While the concept of a hotel is pretty straightforward – put a hotelty in a nice location – making sure that you’re perceived as a premium brand when guests arrive is a little more complicated. With so much competition from budget-friendly chains and smartphone-friendly apps, making your hotel stand out is harder than ever.
The good news is there are a number of simple ways to market your hotel online that not only draw attention, but also encourage guests to continue exploring your website and looking at your offers.
Create A Website
The first step to marketing your hotel is to create a website. The modern hotelier should have a well-designed and functional website that draws attention and encourages guests to book rooms.
It’s important to note that, along with your website, you should have a social media presence on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. Having accounts on these sites is free and easy to do, and it’s a great way to connect with guests and potential new customers. Even if you only have one or two accounts, maintaining a social media presence shows that you’re active and cares about what’s happening in the world of online marketing.
In addition to your website and social media accounts, you should also have a physical address on the internet. This shouldn’t be difficult since you already have a physical address, but it is good practice for when Google wants to verify your business.
Make Use Of The Platforms Available
Since you’ve created a website for your hotel, you should now have a space online where guests can read about your offerings and make reservations. It’s important to note that while putting this hotel website online is a great first step, it’s not the only step. You should also make use of the platforms available to you.
You should set up an online booking engine so that visitors can make reservations quickly and easily. There are a variety of these services available from small hosting platforms to large cloud-based booking engines like Hotelify and Expedia Premier.
Using a third-party booking engine is not only convenient, but it’s also a good idea to keep your website and social media presence up to date with the latest trends and news in the hospitality industry. By integrating booking engines into your website, you can stay ahead of the competition and continue attracting new guests to your hotel.
Make Sure That Your Website Is User-Friendly
While easy to use and attractive, your website should be functional and user-friendly. You want to make sure that anyone who visits the site has a good experience – from setting up an account to finding the information they need to make a booking. When testing out your website, be sure to focus on these factors so that you can provide a good user experience to your site visitors.
Curate Content For International And Local Visitors
If you have a large and growing global audience, it’s important to remember that not everyone will have access to your online content in the same way that you do. For instance, people in Hong Kong may not be able to access your Chinese website for language barriers. The same goes for French and German speakers. For these reasons, you should always think about the international visitors to your site and how you can improve your offerings to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
Include Great Photos
When it comes to online marketing, the picture is worth a thousand words. Great photos of your establishment can really assist with drawing in new guests and encouraging them to make a stay at your hotel. You should work with a digital marketing company to get killer photos that you can use for your website, social media accounts, and other platforms like YouTube.
If you’re lacking in the photography department, there are plenty of freelancers who specialize in taking photos for websites and platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. While you should always be thinking about new ways to attract guests to your hotel, occasionally taking a photo of yourself enjoying a meal or a drink at the hotel can also be a great way to demonstrate your expertise and attract new customers. Just make sure that the photo doesn’t become too marketing-y!
Use YouTube To Post Videos
Another great way to market your hotel online is to use platforms like YouTube to post videos. While photos are great, videos serve a different purpose and can be used in much more creative ways. You can use video content to highlight particular attractions at your hotel, provide tips on how to make the most of your visit, or show things in a different light – like a 360-degree video around the pool area that gives guests a different perspective on the water.
Videos don’t always have to relate to tourism, either. You can use the platform to show off your product or service in a way that words alone cannot provide. For example, if you sell bottled water, you can use YouTube videos to show different facets of the bottle and how it’s unique to your product. As with all forms of content, videos should be relevant, interesting, and well-structured.
Blogs aren’t just for fun these days. There is a growing appreciation for quality content published regularly. Quality blogs are an excellent way to market your hotel since they provide guests with interesting and useful information about your establishment. In addition, guest bloggers can expose your hotel to an audience that wouldn’t normally explore your website. With guest blogging, you can utilize online marketing platforms like Blogger and Medium to publish blogs for your hotel.
While guest blogging is a great way to market your hotel, it’s not always the most convenient solution. If you’d like to have someone write about your hotel for you, consider using platforms like HubSpot that can produce quality content to drive business. Furthermore, if you’d like to explore the potential of a blog as a marketing tool for your hotel, take a look at our blog example – The Luxury Nomad. This blog was created with Hotelier in mind and uses a combination of the tools discussed above to effectively market and grow the site’s fan base and revenue.
Run Facebook Ads
Another quality content opportunity that isn’t attached to a blog is the ability to run Facebook ads. If you’re familiar with Facebook ads, you know that you can put a lot of thought into the layout and copy of your ads. While it can be tempting to simply copy and paste the suggested content from the social media platform, taking the time to plan out a winning ad can help you gain a higher conversion rate.
With many hotels having a focus on sustainability, going green is becoming a popular tactic. If you’re looking for a way to reduce your carbon footprint and gain some environmentally friendly publicity, consider running Facebook ads that promote sustainable practices.
Get Inspired By The Locals
If you’re looking to gain some inspiration for your own hotel marketing strategy, touring local hotspots and talking to locals can help. Tourists are often in paradise while locals are in the dark, so if you want to understand how to market your hotel, consider putting yourself in their shoes. After all, the best way to learn is by doing – which, in this case, means marketing your hotel.