Thursday, September 25, 2014

Marketing For Independent Hotels - 1

Independently owned and operated hotels, although lacking the big brand name recognition and budget of the hotel chains, can still achieve success within their market. This is accomplished through a comprehensive marketing strategy built upon a number of key elements. These include: Smart leveraging of their marketing budget by utilizing the Internet in a number of ways to level the field of play. Combined with approaching their market from the position of strength provided by the factors that make them unique and independent to begin with.


Social Media

It has become absolutely essential for independent hotels to have a presence across various social channels. At the very least, a hotel must have a Facebook and Twitter account. Social media not only gives independent hoteliers a viable platform from which to connect with their customers and promote their properties, but also provides an air of credibility in the public’s mind. To build brand integrity and recognition, the hotel’s name and logo should be distinctly visible to users.


Just merely establishing hotel social media accounts is not enough. Keep both past and potential guests up to date with everything going on at the hotel. Engage with the property’s fans and followers by posting fresh content that they will find relevant, informative, and maybe even entertaining. Photos, upcoming events, local information, and travel news are examples of content that users will find useful. Hotels should always be sharing compelling photos of their property, its amenities, and surroundings. Visually oriented social media networks such as Pinterest and Instagram are excellent platforms to showcase hotel properties.


Internet Booking Engine


Any independent hotel that does not have an online means for their potential guests to book a stay directly with the hotel is just letting revenue get away from them. All the effort that goes into bringing a possible paying customer to the hotel’s website, can be squandered if the user cannot book their stay on the hotel booking engine. Website conversion is critical to the success of all hotels, whether independent or a chain. Giving customers the ability to smoothly book online, increases the chances they will buy on their first impulse.


Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the process of raising the ranking, or visibility, of a business on popular search engines. Through a combination of techniques it is possible for an independent hotel to rank very high in search page listings. This in turn can drive greater numbers of traffic to the hotel’s website. Factors influential to search engine results include providing relevant, valuable content to users, including a number of proper industry-related keywords, and embedding links and backlinks to information of relevance.

There is much that determined independent hoteliers could do to keep pace with the large chains. In the next segment, we will explore a few more marketing possibilities and tools at their disposal.

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