5 Digital Marketing Strategies For Your Boutique Hotel.
Why do you need digital marketing?
With global travel restrictions easing, it is almost certain that hotel occupancy will rise again. Individuals can put off business travel, medical procedures and visiting loved ones for only so long. At the centre of it all is hotels - one of the oldest industries in the world.
Even though this industry is not new, the last few years have taught hoteliers not to take their pre-existing marketing strategies for granted. One such marketing strategy is the reliance on overseas travel agencies (OTA) who determine the number of people discovering your hotel.
If these OTAs are gone tomorrow, will your hotel still be able to get the attention of prospective guests?
Also, remaining up-to-date on the latest digital marketing strategies is especially important with changing consumer trends, like travellers opting to stay overseas longer and the possibility of telecast business meetings. With all these changes, hotels that are prepared will do better.
To ensure your hotel is ready to accommodate the new landscape of travellers, let us get started on how you can leverage digital marketing techniques to increase direct bookings in the upcoming year.
Developing a User-Friendly & Mobile Responsive Website
No matter the size of your property, your prospective guest will be looking at your hotel online before deciding whether to make their reservation with you. As such, you will need an effective and easily navigable website that showcases all the elements of your property, customer reviews and contact information.
Also, your website needs to have a responsive web design that takes a mobile-first approach to ensure that your web content is scaled proportionately across different devices.
Why? 90% of all travel searches are online, 51% of which are on mobile.
Despite the high volume of travel searches completed on mobile, barely half of small hotels have a responsive web design. This can mean up to 90% fewer visits to your hotel's site.
We recommend using these sites to test how optimised your current website is:
Mobile Responsive: https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly
Website Load Speed: https://pagespeed.web.dev/
Unsure of where to start optimising your hotel's website? Schedule a call with one of our experts at KOVA Collective. We work with hoteliers like yourself to enhance your existing digital presence to drive more direct revenue and connect with prospective guests.
SEO for your Boutique Hotel
According to estimates, there are roughly 252,000 new websites created every day. This means it is increasingly harder for your hotel to appear in front of relevant search queries by your prospective guests. Also, when you search up your hotel using Google, it is usually a Bookings.com advertisement that sits above your own website.
Simply having a website to showcase your property and amenities is not enough. It has to be optimised for search. Optimising your content for search engines ensures that when a user searches for information relevant to your hotel, your website will be in their top search results.
A key pillar of any SEO strategy would involve keyword research. By determining what keywords your prospective guest is likely to search, you are able to create more valuable content regarding these keywords to appear in front of them.
Are you overwhelmed by SEO? Here are some actionable steps that you can take now on your website to immediately start ranking better on Google.
Optimising your page header tags; Well-written headers allow users and search engines to understand your website better. A page should only have one primary header with the H1 tag, subsequent headings should either have an H2 or H3 tag to create a hierarchy.
Optimising your page title tag; A page's title tag is similar to its header tags, but the title tag is content displayed on the search engine result page (SERP) whilst header tags are for users who are on your site to understand what they are seeing.
Optimising your meta description; A meta description is an HTML attribute that summarises your page and appears below your webpage title tag on Google or social media.
Optimising your URL; Some things to consider are the use of hyphens between words instead of spaces, keeping them short and simple, accurately describing the page content and including primary keywords.
For a complete checklist of the best on-page SEO practices for hoteliers, schedule a call with us today. Stop OTAs from trying to steal your customers - to either get a commission on the bookings for your hotel or to direct them to a competitor.
Email Marketing for the Best Guest Experience
Email is a powerful tool in your arsenal of hotel marketing strategies. For an industry that is so highly commoditised, the survival of your hotel is, more than ever, dependent upon the feelings guests have for it and email is one of the best tools to create good feelings towards your hotel.
How will Email marketing look for a boutique hotel?
Before your guest arrives, you can utilise automated emails that share outreach content or help your guests pre-customise their room preferences. Also, while anticipating their arrival, emails can make check-ins smoother by allowing guests to check-in online.
During the stay, you can use automated emails that share ongoing promotions or popular destinations near your hotel.
Finally, after your guests check out, wait a while before sending a post-stay email - thanking each guest for their stay and inviting them to share feedback and ideas for the future.
To ensure that your hotel remains at the top of your guests' heads when they plan their next trip, you can send regular updates about your hotel or related topics that may interest your guests.
We recommend using this free online tool to craft a catchy headline to entice your guests to check their emails: Headline Generator - a free website that generates 700 headlines with one click. All you have to do is input the keyword or phrase that you wish to associate your hotel with.
Branded and Usefully Revealing Interior Photography
As mentioned earlier, the survival of your hotel is largely dependent on your guests' feelings towards it. Also, with more property choices your guests can choose from, competing on price is not viable - competing on emotions is a way to bypass the importance of price. A great way to build strong emotions between your prospective guest and your hotel is through branded photography.
Every hotelier knows that room details are essential for securing reservations. But having a beautiful photo is not enough. These interior photos not only need to align with your hotel's brand, but also reveal amenities in all the best ways, from the bed to the Nespresso machine. Prospective guests will appreciate having the interior view, especially for more seasoned travellers who prefer to know exactly what they will be getting before booking.
You want each photo to be both an invitation to step into the frame and an informative piece of travel research material, curated towards the type of guests you want a reservation from.
When was the last time you updated your interior photography? Schedule a call with our photographers at KOVA Collective to produce visuals that are consistent with your hotel and follows brand guidelines across every channel.
Instagram & Facebook for your Boutique Hotel
While many hoteliers may not see the benefit right away, Instagram and Facebook are some of the top strategies to increase hotel revenue.
With more than one BILLION active monthly users on their platforms, Instagram & Facebook are ideal to attract and engage a larger number of prospective guests to your company at a low cost. Coupled with a good hashtag strategy, you can organically increase your hotel brand awareness to your ideal guests easily.
Some popular hashtags we use for our hospitality clients include:
If you are curious about how you can start generating direct bookings from Instagram, schedule a call with us today for an Instagram marketing crash course.
Digital Marketing Strategies for Boutique Hotels
So you see, digital marketing for hoteliers is essential for your hotel's survival. Or at the very least lower the number of commissions paid to overseas travel agencies. As a small boutique hotelier, you already have to worry about curating the best guest experience. You do not need to market your hotel alone, let our team of experts help you drive more direct revenue and increase your hotel brand awareness today.