11 Essentials to Differentiate Your Hotel Marketing from the Competition
With new hotels constantly opening, plus the growth of websites like Airbnb, VRBO, and HomeAway, it’s incredibly challenging for hotels – especially boutique hotels – to stand out in their marketing against the competition.
It’s no longer enough to be listed on travel sites. Hotels need to be creative with their marketing to stand out.
So what can a hotel marketer do to make sure people find your hotel, and get so excited they can’t wait to book? Let’s take a look at eleven essentials to differentiate your hotel marketing from the competition.
Be known for something unique
To contend with the competition, your hotel needs to offer something unique and distinctly different to entice potential guests. And hotel marketing campaigns need to reflect that unique value. Whether it’s an interesting history, special amenities or other property details, every hotel has a great story to tell.
To find your unique value, develop a list of hotel traits, features or characteristics that are unlike other hotels. You can also expand to the surrounding area or local region to find what makes your property special. Then craft a story around those unique traits or features and incorporate that into all of your hotel marketing communications.
Be known for top-notch service
One incredibly powerful way to differentiate your hotel from the competition is top-notch service. Just like Nordstrom’s approach to customer service, going the extra mile in the hotel and hospitality industry for guests can yield mega returns.
Build a culture with top-notch service at the center, where the staff is empowered to find ways to make a guest’s stay memorable – whether that’s providing a treat at check-in, greeting them by name throughout their stay or helping solve a problem.
Make your website more than a website
Your website is the most important marketing channel for your hotel as this is where people go to find all the details. Having a compelling, up-to-date, easy-to-navigate and engaging website that is viewable on all mobile devices sets you apart from competitors.
Aside from providing basic details and amenities, focus on influencing travelers to book through engaging blogs, photos, articles, menus and other useful information – for both your property and the surrounding area.
Highlight team members
Buster Presutti Posey is well-known to Hotel Nikko San Francisco guests. But he isn’t a typical staff member – he’s the hotel’s Canine Operating Officer with his own Instagram and Facebook pages. Guests can summon Buster by dialing the hotel operator to set up a meet-and-greet – think puppy room service, but free of charge. When Buster isn’t greeting guests, he travels to local hospitals to spread cheer among patients.
The pets or people behind your hotel are additional elements that make the property unique. Showcase them as you market your hotel — whether they are a top chef, esthetician, masseuse, personal trainer, bellman, housekeeping or back-of-the-house team member.
Tell guest stories
A great story or review from a past guest can earn you a new customer. Encourage both famous and not-so-famous guests alike to share what brought them to your hotel and use their stories in your marketing efforts.
At or immediately following checkout, ask guests to leave a recap of their visit. Don’t forget to monitor reviews on popular booking sites too. Seek out travelers with great stories and ask if you can use them in your future marketing efforts.
Share examples of on-site meetings and events
Beyond stories and reviews of guests, differentiate your hotel by sharing examples of meetings or events held at the property.
For example, did your hotel host an annual fundraising gala that broke donation records? Or did you welcome the top 100 sales associates from a global Fortune 500 company? Share those details in addition to photos and details of the room layout, food and beverage and other logistics in your marketing.
Get social and share video tours of your hotel
Because social media can be used to build brand awareness, customer relationships, and retention, most hotels have a presence on the major platforms. The best way to keep potential visitors and guests engaged is with a regular content delivery schedule that includes photos and videos too.
One powerful way to differentiate your hotel social media marketing is through the use of 3D and virtual walkthroughs. These immerse customers and guests into your hotel’s venue spaces and invoke FOMO.
Expand your marketing influencer sphere
Guests are likely posting pics of your hotel daily, which are seen by their friends and peers. Turn them into advocates to expand your hotel marketing reach.
Using advocates and influencers increases the likelihood of your hotel appearing in searches and social channels, from initial planning to post-stay reviews, giving you a bigger edge over the competition.
Feature local experiences
Many guests, especially millennial travelers, want to immerse themselves in the local scene, and the hotels they stay in play an important role in that experience.
Stand out from the competition by giving guests unique experiences. For example, the iconic Plaza Hotel located in the heart of Manhattan by Central Park offers a famous afternoon tea that comes with a 100-year history!
Another route is to create social experiences in which guests can meet and interact with local residents, artists, musicians and DJs, and more.
Showcase your local involvement and support
Farm-to-table dining has been a buzzword for a while, and hotels have been taking advantage of the trend to show their local community support at the same time. Differentiate your hotel’s food and beverage offerings with ingredients sourced from nearby farms – or even the hotel’s on-site garden.
Another way to support the local community is decorating with locally produced art, like the Gladstone Hotel. Art isn’t just decoration at the Gladstone Hotel, it’s a methodology of operating the business. This means that the business supports the local arts community, and the local arts community supports the business. For example, each of the hotel’s 37 guest rooms is totally unique, designed by a local artist in a way that makes guests think, feel, and experience the building and the neighborhood to its fullest.
Share your efforts to protect the environment
There are easy ways to showcase your efforts to protect the environment that aren’t about credits or points for skipping housekeeping.
As one example, hotels have ample opportunity to differentiate through the promotion of their eco-friendly choices, like glass cups, stoneware mugs or water carafes in lieu of paper and plastic items. And energy-saving lightbulbs are an obvious choice when it’s time to replace burned-out bulbs. Guests appreciate the sustainable approach and it’s a way to stand out compared to the competition.
Learn how AllSeated can make your hotel marketing a cut above the competition with immersive 3D and virtual walkthroughs. Contact us for a demo to learn more.