Competition among brands in the hotel industry is fierce, and brands have realized they need to be more creative with their marketing strategies to stand out among their competition, including their newest and biggest competitor, Airbnb.
While hotels are accustomed to guests being lured by their location, décor, amenities and services, today’s traveler is more sophisticated and looking for more than a charming hotel room in a prime location – they are looking for unique experiences in authentic locations at discounted prices.
In response to this trend, hotels have become more innovative and are incorporating new ideas into marketing their properties. A few examples are below.
Hotels are creating on-property “programming” to offer guests a little lagniappe (“something extra”) and keep them on property for longer periods of time.
Offerings include yoga classes, scavenger hunts, poolside movie nights and happy hours. Some properties are even featuring live entertainment by local musicians or a DJ performing in the lobby to encourage a more social atmosphere. Hotels are also utilizing social media networks to share the experiences, inviting and encouraging locals to participate, thereby bringing in more business during mid-week and/or slower times of the year.
Locals-Only Rates or Mid-Week Incentives
The term staycation became quite the buzzword several years ago when most families found it too expensive to travel during the recession. Today, many hotels offer “Locals Only” rates during slower seasons or mid-week, which help put “heads in beds.” These are great opportunities for travelers to book short stays at hotels that might normally be out of budget. Offering competitive mid-week rates during non-busy times provides an opportunity to bring in new guests who are excited to engage with your brand.
Utilizing social media to help “tell the story” can also help generate traffic and conversations that produce results for your property. Video posts on Facebook and Instagram are extremely popular, and with the help of mobile apps, are easy to shoot, edit and post from a smart phone. Be creative and have fun. A virtual tour of the property, short cooking demo by your restaurant’s chef or video of an event nearby can help showcase your city, location, staff and property.
Help to further position your property through influencer marketing. Identify and target the appropriate influencers to represent your brand. Work with them on the type of content that highlights the special features of the property or allow them to conduct a social media takeover. Perhaps invite a cute, furry Instagram “celebrity” to your property to highlight your pet friendly program and staycation rates on their social media networks.
While today’s traveler is a bit more sophisticated and consumes information from numerous sources, at the end of the day, the goal is the same – to get away from everyday life, create memories and experience new things.
DEVENEY has implemented many of these types of tactics for our LifeStyle clients. What do you use for your business? Tweet us @DEVENEYMKTG to share your thoughts.