Each month you hear from one of Blue Magnet’s awesome digital marketing team members on a status call, via email, or during a quick phone chat. In the past we have shared our tips for working with your account manager, and the key takeaway is the importance of ongoing communication. The more we know, the more we can help you. Today we are going to share how your hotel can further maximize your partnership with Blue Magnet. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride.
Historically Low Occupancy Dates
You know your hotel’s historically low occupancy time periods throughout the year. By telling your Blue Magnet support team at least a month in advance, we can create a comprehensive digital marketing strategy together to help increase occupancy and revenue during these time frames. We could promote stays by pushing a limited time offer (i.e. an enticing discount on the dates that you need filled) through your independent (or brand) website, organic posts and paid ads on social media, and an email marketing campaign.
In the below example, this hotel needed help increasing stays on the weekends in the summer. The hotel team discounted Sunday night stays, and our team helped create awareness by adding a call-to-action on the index page and added the offer on the top of the specials page. We also supported these efforts with an email. The email alone helped generate close to $21,000* in booked revenue. (*Note: Not all reservations were bookings for the summer sale.)
Index Page Visual
Offer on Specials Page
Pro Tip: Majority of your visitors on your independent website are starting on your index page. Create a visual on your home page and direct the users to your specials page for the offer.
If your hotel has a presence on Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter, we highly recommend targeting your need periods by posting about the special offer on your social media organically and through paid content.
Organic Results: 608 people reached, 8 likes on post
Paid Results: $50.00 spent, 1,314 people reached, 103 post engagements on post
By promoting a post like in the above example, Facebook users are encouraged to interact with your content, increasing overall awareness for the offer. To promote special offers listed on your website, reach out to our Social Media team to discuss our paid advertising opportunities that will help drive website traffic.
Last Minute Need Dates
In the hospitality industry, we understand the fluctuations in occupancy. One minute the hotel is sold out, and the next, there is last minute availability that you need help filling. Similar to the historical occupancy trends, let our team know, and we will help put together a holistic plan with your current services. If you want guests to book last minute, it is typically more successful when you offer an incentive, like a discount.
One of our hotels decided to offer a “flash” sale for one day only. Our team shared the sale by posting the details on Facebook and Twitter, adding information on the hotel’s independent website, and creating an email.
If the need dates require a campaign with a quick turnaround time, we recommended creating a social media post and adding funds behind it to receive additional exposure.
Pending your brand’s standards, another recommendation for last minute need dates is investing in Expedia Travel Ads and Same Day Sales. Expedia Travel Ads allow your hotel listing to appear higher in the search results, and you can target for those looking to stay during that specific time frame. If your brand allows participating in Same Day Sales, you can target the specific date you want people to book and usually include a small discount like 10% off that date.
Seasonal Promotions and Events
Do you need help attracting travelers during certain seasons or specific events? Then (as I am sure you are picking up on from this blog)… work with your Digital Marketing Manager! Let us know if you want to put together a special offer or package, or really get creative and launch a niche landing page. Here are some popular, annual holidays and marketing opportunities to start thinking about:
- Valentine’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Black Friday
- Cyber Monday
- Local Festivals
- Any other city-wide event that is big in your area
With these in mind, we can create content and marketing opportunities for a special offer, dedicate a landing page, create social media posts, and/or put additional paid media spend towards these efforts.
Similar to the need periods, we recommend creating a special offer and then adding it to your independent website and supporting it with additional channels like social media, email marketing, and paid media advertising. For example, the below hotel took advantage of the marketing opportunities with Thanksgiving’s cyber sale weekend, and our team added it to our independent website, pushed out two emails, created organic social media posts, and ran paid social media ads. With the help of all of these additional marketing efforts, the hotel generated $20,000 in booked revenue during the cyber sale.
Although we have focused on marketing efforts to increase room nights, we can use similar tactics to increase event space bookings. For example, towards the end of the year, properties with event venues will look to book holiday parties.
As much as special offers and incentives help encourage guests to book with you for a specific period, sometimes there are situations where you will not be able to create an offer or a package. My next example for you is a hotel that wanted to promote bookings during the Renaissance Faire, but they could not create a package like they had in past years. Our team designed a landing page to speak to those attending the Renaissance Faire and rebranded an existing hotel package geared towards these guests. However, my quick summary of this page does not give it the justice it deserves so I recommend checking out this whimsical page for yourself.
Special Offers and Packages
I am sure at this point you may be thinking to yourself, “Are we really going to talk about more special offers?” I know, I know. I am a broken record, but I want to reinforce the importance of sharing these new or existing offers and packages with us. If you decide to create a new package, remove an existing offer, or temporarily take the offer offline, let your Blue Magnet support team know. We strive to provide a simple and fabulous user experience to your website visitors, so it helps eliminate their frustrations if we can remove content that is not longer bookable. We can also enhance their experience and your bookings by adding any new packages that are available. We can then increase their visibility by supporting channels like paid advertising, social media, and email marketing.
Remember: the more we know, the more we can help. What is going on in the hotel’s daily operations and life? Is there anything you want your guests to know or want to show off? Here are some ideas that come to mind:
- Team outings
- Team awards and recognitions
- Charitable initiatives
- On-site public events
- Dining initiatives
- New additions to the hotel
Renovations and Reflagging
It is important to have a solid renovations plan, and this goes the same for reflagging. On how best to communicate your renovation story, check out our blog post for our best tips and practices. The key takeaway in that blog is to be as transparent as possible and share what is going on at your hotel on your different marketing platforms. Share this information with your Blue Magnet Digital Marketing Manager, and we can help determine the best place/platform to highlight the information and how we can best help your hotel. As “messy” as the process may seem, it can present a great opportunity to get your guests excited. Send renovation progress photos, renderings, and videos to our team, and we can not only share it on your social media networks and add them to your website, but also add a positive spin on these exciting improvements.
Your email marketing and social media channels provide opportunities for you to showcase your hotel’s unique personality and happenings. Tell us about any team outings, awards, recognitions, and charitable initiatives your team is participating in and include a picture from that event. Your guests want to be involved with what is going on, and these types of announcements typically receive a higher interaction. These are not just your standard guests, they are your followers and want to congratulate you on your success and feel like a part of the team.
Additional On-Site Happenings
Does your hotel have any additional initiatives that make your hotel unique or drive extra business? Whether you are partnering with a local organization or putting on your hotel’s own event, share that with your Digital Marketing Manager, and our Blue Magnet Interactive team will help increase awareness. If you want to push your on-site restaurant happy hour or a special holiday menu, our team can add it to your website, post about it on social media, and add a section to or draft an entire email for that effort. Also make our team aware of any new furnishings, technology, or additions at the hotel. Our team can create content detailing the new high tech, interactive board that is in your lobby or the new, cozy lounge chairs that are by your pool.
My final recommendation on what would be beneficial to share with our team is local event calendars. Our team can utilize this information to capture bookings and add a personal touch. We can work together to get the hotel’s information and website link on a conference or group’s website. We could provide that extra touch of customer service and welcome new groups to our hotel via social media. We can create a landing page specific to that city-wide event and help increase our search visibility and increase bookings for that annual event. There is a lot and more we could do with any of the information that you provide us.
Let’s Get to Work
We have reviewed a variety of topics on how our team can help maximize our efforts and partnership with your help. Now keep in mind that these are just some recommendations of what you could share. Feel free to always reach out to us and let us start chatting about how we can help your hotel succeed.