The hotel industry is a crowded world. And it seems as though every day, the job of promoting your property online gets more competitive. It’s not your imagination. Getting your property promoted adequately online is an increasingly difficult job. As more and more businesses turn to SEO and digital marketing techniques to sell their services, the internet has become a massively overcrowded place. Not only that, but the hotel industry has the OTA phenomenon to contend with. Gain booking engines with high commission rates for hotels and offering rock bottom room rates to guests, is slowly bringing smaller enterprises to their knees. But all is not lost. Here’s how you can promote your property effectively online.
If you don’t already do this, make the decision to start the process today. Sensing out regular newsletters to your database provides your past guests with a gentle reminder of their stay – and of your latest offers. It helps to hone brand loyalty. However, it needs to be done in a certain way so that you don’t get a bunch of contacts unsubscribing on mass. Send out a newsletter once a month. In that newsletter, offer something specific to your database only. A 15% discount on food and beverages in all your restaurants. A free night’s stay for those who book three nights or more in the month of June (for example). Tailor your offers to your audience and maintain your connections with them.
Spruce up your social media content
Social media content is incredibly important when it comes to brand recognition online. Make use of platforms that are B2C – most notably, Facebook and Instagram. These two platforms appeal to the best demographic age groups. Facebook has an audience age of 35 years and up, whereas Instagram appeals to those aged 25 and up. Your target audience should be young professionals to solvent silver surfers. Use video to promote your property and offers. Food photography is incredibly important, as well as authentic day to day snaps that show guests the ethos and appeal of your particular property. Better still, social media is a good way to promote your website and drive more traffic to it.
Re-vamp your website
If your website is tired and old and performs in a clunky fashion, you will be losing direct bookings as a result. One of the reasons why OTAs are taking more and more direct bookings is that they have fantastic online services. Booking a room is very clear and easy. With that in mind, talk to a developer about restructuring your current site, not only so that it looks good on the computer, but so that it’s mobile ready too. Over 50% of transactions online now take place via mobile devices. That’s definitely a statistic worth thinking about.
Get your SEO up to date
Another reason why OTAs are outstripping actual hotel websites is that they have huge budgets they can throw at SEO. Search Engine Optimization is now an essential part of marketing. If you don’t have a dedicated member of your marketing team taking care of this, get one today. Preferably recruit someone from a digital marketing background. SEO and analysing digital trends takes time and training to get to grips with. And the good news is that great SEO needn’t cost you a fortune in advertising budgets. A good SEO person will use the right methods to help your site climb Google’s rankings without costing you a fortune. However, it’s always sensible to allocate budget to online adverts too.