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.
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.
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