Hotels and resorts, especially for leisure travellers are non-necessities. One thing you as a hotelier should know about marketing non-necessity products is that you need to make your customers “want” your product instead of “needing” it.
Needless to say, if you want to people to “want” staying in your hotel you need to make it look as sexy as possible. Stop here for a minute to let it sink in, as this is the basis of marketing most non-necessity, leisure or luxury products.
Step 1 – have a gorgeous gallery of hotel photos
To make your product look attractive to your potential guests, first you will need to understand what they are looking for when booking a hotel. Move beyond price and location – think about experiences, photo opportunities, and how staying in your hotel make your guest look for their friends.
In 2019, over 80% of leisure travellers took photogenic attributes into consideration when booking a hotel. Furthermore, over 45% have upgraded to higher villa or room categories just to be able to take and envy-inspiring social media photos. This is huge and clearly indicates that a hotel can definitely generate increased demand by communicating it photogenic features.
Invite at least 2-3 professional photographers to take hotel photos. Try capturing the experience, showcase architectural features, food, pool, rooms, spa… everything that your guests will be interested in. Working with multiple photographers will get you more creative value and a larger variety of photos that you will be able to use on your website, OTAs and social media.
Step 2 – master marketing communication
First things first, let’s get familiar with the simplified concept of marketing communication. In general, communication is two or more parties exchanging information and feedback.
Marketing communication is very similar to your personal communication. Before you say something, you (hopefully) already know who you will talk to, what you would like to achieve, what information will you give out and what tone of voice you will apply.
Applying the same concept to marketing communication requires you to know your customers. Not in person, but you need to have an idea about the characteristics of people you will target with your communication. Such characteristics include age, location, travel style, interest and approximate budget they will likely be happy to pay for staying in your hotel.
Once you have sufficient information about the above attributes, it will become very easy to create your very own marketing communication content pillars. Find topics that are relevant and exciting for your target audience and craft messages to get that information through.
Your most commonly used marketing communication channels will be Social Media and your website.
Step 3 – have a simple but beautiful website that is built to convert
In 2019, hotel websites are cheap and simple to make. In fact, the most important assets of hotel websites are photos and a booking engine. If your website is already a couple of years old, full of clutter, does not really look good compared to modern design trends then the best is to get an entirely new one.
WordPress, Squarespace and Weebly are offering exceptional alternatives to create and host beautiful websites at laughable costs (from $14 monthly), and a freelancer or low-cost web design company will be more than happy to create the website itself.
When designing a hotel website, you should do it with simplicity in mind. Make it as simple and beautiful as possible. With a website, your main goal is to make your hotel look extremely good and to capture bookings either directly or through your website booking engine.
Keep the navigation simple, use easy to read a short paragraph and display critical information only on your main pages. You can offer links for further information but do not want your website visitors to read through 300-400 words of pretentious content just to find out what you could have communicated in 3-4 sentences.
Make it easy for everyone and keep it simple and beautiful.