Today’s digital marketing landscape evolves quickly, which unfortunately creates confusion and frustration for some independent hoteliers. As soon as many became comfortable with their websites, email marketing and OTAs, social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram skyrocketed in importance. And with the lightning fast pace of digital innovation, it’s only a matter of time before new digital marketing tools arrive on the scene.
While it’s easy to get overwhelmed by new technology, independent hoteliers must focus on keeping their marketing messages authentic, so they reach and resonate with their intended audience. Here are three tips to help independent hoteliers craft and distribute authentic and effective marketing messages.
Keep it simple
A common mistake made by independent hoteliers is trying to market their property to any and all travelers: millennials and baby boomers, leisure and business travelers and couples and families with children. While this many help sell rooms and generate revenue in the short-term, it doesn’t help with establishing a brand identity or long-term guest loyalty. Hotel operators must identify their core guests and market directly to them. For example, when targeting business travelers, highlighting a hotel’s proximity to the airport and major office buildings, as well as local dining and entertainment destinations, signals that you understand and are prepared to meet their travel needs.
Market your hotel in real-time
Digital marketing allows independent hotels to market themselves in real-time so travelers can stay up-to-date with on-property and local community activities, but some hotels don’t take full advantage of this opportunity. Sharing content daily or weekly is challenging and time consuming, but posting regularly is a great marketing strategy for hotels looking to set themselves apart from competitors. When developing content, hotels should remember to keep their content fresh and relevant. For example, highlighting seasonal special offers and weekly events helps set great expectations for the guest experience.
Sharing, liking and commenting on digital marketing content allows past guests and curious travelers to directly engage with independent hotels. Travelers recognize and appreciate hotels that reciprocate by actively participating and engaging with their online communities. It lets them know that the hotel cares about its guests and is available to answer questions and solve issues. By simply engaging online, independent hoteliers can enhance their digital marketing messages and hopefully convert their online fans into on-property guests.
Learn more about digital marketing by downloading our special report, Owned Digital Media & Marketing Tips for Independent Hotels.