No business can survive without the right marketing strategy.
As the average small business now spends around $75,000 a year on digital marketing, it’s important to spend that budget wisely. Spending it in the wrong demographic or on the wrong strategy could leave you with nothing left over once you figure out who your market is. Online advertising for hotels is changing with every other aspect of digital marketing.
Here are 6 strategies that are low-cost and highly yielding ways to implement your next ad campaign.
1) Make The Most of Your Instagram Account
People find all kinds of reasons to waste their time on Instagram. It’s a way to keep up with how celebrities live or what some of the coolest places on earth look like. While people are on their crowded commute and on their way to work, they could be thinking about a vacation and scrolling through Instagram
That’s what makes Instagram such a great way to show off how fun life at your hotel is.
Your hotel probably has amazing views, gorgeous nearby locales, and a really fun nightlife just a stone’s throw away. A few photos of the nearby cityscape or some of the fun events out by your hotel’s pool could get a potential visitor’s wheels turning about where to visit next. Hire a few beautiful people to model out by your pool and you could land those aspiring vacationers on your doorstep.
Upload a set of 3-4 photos of the best views from inside, outside, or nearby your hotel and you could start getting a slew of booking calls.
2) Leverage Facebook Stories
Facebook’s “stories” function allows you to string together a series of images or videos to create a short narrative. You could create and upload these videos on the fly or you could make a series to upload at a later date. The stories function allows you to see who your closest followers are and which pieces of content get the most attention.
Facebook has long been known to be the place for longer form content and article sharing, especially when compared to its younger siblings Twitter and Instagram. Facebook’s Stories tool allows you to bring your narrative to life with video, image, and fun selfie-style content. You can give your promotions more personality by having your staff or executive teams appear on camera showing us around.
Facebook is a great way to network with other local businesses as well. Offer any local celebrities or sports stars near you a “staycation” at your hotel and get them to post about their experience for an extra bump in promotion.
3) Maintin a Blog
When people search for ideas for a vacation on the internet, they search for either a specific place or ask a specific travel related question. You can land in both of those main types of searches when you start a blog.
The purpose of blogs has always been to communicate an idea to an audience. While you might have a unique perspective or experience that lends you authority, your brand will have its own unique kind of “expertise”. Figure out what that is and take domain over it.
If you’re in a popular local destination, people will want to know things like when the best time to visit is or where the best places to eat are. Instead of trying to buy ad space on all the pages that come up as a result of those searches, gather all the searches under one umbrella with your blog.
You can answer questions and then give people an answer to their next logical question of where they’re going to spend the night. You can give people tips on things to do during the off-season, when your rooms are cheaper and there’s less competition for space. You can tell them your favorite places to eat and ensure that your favorite mom and pops get the business they deserve. While blogs do an excellent job providing information, blogs also help your SEO.
4) Invite Influencers
Just like inviting celebrities to stay at your hotel, inviting influencers can open you up to a whole new customer base. While you might not know who the most influential people in your region are, your customer base might. For just the cost of a free stay and a couple of free meals, you could increase your followers by the thousands.
If you’ve been putting out great content but not getting the kind of feedback you want, you need to get someone to help you promote it. An Instagram or Twitter user with a lot of followers who are in your target market could get you booked for the rest of the year.
Giving away a free weekend at your hotel could be well worth the kinds of photos you’ll get in return.
5) Get Your Local SEO in Line
When search engines return results, they prefer to tell users about products and services closest to them or relevant to their search results. If you were located in Phoenix and you searched “Phoenix AZ hotel”, you should know how highly you rank compared to competitors. If you’re not found on the first page of results, you need to improve your local SEO.
Search engines use user data, accounts, cookies, and past searches to figure out what’s relevant to their users. If your potential client has been running a lot of searches about Phoenix and then searches for a hotel, the search engine might try to put two and two together. If you’ve got Phoenix listed all over your site, then search engines will know that your site is relevant.
Online Advertising For Hotels Requires Staying Ahead of Competition
When you’re trying to figure out what direction to go with online advertising for hotels, you need to make sure you take advantage of all the potential options. Instead of dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars on a campaign in a magazine that might not be read by your potential clients, try a blog post first. If you get good results, then take your strategy up a notch.
If you’re wondering whether or not an integrated marketing and digital PR firm could help your brand, check out our guide.