In this challenging time where the priority is hotel business recovery
, you should budget for what gives you the best return — focus on your most profitable channels.
Initially you should examine year-on-year booking trends, occupancy levels
, rate fluctuations, market conditions.
Then consider what new demand drivers there might be in the year ahead.
Where should you focus your marketing budget? How much should you spend on hospitality marketing?
A roadmap is essential to ensure your 5-star hotel marketing budget
isn’t wasted and the correct channels are used to satisfy your marketing plan’s goals.
All hotels are different, and a one-size-fits-all approach won't work – your plan needs to be bespoke.
Your budget should cover the expected costs of whatever you need to drive the business forward with a clear expectation of priorities and return on investment.
Why are marketing strategies for hotel business important?
Hotel digital marketing
helps to build your brand identity, helps in promoting your services and delivers a greater reach to your potential guests.
A marketing plan
for the hotel industry plays an critical role in every aspect of reaching your hotel sales and marketing targets.
WHY IS DIGITAL MARKETING IMPORTANT FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Many of your guest’s journeys begin online - researching the location, getting a sense of the accommodation available and the fun things to do on their trip.
They are likely to discover your hotel via meta search engines, organic search results, social channels
, paid campaigns
such as Google search or display advertising and many more web-based platforms.
But don’t forget!
Hotels who see the most success from their hotel marketing plan
are those that take the time to nail down who their audience is.
There is no doubt that hotels are one of the business types most affected by COVID-19.
The crisis has changed the way guests and prospective customers interact, the tools they use to communicate and their spending habits.
WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE WAYS TO PROMOTE A HOTEL ONLINE MARKETING STRATEGY?
It is substantially less costly and some aspects will continue to work indefinitely, promoting your hotel for years to come.
The result is a much higher ROI for your marketing spend.
Hotel marketing budgets have become more directed towards business growth.
Intense competition in the market is driving digital marketing plans towards a new paradigm for the hotel industry.
Today there are a number of platforms where you can promote your hotel.
You can't afford to miss out on these if you want to boost your sales and online revenue.
Here are the platforms where you can promote your hotels to achieve your desired ROI:
- Your hotel website
- Brand searches pay-per-click advertising
- Brand awareness advertising and remarketing
- Google Hotel Ads
- Email marketing
- Professional photography
- Video production
- Paid listings on partner websites
- Software and tools
HOW DO YOU CREATE A 5-STAR LUXURY hotel sales and marketing plan IN 2022?
The hospitality marketing strategy
should consider your previous sales channels, your current revenue situation, the profile of the hotel, hotel marketing ideas, and your current online status (how well-optimised is your digital strategy).
Some questions you might consider when developing a hotel marketing plan are:
- What are your hotel's marketing objectives?
- To get more bookings back from OTAs?
- To promote new aspects of your business?
- To increase profitability of your online bookings?
- To generate customer loyalty?
- To increase visibility on social media?
The plan’s objectives can be far reaching but it's good to collect them all and prioritise them.
If you want to reach your goal, the following action needs to be taken:
- Review your trend report and competitor-set information.
- Audit your book direct strategy and prioritise improvements with your agency
- Identify each booking channel and task each team in the hotel to come up with ideas to sell to them
- Develop a 2022 hospitality marketing budget.
- Create a strong database for e-mail promotions and make sure your website is a focused, customer-acquisition medium.
WHAT ARE YOUR HOTEL'S MEASURES OF SUCCESS?
Think about what results you would like to achieve from marketing strategies for all your channels.
Digital marketing and online advertising for hotels are very measurable in terms of return on ad spend, enquiries, bookings, website visits, reach and even phone calls.
Consider the KPIs for each channels which you will use to achieve your broader goals.
WHAT ARE THE REVENUE PROJECTIONS FOR 2022?
Research how each area of the business contributes to the overall hotel budget planning.
This should help prioritise the areas that need a budget and avoid overspending on areas which contribute lower revenue than others.
Covid-19 has effectively ripped up the hospitality marketing budgets playbook.
Many hoteliers are now looking to a zero-based hotel marketing budget sample, with each function analysed for its need and cost for the upcoming period, irrelevant of previous years.
But this doesn’t solve forecasting.
Comparing your hotel’s performance versus same-time-last-year or 2019, is of little relevance when demand is following a different pattern from what we’ve ever seen before.
A forward-looking data solution like Market Insight enables hoteliers to look at accurate, pre-booking, top-of-funnel data points, like hotel and flight search data.
This gives a clearer picture of unconstrained demand.
WHAT KEY ELEMENTS OF DATA NEED TO BE INCLUDED?
By investing in data collection technology synced with your website (such as available from Aró), market intelligence will quickly give you a distinct advantage over your competitors. Consider:
- Average daily rate
- Cost per acquisition
- Per session value
- Occupancy rate
- Availability rate
- Return on ad spend
over the last year. Knowing what was achieved in the previous year is a solid starting point for planning the next.
ARE BRAND NAME SEARCHES AT A HEALTHY LEVEL?
If you see that searches for your hotel’s name have reduced, you should consider investing in brand awareness campaigns to bring new traffic to your website and help potential guests discover your property.
Have new aspects of the business been added? Have new amenities and services been added to your property?
Similar to a new brand, it's well worth using some of your hotel marketing budget to create awareness of this and boost bookings for the new services.
WHAT COST-EFFECTIVE TOOLS ARE CURRENTLY BEING USED for your 5 star hotel marketing plan?
How much time do you spend manually tracking search keywords or posting social content during off-hours? Are you stressing over your hotel website design or need help writing captions or Google ads?
To create marketing strategies for hotels and resorts, having the right tools on hand helps you work more efficiently and deliver results.
I’ve put together a list of tried-and-true, all-time favorites:
1. Pinterest: Pinterest is a valuable resource for hotel content ideas and inspiration.
2. BUZZSUMO: In the hotel business, hyper-relevant content is key to direct bookings. Buzzsumo is one of the best ways to get a feel for what topics are trending related to your destination.
3. ANSWER THE PUBLIC: If you start typing a query into Google’s search bar, you’ll see some suggestions populate below. A similar list of suggestions also appears at the bottom of most search result pages. Answer The Public is basically Google’s autocomplete results.
4. ZAPIER: All of our hotel marketing campaigns require multiple tools and resources to execute. Zapier works by connecting thousands of different web-based apps and creating automatic workflows (called “Zaps”) between them.
5. GOOGLE CALENDAR: Depending on your needs, you might already use Google Calendar to keep track of personal appointments or meetings.
SHOULD YOU BE INVESTING MORE IN ORGANIC Hotel MARKETING?
Investing in the optimisation of your website and local SEO is a solid start to any hotel internet marketing strategy and can support many hotel advertising strategies.
Having great SEO means your hotel will rank higher on search engines, thus giving you the visibility your hotel needs.
Above all, it is very important for you to strengthen your online presence.
IS THERE MORE COMPETITION IN THE LOCATION?
The local hotel market can often be a fierce battlefield as properties fight to capture a similar type of guest.
You need to find ways to ensure your offering is the best it can be, comparable or superior to similar hotels in the area.
- Monitor your competitors
- Listen to your guests
- Expand your knowledge and management skills
- Be introspective about your luxury hotel market
- Capture data in real-time
HOW CAN OFFLINE EFFORTS SUPPORT online MARKETING STRATEGIES FOR HOTEL BUSINESS?
Hotel digital marketing is key here and will transform the business.
But what happens offline can have an influence online too.
For instance, if you promote your hotel at shows or in luxury magazines you should coordinate getting links on your digital assets too.
Backlinks can give these efforts an extra boost by accruing links from other quality, relevant websites.
It significantly influences your hotel's ability to rank well in search engine results pages and should accompany any offline strategy.
By mixing offline and online marketing strategies, not only can you increase the efficiency of your 5-star luxury hotel sales and marketing plan, but you can also measure your hotel marketing efforts.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOUR BUDGET BE FOR MARKETING IN 2022?
Ask your marketing partner to recommend the best type of campaign to match each area.
Goals for each type of campaign should be put in place.
For example, campaigns with a focus on hotel room advertising will deliver a direct return on ad spend (ROAS); while a brand awareness campaign for weddings should focus on generating enquiries and will not deliver direct online revenue.
Aró can advise on the optimum budget to spend for different types of campaigns.
WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED PERCENTAGE OF SALES FOR A MARKETING BUDGET FOR LUXURY HOTELS?
In general, the higher the volume of sales, the lower the percentage.
The budget of hotel percentage depends greatly on the profile of the hotel and its objectives.
We would advise considering an investment of 5-10% of overall revenue.
This percentage is likely to be at the higher end of the range for 5-star luxury hotels.
The hotel budgeting software should cover all online expenses and be spread across a variety of advertising and organic techniques to build a solid strategy.
How to create a hotel marketing plan?
The digital landscape is continuously evolving, and your hotel can benefit by experimenting with new techniques if it has the financial scope to do so.
Contact us for tailored advice on the best 2022 hotel digital strategy for your five-star luxury hotel business.