Milestone has picked out some top proven strategies from its hotel strategy incubator called Portfolio to help you.
This article focuses on strategies hotels can work on to build business in 2022:
- Serve essential services and workers
- Improve share vs. OTAs
- Weekends and staycations
- Corporate meetings and events
- Grow Average Daily Rate
Grow Wedding Business
Given how many wedding plans were disrupted in 2020 and 2021, the demand for weddings should be more than double in 2022. January and February are normally the biggest months for wedding RFPs and contracts, and Milestone Research expects early 2022 will likely be the biggest on record.
Build out new packages for all sizes and budgets and make them visible on separate pages on your site. Align the wedding packages to the needs of your drive-distance community in terms of budget and size.
This strategy has an omnichannel approach for promoting your wedding business, venues, services, and packages. The strategy drives awareness, engagement, and conversion across customer touchpoints, including a wedding module with RFPs, wedding packages and a voice search module with FAQs on the website as well as landing pages to align with paid campaigns, email marketing campaigns, and, Local SEO.
Through the implementation of schema, keywords, FAQs, and social outreach, we can raise awareness of your wedding business, engage with the right messaging and drive traffic to the RFP page for conversion.
There is also an opportunity to capture postponed receptions for people who had private weddings during Covid.
A robust omnichannel approach puts your message across all digital channels and lets you control the user journey.
- Staff up your wedding salespeople and line up partner providers, like photographers, videographers, DJs
- Define new wedding packages, especially medium and smaller events
- Create more dedicated wedding landing and package pages
- Make sure you have a wedding RFP page that works perfectly
- Forward all calls to a live operator who can discuss the options
- Install the Milestone Weddings module on your site
- Re-start your paid campaigns
- Update your FAQs to the most current information, virus protocols, and cancellation policies
- Define and promote the positive sustainability aspects of your offerings
- Define the required and optional Covid protocols for your area
- Increase in visits to RFP page
- Increase in completed RFPs and signed contracts
- Increase in organic traffic from keywords related to weddings
- Growth in email database
Serve Essential Services and Workers
Though the vaccines rolled out, first responders and essential workers are still dealing with the pandemic of the unvaccinated. It may make sense to focus on essential services and workers and look for long-term block bookings from federal, state, and local governments on the public side and corporate-funded donations to help support the mental health and recuperation of the medical care workers.
Across the community, Milestone sees properties that have filled rooms by housing medical patients, medical workers, and the unhoused to help them deal with the pandemic. 1440 Multiversity has generated more than $1 million in donations that it uses to fund scholarships to provide essential workers time to recover and recuperate.
- Solicit corporate donations
- Research insurance company donations
- Sign up for local, state, and federal shelter and provider programs
- Work with non-profits who may have funds and need property space
Increase Direct Bookings & Reduce OTA Contribution
Capturing direct bookings is one of the biggest challenges facing hoteliers in the digital age.
To compete with and regain revenue historically lost to OTAs, hoteliers must implement strategies that divert the consumer’s attention to the property website via remarketing efforts, on-page features, and a holistic focus on the value, not to a mention best-rate guarantee that comes with booking directly.
- Offer value adds to direct bookers
- Use the Milestone OTA comparison widget
- Re-start your paid campaigns
- Revenue recovery & reservation abandonment techniques
- Remarketing with discount coupons
- Book direct benefits content page
- Direct channel bookings YoY increase
- Growth in repeat guests/website visits
- New website visitors vs.return visitors
- Growth of email database
Book More on Weekends
The focus of this strategy is to help hotels and resorts grow weekend and leisure busines across channels and traveler touchpoints.
The strategy includes creating packages on the website for weekend vacations and activities, such as a Staycation, Spa, Golf, Weekend Getaways, Family Getaways, Pet Friendly, and Business-Leisure / Extend Your Stay specials to raise awareness of your weekend offers and drive bookings. Suggest including spouses on the extended bookings.
The on-site strategy is enhanced by blogs, social outreach, and email marketing campaigns that raise awareness of weekend activities, events and packages and drive both business and leisure travelers to reserve a package or book a stay.
- Exclusive packages: staycation, spa, golf; bleisure/extend your stay package for business travelers; Pet package
- Blog: highlight leisure activities on and off-property on website
- Email Marketing – monthly newsletter
- Social media, especially visual platform like Instagram and Pinterest
- Influencer campaign
- Increase in booked packages
- Increase in weekend occupancy and revenues
- Increase in SERP presence for leisure keywords
- Increase in social media: following/engagement
Grow Meetings Business
Milestone offers a mix of strategies and products to grow your smaller-scale meetings and corporate events business – from creating awareness through organic and social channels to driving engagement and conversion on the website.
Backed by solid SEO and structured data, a strong omnichannel strategy features rich and optimized website content with FAQs for voice search and meetings packages, reinforced with blogs, paid social, paid search, and email marketing.
Local listing and local CVB databases will also be updated for enhanced visibility and messaging. This strategy is intended to raise awareness, drive traffic to the site, and boost engagement and meeting RFP form fills.
- Meetings module with new bundles and packages
- Update local listings & FAQs
- Custom email auto-response
- Blog: tips for hosting, etc.
- Local databases for adding listings (e.g. local CVB or Chamber of Commerce site)
- Optimize reviews
- Increase visits to RFP page
- Increase in completed RFPs
- Increase in organic traffic from keywords related to meetings
- Impressions and clicks from SEM, GDN, Display Ads, Social Ads
- Growth in email database
Grow Corporate Business
You can promote your hotel to executives and business travel planners through a solid SEO and content marketing strategy that includes a website with structured data and maps, local promotion, and display ads.
The content strategy focuses on highlighting business features, including executive rooms with work space, airport shuttle, business center, and boardrooms with an RFP for corporate rates to capture leads.
The site is enhanced with a Corporate Package to drive bookings and FAQs on corporate services for voice queries – all backed by schema to saturate the SERPs.
Local SEO and display ads boost awareness of the message and drive traffic to the site.
- Market business room category
- Highlight Room/Hotel Corporate amenities: executive rooms with work space, free Wi-Fi, fitness center, healthy menus, free morning breakfast, dry cleaning/laundry service, daily newspaper, airport shuttle, grocery delivery, private lounge, business center, remote printing, and boardrooms and meeting spaces
- Corporate packages
- Add corporate rate RFP to website
- Re-start your paid campaigns
- Display – prospecting
- Schema / Structured Data – Use schema to saturate SERPs
- Traffic to business webpages
- Corporate package bookings
- RFP submissions for corporate rates
Grow Average Daily Rate
This strategy is aimed at increasing the average daily rate and revenue by promoting suites and higher room tiers through specials and controlling inventory.
Through a special package like the Sweet Suite Deal, you can increase bookings for suites with perks like a free welcome drink, dinner credit, or a late checkout, which increases ADR.
The strategy is aplified with enhanced room detail pages with amenities and image galleries, a voice search module with FAQs, display and social ads, and a reviews module. An email campaign targeting booked customers can promote a suite upgrade offer with special rates and perks like a late check-out or free parking to engage and convert users down the funnel.
The strategy also leverages Local listings with enhanced descriptions, amenities, images and FAQs to raise awarness of higher room categories and increase traffic to the website.
- Value adds (welcome drink, late checkout, F&B credit, etc.,) or offer “e.g. “Sweet/Suite Savings”
- Highlighted package on home page
- eCRM Email marketing: offer upgrade options
- Enhanced room detail page: image galleries, amenities, floor plans
- Enhanced local listings with room images
- Voice Search Module – FAQ
- Reviews Module (having higher rankings on TripAdvisor, enables property to charge a higher rate)
- Increase in ADR
- Increase in suites consumption
- Traffic to webpages for suites/ higher rated room categories
- Impressions and click-throughs on related ads
- Increase in TripAdvisor ranking and volume of reviews
These are the top strategies for recovering revenue as we enter 2021. To learn more, contact your CSM or [email protected].