Entering a new year or quarter can mean a lot of things for your hotel. Whether it is exciting team growth, a new budget, or a new set of standards to adhere to, we understand how important it is to have your story still be heard through all of the noise. Today, we will be focusing on the marketing opportunities hotels have through brand websites, social media, email marketing, and paid media.
Opportunity #1: Brand Website Content
A while back we shared our tricks on how to write content that sells for hotel brand websites. Work with your Digital Marketing Manager or use these insights to help showcase your hotel’s personality through your verbiage and tone. We recommend describing the experience that your guests are going to have when they stay at your hotel. Paint a picture for your guests through action and descriptive keywords.
Pro Tip: If there is a “highlights selection” on either your home or rooms page, similar to Marriott and Hilton, use it to showcase the best and brightest of your hotel and location. In this section, feature where are they going to be staying, what are they going to be doing, and why they should be choosing to book at your hotel.
Depending on your brand’s extranet and format, you may have more flexibility with your copy to promote on-site events or special offers. Utilize a sales or pop-out message to help make your announcement stand out from the rest of the information on the page. In the below example you will notice that when guests click on “Live Music at the Walnut Creek Marriott,” a description on their weekly event pop-us to inform them.
Opportunity #2: Social Media
Before we dive into the fun world of social media, determine which channels match your overall goals and what channels your target market are utilizing. From there you will be able to share your expert tips on the area, highlight limited time promotions, advertise menu items, and more! Take a look at our tricks on how to better showcase your voice for ways to make your content unique and personable.
Pro Tip: Share your guests’ photos, also referred to as user-generated content, to help show off different areas of your property. Add your commentary and final touches through your caption>
Pro Tip: Promote your room types by creating a collage. If your guest room has a unique theme, share it and tie your caption into it.
Pro Tip: Play around with upcoming holidays or events and connect your brand’s theme with it.
Facebook and Twitter also provide you the opportunity to discover who your followers are through demographics and location insights. With this information, you will be able to tailor your posts or tweets to who is actually seeing and interacting with them. You can also take your social media marketing to the next level by identifying and reaching new guests. This way if you are using ad spend to promote an on-site event like happy hour, you can target those located near your city who are interested in happy hour and other relevant keywords.
As the social sphere continues to grow with users and competitors, it has been becoming more of a “pay to play” landscape. This means if you want more users to see your content, you should put a budget aside for ad campaigns (our team would not recommend spending under $25).
Facebook has addressed that organic reach is declining because there is so much content for users to absorb that it has created competition to be on top. Your hotel can benefit from Facebook ads regardless of your goals and objectives. Since today we are focusing on how to share your hotel’s story, we are going to look at promoted posts, Page like campaigns, and website clicks campaigns.
Promoted Post: Dine at On-Site Restaurant
Are you looking to bring awareness to on-site events? Entice users to book a room? If so, your hotel can benefit from promoted posts. Think about your happy hours, special dining events or tastings, live music events, or other dining affairs. If you would like to bring more traffic to your on-site restaurant or bar for particular days, create an incentive like a discount or reward.
Pro Tip: Include not only the details of your offer, but an action that you want your guests to take as well.
Promoted posts are also a great way to announce upcoming sales and special offers. The following post was created to help generate awareness about staying at the hotel, reached 4,815 Facebook users, and had 450 post engagements.
Pro Tip: Create an urgency to your call-of-action by telling guests to book by a certain date.
Page Like Campaign: Stay at Hotel
In addition to encouraging users to book a room, you can utilize Facebook ads to grow your fan count and begin to enter your potential guests’ mindsets through a Page likes campaign. In the below example, this particular hotel targeted east coast travelers and gained 142 new fans.
Pro Tip: Make your ad copy relevant. Discuss seasonal events or special offers your target audience will find of interest.
Website Click Campaign: Visit On-Site Event
The final Facebook ad option that we are going to review today is website clicks. The goal of this campaign is to help drive visits to your website. If you do not have an independent website, our team does offer single landing pages that can help promote your hotel’s initiatives. This would be valuable if your hotel has a neat event and/or a local partnership that you would like to increase awareness for and attendance at.
Pro Tip: To help draw your guests’ attention to your call-to-action (in this example, “learn more”), include text over the image and a caption, a title, and description to your ad.
Similar to Facebook, there are a handful of different Twitter ad options that you can choose from to highlight your hotel.
Promoted Tweet: Stay at Hotel
Twitter is a real-time channel meaning that tweets should be relevant and timely. With so much content being published, your tweet will be seen by more users if you include some funds behind it. Share your on-site events – live music, wine tastings, toy collections, etc. You can also tweet about city-wide events and concerts and why attendees should stay with you.
Pro Tip: Showcase your hotel’s location to the event venue and target followers interested in similar events, artists, teams, and locations – depending on your topic.
Follower Campaign: Stay at Hotel
Another way that your hotel can show its voice and increase brand awareness is through a follower campaign. The goal of this ad campaign is to increase your following on Twitter. Your hotel can take advantage of this by targeting travelers and promoting your guest rooms and overall offerings.
Pro Tip: Focus on your tweet copy. Twitter recommends that advertisers avoid using imagery or extra links that distract from the call-to-action in your ads. By following this best practice, potential guests are more inclined to click on your call-to-action (which in this case, is the “follow” button).
If your hotel is active on Instagram, our team recommends running and managing Instagram ads to help increase your post’s visibility. Promoted posts are designed to help boost visibility on Instagram users’ feeds and to encourage them to either “like” or comment on your photo. In this instance, we will be diving into how you can promote room nights and events at your hotel through this ad opportunity.
Promoted Post: Stay at Hotel
You can share anything via Instagram as long as you have good imagery – from your everyday special offers to your limited time, unique promotions. Please keep in mind that with Instagram posts, you can not include a website link in the caption. However, you can include one link in your profile. With this in mind, a promoted post is one way to increase awareness on any particular offer.
Pro Tip: Like with all ad campaigns, you will see a higher return on investment when you include a sense of urgency. For example, “Don’t miss out; book this amazing deal by December 17th!” Verbiage such as, “Don’t miss out!” can make users feel left out if they do not act soon. By providing an end date, it allows potential guests know how long they have until the offer is no longer available.
Promoted Post: Plan Weddings (or Events) at Hotel
Start placing the idea of having weddings, events, or meetings at your hotel in potential guests’ minds by showcasing your capabilities through past event or staged photos. For example use photos of food arrangements, cake, decorations, and setups. Please note that we do not recommend using guest photos as a promoted post unless you have their permission.
Pro Tip: Choose a seasonal photo to go along with the timing of your campaign.
Opportunity #3: Email Marketing
One of the best ways to share your hotel’s story to existing and potential guests is through email marketing. You can use this channel to tell guests about your completed renovations, hotel specials or giveaways, dining offers, new initiatives, on-site events or space, local area recommendations, and more.
Hotel Special Offers
Email marketing is a great way to announce a giveaway or a new package. Use this opportunity to discuss the details of the offer and highlight any partnerships or associations with the package. In the below example, this hotel connected with the popular gardens nearby to help promote their seasonal light event and drive winter stays.
Pro Tip: Incorporate a seasonal-appropriate photo to go along with your offer and ensure that you are using key action words so that it is clear for your subscribers what action you want them to take.
On-site Dining Offers
Looking to drive more local traffic into your on-site restaurant or bar? Use your email newsletter as a chance to promote ongoing (or upcoming) deals that you are (or will be) offering. You can also create a coupon to incentivize guests to come to your restaurant. The below coupon helped increase clicks on the email by 100%!
Pro Tip: Make your message pop by matching the colors of your coupon and action button.
Public Relations Initiatives
Another way to utilize email marketing is to showcase noteworthy news. Whether your hotel is helping the local community, hosting a toy drive, or partnering with a new organization, an email announcement will help drive awareness to charitable endeavors or hotel happenings.
Pro Tip: Incorporate your other channels into your newsletter. If you are active on social media, encourage your email followers to also connect with you on that particular channel.
Promoting On-site Events
Similar to the social media marketing opportunities we discussed earlier, you can also promote your on-site events and/or event space to your guests. Make this information even more valuable by tying in an offer your subscribers can take advantage of.
Pro Tip: Bold the most important elements in your message like any end dates or the most intriguing element of your event space or offer.
Local Area Recommendations
Express your hotel’s voice and encourage people to book by acting as the navigator of your city. Provide your guests with ideas on what they must check out when they stay with you and include insider tips to make your content even more unique.
Pro Tip: Add a personal touch to your recommendation list by including lines like, “…invite you to explore,” or “…so you can have the ultimate experience.”
Pro Tip: For additional advice, take a look back at our insights on how to improve your email marketing campaign.
Opportunity #4: Online Travel Agencies
Although most online travel agencies (OTAs) tend to be templated when it comes to copy, a few sites allow you to write your own descriptions. This means that you can show off your hotel’s voice, tone, and highlights of your market. OTAs that you are able to be more flexible on include TripAdvisor, Kayak, and Trivago.
Pro Tip: Write your description as if you are writing to one specific guest. Tell your guest what he or she will experience and what they can expect when they come stay at your hotel.
If you would like to increase your listing’s exposure on the OTA search results, certain OTAs, like Expedia, offer paid search. Refresh your expertise on how to buy your way to the top of OTAs here. Like most paid opportunities, you will have limited amount on how many characters you can utilize in your ads. Therefore, it is important to highlight the most compelling reasons to stay at your hotel. Your ad will be more effective when you run the campaign targeting dates that you need to fill at your hotel.
Pro Tip: In your copy, tell guests where your hotel is located and what some of the perks are to staying at your hotel.
Opportunity #5: Pay-Per-Click Advertising
Your final opportunity to help express your hotel’s personality and needs is through paid media. As we all know, pay-per-click advertising (PPC) is used to boost your hotel’s visibility to the top of Google search result page for the terms you are bidding on. Work with your Blue Magnet Digital Marketing team to determine how your hotel can best use PPC, identify amenities or events that make your hotel unique, and how to best allocate your budget. One example of why your hotel may want to invest in PPC is if you are hosting a big holiday party like for New Year’s Eve. You would be able to look for terms like “New Year’s Eve Party in [city]” to compete for more visibility on Google’s search result page.
What You Can Do Next
The possibilities for you to showcase your hotel’s voice are endless outside of your website. Give us a quick ring or write us a short message to discuss our recommendations on how your hotel can best take advantage of brand, social media, email marketing, and paid media marketing opportunities.