The last five years have been tough on the travel and hospitality industry. Growing competition, economic changes, and the worldwide pandemic put a strain on establishments that rely heavily on business and leisure tourists.
Thankfully, the current year has seen a revival of global tourism.
Although people are starting to travel more, it is no time for hotels to relax. On the contrary, they must strengthen their brand and capture as much of the market as possible. This holds more for smaller hotels that often take a lax attitude towards marketing, a mistake no business should make.
Typically, smaller hotels stick with OTAs (Online Travel Agencies) as an easy way out. OTAs list their properties and help capture a wider audience.
Still, Adigital has seen a rise in clients with single properties over the past couple of years who are tired of paying excessive fees to OTAs and primarily relying on them for revenue generation.
Why small hotels should invest in digital marketing
Rather than depending entirely on OTAs, small hotels should actively start working with hotel marketing agencies such as Adigital to boost sales and revenue.
By collaborating with an agency, a hotel can accumulate its own customer base, increase direct bookings, save time, and receive a personalized branding strategy that helps improve its presence online.
Unlike customers who come through OTAs, direct bookings allow hotels to form stronger relationships with their guests, provide better service, and simultaneously stand out amongst the competition.
Ways small hotels can be successful in 2023
Any form of success requires determination, investment, and true grit, along with the open-mindedness to work with people who bring a higher level of professionalism to the operations.
Moreover, for small hotels to succeed in 2023 and beyond, it is imperative to have a holistic approach that exceeds just providing exemplary service and facilities at the property.
Be a destination
For any small hotel to be successful in 2023, it needs to be more than a place to lay one’s head. Every hotel must be a destination, attracting customers with its unique rooms, experiences, and amenities.
In order to do so, small hotels must form a strong connection with their guests from the very beginning. A great way to commence is by sharing your story on the website. Information about the hotel and the people behind it tells guests there is more to a stay than just rooms.
Furthermore, do not forget to focus on the hotel’s individual qualities when promoting your property. These may range from its idyllic location and in-house spa to a popular on-premises restaurant or themed rooms.
Lastly, boutique hotels are increasingly working with their community to give guests wholesome experiences that include total immersion into the surroundings.
Invest in revenue management
Hiring a hotel marketing agency has many advantages that expand beyond advertising. One of the main reasons for small hotels to work with an experienced team is to streamline revenue management.
When formulating your hotel marketing strategy with an agency, integrate the following features into your plan for long-term customer retention and revenue generation;
- Analyze website and booking data to correlate sales with revenue. This gives you more insight into what works and where you can maximize profits.
- Capitalize on the off-season by offering special deals, focusing on staycation marketing, and using hotel premises to attract local customers through your restaurant or by renting your garden or hall for functions.
- Keep an eye on your competition, especially features that may lead guests to book with them over you. Then, work towards adding similar amenities to your establishment.
- Collect Big Data from your customers, allowing your marketing team to implement techniques such as email marketing, personalized discounts, consumer retargeting, and service enhancement.
- To be successful and increase revenue, you also must understand your customer’s spending behavior. Adding services and features to your hotel based on these habits can make guests spend more.
Have a website
Quite honestly, for a small hotel to be successful in 2023, it needs more than just a website. Building one is a start, but using it to expand your brand and online presence is the primary goal.
A professionally designed website with an integrated booking platform is an excellent tool to take control over your property’s marketing from OTAs. You can continue to list your hotel on such sites, but having a website gives you the following additional benefits;
- It allows you to collect Big Data from your customers.
- A website leads to more direct bookings and, thus, saves on OTA commissions.
- Since many travelers prefer to deal directly with the property, it gives them that option.
- You have control over price deals, customer support, and updates.
Running a website is a cost-effective and fruitful endeavor, especially when left in the capable hands of a hotel marketing agency.
At Adigital, we work within your budget to boost your website SEO and rank your hotel high on Google search to attract new customers and build your brand organically.
Provide personalized experiences
Unlike larger chain hotels, it is easier for smaller hospitality establishments to form an emotional and personal bond with their guests. To be successful in 2023, give your guests a holiday to remember.
To do so, incorporate small embellishments that make you different. For example, collaborate with local F&B businesses to add complimentary amenities such as minibar drinks and snacks.
The idea is to make your customers feel at home and give them an out-of-the-box experience instead of the cookie-cutter service of more prominent hotel brands.
Be active on social media
People have a love-hate relationship with social media. Still, it remains among the most effective marketing tools for the travel industry.
Having a social media presence across all channels is an essential component in any checklist for ways small hotels can succeed in 2023.
From influencer marketing and sharing property videos to staff bios, facility updates, and photos, social media is a fantastic way to connect directly with your customer base.
Moreover, social media permits you to highlight your hotel’s USP and strong features while proving to be a source of information that guests can rely on.
Additionally, placing adverts on Facebook and Instagram can help increase the reach of your audience, drawing them to your website and resulting in more direct bookings.
Among the key ways small hotels can be successful in 2023 is by going mobile-friendly. As the majority of today’s tourists book their travels on mobile devices, your website and booking platform must have a mobile version that is quick to load and easy to use.
Again, a leading hotel marketing agency such as Adigital integrates such aspects automatically as part of your website design.
Furthermore, with Google often giving preferential listing status to mobile-friendly websites, this step is equally vital for your overall Search Engine Optimization.
Register on business promotion sites
Lastly, it’s worth remembering that sometimes the simplest things can majorly impact your business.
For example, listing your website, contact information, and working hours on business promotion sites often requires little or no investment but strengthens the hotel’s brand value tenfold.
Google Hotel Ads, Trivago, and Hotels Combined are examples of business promotion sites. While you can easily register on these sites, assigning the task to your hotel marketing agency ensures that the information always stays up-to-date.