Hotel Marketing 101

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Hotel marketing involves a wide variety of tactics to achieve success. Learn more about tips to keep in mind when marketing for your hospitality clients.

HOTEL MARKETING 101:

Tips and Tricks to Market Your Hotel,

Casino, and Resort


INTRO

Right off the bat, let’s get something straight

that is commonly overlooked:

Digital hotel marketing is a collaborative

partnership between a hotel’s Marketing

and/or Revenue Management departments

and the digital agency.

The common goal: “Heads in beds and butts

in seats.”

Let’s look at some of the common

problems hotels face in a digital marketing

environment, and ways to combat it.

We want to keep your EBITDA shining, your

RevPAR high, and your CFOs happy!


RIDE THE HIGHS AND ROLL

WITH THE LOWS

Trying to fill rooms during peak season is easiest, and a time we take

for granted, and then reminisce on fondly when low season hits.

During slow seasons, try to focus more on year-over-year trends

rather than month-over-month. Try to avoid a knee-jerk reaction at

any declines and ask the questions:






What did we do last year to incite more visits during historically

slow periods?

Was there any difference in entertainment artists, venues that

closed down, or conventions that aren’t around this year?

Can this decline in performance be attributed to new/missing

campaigns or tactics?

Has budget changed from month-to-month or since last year?

What data does your Convention & Visitors Authority have on

visitation stats from last year, and how can you predict next

month?

Finally, be honest. Are you driving enough awareness? Or are you just

focusing on remarketing and direct conversions, thus slowly whittling

away at your pool of guests, making it smaller and smaller until all

your usual guests are gone?


BUILD RELATIONSHIPS,

DRIVE LOYALTY

Just like real life relationships, building that guest relationship takes

time! You don’t get awarded with brand loyalty after one interaction;

it’s an ongoing flirtation that leads to a healthy, long-term relationship.

A resort should keep surprising your guests with delightful moments

(and fun deals) that keep the relationship exciting.

Try geo-fencing an offer around high traffic areas with your coolest

dining discounts or show ticket deals.

Reward guests for their gambling activity with points, offers,

merchandise and experiences can easily transfer over into your

marketing tactics.

Extend a leg of your marketing channels to support new loyalty

club sign-ups. Even though loyalty clubs need to have an in-person

registration to ensure the person is 21, you can still offer incentives

online to get them there.

Offer “walk-in verification” reports. You can see how many people

were served a mobile ad and then walk into your property in the next

30 days, so you have some type of “conversion” that reflects the reallife

scenario.


SIZE UP THE COMPETITION

If you’ve got some budget to spare, it’s time for competitor conquesting!

With Paid Search, you can bid on your competitors search terms (you just

can’t include their trademarked terms in your search ad copy).

You may pay a higher cost-per-click and have a lower quality score

because your website is technically unrelated to the keyword, but it’s

probably worth it if you sway a non-loyal customer over to your side.

With Display, you can utilize the same geo-fencing tactics to mark a

latitude-longitude coordinate around your competitor property and serve

all their guests your banner ads for your (much cooler) hotel and its (way

more interesting) venues.

DON’T FORGET ABOUT CONTENT

Just like the importance of upper-funnel prospecting tactics, you shouldn’t

ignore organic search marketing and the long-term game.

Explore the top experiences in your city and create as many blogs and as

much content as your brand can muster. When your site ranks on the first

page of Google for general keyword terms that cost an arm and a leg on

paid search, this is a huge win.

In order to do that, you must spend the time in writing those blogs about

what people actually care about. For example, want to show up for “best

steakhouses in Vegas”? Write a blog about the actual, best steakhouses in

Vegas, and branch out from the obvious choice of just your steakhouse.

Promote it, revisit topics, repeat.


UTILIZE ALL OPTIONS WITH

FULL-FUNNEL MARKETING

We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a full-funnel

marketing approach year-round.

“Feed the beast,” as we like to say, with higher funnel awarenesstype

campaigns like prospecting and video marketing to grow your

audience, and get them to your website.

After that, your remarketing campaigns (on any channel) should offer

them a discount to push them over the edge and decide to book.

The purpose of these high-funnel tactics is to shout with a megaphone

that “Our brand exists!” Users will rarely be ready to book a room after

seeing one video ad, so don’t ask “how many conversions did we get”

from your awareness video, if you can help it.

Aim to reach all areas of potential hotel conversions, including affiliate

marketing and venue partnerships. Offering deals to your partners’

unique audiences can multiply your reach by sharing with their

audiences as well (email lists, social followings, their website, etc.).

Lastly, if your booking engine is up-to-date and has a solid DataLayer

in its backend that allows for easily-integrated technologies like

Google Hotel Ads or metasearch engines like Kayak, TripAdvisor,

Trivago, etc. - do it. These are turnkey, trackable revenue streams

waiting on the table.


FINAL THOUGHTS

In a hotel/agency partnership, everyone is doing their best to drive as many

impressions and clicks to visit your website. What the user does at that point is

up to them, and the website and offers featured on it are the deciding factor.

Choose wisely in those matters, and your guests will do the same.

IDEAS FOR YOUR NEXT OFFER


A resort or dining credit offer with hotel booking - some type of value add.

Especially if your rates suck and there’s nothing Revenue Management can do

about it.


Book 2 nights, get 3rd free. “Extend Your Weekend” offers that push Monday/

Tuesdays and Wednesdays/Thursdays around the weekend dates users are often

looking for. Or simply “Get 25% off a midweek day to extend your weekend!”





Complimentary upgrade to a Suite

10% off mobile bookings

Midweek BOGO

Book on X dates, get show/dining discounts/Get x% off rooms when you book

show tickets




Early Bird offers - 20% off when you book 14 days before arrival

Book by X date, get a complimentary room upgrade/value add

Stay in an off-peak month, get a big discount/free night for your summer vacation!

Supply them with a voucher or unique promo code for 25-30% off a room if

they’ve stayed in non-peak dates.


Airline vouchers - Rarely seen or used, but totally possible if you know the right

people. Offer your guests gift cards for airfare (that you’ve bought directly from an

airline at low hard costs). You can limit it to just your hotel’s city, or users can use it

to go anywhere they like.


“No resort fee for bookings on X date!”

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