By Azure Collier
Director of Brand Marketing
Since almost 60 percent of hotel bookings occur online, it makes sense that your customers are using the Internet to research and find hotels to book for their business and leisure travel. Your hotel needs to be active online to attract the attention of potential customers and increase your sales.
What should your hotel be doing specifically online to reach customers? We have four tips.
1. Choose your platforms
The digital platforms you use to communicate with customers should be the same platforms that they use. Go to the places they are already using to find information about businesses they like.
One of the most common resources that customers use to find out about a business is your website. Make sure your website is fully updated with all of the information customers need to make a booking decision with your hotel.
Email marketing is still one of the top ways to reach customers and prospects. More than half of US email users check their inboxes more than 10 times a day and it’s their preferred way of receiving updates from brands and businesses.
Social media use among hotel customers shows no signs of slowing down, and it has an influence on where they choose to spend their money. Of customers who used social media to gather information for bookings, 33% changed their hotel after their research. There are a lot of networks to choose from to promote your hotel, but Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube are among the most popular for hospitality customers.
Listings sites are an important tool for your business to use. They act as a directory for specific business types and make it easier for consumers to search for specific businesses. Your hotel should have an active presence on sites like EventUp, Google My Business, Yelp, and Tripadvisor, just to name a few.
2. Share up-to-date information
Once you’ve selected the right marketing tools to communicate with customers, use them to provide up-to-date and relevant information about your hotel, travel, and events at your location.
Write and share content about the deals and offers currently available, the benefits of staying at your hotel, event packages, seasonal offers, corporate event options, your amenities, and attractions in your area. You also need to share recent photos and videos that show off your space.
Your social media business profiles and listings site profiles also have designated areas for your business hours, phone number, email address, website URL, and other details. Give those details a fresh look and make sure they reflect your current information.
3. Always include a call to action
All of your hard work won’t lead to sales if you don’t give your customers a way to take that next step right away as they are viewing your content. Every webpage, email message, social media post, and listings profile should include a link for customers to book with you, read something on your website, or send an event inquiry.
Don’t just create content about booking a room, planning an event, or taking advantage of an offer without providing a direct link to where customers can take those actions. Consumers want an instant way to take the next step. They are not going to take extra time to click on your social media profile name and search for your website, and then search for the place on your website to make a purchase or view information.
Your marketing content should make it very clear and easy for customers to take an action with you while you have their attention. Any piece of content without a call to action and a link is simply a waste of time
4. Set up automated communication
What happens when customers take that next step at a time that your staff isn’t immediately available to reply, confirm, or answer questions? Your marketing and event management tools have features that allow your hotel to continue the conversation no matter what time of the day or day of the week customers reach out to you.
Your hotel can set up chatbots for your hotel’s website, Facebook, and Instagram accounts that can send pre-written replies to customers and alert marketing administrators when a message is sent to your website and social channels.
There are also transactional email replies that you can set up in your hospitality technology stack to be triggered by certain actions and sent to customers.
For example, Tripleseat’s email templates allow you to create pre-written emails that you can send to customers for different types of topics and discussions. You can set up email signatures and merge fields to set up your replies in advance and make communication more efficient. Plus, you can customize the subject line of discussions on a template basis, which means you won’t have to re-customize the subject line on each new discussion. This feature will set the default subject line and gives you the flexibility to customize the subject for each email in the email editor.
Set your hotel up for success
Once you’ve got your marketing strategy in place, make sure you’re using the right tool like Tripleseat to help you increase and manage the group sales that are essential for filling hotel guest rooms, booking event function spaces, growing banquet revenues, and increasing your overall revenue.