From managing your internal team to keeping your guests satisfied, there is a lot to do during the day-to-day operations at your hotel. Have you ever discovered substantial revenue opportunities, like an underutilized event space, but felt overwhelmed by the prospect of launching a daunting marketing campaign? What if you could follow four simple steps to promote your meeting space and instantly see results? Well lucky for you, increasing group bookings can be this easy through an integrated digital marketing strategy.
Laying Down the Foundation to Success – Your Website
When partnering with Blue Magnet Interactive, our expert team will set you up for success. The first step in following through with an effective digital marketing strategy is having a functional and optimized website. Once your website core is all set, we will look specifically at your content or landing pages to begin fueling your success.
For this blog post, we will share how one of our hotel partners increased revenue from their unique event space. To better paint the picture of achievement, we will refer to this hotel partner as “Hotel Blue Magnet.” Hotel Blue Magnet has an independent website with separate landing pages to promote their different meeting and event spaces. Specifically, Hotel Blue Magnet needed help creating awareness and driving business to their new, rooftop, event-only space.
We began by evaluating the existing content on the website and then created the strategy. With Hotel Blue Magnet, we reviewed the rooftop’s dedicated landing page and determined how to best improve the page’s performance for organic search and user-experience. To do so, our team assessed the keyword strategy, calls to action, on-page behavior, imagery, copy, and overall flow of the page and then adjusted as needed. In Hotel Blue Magnet’s page revamp, our team enhanced the page to meet our best practices, built upon the best performing keywords, replaced and optimized images, found opportunities for new photography, and worked with the hotel team to retrieve updated catering menus and packages. Hotel Blue Magnet saw over a 40% increase in search impressions after the first 90 days of the page audit!
Expert Tip: Record a page’s performance prior to an audit and then again after the optimization as a way to benchmark and evaluate your success.
Website Marketing Opportunities
Next, we identified additional marketing space opportunities to help increase visibility and awareness for the users currently on the website. By adding calls to action and internal linking throughout the website, you can get your message in front of more individuals than keeping it on one particular page. Review your website with your Digital Marketing Manager to find opportunities to easily and effectively promote your event space.
The home page of a hotel website, also commonly referred to as index page, typically has the most entrances and page views. Your home page would then be the most optimal page to create additional exposure to your event space. Depending on the design of your website, you can get creative with callouts, mastheads (also known as banners or hero images), separate copy sections, or popup windows. Once again, the goal of this is to increase awareness of the event space and increase pageviews for that specific page.
Home Page Example #1
The circles below also include an overlay text with internal links to their designated pages. This not only helps showcase the hotel’s best selling features, but it also reinforces your website’s primary conversion funnels.
Home Page Example #2
The section below provides more information about the hotel’s event space and grabs a user’s attention to intrigue them enough to click over onto the next page.
Quick Hotel Website Checklist
Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are effectively marketing your event space on your independent or brand website.
- What content is on the website about the event space?
- Is there a dedicated page to the event space?
- Is the content optimized and up-to-date?
- Are the images optimized and up-to-date?
- Is there anywhere else on the website that would be beneficial to add content and internal links to about the event space?
Building onto Success – Social Media Marketing
Once the foundation to the event space marketing is all set to go, it is time to get your event space in front of a larger audience. Social media marketing is one of the most popular ways to promote experiences and highlights at hotels. With Hotel Blue Magnet having an active presence on Facebook and Instagram, our team incorporated their campaign messaging and initiatives into the content strategy. We created organic posts that showcased the rooftop event space through user-generated content and the hotel’s professional photos.
Expert Tip: Include a call to action with a link to the specific page in your posts to encourage users to take that next step in planning.
Social Media Post Example
In the Facebook post below, we used a breathtaking photo from a previous guest to capture the rooftop’s essence and encourage Facebook fans to book an event and visit the landing page for more information.
Paid Social Media Advertising Opportunities
Take your social media efforts one step further and expand the reach of your message with paid social media advertising. Decide what you want to achieve from the ad and then work with your Digital Marketing Manager to determine which channel and objective would be best. For Hotel Blue Magnet, we wanted to drive traffic to the rooftop events page, so our team ran a website clicks campaign and targeted users between the ages of 25 – 58 that are interested in planning events and live within 40 miles of the hotel. In one month, the Facebook ad reached 40,680 Facebook users, which is a 2,638% increase compared to the average organic post reach. In addition to the increase in Facebook visibility and engagement, we also saw a 486% month-over-month increase in visits to the rooftop events landing page with 1% of the traffic submitting a request for a proposal and 7% of the traffic also checked rate on the reservations page.
Quick Hotel Social Media Checklist
Go through the following questions to effectively market your event space on social media.
- Which channels are the hotel actively present on?
- Are there current posts about the event space?
- Are there up-to-date photos that can be shared on social media?
- Is there a marketing budget set aside for paid advertising?
Building onto Success – Email Marketing Campaigns
Another opportunity to increase awareness for your hotel event space is through email marketing. Before creating an email campaign, identify who your audience is along with the goal of the email. In this case, we want to increase awareness and bookings for the hotel’s event space. Are your email marketing subscribers leisure travelers, business travelers, and/or event planners? If the email list is comprised of event planners, then we can predict that the email will perform better than if the list was majority leisure travelers from distant states. Since Hotel Blue Magnet’s email marketing list consisted of a blend of travelers, we tailored the message for the variety of subscribers and included links back to the independent website for readers to take that next step in their journey and request a proposal.
Expert Tip: Determine how many emails would best help accomplish your goals. This campaign does not have to only be one email. The messaging can be updated to speak to the different seasons or help push offers or incentives.
Email Marketing Example
In the example below, we created a section to promote the different types of events that could be held at the rooftop event space. Since the hotel’s email subscribers varied, the inclusive copy was able to speak to everyone.
Expert Tip: Always include a call to action to encourage readers to click over to your website to learn more and reserve the space.
Quick Hotel Email Marketing Checklist
Run through our following questions to help you effectively promote your event space through email marketing.
- When was the last email marketing campaign?
- Is the email marketing list up-to-date?
- Who are the email marketing subscribers?
- Is the email marketing list comprised with event planners?
- How can the event space be promoted in an email?
Building onto Success – Paid Search
Another huge marketing opportunity for promoting event space is through paid search. Paid search helps get your hotel in front of qualified individuals actively searching for event spaces. Event space campaigns are highly competitive and can be pricey but do see success. Hotel Blue Magnet saw a 15% conversion rate from their rooftop event space campaign! Those leads can then result in actualized events and bookings, which drive more revenue than the results without the campaign.
Expert Tip: Your event space budget should be separate from your general hotel marketing campaign. These campaigns have different goals, and you do not want to compromise the revenue potential of your campaigns by combining your spend budget.
Quick Hotel PPC Checklist
Go through the following questions to effectively market your event space through paid search.
- Is a campaign running for the event space?
- Is there a budget set aside for an event space campaign?
- Is there a specific landing page for the event space to be linked to in the campaign?
- Is the landing page optimized for PPC?
Watch Group Bookings and Revenue Increase
One of our favorite sayings is, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” This can be applicable to a holistic digital marketing too. When multiple forces, like in an integrated digital marketing strategy, are working together, more can be accomplished and the “dream” can (and will) work. Hotel Blue Magnet was able to improve revenue, bookings, and engagement on their rooftop event space through a holistic digital marketing strategy. This would not have been possible without the help of each moving part.
How Teamwork Made the Dream Work
- 350% more visits to the rooftop events landing page than without integrated marketing campaign
- 89% more submitted request for proposals than without integrated marketing campaign
- 144% more engagement on the event space collateral than without integrated marketing campaign
- 286% more phone calls on website than without integrated marketing campaign
- 289% more clicks over to the booking engine than without integrated marketing campaign
Timing is everything in marketing. Start discussing your needs and goals for your hotel event space with your team and Digital Marketing Manager. An integrated digital marketing strategy should be prepared and executed at least three months leading up to and during the time period you want to increase event space bookings to see the best results.
Not sure where to start? Reach out to our team of experts today, and we will bring you to the path to success.