Imagine… bottomless marketing budgets. Unlimited resources. As much money and technology and manpower as you can throw at a challenge.
Ahhh… that was a nice dream, wasn’t it? Welcome to reality: budgets are tight. Spend is restricted. And every move you make must be justified not only by your department, but by management and/or the C-suite. You cannot afford to make hotel marketing mistakes.
Here are a few hotel marketing mistakes to avoid:
1. Running an outdated website
To appeal to today’s consumers, especially travel-loving millennials, you need a fully-functioning, all-inclusive website. Prospective guests need to be able to look at your amenities and location details, check rates and availability, and book quickly and easily (via mobile if they choose - and they do).
If your website hasn’t seen an update in three or four years, it’s time. You’re going to lose out not to better hotels but hotels with better websites. Update. Upgrade. Now.
2. Not optimizing OTA usage
Sure, 100% direct booking is more profitable. But many hotels cannot fill vacancies without OTAs. About three-quarters of bookings come from online travel agencies, and 20% of direct bookings come from people who discovered you on an OTA and then went to your site.
Many prospective customers will check your website after finding it on an OTA. This makes it essential that you optimize your presence: feature professional photographs, location details, room specs, and other information that will convert. And then there are the people who are looking for location and price; they’ll book via OTA every time. Don’t miss out on this business.
3. Failing to develop the right marketing mix
What’s working to bring guests through the door? What’s not? If you cannot answer that question, you need to refocus on implementing effective metrics. Analyze each marketing channel to see which are working most effectively and efficiently to convert customers.
4. Being a disengaged community member
Your location is one of your biggest selling points. When you are not actively involved in promoting it, you’re missing out on both leisure and business travelers who want to explore a bit.
Hype up your natural beauty, best attractions (e.g. restaurants, clubs, shops, museums, etc.), build partnerships with area businesses, create content to guide guests around town, promote the thriving wedding scene, etc.
And be sure to follow all of this up with effective local SEO (e.g. targeted local keywords, Google My Business optimization, etc.). This empowers you to gain visibility in search results and draw customers to you.
5. Not understanding your guests
Who are your most valuable customers? When do they visit? Why? From where do they come? Are you a regional hub or a national destination? Do people come to your location for a specific purpose (e.g. to shop, to see shows, to escape the city)? Use your CRM solution to track these and other data so you can cater specifically to these people.
6. DIYing your marketing
Going it alone is risky; it is impossible to keep up with the demands of your business while trying to get up to speed on the complexites of marketing. It’s a full time job; an experienced hotel marketing agency can deliver better results - and free up your internal time and resources so you can get to work building a thriving business.
Are you making any of these mistakes? Now is the ideal time to course-correct and get on the path to greater profitability. Ask us how.