Blog series: Spring cleaning for independent hotels
#5: Create a winning online sales strategy for your independent hotel
Summer is almost here, but there’s still enough time to prepare your independent hotel for a successful and profitable busy season. Online reservations present hoteliers with great opportunities to drive revenue, increase occupancy and strengthen their property’s reputation. However, getting travelers to stop scrolling and click “Book Now” requires a winning online sales strategy. Here are a few creative tips to help build an online sales strategy and help your independent hotel capture the bookings and dollars needed for summer success:
Differentiate your online booking experiences
When it comes to online bookings, a “one size fits all” approach simply doesn’t work for independent hotels or the travelers they hope to attract. Consumers use multiple devices and various online resources to plan and book travel, so independent hoteliers need to align their sales strategies with how travelers engage online.
For starters, independent hotels should differentiate their booking experiences for desktop and mobile devices. Mobile booking is surging in popularity, so mobile-optimized content and technology are essential tools for independent hotels. Secondly, travelers rely on lots of online resources to research hotels, so properties need to provide multiple ways for travelers to find them. Utilizing a mix of online travel agencies (OTAs), social media and hotel-owned websites creates more opportunities for travelers to finds hotels, engage with them and eventually book their next travel experience.
Give travelers reasons to book
You may have noticed the repeated use of “engage” in the paragraphs above and there’s an important reason why. Online engagement is critical to the online booking experience. If you cannot grab and hold travelers’ attention, you have zero chance of securing their reservation. Marketing creative content and unique special offers is a great way to stimulate online engagement and draw travelers into your sales channels.
For example, using clever content, like “Take your tax refund on vacation,” and showcasing unique, local experiences, such as the coastal South Carolina Lowcountry dining tours, can often compel travelers to give an independent hotel a longer, second look during travel planning. The more engaging and compelling your independent hotel appears online, the more opportunities you create to capture those coveted summer bookings.