How to Market a Hotel ?
If you are looking to start a Hotel or lease out a running Hotel or you have already set up one, you are wondering now – How to Market a Hotel?
The answer is easy but the execution is complex.
Hotelier needs to follow a step by step approach and consistently put efforts to get results in quick time. With boom in travel market, new technology and internet reach, the break-even duration for a Hotel has reduced by few months.
Hotelier needs to follow these steps to get the Hotel on track. Here are 15 commandments.
1. Content – Create a story of your Hotel highlighting its USPs, amenities, things to do and add-ons.
2. Pictures – A picture is more than 1000 words – you have heard it but now it’s applying on your hotel. This is most important thing and one should invest in photography.
3. Identify your comp-set – Before you enter the market, you should indentify who are your competitors – their strengths & weakness. A detailed study of competition will tell you – what to do & also what not to do.
4. Google business profile – This is key to your business growth and smart changes in profile and helps reduce your SEM/SEO costs. Build profile smartly, update it frequently and get more & more guest reviews. This is increasingly become relevant to hotel marketing.
5. Create rate plans and packages – A hotelier should spend at least a day to plan rates, packages & charges for any extra services. Create a rate plan calendar as well by planning for a full year in advance. With domestic market on high – be careful you have provided correct rates on long weekend.
6. Right price at the right time – Once you have decided rates plans and packages, now it’s time to play with the rates to sell more rooms at a better price. This can be done weekly or may be daily at some destination with high traffic and high competition.
7. Your website is window to your Hotel – Spend time on website and check the flow and ease of use. Make sure you have a blog or section where updates can be posted. The website should have booking engine and social media pluggin and widget integration.
8. Connect to distribution partners – Once the content is ready, connect it to as many distribution partners as possible. Some partners may be highly active while some may be selling fewer rooms, but you should get your Hotel live on them.
9. Build relationship with distribution partners – Invest in relationship with distribution partners and agents. Have relaxed policies and give them preferential treatment. They are opinion makers- value them.
10. Create inaugural offers – Guests get excited with complimentary offerings, so think of small souvenirs or a cup of coffee or pick & drop in initial years of property launch.
11. Leverage social media – Be active on multiple platforms and keep sharing relevant and fresh content on social media. By being active, you can overcome challenge of Out-of-sight-Out-of-mind.
12. Guest interaction – Hotelier himself or senior management should interact with guest at at-least one point. This may not be possible on all days and with all guests but if you are able to interact with a good percentage of guests, you will learn a lot about your place and customer expectations. Hoteliers who interact with guest have high probability of a better online reputation.
13. Be proactive – Make sure the check-in is smooth. Call up guest before he is arriving & develop a habit of speaking to the guest, 15 minutes after the guest have checked in the room. Most issues come during this period and a proactive approach here can reduce the chances of getting a negative feedback.
14. Improve TAT – Respond to queries on phone and email -professionally & quickly. A guest is most likely to book a Hotel who has professional and active reservation staff and have a quick Turn-around-time (TAT).
15. Build loyal guests – Once you have invested time and money in acquiring a guest, use a fraction of that amount in getting him again. This can be done by building loyalty programmes, coupon codes, gift voucher etc.
While the list of things to do on –How to market a hotel – keeps on evolving the above 15 steps are key to growth of a Hotel and will help beginners to build a base of robust growth in Hotel revenue.