Many hotels and guesthouses struggle in the winter, with less leisure travel leading to lower occupancy and revenue per room. Fortunately, there are some simple, cost-effective steps you can take to make your hotel more attractive to your target market, helping you net more winter guests. Follow these 10 tips, and watch your business grow this season.
#1: Project Warmth
People want to experience warmth during winter and its very important that you start by making your audience or customers feel some warmth at your hotel or guest house.
Make sure you have set up fireplaces in most areas of your hotel,you could place an electric fireplace at the reception too.This will attract the attention of prospective customers and send a subliminal message, “It’s warm and cozy in here, perfect for winter.
To accompany this visual, use warmth-related words on a banner or sign, such as “Stop in for Our Warmest Sale Ever!” If you do not have passersby visibility, you can still use this approach by taking photos of your fireplace and posting to your social channels. Here’s an example of a floor style electric fireplace; however, if you have limited space, then you could opt for a wall-mount format. Keep in mind that many electric fireplaces, such as the latter wall-mount, offer a no-heat option, enabling you to take advantage of the fireplace’s ambience year-round.
Sample Tweet made on 14th of May 2018 by a potential customer
#2: Keep it Healthy
If you offer donuts, sugary cereals, and pastries for breakfast, you’re not alone. They’re simple, and people normally like these quick, easy options. However, offering a variety of healthier options can get you noticed by potential guests especially around the holidays when many people are conscious of packing on “winter weight.” Free-range eggs, turkey bacon, fresh fruits and the like can attract health-conscious travellers looking to maintain their physique year-round. You can promote your healthy menu in your marketing campaigns, adding appeal to your hotel without drastically increasing your operating expenses.
#3:Encourage user-generated content
User-generated content is one of the best ways to build trust and authority for your brand online, with people trusting UGC 50% more than any other form of media. The good news is that, with 64% of millennials wanting more options to share their thoughts and opinions about brands, it’s easy to capture the attention of customers and get them to contribute to your marketing efforts. The best way to do it? Help them create content that you can share.
There are two ways that you can incorporate user-generated content into your strategy:
Hotel user generated content
By actively encouraging users to create content during their stay. You could run a competition or even buy an Instagram frame to allow your customers to create and share memories in your hotel or bed and breakfast.
Search for and ask permission to use content that users are already creating – selfies in your hotel rooms, pictures of rooms and décor, snaps in your bar and restaurant.
In the hospitality industry, user-generated marketing is an effective technique, as social media users and potential customers will be influenced by seeing others enjoying their time at your establishment. Share these moments on social media, create videos or add a “your stay” section to your website, and you’ll quickly drive new business to your hotel.
#4:Encourage Business Travel
Now that the rush of summertime vacation travel is over, a higher percentage of your guests will be business travelers, who will benefit from and greatly appreciate a full-service business center. It’s even more convenient if your business center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This way, your guests can handle their job responsibilities on the go, remaining on-time, on-budget, and ahead of schedule, regardless of when they frequent your establishment. This important service will help make your hotel stand out compared to other proprietors with limited capabilities.
#5:Enhance Your Social Media Presence
In the digital age, when travelers from all walks of life are heavily engaged with social media, you cannot afford to stay unconnected. A Facebook fan page, Instagram or Twitter feed, for example, can help you communicate promotions or new amenities at your hotel in a way that doesn’t increase your marketing budget. You can also stay one step ahead of your competitors by reaching travelers where they spend a lot of time online. While traditional marketing mediums such as magazine and other print ads are still effective, digital mediums are becoming more effective at generating bookings.
Sustainability is nothing to scoff at in terms of social responsibility and guest appeal. Going green can change the way travelers perceive your establishment, causing them to seek you out. Features such as energy efficient appliances and light-bulbs can make your hotel more efficient and attractive. You can also join recycling programs and switch to recycled paper, which can be used throughout your facility
#7:Partner/Duplicate Yourself to earn more.
By launching a community service program now, such as a winter coat drive that brings customers into your store, this allows you to get your messages out using your community’s various advertising mediums for free, including local print newspapers, online community portals, and their respective social media channels, etc. For example, you could team up with the Salvation Army, and piggyback off of their communication channels, such as their local Facebook page or an email list.
#8: Make Guest Experience a Key Hotel Marketing Strategy.
Experience Marketing is one of the best ways to win new customers.This is how Guest Hotel experience marketing works
A Positive guest experience leads to
More Positive Comments
More user generated content from customers
More comments and reviews online
You get a community of loyal guests
Positive comments increase your ranking both on Google and OTA
You get Increased bookings
There is increase on the number of website visitors
Increased word of mouth.
Then you need to know how to use the right images for your experience marketing.There is a huge a difference here. Remember people are looking for experiences.
#9:Hotel Video Marketing
We believe that only storytelling has the power to cut through the noise and transform uninterested crowds into engaged customers.We make videos and web media and do creative consulting. we see everyday the power of a well-crafted story. We also see the danger of a story that lacks emotion, congruence or authenticity. Sometimes in the business world we lose track of the main thing. But the main thing has to be telling a great story. It’s the only way to get where you want to go.Video is the best engaging story telling way.
Here is why video is very, very important to your hotel.
Views of travel-related content up 118% year over year (YoY). The number of people viewing content specific to travel is increasing exponentially. Why not be a part of the travel video revolution?
88% of YouTube Travel Searches Focus on Destinations. This is where the hotel becomes extremely important. When people know their destination, the next step is to find a great hotel.
Bookings are 67% more likely to happen when a video tour is available.
65% of business executives visit the marketer’s website after viewing a video. A good video can generate more business traveller traffic to your hotel website which can improve direct booking numbers.
52% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI. Hoteliers want to gain from their digital marketing investments. Video is one of the more efficient ways to achieve those gains.
Users spend 88% more time on websites with video.
Video Is Rocking Email Campaigns, Its important to Incorporate your videos in your email marketing campaigns; it is a great way to stand out from the competition. The click-through rate for introductory emails that include a video increases by 96%
Videos Build Trust, trust is the bases of sales and conversion. Focus on trust, not just traffic. Videos can foster trust. Seeing your hotel in a video will give potential guests more confidence to book a stay at your hotel.
Videos Encourage Social Shares, 76% of social media users would share a video if it was entertaining. Therefore, create fun videos to evoke emotions and to encourage shares on social media. Shares are not return on investment (ROI) but they can increase traffic to and interest in your products and services.
The likelihood of your site appearing on the first page of Google search results increases by 53% more by adding a video to your websit
20% of usersread text while 80% will watch a video with the same conten
At your property, bookings are 67% more likelyto happen when a video tour is available
Hotels have even more reason than other industries to invest in video marketing. Travellers love to find inspiration in video and they see it as a more trustworthy source to ignite their trip planning.
66% watched videos when thinking about taking a trip
52% watched videos when thinking about what type of trip they would like to take
65% watched videos when choosing a destination
54% watched videos when deciding which accommodation to stay at
63% watched videos when looking for ideas for activities at a destination
#10:Hotel Google Ads
Are you working hard to get more online direct bookings, only to find out that huge Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com, etc. are taking most of your online reservations?
If so, you are not alone. The truth is that over76% of online bookings happen via OTAs, so yeah, you’re right, you might get the feeling that you do all the work, and someone else is taking advantage of it.
Lots of hoteliers are struggling to win over those direct bookings and to reach their customers online. However, Google is here to help you with it. It became a lot easier both for hotel advertisers,now hotels can be visible and run Google Hotel Ads on Google search results page and Google Maps, and for customers – they can get relevant information about the hotel and most importantly instant booking options right away on Google search results page across all devices. So just hang on, and find out how Google Hotel Ads can help you drive more direct bookings.
Want to experience the power of Hotel Google Ads? Let’s help you get started.
As you head into 2018 winter, the questions you should always be asking yourself are; who is staying in my hotel? Why are they staying? Where are they coming from? If you know these answers, your job as a hotelier becomes a lot easier. A lot can change in a year, and this 2018 winter will most likely be a roller-coaster. Especially when it comes to digital marketing, a simple algorithm update and new trends can emerge almost instantaneously. It’s important that your marketing is agile so you can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape.