If you own a small hotel, this article is made for you. We are talking about how it’s time for small hotels to make it big in 2017 if you have a small budget and don’t have a lot of freedom when it comes to shelling out big money for marketing.
What you can do is, make the most out of the free resources available to you. One of the free resources is getting yourself on the Internet. Having an online presence is important in standing out in the tourism and hospitality industry. As a small hotel, it’s a bonus to have your name online because many of your competitors are not yet. Not to mention, the vast majority of online marketing is free, making it a smart investment.
So, here’s a few tips to make your hotels presence up in 2017:
1. Target specific guests
It’s it important to confirm or figure out who your target audience should be and do everything it takes to reach them. Before that, you need to understand the existing market and your situation. Few things you should consider are:
- The location of your hotel
- Types of amenities and service you can provide
- Potential competitors around your location and what they do
- Is there any nearby attractions or tourist spots near your hotel location
For instance if your hotel is located at a world trade centre but your target audience is young adults who are seeking for a peaceful vacation, you might need to transform your target audience. Try targeting foreign business travellers instead.
2. Even if you’re small, have a big heart
There are 2 types of guests or travellers who are more inclined to leaving online reviews for hotel. The highly satisfied guests and the opposite. We are pretty sure you would avoid reading reviews from the latter. No one is perfect but try not to give them the chance to submit a bad review about your hotel because once it is up online, it’s there forever.
It is said that 7 out of 10 satisfied guests are most likely to share their experience with at least 4 more people. Customer service is so important that we have to bold this. It doesn’t matter if your rooms are slightly small when you have a big heart. Train your staff to bring out the kindness in them and show the guests that you care. Don’t act as a nameless or faceless business; talk to your guests genuinely.
3. Keep your website simple and responsive
Offering concise and relevant information is important to turn your web visitors into customers. Try not to stuff them with information which are not needed for example, a write-up about the first hotel in the world. You may do this, but not in the hotel website where you are supposed to be expecting sales conversion. We will further explain about this in the next point.
Now you have the right content, try to make it visually appealing in a way that it represents the business spirit of your hotel. Make sure the navigation buttons to the most relevant pages such as the contact page, about page and the reservation page are noticeable. Not forget, make sure your website is easily viewable on all devices too especially mobile and tablet.
At this stage, we assume that you already have a website for your hotel up. It’s 2017 and you can’t expect to make it big in time if you haven’t have a website yet. Well, maybe if you haven’t have one, consider getting one for free today. Did we mention that it comes with a booking engine too? Yes, it does.
4. Make a blog or blog better
If your hotel doesn’t have a blog yet, chances are you should start thinking of creating one. Many of us are not writers by profession but we can always turn it into a hobby. Some of the contents which are shareable on a hotel blog can be a write-up about the history of your hotel, the renovation process of your hotel or editorial posts of events held in your hotel.
One more thing, having a blog and keep it updated regularly and informatively will do wonders for you. Blogging can vastly improve your SEO and that is why it’s a strategy that many companies are turning to for getting their name at the top of Google’s search results page.
5. Use social media
We all know that social media is free but try not to overdo it. Choose your platforms wisely and try not to jump on the bandwagon and make an account on every social media platform. Facebook is a must as it attracts people of all ages. Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest are great start. Some platforms work better than others especially when you’re dealing with limited resources or advertising a specific product.
When you’re on social media, it is important that you try to engage with your users. Reply to their comments and messages. Do not just reply to good reviews, respond to bad reviews too. Show that you can take in criticism and is ready to improve. You may even repost or feature your hotel guests on your account! That would make them more than happy to return.