12 Keys to a Marketing Strategy for Hotel Industry Members

April 30, 2024  by Harlow Russell

Hey there, hotel marketer! Are you ready to take your bookings to the next level? I've got a goldmine of tips to inform a marketing strategy for hotel industry businesses that will make your place the talk of the town. 

We're about to walk through some revolutionary ideas to add to your hotel marketing techniques. Some of the tips I'm about to share go way beyond simple tactics such as hotel websites and social media sites. We're also going to talk about elements of marketing strategy for hotel industry members that are aimed at the core of the customer experience.

Of course, I'll also discuss how you can use Awesome 3D Cards in your hotel sales and marketing strategy.

Prefer to cut to the chase? Schedule a Call with a Design Advisor to discuss how to use 3D pop-up cards in your hotel marketing strategy or other tourism-related marketing.

Table Of Contents:

12 Powerful Hotel Marketing Strategies to Boost Bookings

The hotel industry is constantly evolving, and as a hotel marketer, it's crucial to stay ahead of the curve. In today's digital age, having a solid hotel marketing plan is more important than ever.

To help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of hotel marketing, I've compiled a dozen powerful marketing strategies that can help boost your bookings, not just now but well into the future. Sprucing up your website for search engines and diving into the social media buzz are tried-and-true strategies that hotels everywhere are using to amp up their marketing game.

1. Create a Compelling Brand Story that Differentiates 

To stand out in a sea of hotels, making your property shine brighter than the rest is crucial. To really connect, spin a brand tale that sings to the people you want to reach.

When crafting your hotel's narrative, focus on painting a picture of what makes yours different—be that through tales of historical grandeur, showcasing plush comforts or celebrating your approach to welcoming visitors. If you weave tales that touch on what your guests dream about or long for, they're more likely to stick by you.

Identify Your Unique Selling Proposition

Start by identifying your hotel's unique selling proposition (USP). How does your place shine brighter than others on the market? Could it be those eye-catching ocean vistas, the spa that's in a league of its own, or maybe your eco-friendly ethos grabbing everyone’s attention?

Once you've identified your USP, weave it into your brand story and assets that carry out your hotel marketing strategy. Make this your rule of thumb when crafting messages for your website, whipping up posts for social media, or putting together those little extras that greet guests in their rooms.

Develop a Consistent Brand Voice

For your hotel's story to really hit home, make sure you stick to a clear and consistent voice in all your marketing materials.  This voice should be evident in all your marketing communications.

Think about the adjectives that best describe your hotel—is it luxurious, quirky, family-friendly, or eco-conscious? Use these handy pointers as a guide to ensure that what people hear from you is consistent everywhere they find you.

2. Showcase Your Hotel's Personality

Your hotel has its own vibe that not only pulls it ahead of others but also weaves an emotional thread with visitors searching for more than just a place to sleep. Bring out the charm with stories that draw people in and are featured prominently in all your marketing.

For example, instead of simply listing your amenities, tell the story of how your hotel came to be or highlight the unique experiences that guests can have during their stay. Nothing says 'welcome' quite like vibrant visuals. High-quality snapshots and clips that invite would-be guests to imagine themselves right at the heart of where you are.

Quick suggestion from the pros: Imagine flipping open a card and finding your hotel popping up in all its glory. That’s exactly what happens when you use Awesome 3D Cards for marketing – unforgettable first impressions!

3. Engage Guests with Authentic Storytelling

If you want your brand’s tale to stick with folks, keeping it real is the way to go. Don't just tell them what makes your hotel special – show them through experiences.

Ask your guests to post their experiences and snapshots on social media, then spotlight those real stories in your ads. Tell them you’d love for them to meet your fantastic staff - they’re truly one of a kind. They're not just skilled; their love for making people feel right at home really shines through.

Dive into storytelling that rings true; it's the secret ingredient for turning first-time visitors into lifelong supporters of your brand.

4. Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Your hotel website is often the first point of contact for potential guests, so it's essential to make a great first impression. But first, you have to get found online. One of the most effective ways to do this is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) - actions you can take to increase the likelihood of your site showing high up in the results of search engines like Google and Bing.

SEO Basics

Start by conducting keyword research to identify the terms and phrases that potential customers are using to find hotels like yours. Once you have a list of relevant keywords, incorporate them naturally into your website's content, including page titles, headings, and meta descriptions.

Focus on Local SEO

When it comes to hotel SEO, think local. If you want travelers to book with you, being visible when they search locally online is key because most of them are looking for the perfect spot based on its location. Claim your Google My Business listing, encourage guests to leave reviews, and use location-specific keywords in your website content. 

Small, independent hotels can outrank big chains in local search results simply by prioritizing local SEO. Imagine being the standout star, even when everyone around is fighting for attention. Seriously, you can’t afford to ignore this vital element.

5. Request, Monitor, and Respond to Online Reviews

Hotel reviews can have a significant impact on your brand's reputation and booking rates. It's super important to stay updated with customer opinions on platforms such as TripAdvisor, Google, and Yelp - making sure every response you give is quick yet thoughtful.

As the saying goes, "You won't get what you don't ask for"—or something like that. Just by reaching out and asking, you'll see your online reviews start to stack up. An Awesome 3D Card can be a great tool for requesting reviews.

When responding to negative reviews, acknowledge the guest's concerns and offer a sincere apology if appropriate. Provide a solution or compensation if possible, and take the conversation offline if necessary to resolve the issue.

6. Leverage Social Media for Engagement, User-Generated Content, and Influencers

Social media platforms have become an integral part of any successful hotel marketing strategy. Jumping onto sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter gives you a golden opportunity to broadcast the highlights of your property far and wide while weaving tight bonds with followers who might just become guests. Sharing real stories and views from previous visitors or well-known influencers can really build a solid trust bridge, making potential guests feel more at ease.

To make the most of your hotel's social media, regularly post engaging content that resonates with your target audience. Snap and share your hotel's best moments, spotlight amazing deals, and get guests talking online with our special hashtag.  Give people a reason to talk about you on social media.

How about this idea? Offer a sweet deal or an exclusive perk for guests willing to spread the word on social media. For example, you could offer a complimentary room upgrade or a discount on their next stay for guests who share a certain number of photos or videos.

Here's a hot tip: Because they delight, impress, and surprise recipients, 3D pop-up cards from Awesome 3D Cards make great conversation pieces! Now that’s what I call sparking a conversation on the internet.

Create Engaging Social Media Contests

Social media contests are a fun and effective way to get user-generated content (UGC) and engage with your audience. Create a contest that encourages guests to share photos or stories about their stay and offer a prize for the best submission.

For example, you could run a photo contest where guests submit their favorite shots of your hotel's amenities or surrounding area. Promote the contest on your social media feeds and website, and encourage guests to share their submissions with their own followers to expand your reach.

Encourage Guests to Share Their Experiences

Here's a thought - nudging guests into talking about their time with you on the internet can really boost your content game. Create a branded hashtag that guests can use when posting photos and videos of their stay, and feature this content on your own social media channels and website.

Collaborate with Influencers

Influencer marketing involves partnering with social media influencers who have a large following in your target market. Working with Influencers is like getting a backstage pass into their world of followers - all while showing off the best parts of your hotel through real, captivating posts.

Hunt for influencers that get what your brand is all about - from style to core beliefs. Consider using an Awesome 3D Card to get their attention. Offer them a cozy spot to crash at zero cost – all for sharing the experience through posts or maybe tossing in behind-the-scenes stories. And if that vibes well, why not dive into deeper waters with full-on sponsored campaigns that fit with your hotel marketing plan?

7. Implement Robust Email and Direct Mail Marketing Campaigns

Email marketing is a cost-effective way to reach potential guests and keep them engaged with your brand. Crafting emails and direct mail that speak directly to your audience can really help you keep in touch with potential customers, leading them straight to booking.

To create a successful email campaign, segment your list based on factors like past booking behavior, interests, and demographics. You've got a better shot at getting folks on board by tweaking what you say and offer, depending on who's listening.

Direct mail has even higher open rates than email and is a great complement to your web presence. Like with email, segment your list and send them something that stands out from the pack, like an Awesome 3D Card. Be sure to use a short URL and QR Code on your card to drive traffic back to your website booking page.

8. Maximize Your Hotel's Visibility Across Multiple Booking Channels

Here's the truth: In today's digital landscape, your hotel needs to be everywhere your audience is searching. Let's boost how often folks stumble upon your listing by putting it on several booking channels. 

Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) like Expedia and Booking.com can be powerful allies in your quest for bookings. To really see the perks, you've got to fine-tune your listings. To really draw attention to your hotel, lean into vivid descriptions and stunning photos paired with pricing nobody can resist. 

You’ve got something no one else does; flaunt it. That’ll be sure to grab their attention. Let's talk strategy – highlight what makes your place special, share the love from past happy guests, and use vibrant photos that make people stop scrolling and start booking.

Utilize Global Distribution Systems

Don't underestimate the power of Global Distribution Systems (GDS) like Amadeus and Sabre when it comes to hotel marketing. By hooking up with these networks, your hotel gets global exposure to both travel pros and big business bookers in no time flat. Make sure your rates and availability are accurately reflected across all GDS channels. 

Struggling hotels that improve their GDS strategies will notice more companies booking with them. Be sure your prices are consistent, and give travel agents all the details they need about your places. Hotels have a treasure trove in GDS when their sights are set on attracting those traveling for work.

Implement a Channel Manager

Managing inventory across multiple booking channels and market segments can be a headache. That's where a channel manager comes in. Here's something cool - a tool that auto-magically lines up your asking prices and what slots you have open with every channel it’s hooked up to. 

If you're in the hotel business and looking to smooth out how you manage where your rooms get booked, a solid channel manager is pretty much a game changer. This lets you keep your online game strong and switch gears fast when the market does a flip. Don't let manual updating bog you down - invest in a channel manager and watch your bookings soar.

The booking landscape may seem complex, but with the right strategy, your hotel can thrive. Trust me on this one; you'll see how much your effort matters.

9. Encourage Direct Bookings

While online travel agencies (OTAs) can be a valuable source of bookings, they also take a significant commission on each reservation. Want to really boost your hotel's income? Focus on getting guests to book their stay right through your website.

Why not make direct bookings irresistible? Offer special treats like complimentary breakfasts, upgrades on rooms, and the luxury of checking out later than usual. Make sure to prominently display these offers on your website and in your email marketing campaigns. 

For the ultimate attention-getter for your offer, you can mail out an Awesome 3D Card custom-designed for the purpose and use it to drive traffic to your direct booking page.

10. Adapt to Emerging Marketing Trends

With hotels shifting gears all the time, it pays to be in the know about what’s fresh and hot. It's all about keeping fresh - hit up some of the major trade shows, get stuck into current publications, and don't forget to check out what leading thinkers are saying online for that extra edge.

For example, the rise of voice search and artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way guests search for and book hotels. Keep up with the times by making sure people can find your site using just their voice. Add a clever AI chatbot and features that are tailored to each visitor for that cherry-on-top experience.

Using numbers to guide your hotel advertising tactics? That's smart. It’s all about choosing the right approach - one that lifts earnings sky-high and makes sure we’re miles ahead of anyone else trying to keep pace in this challenging environment.

11. Enhance the Guest Experience to Drive Loyalty and Repeat Bookings

I've been working with people in the hotel marketing game a long time. And if there's one thing I've learned, it's this: The guest experience is everything. Personalization is key. 

Use what you know from your guest's last visit along with their preferences and browsing habits to make their next stay even more about them. Offer recommendations, surprises, and follow-up that shows you're invested in their satisfaction. 

For example, if you know a guest loves a particular wine, have a bottle waiting in their room. If they mention an upcoming birthday, send a handwritten 3D pop-up birthday card. A bit of extra care here and there makes a world of difference.

Focus on the Experience

Today, it's really all about giving modern travelers what they want most - easy access and a nod to their expectations. From pre-arrival to post-stay, every interaction counts. 

Train your staff to deliver top-notch service consistently. Empower them to go above and beyond, anticipate needs, and create memorable moments. Give them some straightforward yet powerful tools to let guests know they are appreciated.

A pop-up card from Awesome 3D Cards can be used before, during, or after a guest's stay to enhance their experience, make them feel special, or leave them with a tangible reminder of their experience. Pop-up cards cut through the digital noise and are very "sticky." Because of their unique whimsy, they don't usually get tossed in the trash immediately; they get shared with others.

Create Loyalty Programs

Rewarding your guests through loyalty programs turns one-time visits into repeat stays, knitting strong relationships along the way. Let's make sure our best patrons feel extra special with privileges just for them—think hefty discounts and access to events no one else gets. Tailor rewards to different traveler types and preferences. 

Loyalty programs done right can be a game-changer. The guest experience is your hotel's heart and soul. Personalize, mobilize, and prioritize service to turn first-time visitors into lifelong fans. 

12. Develop Targeted Marketing Campaigns for Specific Segments

One size does not fit all when it comes to hotel marketing. To really hit the mark with your perfect guests, focus on creating campaigns that zoom in on what they love and need.  

For example, business travelers have specific requirements - they need convenience and reliability and expect hotel amenities that make their stay productive. Craft packages tailored to their needs. Offer discounted rates for extended stays, complimentary breakfast and Wi-Fi, or access to meeting rooms and business centers. 

Getting a grip on what your audience wants and hitting the mark with value they'll love is key. Then take the leap to spotlight your worth through clever marketing tricks.  A 3D pop-up card used to announce specific offers or events can be a great tool for any hotel promotion strategy.

Offer Family-Friendly Promotions

Lots of hotels see families as a big part of their crowd. To attract this lucrative market, create promotions that cater to their needs. Offer packages with adjoining rooms, kid-friendly amenities, or tickets to nearby attractions. 

Making sure families have a blast while staying with you is the magic formula for turning them into repeat visitors who come back every year. If your hotel offers upscale amenities and services, don't be afraid to target luxury travelers. 

Go Upscale

When it comes down to finding unforgettable moments, some people don't mind paying extra. Make sure you talk up your standout features - think mouth-watering meals, pampering spas, and a concierge who's all about making things personal for guests. 

Some places to stay have a knack for pulling in those who love a bit of pampering. They do this through cool collaborations with fancy labels, unique offers you can't find anywhere else, and attention to their guests' every need as if they were reading their minds. Crafting an atmosphere where every guest feels unique, with their desires met in advance, really sets you apart.

Develop Seasonal Marketing Campaigns

Playing your cards right (see what I did there) with seasonal deals can really make the most of those busy travel times and also fill up your calendar when things get quiet. Develop marketing campaigns around holidays, local events, or weather-related travel patterns. 

Offer themed packages, limited-time discounts, or value-added amenities to entice guests. Crafting packages and deals that are too good to pass up is the way to go, whether your guests are here for work, play, luxury indulgence or seasonal getaways. If you take a moment to really get what makes your audience tick and meet their needs head-on, there's no stopping how high your booking numbers can climb.

Key Takeaway: 

Boost loyalty and bookings by personalizing the guest experience, offering seamless mobile interactions, and providing top-notch service at every touchpoint. Maximize visibility across booking channels with optimized OTA listings and local SEO strategies. Create targeted marketing campaigns for different traveler types to speak directly to their needs. Leverage unique tools like Awesome 3D Cards to stand out and create memorable experiences.

Innovative 3D Pop-Up Cards for Marketing Hotels and Tourism Businesses

Need some specific examples of how to use 3D pop-up cards to spice up a marketing strategy for hotel industry and related businesses? Here are a few. 

As you check out these samples of 3D pop-up cards, keep an eye out for those standout features they all share. Imagine slipping similar design elements into your card designs.

VIP Guest Thank You

Intercontinental Hotel

The Intercontinental Hotel on Chicago's Magnificent Mile uses this card as part of its 5-star hotel marketing strategy to thank guests for staying at its historic property. What a great moment!

Event Thank You

Ice Rodeo Cowboy boot

The Four Seasons Hotel in Austin, Texas, used this card as a memorable keepsake for VIP hotel guests and attendees of the "Ice Rodeo" event

Commemorating a Visit

Mt Rushmore

The Rushmore Hotel in Rapid City, South Dakota, uses this card to reward VIP guests and sells it in its gift shop.

FAQs Related to Marketing Strategy for Hotel Industry and Tourism Businesses

What is a marketing strategy in the hospitality industry?

It's all about promoting your hotel to the right crowd at the right time and through the best channels.

What are the 4 P's of marketing in the hotel industry?

The 4 P's stand for Product, Price, Placement, and Promotion. They guide how hotels attract and keep guests.

What are the marketing methods of hotels?

Hotels use websites, social media, email blasts, loyalty programs, and partnerships to grab attention and drive bookings.

What is a go-to-market strategy for hotels?

This strategy outlines how a hotel will reach its target customers with its unique services. It's all about positioning.

Wrapping Up

Phew, that was quite the journey through the world of hotel marketing strategies! 

Remember, the key to success with any marketing strategy for hotel industry firms is to stay fresh and flexible. Your guests' tastes won't stay the same, so neither should your approach.

Put these 12 awesome strategies to work and get ready to see your bookings shoot through the roof.

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