January is a time for New Year’s resolutions. We’ve put together a list of simple pledges all hoteliers should be making for the new year, touching areas such as marketing strategy and web content.
The new year’s upon us, and travellers are already looking for their next trip away. In this blogpost, we’ll give you a few pointers to take advantage of that demand – and set your property up for success in 2018.
January is a month of great opportunity – especially in the hotel industry. After the Christmas holidays a lot of travellers look ahead to the new year, hoping to liven up an otherwise gloomy month with the promise of a new trip. With all those potential customers looking to banish the new-year blues, you need to make sure you’re in the best possible shape as the year gets going.
To help you hit the ground running in 2018, we’ve put together a list of hotel marketing essentials that you should make into your New Year’s resolutions.
1. Wow guests with a promotion
Guests are always on the lookout for value – especially after the excesses of the festive season. So it pays to have deals and promotions lined up for the rest of the year. The best hotel websites offer packages and promotions during January, often with enticing extras like free cancellation or no deposit.
With so many people looking to pre-book their summer holidays in the next few weeks, incorporating special promotions into your marketing strategy is key to setting yourself up for a successful year.
2. Remember that content is king
The phrase “content is king” may have become an internet cliché, but it has a lot of truth to it. You can have plenty of people looking at your website, but the only way to get them clicking the “book” button is through compelling and trustworthy web content.
When putting together your marketing strategy for the year, always review your content first.
- Is it up to date?
- Does it represent your property accurately, and attractively?
- Are the photos appealing?
- Are there amenities you offer that don’t appear in the description?
We’d recommend getting a friend or family member to critically evaluate your website, thinking like a customer. That way, you’ll get some insight into small improvements that could make a big difference to your sales.
3. Get your rates in place
To make the most of being bookable online, your prices have got to be right. If you sell too high, you risk putting people off. If you sell too low, you might be missing out on significant earnings.
Before the new year starts, we recommend a thorough check of all your prices and availability across all your channels, as well as some competitor analysis. Make sure you’re bookable well into the future, that your rates are in step with your competitors, and that they don’t vary from channel to channel.
Having a pricing strategy in place is one of the most important ways of giving your business the best chance of online success. A great way to do this is with a hotel revenue management system such as RateIntelligence, a free BookingSuite product that gives you relevant market data in one place – saving you time and boosting your profits.
4. Plan for success
It’s often been said that in order to look forward, you have to look back first. This is just as true in business as it is in life. Take a moment to review in detail how last year went for you – identify what went well and what didn’t quite work, and plan this year’s marketing strategy accordingly. Think about how you could use social media better, what kind of deals you could offer, and when. This is the time to heed the advice of Benjamin Franklin: “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”.
5. Keep your friends close, and your competitors closer
No business operates in a vacuum. Whatever bookings you get are bookings that your competitors have missed out on, and vice versa.
It’s important to know who your competitors are, and how they’re running their business. Take time for a decent competitor analysis. First, are your rates more or less in line with theirs? And after that, are they offering any new services that you hadn’t thought of? How about their approach to social media – are they using Facebook or Instagram better than you are?
And if you’re feeling thorough, why not go all-out and book yourself a night in one of your competitors’ properties? You might just spot things that they’re doing that could help your business too.
6. See what technology can do for you
Technology’s all around us. And while some of it might confuse or overwhelm us, there’s actually a lot that it can do to make our lives easier – and our businesses more successful.
In the hotel industry, there are technological solutions to almost any hospitality issue you could think of – and plenty more that you might not have. And now’s the perfect time to explore the options available to you.
Spending too much time checking guests in? How about an app that allows guests to check in using their mobile phone?
Wondering if your rates are giving you the best chance of success? Some programmes, like RateIntelligence, compare your prices against your competitors, giving you accurate rate information based on the demand in your area.
These are just two examples from an ever-expanding pool of neat solutions for property owners like you.