9 Hotel Marketing Tips that Don’t Involve Discounts or Online Listing Sites

How to Attract More Guests without Sacrificing Your Profits

With Airbnb, hotels face competition unlike anything that existed before the internet. But let’s get real: Airbnb has terrible service, abundant confusion and uncertainty, and sometimes real horror stories. We all know hotels offer far better experiences.

So instead of worrying about beating them on price, what you can do is double down your marketing efforts to remind potential guests of all the superior benefits of staying in your hotel.

The service, convenience, security, and enjoyment you can offer far eclipses online alternatives.

Here are 9 hotel marketing tips and strategies your hotel can use to attract more customers and give them an experience that’s so good they’ll not only want to come back, but will tell their friends and family how great it was.

hotel with solar panels on the roof

1. Stand Out with Solar Power

More and more consumers are responding favorably to companies who walk their talk and take a stand for environmental stewardship and renewable energy. Hotels are some of the biggest energy users among B2C companies. You can – and should – always be trying to save money by increasing your energy efficiency.

9 Practical Energy Efficiency Ideas for Hotels

But the highest impact energy conservation move you can make is to install solar panels on your hotel’s roof. Or, if you have excess ground space or covered parking, you can put them there as well.

If customers choosing between several hotels in a particular area find out you’re the only one with solar panels, many of them will pick you as their destination.

Some people refuse to fly planes because of the emissions. That’s pretty extreme, but many more people do want to make a difference for the environment. And they will support businesses, including hotels, that adopt renewable energy – even if they have to pay a little more to stay there.

So, consider installing solar panels. You will eliminate a good chunk of your energy bill. Then, you should feature your hotel’s solar panels front and center in your marketing and online photos. Ensure that prospects will see your panels everywhere you show up online, and your business revenue will get its own energy boost.

Get a Hotel Solar Power Quote from Coastal Solar

2. Offer Rewards for Multiple-Night Stays

Trying to win the price wars by slashing your revenue isn’t a great way to grow. However, if you can convince customers already planning to stay with you to add an extra night, you capture that additional revenue.

For instance, offer a reward for customers who stay three or more nights. This turns a weekend trip into a weekend plus one. You will get some takers, and it will boost your revenue – particularly if you can offer these rewards during slower days or seasons.

3. Encourage Online Reviews

Reviews – even ones with fewer than five stars – boost your hotel’s SEO value and draw more attention to your site. For some consumers, they play an outsized role in determining which hotel they choose. You can develop a number of strategies to remind and motivate customers to leave reviews.

The best time to get positive reviews is while the guest is still at your hotel having a great time. After they leave, most will forget about it, unless something goes wrong and they want to leave a negative one.

A few ideas for how to get more reviews:

  • Include a reminder on any room service tray
  • Insert a laminated card into your welcome package (laminated so you can re-use it)
  • Have the housekeepers leave a “How are we doing?” card when they reset the room for longer stays
  • Do a nightly drawing for everyone who posts a review. Prizes could include a free room service meal, or a discounted one, or exclusive use of one of your amenities for a fixed time period. Get creative and try out different kinds of prizes.

Pro Tip: Make sure you comply with individual review site’s rules as well as any local or federal regulations on offering incentives for reviews.

hotel van

4. Offer Free Transportation to a Desired Destination

Depending on where your hotel is located and which attractions are nearby, this will vary greatly. For instance, if you’re close enough, you could offer free transportation to the airport.

You may also be able to pair up with a nearby restaurant that’s a few miles away, and offer a two-way trip for guests. If the restaurant gets a bunch of new business from this, they would happily (if they’re smart) give you a portion of the revenue. That might be enough, at a minimum, to cover your program costs.

Again – the key to these sorts of offers is to market them.

Don’t wait until customers have already booked your hotel to make this offer. Put it on your home page. Find a way to get it on the hotel listing sites many people rely on.

And if the restaurant (or any other nearby attraction) doesn’t want to share revenue, they may be open to giving you exclusive coupons for your guests only, branded with your logo and theirs. Either way, it’s a perk you can offer in your marketing.

5. Pair Up with Smart Local Businesses on Joint Ventures

The previous example of the restaurant already touched on this joint venture concept, but you don’t have to tie this idea to any transportation service. This hotel marketing strategy is very powerful, and it stands on its own. You can go find smart businesses in your area that understand the potential flood of new customers you can send them, and develop a campaign that benefits both parties.

With exclusive coupons and discounts to nearby attractions available only to your hotel’s customers, you’ll be offering a major perk few others can match.

Most hotels only list all the nearby places to visit in their welcome packets. Almost none of them – if any – give special deals exclusive to their guests.

6. Boost Your Per-Customer Revenue

There’s external marketing of the sort we’ve been discussing, and then there’s internal marketing.

For your guests already staying with you, look for ways to increase your revenue from them. To turn this idea into serious new revenue, you would need to turn your front desk people into sales associates. Train them on how to deliver special offers and one-time deals so guests are delighted and surprised.

Some ideas to get you started:

  • Special coupons only valid the first night of their stay
  • A featured drink or appetizer – different every night of the week and not available the other six nights
  • A welcome plate they can order at check-in and have brought to their room immediately – with the room service charges waived

These kinds of promotions work well for your bottom line, in part because many guests end up buying more than just the one deal included in the offer. And the second idea is particularly good, because it’s not even a discount. That featured item disappears the next day, so it’s now or never. You could probably even charge more for it than you normally would.

7. Create a Video Virtual Tour

Back to the external marketing ideas, guests who are hotel shopping will greatly appreciate seeing the rooms in advance. A virtual tour gives them a peek inside the rooms. Compared to hotels that don’t offer this feature, you will be positioning yourself as a more service-oriented destination. They know what they’re getting into.

And for customers who love high-tech stuff, this will be an instant attraction.

8. Remarket to Abandoned Bookings

Did you know that 75% of hotel searchers abandon the booking process? 75%!

That’s according to Wordstream, a paid-search marketing company. They offer several other great hotel marketing ideas in addition to the ones on our list.

One of the primary causes of these abandoned bookings is likely because the shopper found something to give them pause. Perhaps they questioned the price or extra fees. Maybe they had second thoughts about the amenities or found a better location or lower price elsewhere.

Some objections can’t be overcome.

But the price can be. If they started to book with you, then they were at least open to your prices.

What you need to do is overcome any hesitancy related to that, but without just offering a discount. Otherwise, your prices aren’t your prices. The other marketing tips on this list (if you make them known during and before the booking process!) will encourage some guests to complete the process the first time.

But for those who do leave, create a remarketing campaign that targets them immediately. You want to give them a second chance to come back before they choose a different hotel.

What should you include in that campaign? Much more than inane statements like “Did you forget to finish booking?”

No, they didn’t forget. Something stopped them. So offer them something special to win them back. Use our list of hotel marketing ideas as a starting point.

hotel hallway

9. Target a Niche and Win Them Over

Niche marketing is powerful. Suppose your hotel is near a particular city that people visit for a variety of reasons. You can choose to target families, vacationers, or business people. You can pursue tourists with particular interests. You can appeal to specific economic levels.

The point is, if you become THE hotel in your area for a particular type of guest, you will attract the greater majority of business from that community or demographic.

So how do you become the destination hotel for a niche?

You need to find ways to cater to them as part of your service experience. Offer special deals to the nearby attractions that relate to that niche. Create unique conveniences that people in that particular niche will appreciate. Make them feel like you understand them and enjoy their interests with special lobby displays and niche-specific contest drawings – things only they would want.

You could spend a lot of time working on a niche campaign, and you should, because niche customers don’t consider price when making purchase decisions as much as regular folks.

For example, if your hotel is near a beach that gets frequented by surfers, and you’re the only hotel that offers one free surfboard waxing, the surfers will flock to you. And if you throw in a few other targeted perks and amenities, they will book with you even if you charge $40 more per room than nearby hotels.

Find a niche that makes sense for your area and clientele, and go after it.

Hotel Marketing, Revenue, and Savings

Some of these ideas bring in new customers. Others increase the value of your existing guests.

But as a marketing tool, solar power offers a powerful and unique combination. It saves you money by slashing your power bill expenses. That alone is a reason to consider it. But solar also attracts customers who want to support businesses that adopt renewable energy.

As a solar powered hotel, you will eventually recover your investment. It’s just a matter of time.

The question is, when do you want to begin?

Get a Hotel or Resort Solar Power Quote from Coastal Solar
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