20 Top Trends in Hotel Marketing in 2018

2018 trends
Alex Corral
Alex Corral
November 26, 2018
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Every year, hotels get more and more innovative with the way they market their brand. Here are some trending hotel marketing ideas in 2018 that are worth implementing to boost loyalty and bookings with your hotel.

Craft a killer loyalty program

61% of travelers look for loyalty programs that offer a large variety of rewards to choose from. Utilize loyalty programs so customers keep booking you for added rewards and perks with each return visit such as complimentary room upgrades and free spa sessions.

Optimize your website using AMP

Ensure your sites are optimized for mobile and use AMP as it can lead to a 2x increase in average time spent on your site and a 20% increase in sales conversions. Double-down on great UX as well to make it an easy intuitive process for customers to browse your sites.

Be active and engaging on all social media channels

Be active on all the popular social media platforms, and post regularly. Take it a step further and engage directly with your customers. Respond directly to any feedback they may have and build relationships.

Deliver value through content

Use content marketing to solve your potential customers' problems. In other words, play a bigger role in their lives than just an accommodation provider. Offer insights into the broader domain of travel. Determine what might be their pain points be it how to stay healthy while on the road, best places to get work done, etc. Add value through your content strategy and it'll build awareness of your brand and boost reputation.

Tap into native advertising

Native display advertising is expected to make up 74% of total US display ad revenue by 2021. This type of advertising is much more subtle and effective than other forms of display advertising and worth investing into.

Capitalize on the growing trend of voice-search

Microsoft’s Cortana assistant saw a 343% increase in hotel search year over year.

Consumers using voice-search continues to grow and ensuring your hotel can be searched up by Alexa, Google Home, Siri, or Cortana is a must.

Hyper-personalize your offerings

Personalized offers are now the standard and consumers have grown to expect it. Start investing in capabilities so you can mine your customers' preferences and tailor offerings to them when they are considering you and even when they are guests at your hotel. Increase your ability to understand your customers and tailor offers to them.

Surprise and delight your customers

Consumers love surprises and it’s no surprise, pun-intended, that throwing in a surprise welcome gift such as a bottle of wine for your guests first night or a complimentary massage can go a long way in boosting loyalty to your brand

Mobile-first indexing

Desktop performance is secondary to mobile performance for your website when it comes to Google soon. Get ahead of this and optimize your website so that's intuitive, fast, and seamless on all mobile devices. After all, 65% of hotel reservations were completed via a smartphone in 2017.

Offer virtual tours to your potential guests

Tap into the AR/VR trend and start offering virtual tours of your rooms and amenities to would-be customers so they can gain better insight into what you can offer.

Get your customers to be your advocates

Incentivize your guests to post quirky videos and photos when staying at your hotel to redeem offers. Tap into referral marketing options and offer future discounts should your guest leave reviews on popular platforms such as TripAdvisor.

Partner with local establishments

Partner with popular local establishments nearby to boost awareness of your brand and offer discounts to stay at your hotel through them. Popular spots frequented by travelers might be a great way to offer discounts when they look up these establishments online while they plan for their trip.

Tap into the selfie and Instagram movement

Selfies and Instagram worth shots are all the rage now amongst the younger generation. Curate your hotel with Instagram worth photo moments so your guests share their selfies on social media and as a result get your hotel’s name out there.

Leverage experiential marketing

Shift away from just selling a place to stay and start offering packaged experiences. Shift your brand imaging to highlight memorable experiences related to your local area and less about the luxurious room offerings. Cannonballs into the pool, beautiful photos taken on local tours booked through your hotel, and photos shared by your guests.

Offer smart integration services with your customer’s devices

As consumers are ever-connected to their personal devices such as their Netflix and Spotify. Offer a way for them to bring this with them on their travels so it feels a little bit more like home. Offer in-room voice assistants they can log into and provide Spotify and Netflix as well.

Give free stays to social media influencers

Influencer marketing is a great way to get the word out. Offer complimentary stays to influencers who resonate with your target customer segment, and curate a memorable experience for them in exchange for frequent posting and sharing on their social profiles.

Make it easy to sign-up and book on your website

Booking shouldn’t be a challenging process. Ensure your customers can use various payment methods such as PayPal, Credit Card, or over the phone to complete their bookings. Have live chat agents in place to answer any questions or put in special requests on the spot.

Appear more human, let guests get to know your staff people

Airbnb killed it by making accommodation appear more human. Do the same with your hotel by giving guests a sneak peek into the lives of your staff and their stories. Share local events and tips your staff may have about the area and utilize messaging in your hotel that is more personable.

Be socially responsible, invest in the community and environment

Two-thirds of travelers want environmentally friendly hotels. Be socially conscious with your business practices, even if it’s in small ways such as using recycled material and only selling ethical / fair trade products and services.

Invest in reputation management

76% of travelers in a TrustYou survey reported they were willing to pay more for a hotel that had had higher review scores. Reputation management can boost bookings and revenue, and it’s worth investing in. Monitor chatter online about your brand using tools such as Mention to directly address any negative feedbacks customers may have.


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