Hotel Marketing Strategy: Importance, Steps, and Strategies

Marketing 22 minute read 25th June 2024

A hotel marketing strategy outlines how a hotel will attract guests, increase bookings, and stand out in the hospitality industry. However, a strategy is different from a campaign.

Where a marketing strategy is the big picture for achieving promotional goals, campaigns help you achieve those goals.

This means campaigns are a part of your marketing strategy. If you want them to be effective, you must first have a well-defined plan. Think of your marketing strategy as a roadmap to guide your campaigns. You’ll know what type of campaign to create, which will increase its effectiveness.

However, creating a fail-proof strategy is not always easy. You need to be mindful from the beginning and make continuous improvements. That’s exactly what this article will help you do. We’ll start by exploring the benefits, move on to the steps and strategies, and end with some tips.

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Why Do You Need a Well-Defined Hotel Marketing Strategy?

A hotel marketing strategy isn’t just a fancy document you create before coming up with marketing campaigns. It also plays a critical role in the effectiveness of those campaigns.

Besides, the hospitality industry is quite competitive. Standing out in this environment won’t be possible without a well-defined strategy. Even the best offerings, like hotel internet services, might not be enough if you don’t convey them to your audience.

Creating a marketing strategy allows you to position these offerings in a way that resonates with your customers. As a result, you make a positive brand image. With consistent marketing, you can embed this positive image in your customers’ minds by spreading brand awareness. Hotels that create campaigns without a strategy lack a sense of direction.

Moreover, having a well-defined strategy allows you to assist customers during their journeys. For example, an email lead nurturing strategy usually starts with welcoming guests when they subscribe to your email list. The next step is to send them consistent, informative, and relevant content that keeps them engaged with your brand.

Once you’ve built a connection, you send them an irresistible offer, which might turn into a conversion. Without a strategy, you might end up sending them offer upon offer. This way, you’ll frustrate them by coming across as an aggressive salesperson.

Remember, a hotel business’s growth depends on building a solid connection with its audience. With that said, the obvious reason for creating a marketing strategy is to attract more guests.

A good marketing strategy will continuously improve to incorporate new demands and expectations. When that happens, potential guests think of your hotel as a brand that cares about its customers. Therefore, they choose your hotel over others.

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Marketing for Hotel: Creating the Perfect Strategy in 6 Steps

Now that you know why it’s important to create marketing strategies for hotels, let’s get things practical. Businesses use a tried-and-tested process to get their marketing for hotels right from the start.

However, there’s something we need to clear before exploring the steps. People often confuse a marketing strategy with a marketing plan. Even though these two terms have a relation, they’re not the same thing. A marketing strategy is the idea and vision of how you want to achieve your marketing goals.

Conversely, a marketing plan is a detailed step-by-step outline of the actions you’ll take to achieve that vision and idea. Let’s examine the six steps involved in creating a marketing strategy for hotels.

1. Think About Your Goals

Different types of marketing achieve various goals. For example, a digital marketing strategy might aim to increase a hotel’s online presence. On the other hand, you can use a traditional marketing strategy to appeal to the masses.

Therefore, considering your marketing goals is the first step to creating a hotel marketing strategy. Even though this step might seem simple, it isn’t as easy as saying, “increasing profit.” That’s every hotel’s goal.

Instead, think about the things that will help you increase that profit. For example, increased foot traffic can increase your booking rate. More bookings allow you to make more revenue and hence more profit.

To achieve this goal, you can offer free hotel WiFi systems to get more people to your hotel. Alternatively, you can launch paid ads on social media to get more visibility.

Plus, setting separate goals that align with your business goals helps you track your efforts. However, these goals should be SMART. This includes specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely goals. With that said, let’s understand this in detail:

  • Specific: Your goals should be clear and detailed, such as “Increasing bookings by 10% in 6 months.”
  • Measurable: You should be able to measure and track these goals. You can track your conversion rates for the above goal to see if your marketing is working.
  • Attainable: These goals shouldn’t be unrealistic. For example, increasing profit by 50% in a month is unattainable.
  • Relevant: See if your goals align with your overall goals. Do you even need to achieve what you want to?
  • Timely: Bound your goals with time. This way, you’ll be able to measure your success.

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2. Understand the Market and Your Target Audience

Once you have set your goals, move on to market and target audience research. Look around the market and see what similar businesses are doing. Look at market trends and see how your hotel fits into that landscape.

This way, you’ll know what direction you should go in. It will also help you know who your competitors and customers are.

For example, a luxury hotel’s ideal customers would be VIPs and celebrities, high-budget travelers, or special occasion travelers. On the other hand, a BnB would do better if it attracts leisure travelers, romantic couples, or culture enthusiasts.

Once you’ve identified your target audience, start researching them. Conduct interviews, surveys, and focus groups to learn more about your customers. Then, combine the results with your market research.

Doing so will reveal customer behaviors and preferences. You’ll also be able to find gaps and pain points in the market. Other audience research methods include observation, social media listening, and review websites.

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3. Decide How You’ll Promote Your Brand

The market and audience research will give you insights into how to set your hotel apart. You’ll be able to make data-driven decisions on how to promote your offerings. So, this is the next step you need to think about.

Think about how to fill the gaps and relieve your audience’s pain points. Doing so will help you develop unique selling points to attract guests to your hotel. For example, if you own a resort hotel, you might find a gap between available activities.

Once you’ve found your unique selling points, start working on your brand messaging. No matter how good your offerings are, they won’t achieve the desired results if your messaging is weak.

You must tell your customers why they should care. The best way to approach this step would be to create a story around your brand. Make your audience connect to your story by emphasizing their pain points.

Another essential thing hotel marketers forget is the use of your audience’s language. You’ve researched them. So, you should know how they’re putting their demands forward.

Replicating those words and avoiding jargon will make your offer interesting and understandable.

4. Select Marketing Channels That Align With Your Goals

Hotel marketing strategies aren’t the only aspect that decides the effectiveness of your marketing. The channels you choose also play a part.

Understandably, you should use a mix of channels instead of relying on a single medium. However, each marketing channel caters to a different audience. Therefore, you should only choose the channels that your potential customers use.

For example, if most of your customers use Instagram and TikTok, focusing your marketing efforts on LinkedIn wouldn’t make sense.

Then, some channels always work, regardless of the audience. WiFi marketing and email marketing are two such strategies. That’s because these channels build personal connections with your customers and build a sense of community faster. In short, the channels you choose will depend on your marketing goals and target audience.

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5. Create a Plan for Hotel Marketing Campaigns

Remember how we discussed a marketing plan being different from a marketing strategy? Creating a plan is a part of creating a marketing strategy, and that’s what you need to do now.

You have your market and audience research, competitors analysis, and unique selling points. You also know the message you want to convey and the marketing channels you want to use.

Creating a marketing plan will help put everything in perspective and help you achieve your goals more easily. So, here’s what you need to do.

Firstly, think about the campaign details you want to plan for the year. Create a calendar and outline the social media campaigns, email campaigns, influencer partnerships, etc., you want to include. Consider your goals for the year to create this outline.

You don’t have to create full-fledged hotel marketing campaigns at this point. All you need is an outline to guide your approach when the time comes.

Secondly, allocate a budget and set clear deadlines for campaign launches, content creation, and other WiFi marketing solutions.

Next, define the metrics you’ll use to measure your marketing’s effectiveness. These might depend on your goals for that year, so choose carefully. Lastly, you should assign clear roles to prevent any problems with campaign assignments.

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6. Track and Make Continuous Improvements

The perfect hotel marketing strategy requires constant improvement. So, the last step is to track your results and use those insights to change your strategy.

Use the metrics from the last step to track your campaigns. Moreover, constantly watch the market to learn about changing trends and customer demands. By taking these steps, you’ll uncover the strengths and weaknesses of both your marketing strategies and campaigns.

Build on your strengths and work on your weaknesses to get the best results from your marketing strategies.

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5 Best Marketing Strategies for Hotels and Resorts

The steps you learned in the previous section for general marketing strategies for hotels and resorts. You can use those steps to create different strategies. So, here are the five best hotel marketing strategies you need to know about:

  1. Search engine optimization (SEO): Not having a functional website is usually the first red flag for potential guests. The second red flag is a website that appears too low in the search results. That’s why you need SEO for your hotel website. Proper SEO is a marketing strategy because it gives you better online visibility and builds customer trust.
  2. Social media marketing: Whenever people want to search for a hotel, they pick up their mobile devices and start exploring social media. Therefore, no discussion about marketing campaigns is complete without the mention of social media. Hotel marketers use it to spread brand awareness, reach new customers through paid ads, and generate better engagement.
  3. WiFi marketing: Statista conducted a survey about the most desired amenities among hotel customers. 80% of respondents said they want free WiFi. That’s good news for you because WiFi marketing is not that expensive. Plus, it allows you to increase foot traffic, gather actionable customer insights, and promote your marketing campaigns.
  4. Direct bookings: SEO isn’t the only way to use your website as a marketing channel. Direct bookings allow customers peace of mind about their bookings. Plus, they make the booking process easy, so use them to your advantage.
  5. Email marketing: To build personal connections with your guests throughout their customer journey, don’t forget about email marketing. Leverage the fact that you own the email list, and your messages will reach your customers directly.

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Hotel Marketing Tips To Take Your Campaigns From Mediocre to the Best

Until now, we’ve covered everything you need to know about hotel marketing strategies. While this information will help you with your campaigns, a lot goes into them. The slightest difference can make your campaigns go from mediocre to the best. You’ll need some hotel marketing tips to achieve the most optimal results.

So, firstly, the most important thing is to segment your audience. This is especially true if your hotel caters to multiple segments. Doing this will help you tailor your campaigns to resonate with each segment.

For example, highlighting family-friendly amenities and offering business travelers perks like early check-in.

Secondly, people connect with emotions. So, craft stories that show the unique experiences your hotel offers. While you’re on that, convey your unique selling point to combine storytelling with benefits.

On that note, don’t just list amenities. Explain how they enhance the guest experience. For example, instead of saying, “Spa on-site,” say, “Relax and refresh at our luxurious spa.”

Moreover, you need to spice up your campaigns by encouraging interaction. This is possible by gamifying your marketing efforts, such as holding contests and giveaways on social media or adding a spin-the-wheel to your free WiFi’s captive portal.

But whatever you do, keep everything consistent. Each campaign should include your brand colors, logo, and messaging. Besides, you need to focus on a single goal every time. Don’t try to cram everything in a single campaign.

Lastly, don’t hesitate to invest within reason, such as paid advertising and new technology.

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Use a Mix of Multiple Marketing Strategies To Boost Your Hotel’s Growth

Launching campaigns without a hotel marketing strategy isn’t ideal. You’ll likely end up with undirected promotions without a natural or logical structure.

Use techniques like hotel WiFi marketing, SEO, social media, direct bookings, etc., to experience real growth.

WiFi is the best way to improve your marketing initiatives. Beambox is a WiFi marketing solution that integrates with your WiFi. It helps you:

Beambox can integrate easily with your internet system. Get your trial today!

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