitive in-app notifications to encourage impulse buying, one can do wonders in marketing hotels using mobile technology.
2. Email marketing
I know you are tempted to question the relevance of email marketing so far as hotel marketing plans are concerned. We are surprised too, but data proves us wrong! Check this out. For every $1 spent on email marketing, an average return of $32 can be expected! (Source). There is a ton of other studies that indicate the efficacy of emails in specific business goals.
Email marketing can be used to recreate interest in guests who have stayed with you in the past, in building loyalty with repeat guests, in promoting offers or corporate guests, and what have you! What remains to be mastered is optimizing the content and customizing it. Go beyond templates and start personalizing for maximum impact, as and when possible.
3. Influencer Marketing
This is one of the least explored but most effective marketing strategies for hotel businesses. Industry influencers are definitely worth investing in, but social influencers are really setting new standards when it comes to influencer marketing! Be it on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter or even on YouTube – social influencers have radically transformed the way brands connect to their audiences. And we urge you to try it out before your competitors beat you at it!
The best part about teaming up with social influencers to transform your hotel marketing strategy is that there are so any of them catering to such wide and varied audiences! Team up with an influencer who you think would be able to embody the spirit of your brand, your culture and with whom your audiences would best relate to.
Get as creative as you want with the collaboration campaign and you could either vlog about it, get a photoshoot scheduled with the influencer posing at your property, invite them to come stay at your property for free so they can review it for their audiences – whatever works for you and the influencer! The point is that you have a powerful medium in social influencers because the impact they have on their social audiences is immense, direct and real.
4. Visual content
Crowd-sponsored content, if you will, is the next thing in hospitality marketing. Get your guests to share their experience with you across multiple online portals. This not only helps reduce your marketing expenses, but also increase your chances of building online credibility and image.
This is particularly true in the case of visual content. Instagram and Snapchat work wonders when it comes to sharing visual content with potential guests online. Having a brand account on Instagram can help potential guests get a virtual feel of your property.
Having your own hashtags can also encourage guests to share their experiences with you. It helps to source varied perspectives because your marketing team may not always look at things the way your guests do!
5. Word of mouth
We often underestimate the simpler and fuss-free ways of doing stuff because somewhere we switched to the belief that if it isn’t complex and stressful, then it isn’t worth doing! Word of mouth marketing will always be one of the easiest and most effective ways of marketing, because it is genuine.
When you deliver amazing guest experiences, you create memories for the guest which they will want to share with their loved ones. This is one of the strongest ways of attracting prospective guests and this is what you should aim for. Not only is word of mouth marketing free, but also guaranteed effective.
But given how informed and aware today’s world is, it may not be all that simple to impress guests who will voluntarily bring in more customers to you. But with consistent efforts, and genuine sincerity you can win over guests easily.