10 Strategies to Jump Start your 2019 Hotel Marketing Plan

Hotel Marketing Strategies
Alex Corral
Alex Corral
November 14, 2018
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Marketing
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If you manage a great hotel that guests love (no matter the size), the next step isn’t repeating everything you’re doing. It’s improving.

With the state of technology and customer needs today, it’s clear that hotel marketing in 2019 is going to be filled with innovation and excitement. And according to various surveys, that’s exactly what customers want.

So if you want your hotel to be at the forefront of innovation that’s sure to bring in even more new and satisfied customers, we’re giving you 10 hotel marketing ideas you can use.

1) Leverage technology for hotel marketing

There’s never been a point where more technology was available than today. And even though the basic workflow is to book a room – stay at the hotel – leave a positive review, customers want more out of their hotel stay.

With all the available options, it’s a great idea to leverage technology for hotel marketing.

One of the best things you can do is create a virtual tour of your hotel.

This will show your potential guests the level of accommodation and atmosphere you offer, solidifying their choice to book a room. This is particularly useful if you offer different amenities or notable features that make you stand out from your competitors.

2) Use social media to improve your hotel marketing

Social media is indispensable when it comes to hotel marketing. More and more people are finding the hotels they stay in through Instagram and Facebook.

This also gives you the opportunity to communicate with your guests (and potential guests) directly. Marketing in 2018 has shown that building relationships are becoming incredibly important for customer acquisition, and this importance will be emphasized in 2019.

You can engage with your guests by:

  • Asking them to share their photos and memories from their stay at your hotel
  • Producing content that shows off your hotel and (if you’ve obtained permission) your guests’ stories
  • Showing the personality behind your brand

With digital marketing on social media, aim for the 80% value/20% promotion.

3) Reward guest loyalty better than your competitors

If you want to retain your customers, consider implementing a loyalty program. If you’re already using it (and most hotels are), go the extra mile.

Show the guests that there’s more to your loyalty program than just awarding them points for staying with you. This can mean offering upgrades or gifts more often or taking the time to randomly reward a special customer with dinner, tickets to a show, or anything that suits your hotel’s brand.

4) Blog for SEO and brand awareness

Not many hotels have blogs, but that doesn’t mean that content marketing isn’t surprisingly effective even in the hospitality industry.

The main goal of producing content is informing your customers, and when it comes to hotels, there’s a lot you can do.

You can keep your guests updated on local events, special promotions, or travel-related topics. You can use your customer data to curate a better content experience for them.

For example, if you primarily serve families, they may be interested in hearing their favorite hotel’s stance on family-related experiences. If your hotel’s frequent guests are people traveling on business, you can organize your content strategy to accommodate their questions.

Content marketing is a great hotel marketing idea because it will show (potential) guests that you care for them personally, and want to make their stay as pleasant as possible.

It also helps with Search Engine Optimization, which is an important aspect of digital marketing today. By using blogs to drive your advertising, you’ll be able to achieve more with a smaller budget.

5) The people behind the hotel

There’s nothing more important than building your brand when it comes to hotel marketing.

And showing the people who are doing the work and making the guests feel incredible can go a long way towards brand awareness.

People communicate with people, so make sure you emphasize the human aspect of staying at your hotel.

Let your guests get to know your employees – especially if you’re running a small business. Share their stories, and create a “team” section on your website.

If there are employees in your hotel who are truly passionate and enthusiastic about the work they do, encourage them to use their personal accounts to reach out to people, and offer unique behind-the-scenes snapshots. Employee advocacy is a powerful hotel marketing tool today.

In 2019, its importance is only going to increase.

6) Don’t forget local

Partner with local businesses to create a better offer for your customers. This can mean creating guides for your guests and/or offering discounts.

It will also help you establish the image of a brand which empowers the people who live in the same area and create a more enticing offer for your (potential) guests.

Your guests stay at your hotel because they’re interested in the area. Make sure you offer as much guidance as you can by emphasizing the best of the local offer.

7) Create Experiences

Turn your guests’ stays into wholesome experiences that will not only have them returning but returning with their friends, as well.

You can offer things randomly, host events, accommodate travel guides (and create guides yourself), and implement seasonal promotions.

This can all tie in with your overall hotel marketing strategy, as you can use these materials on your social media, blogs, and in advertising.

It’s also an excellent referral generator.

8) Improve your advertising

Partner up with influencers and people who are well-known in your primary guest types’ niches to create content that will attract plenty of new guests.

Another thing to keep in mind is user-generated content that will help you get the social proof needed for marketing success. Encourage your guests to share snippets of their stays at your hotel, and converse with them as though they are friends.

Consider different advertising approaches if you truly want different marketing results in 2019.

9) Turn your guests into advocates

There’s nothing more powerful than the word of mouth, so encourage your guests to refer their friends and family.

This doesn’t only mean you should offer referral discounts. It also means going an extra mile to accommodate your guests, and treat them as esteemed customers.

For example, when a family’s child left a stuffed animal at a Ritz-Carlton, the parents received the toy a couple of days later, and photos showing the toy going on adventures throughout the hotel.

This not only made one family happy, but it also sent a very positive brand message.

10) Ensure the technology supports the guest’s experience

Go over your website to identify any points where users may drop off. It might be the long process of booking a room or an unclear way to get in touch with your hotel.

Consider the importance of the mobile experience. Fewer people are booking through desktop today, so keep that in mind when optimizing your website.

After all, there’s nothing more important than creating an incredible experience for your guests. The technology in place should support that mission.


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