Buzzing hotels, busy airports and full flights – travelling has finally made a comeback. But returning to business in full form will not be that easy for hoteliers. The after-effects of the pandemic have completely changed how customers feel and think about hotels. The pent-up desire for travelling is in rise. Travelers currently are researching more online to choose their place to stay and do bookings. So keeping an eye on the new and innovative preferences will ensure long-term success for your hotel industry.
The hotel industry needs a sharper marketing strategy to build trust, recognition, optimize revenue and meet competitive demands. Implementing the right marketing strategy for your hotel is the ultimate key to gain massive success in the hotel industry.
Importance of Hotel Marketing Trends
The more you engage with your customers via marketing, the more you will be able to maximize booking and revenue. Implementing a successful hotel marketing trend can help in improving customer loyalty, brand awareness, promoting business, retaining customers and attracting new guests.
Let’s take a look at these 13 must-try hotel marketing trends that can improve your sales and revenue:
#1 Personalized marketing
Personalized marketing can help you cater individual needs of your guests. Use specific data of guests, analyze them, create a targeted ad and then focus on personal preferences of your guests.
Suppose you have a guest with a nut allergy. You can personalize your hotel promotion by emphasizing suitable dishes for these people. This way, you will be able to boost your sales among guests who are looking for hotels as per their specific preferences.
Thanks to so many affordable options, personalization is no longer expensive or tougher to implement. Take proper steps towards personalization from now if you don’t wish to become irrelevant in the near future.
#2 Social Media Marketing
Gone are those days when people used to browse the internet for comparing websites and looking for recommendations from previous users.
When it comes to choosing a place to stay, customers are relying more on social media. So social media is the perfect spot to collect your loyal customers. And if you weaponize with the right social media platform, you can push your hotel business to global audiences.
Social media nowadays is filled with endless pictures and reels of people visiting to new places. Thus, you can only imagine how it can be an excellent strategy to showcase your property and attract your guests.
Social media platforms that are popular to engage audience:
Maintaining an online presence is extremely important if you want your hotel to be a desirable option to stay and gain recognition in the industry. 87% of travelers agree that they get more trustable recommendations from YouTube creators during their decision making process.
Few social media marketing tactics to grow your customer base:
- Be swift with your replies
- Start investing in paid ads on Instagram and Facebook
- Encourage TripAdvisor reviews
#3 Chatbots to Improve Guest Experience
In this fast-paced world, customers demand swift replies to their queries. This is where chatbots proves to be an extremely valuable asset. It can provide necessary solutions with detailed instructions in case the hotel staff member is not available. Its automatic language detection is able to make clearer communication in multiple languages. It can also support your guests during the follow-up phase.
Chatbots come in two different types:
- Rule-based hotel chatbots
As the name suggests, these bots will operate on a specific set of clear rules. They usually are based on an "if-else" statement. For instance, if you ask "Do you want to see our features?” You will get two options: Yes or No. If chosen yes, a set of features will be displayed. Otherwise, if you choose no, something else will display.
- AI-based hotel chatbots
AI-based chatbots are more sophisticated. They can understand artificial intelligence very well. They are designed to understand written communication, interpret it and then give appropriate responses. It will result in highly realistic chat interactions. You can expect great personalization and natural flow in communication.
#4 Influencer Marketing
Partnering with a notable hotel influencer is probably the quickest and smartest way to gain a bigger audience. You can harness a large percentage of reputation for your hotel with the words of influencers. Influencers can treat their audiences as friends and thus can cultivate an engaged and loyal following. They will sell their experiences in your hotel with compelling images and valuable analytics.
Types of influencers to look for in your hotel business:
- Macro-influencers: 500K-1 M followers
- Mega influencers: 1M (celebrities)
- Micro-influencers:10k-50k followers
- Mid-tier influencers: 50K-500k followers
- Nano-influencers:1K-10K followers
As per your budget, you can choose the influencer that fits best for your hotel business. Other factors you should consider to find potential influencers are relevant topics, engaged followers and similar audiences.
#5 Multichannel Marketing
Multichannel marketing has become quite popular in the hotel business. It allows you to promote your business across multiple platforms which include - OTAs, social media platforms and meta-search engines. The better you inform your travelers; the better brand connection you will gain.
According to Skift’s Sean O’Neil “In the past, travelers had less access to information, so the sign-out front of a property carried more weight by conveying a promise of consistent quality. But now, every smartphone can bring up a mix of reviews and social recommendations specific to an individual property.”
Guests prefer results from a list of top 10 to 15 hotels. Thus, as a hotelier, you must stay on your toes to make sure you are always on that list
Tips for hotel marketing in multichannel
- Connect with your travel consumers and try triggering their passion points
- Create urgency through interactive technology
- Consider the relevant pop culture of the specific location
- Add a social component
#6 Local Marketing
Sometimes you can be so engrossed to the idea of global reach that you forget about local guests. Even people staying in your local wish to experience luxurious services to get a break from their daily routine.
In fact, co-working spaces is becoming highly demanding and turning to be one of the biggest trends in the hotel industry. This became popular, especially after the COVID situation. Thus, make sure to open your doors to local guests as well. Trust me when I say that this is going to be a major game-changer.
#7 Thought leadership marketing
Do not confuse thought leadership marketing with influencer marketing. Thought leadership is all about sharing opinions, ideas, expertise knowledge and views that people can count on you to make the right suggestion. Companies that position themselves as proper thought leaders tend to possess larger following and with that revenue also grows.
Best ways to share your knowledge to your audience:
#8 Content marketing
It is important to invest in quality and accurate content. Add high-resolution photographs in your contents to provide a visual understanding of what you are talking about. Audience prioritizes diverse content offerings, so make sure to provide versatile contents like:
- Social media stories
- Virtual tours
- Travel diaries
Since people are consuming video content more nowadays, it is becoming a key driver of search engine optimization. So make sure to prioritize more on video content marketing strategy. As you create your content, focus on educating travelers and streamlining the booking process. Hire bloggers and SEO professionals to paint a proper picture of your hotel to your audiences.
#9 WhatsApp Marketing
WhatsApp has emerged as a highly impactful messaging tool. It can be an excellent asset to stay in touch with your potential and existing guests and promote your business. It has got everything you need to market your hotel better. It enhances communication, customer experience and operational efficiency. You can achieve maximum reach, experience zero cost for promotion strategy, and create a strong brand presence.
Let me share a few tried and tested tips for WhatsApp marketing:
- Collect and manage the database of your guests
- Schedule the frequency of your messages and promotion
- Build message templates
- Promote your hotel according to the schedule
- Start analysis on the total number of users reading it and actions taken by users
Types of WhatsApp messages hotels can send:
- Pre-arrival message
- Post-check-out message
- An instant reply to queries
- Feedback collecting message
#10 Virtual Guest Marketing
A lot of guests specially, who are unfamiliar to the city wishes to get a visual tour of the room of the hotel and the surrounding area. You can make them feel less overwhelmed by sharing a visual tour of the place they are going to stay and its surrounding area. This can prove to be a perfect source for event planners and travelers.
Here is what you can do:
- You can upload a virtual tour of your hotel website and brand page
- Upload short clips to highlight all attractions and local must-see stops for your hotel website
- Focus on creating VR experiences relating to seasonal packages to highlight seasonal event, holiday attractions and in-room amenities.
#11 Alternative accommodation Marketing
Travelers at present has plenty of accommodation options. As per durations of their staying, purpose of travelling, source of business, they will choose the accommodation that suits them the most. So according to the type of travelers you get, consider these following spaces:
This is perfect for solo travelers and remote workers where they can share living spaces and even workspaces with a common goal and attitude.
With remote working getting more common, remote employees and entrepreneurs are preferring to move into coworking spaces where they can find desk space and fast WiFi and have networking communities
Gone are the days when AirBnB could have been used just a way to rent someone else’s room for the night. At present, it includes hotel rooms, castles, entire apartments, luxurious homes and more
#12 Mobile marketing
The global market for mobile travel bookings is expected to increase by 12.2% during the period of 2021 to 2029. Smartphones is a major source of communication. According to the infographics from PhocusWire, 85% of travelers around the globe use mobile phones for booking hotels. Hotel industries that has its own mobile apps have gained maximum profit and is able to make customer’s lives easier. It is becoming handy for guests when they require booking a hotel on the go. Guests do not need a laptop or a PC to look for a certain hotel and reserve it.
All they need to do is perform these 3 simple steps:
- Open the hotel-booking app
- Search and select the property that is right for them
- Book it
#13 Visual Marketing
You must have heard the phrase “A picture says a thousand words”. Words are not enough to convince your guests that you are the best option. “You believe in what you see” – this perfectly applies to visual marketing.
When we look for any items online, we prefer to go through it’s images. Thus, it is crucial that you give a complete access to the gallery section of your hotel. Mind it, the pictures need to be appealing and of high-quality. They will skip your property if they are of low dimension, out of focus
Record a customer journey, treasure the happy moment of guests and market it to a wider audience. When you have a solid understanding of the major hotel trends, you will have a complete control of the hotel industry. You will be able to create more effective campaigns, drive growth and enhance customer satisfaction for your hotel.