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:
- 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
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].
Ask our experts
How can I increase my hotel traffic?
To increase your hotel traffic, you need to focus on creating a favorable online experience through your website. You want customers interested in traveling to find your website appealing so they feel inspired to book a visit. Some areas to emphasize are:
- Local GMB profile completeness
- A site that has more topical breadth and pages than your competitors
- Robust coverage of local sites, attractions, and events
- Regular Google posts at least twice a week
- Unique deals that will appeal to customers traveling to your area
- Deals that are available only through your website
- A website that makes booking stays and finding answers to questions simple and straightforward
- Fresh original photographs and videos well marked up with alt-text metadata
- Hosting events that might encourage visitors outside of your main tourist seasons or that might encourage people from the local area to spend the night or dine at your hotel
- Excellent SEO, including Google My Business listings, to help your site rank highly on the SERPs
- Site building with expert hotel marketing teams, like those from Milestone
Increasing hotel traffic and occupancy depends upon an intimate understanding of your typical guest and what brings them to your hotel. The better you understand these needs, the easier you will find it to encourage them to visit.
What is hospitality marketing strategy?
A hospitality marketing strategy analyzes the typical guest or customer of your hospitality services and creates a marketing strategy that will directly engage these potential visitors to encourage them to patronize your business. With hospitality marketing, there is an important need to understand why someone might consider visiting a particular area, dining out, or otherwise engaging in hospitality services. Understanding their motivations can help businesses in this sector create effective marketing strategies and encourage more guests to patronize their establishment.
The strategy should allocate focus and budget to valuable personas, target them directly and by behavior, and include website, local, SEO, content, paid media, and reputation and reviews.
Give customers different reasons and experience to increase return bookings and book directly on your site instead of with OTAs. Leverage local events and attractions. Effectively attract and book groups and weddings.
An important component of hospitality marketing also lies in understanding the vital component of word-of-mouth advertising and promotion. Encouraging satisfied customers to leave reviews and tell others about their experience plays an important role in building consistent clientele.
What is unqiue about hospitality marketing?
Hospitality marketing is different from other types of product or service marketing because it calls for businesses to market an experience. With other types of product or service marketing, the focus is on selling a particular item that customers want. With hospitality marketing, you want to convince them that you will help them relax, celebrate, travel, or enjoy themselves in a way that no one else can.
The types of guests targeted by a hospitality marketing campaign can vary widely, such as business professionals attending meetings, wedding parties, young families taking vacations, or those looking for an all-inclusive resort atmosphere. You want to make sure that the experiences you promise and the messaging of your campaign aligns with what your business actually offers to guests. Then, you will use a variety of different types of content to help customers picture themselves enjoying your amenities and the atmosphere you promise to create for them.
How do I get started with hospitality marketing?
To get started in hospitality marketing you want to focus on the following strategies:
- Know precisely who your target customer is and the different segments you want to attract. For example, you might actively seek to engage traveling couples looking for a romantic all-inclusive resort as well as those interested in weddings at your location. Understand your customers, including precisely what experiences will speak to them and why they want those experiences.
- Determine the most common platforms where you will engage these types of customers. Look at the social media platforms where your traveler demographics most frequently interact, what industry-specific sites they might use– such as TripAdviser, and the types of search terms they will likely use when looking online.
- Make sure you build a guest-friendly website. This means answering common customer questions easily from your front page, making it easy to contact you directly, and walking customers through an intuitive booking process all enhance the experience.
- Create advertisements that speak to this demographic. Know what motivates their desire to travel and the type of experience they want to have while frequenting your establishment.
- Invest in tracking and analytics, track your reservations, site traffic, and engagement rates to see how people respond to your advertising and the rate of conversion to bookng.