All the hotels are different. Even multi-million dollar brands with consistent branding differ slightly from location to location. That being said, a marketing plan for a hotel, including a hotel social media strategy, should be just as unique as the property itself.
Marketing Strategy - A Hotel's Plan of Action
If you are already paying for advertising, you might be skeptical about embarking on creating and implementing a marketing plan; after all, you're running a business and have already put a lot of money into advertising, why a marketing plan? The truth of the matter is that it comes down to ROI. If you are blindly throwing money at ads without checking the results, you might be paying for something that produces little-to-no results. When a marketing plan is in place, it is modified periodically based on results. The best performing channels get a double dose of whatever produces the best results, and fruitless efforts are abandoned to pursue more successful avenues. You want to make your investment work for you, and every dollar counts! For a successful strategy, your rate of return should be higher than your rate of investment, so make sure to continually compare your plan to current statistics and adjust your strategy accordingly. This will help you get more bang for your buck by betting on methods that prove auspicious time and time again rather than spending money blindly with hit or miss practices. A marketing strategy helps you invest wisely based on a proven track record.
Differences in Approach
Now that you understand the importance of a marketing plan, you might be thinking, ok, I'll do what my competitor is doing. I see their ads here, so I'll put my ads next to theirs, and I should get the same results. Wrong. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. Marketing strategies are elaborate plans with lots of moving parts. There can be parts of the program dedicated to building a functional website, pay-per-click advertising, analysis where you stand in comparison to your competitor, managing analytics and social media, and the list goes on and on. Each aspect of your marketing plan should be tailored to your hotel! You might be similar to your competitors but you are not the same. There is always something unique about each property that can be highlighted to create value for travelers. Perhaps your hotel boasts a heated indoor pool while your rivals can only be used during warm weather, or maybe your location is within walking distance to many attractions. At the same time, a competitor's guests are stationed a few blocks further from the action and must pay for an Uber. Whatever the case may be, there is always something unique about each property that needs to be fully considered while making a marketing plan. That particular aspect of your hotel can be showcased on a website, it can become part of a special deal, or it can be the core of a successful advertising campaign. With a marketing plan, you have to be strategic about everything you do. For example, perhaps the types of travelers you want to attract to your hotel use Instagram more than Facebook, then you must spend more of your resources on that avenue to get what you want. No matter where you start, how complex or simple you plan may be, remember that each moving part must complement one another to showcase the best that your hotel has to offer.
Building your Perfect Plan
Developing a marketing plan that is tailored to your hotel can be intimidating. With so many aspects of your business on the line, it can be a difficult decision to choose what to focus on. Often, hoteliers delegate this task to specialized marketing companies like E-Marketing Associates, who create and implement marketing plans on their behalf. One thing should be noted, the best marketing plan for your hotel today can become obsolete tomorrow. Marketing is a continually changing industry; from social media updates to website and SEO criteria frequently changing to meet new industry standards, each moving part has to be taken into account and adjusted as needed. What is the leading best practice today can quickly become an outdated flop that needs to be replaced with a new system. To stay on track, you must be flexible enough to adjust your plan based on performance.