One of the key players in the independent luxury hotel industry is brand loyalty.
Your marketing strategy
not only must attract new guests and planners but it should also encourage returning customers and ensure that your hotel is top of mind when they are thinking of their next trip or booking.
When you are looking at your marketing channels for increasing hotel revenue
, consider your offerings and how they match up to your competitors and the wish lists of your customers.
1. Reward guests
Do you want to reward guests with upgrades, surprises or extended stays?
Don’t make them wait until check-in.
Surprise guests pre-stay rewards so that they can be used during their stay at your hotel.
These might include extras such as late check-in or check-out, free gym access, restaurant discount or even a room upgrade.
Encourage them to return with an outside of stay offer or communications such as:
- Sharing upcoming offers with an early bird booking window
- An opportunity for dining discount at a partner restaurant
- Asking them to post about their stay on social media and featuring them on your website or social channels
2. Go beyond for a fantastic guest experience
Endeavour to deliver unique guest service with fantastic experiences during each stage of the guest journey.
You know that your staff must be friendly, helpful and always available but how do you go beyond that?
You need to add creative touches which enhance and personalise a guest’s stay.
This might be welcome baskets with local treats, sourcing a particular wine or coffee, arranging transport to a destination or simply curated recommendations for local places to visit.
3. Earn exceptional reviews
Provide top-level guest service experience to earn great reviews and take advantage of opportunities for interactions which will boost your ratings.
What do I mean?
Offer a staff member or team to event planners since they need extra helps for set-up, recommendations for F&B, vendor connections or additional resources.
Host live videos on your social media to showcase your hotel as a venue and also position your staff as go-to experts on all things event related.
You can also provide a live Q&A with wedding planners, corporate planners, catering staff and so on.
4. Leverage reviews about your property
They show new potential guests and event planners not only that others enjoy your service but also you’re proud of your hotel and venues.
A curated social media feed – especially Instagram – is a great way of showing prospective customers great images of your hotel along with positive messaging.
Consider adding hashtags at suitable “Insta ready” points around your hotel and grounds to encourage user generated content.
5. Provide a digital tour guide of the location
Would you like to drive new traffic and conversions?
You can create informative content - photography, blogs, eBooks, video or virtual tours - to help guests plan their visits.
This content should form part of a rolling 12 month content calendar so you know what is going to appear on the website and social channels and when.
Don’t forget to allow guests to save your content to their account.
In this way, when guests ask staff about recommendations, you can easily see guests’ preferences and needs and provide specific offers for them.
6. Invite networking and educational events
Your slow or shoulder seasons are the perfect time to fill your rooms with planners and vendors to facilitate networking and idea sharing.
Consider developing a MICE strategy and assign a staff member to run it, even if it’s only part time.
Define a target audience and develop a landing page on the website before launching.
There are many factors to consider such as corporate rates, technical facilities, transport and security however it is a potentially lucrative segment.
Word of mouth is strong in the MICE sector so if you wow your clients you will earn loyalty and repeat stays.
7. Match incentives to your target audience
You must know who are your guests, what are they looking for and what marketing segment they fit into.
Business travelers prefer extended gym hours, comfortable conference rooms and maybe room service or a dry cleaning service.
Families book for space, great breakfasts and activities in the area.
Couples choose based on your offers and services like room service on a whim or an in-room champagne as a sweet gesture.
Try to be creative and not just offer another bland ‘romance’ package.
Tailor landing pages based on top searches so you can capture the right traffic and encourage conversions with relevant offers.