Travelers today are looking for unique, experience-driven adventures, presenting the perfect opportunity for smaller boutique hotels to shine. Boutique hotels can provide the personalized experience so sought after by travelers, imbuing their stay with a warmth and charm that the larger brand-name hotels and institutionalized resort chains are unable to match. As the owner of a boutique hotel, you need a way to introduce a wide circle of travelers to the unique experience you offer without breaking your budget. Hotel online marketing strategies are the ideal way to do this. Unlike traditional promotion methods such as print and radio, online marketing strategies require more of an investment of time rather than money. To help you get started, we’ve assembled a list of the best online marketing strategies for small hotels – try some or all of them to promote your boutique hotel and attract the attention it deserves.
A recent travel study by Google revealed that more than 50 percent of travelers research their travel plans using search engines, so it is important that your hotel appears in a prominent place in search results. SEO, or search engine optimization, is a hotel online marketing strategy that uses keywords, links, and content to ensure your hotel website is highly placed on search engine result pages. Many travelers now use a mobile device when researching their trip online, so it is important to include long-tail keyword phrases that mimic the verbal searches that Google accepts from smartphones.
There are a lot of online public relations opportunities available to boutique hotels. You don’t need to establish an entire PR department to take advantage of these opportunities; all you really need is a few well-written and appealing news releases that you can use to pitch stories to online media organizations. Overly promotional materials aren’t going to get the results you’re looking for. Focus on writing articles that capture a unique local adventure guests can experience at your hotel, profile the local community, or write about other travel topics that will capture the interest of the demographic your boutique hotel caters to. Try to interest some online news organizations in writing articles about unique features or amenities of your hotel. Guest blogging on a prominent blog is another great way to bring widespread notice to your small hotel.
Don’t worry that your small hotels online marketing budget is fraction of the larger chains; with a good social marketing strategy you can reach a wide audience of prospective guests. Choose social media platforms that match your guests’ interests, then post fresh, engaging content for a widespread appeal that will generate likes and shares. Once you start gaining followers, keep them coming back by sticking to a strict posting schedule. Review sites like Yelp are a great way to reach new guests. Make sure your listing has up-to-date contact information and attractive photos that capture the unique charm of your hotel. Set an alert to notify you whenever someone reviews your hotel and respond promptly and politely to any negative reviews.
Email newsletters present a variety of boutique hotel marketing opportunities. You can segment your contact list and send out personalized discounts that target each group, such as special low promotional rates on week-long stays for family vacations or excursion packages with enhanced access for your VIP guests. Email interesting articles from your PR strategies to notify past guests of new features and additional attractions of interest near your hotel. Sending out time-dependent discounts is a great way to prompt guests to schedule a return visit during your slow season.
Networking is one of the most overlooked hotel online marketing strategies, which is a shame because it can generate amazing results. The Internet provides small hotels with an unparalleled opportunity to network with organizations in the hospitality and tourism industry. Make the effort to build a relationship with your local tourism board, convention bureaus, and local business associations. These organizations can generate a lot of business for your hotel and provide you with promotional opportunities that will extend your marketing reach to a wide circle of potential guests.
If you would like some assistance implementing these online marketing strategies, Travel Tech Strategies is here to help. We specialize in boutique hotel marketing strategies, with a full range of services including responsive hotel website design, expert SEO copywriting services, social marketing strategies for hotels, and more.
Contact Travel Tech Strategies today at 954-779-2801 for help implementing online marketing strategies to ensure your small hotel’s success!
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