Hotels in Holiday Season – Part I: Top hotel marketing strategies for improved occupancy
Posted by Sindhu Mohanakrishnan, Sr VP – Marketing and Communications, RezNext Global Solutions
Here are some simple hotel marketing strategies you can leverage to drive higher occupancy and improved profitability at your property:
1. Reflect the mood of the time.
It’s the holiday season. A significant part of the world would soon be celebrating in Christmas colours or lighting fireworks to usher in the New Year. People are looking forward to spend some precious time with friends and family. Happiness is all around. Your brand should also reflect the same merriment to connect better with travellers. Adopt a holiday theme for your website – splash some colours and witty content. Upload Christmas/New Year videos, post special thanksgiving recipes on your blog, talk about gifting ideas on your social media channels to break out of your regular image. Organise special events on Christmas and New Year and send out invitations for people to join you at the hotel.
2. Create special holiday packages.
Understand your guests’ preferences and categorise them into very niche groups. Things like what are their interests – do they prefer to indulge in adventure trip or a family vacation; would they prefer to try the local cuisine or stick to food they are familiar with; are they likely to spend more time at the hotel or explore the city and nearby places, etc. Based on these, create special packages and distribute them across online channels. Display special holiday offers such as exclusive discounts, complimentary dinners, free upgrades and more across demand generators and your own website.
3. Leverage digital marketing platforms to connect with the online traveller community.
To make their holiday plans, almost everyone researches about places and hotels online. Adopt an effective mix of online marketing channels to grab the attention of the traveller. Add information about local events on your website, blog about delicious local recipes or interesting places near your hotel, encourage people to join your social network channels by taking part in exciting contests. Give out discounts and freebies as prizes to the contests. Also connect with guests who’ve previously stayed with you as well as new customers through email marketing, telling them about exclusive offers that have been designed specifically for them.
4. Run a selfie contest.
The ‘happy holidays’ theme of your campaign should also be reflected physically at the hotel. Decorate your public spaces and guest rooms with interesting trinkets and vibrant colours. Capitalise on the recent selfie trend by giving guests ‘Selfie Opportunities’ with well-lit and exquisitely decorated hotel spaces. You could even run selfie contests, encouraging them to share their selfies across online channels. User generated content are the most trustworthy source of information for others researching about hotels online. This gives you a great opportunity to promote your own hotel through guests who have stayed at the property, thereby influencing the opinion of various others.
5. Capture guest feedback and share it online.
Ensure to collect feedback from guests while they are on the property, when they are about to leave or even after they have left. Ask them about what they liked most about your hotel; what could make them return to your hotel again. First, enter all feedbacks into your database to build each customer’s profile for later use. Second, ensure you act upon the feedback collected. If there is a scope of improvement in any of your services, address that and send an email to the guest telling him/her that you’ve taken their feedback seriously. This helps you create a personal connect with the guest. Also remember to share your positive feedbacks on your own website and other review sites to market your hotel better.
In our next blog, we’ll take a closer look into how to ensure exceptional guest service at your hotel during peak seasons.