GoGoGuest

Keys To Actionable Hospitality Marketing

There are 86, 789 hotels and motels in the United States. As a hospitality brand owner and operator, the competition to gain the attention of wanderers to your property can be fierce.

How discoverable is your hotel or motel in each local market you serve? According to Travel Weekly, direct bookings make up  49% of US hotel lodging, while Online Travel Agents (OTAs) accounted for 5%. In 2022, direct bookings are predicted to account for 50% of reservations. 

Instead of relying on OTAs, hospitality brands are taking back control of the customer experience with a digital presence connects with their online brand.

6 Actionable Hospitality Marketing Tips

This guide will cover customer engagement data-driven tools and strategies you need in every phase of your hospitality marketing journey.

After choosing a location, a concept and a brand name, it’s time to imagine the customer’s experience and journey for your hospitality business. What do you want them to see and feel when someone searches online for “hotels near me…” “lodging in…” “pet friendly hotels in…” “lodging good for families…” “lodging good for solo travelers…”

1. Connect with your audience where and when they are searching

You need a responsive, search engine optimized website for your hospitality brand. With 89% of adults searching for lodging, hotels and motels in their smartphones investing in a website is a must.

Reasons to launch your hospitality brand with a responsive and mobile friendly website:
 
  • Create brand awareness 
  • Establish your local market presence
  • Connect with your audience and customers
  • Share different ways potential customers can interact with your brand by browsing accommodations, property amenities like dining options, activities around town during the day and entertainment options at night, if any.
  • Highlight reviews from former guests / repeat guests are encouraged.

"GoGoGuest empowers us to personalize each customer touchpoint from the moment a reservation is made up to the moment of departure. A customer engagement platform disguised as our virtual concierge.

Adriano Lorenzi, Owner
Hotel Montana, Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy
Tweet

2. Grow brand awareness with social media

Visual and compelling travel photos that showcase your property, entertaining, fun and funny hashtags is a great way to build an audience online. 

If you’re not active on Facebook or Instagram yet, you may want to change that. Another essential and free tool for local businesses is Google Business.

Reasons to use Instagram and Facebook as your main social media channels

  • It is free and easy to set up an Instagram and Facebook account.
  • It is easy to integrate with your website. This gives you the opportunity to showcase new content in both places.
  • Build a community around your brand.
  • Engage directly with your customers.

For many users, social media is part of their daily routine. Roughly three-quarters of Facebook users – and around six-in-ten Instagram users – visit these sites at least once a day.

See what is possible.

Talk to sales.

3. Take control of your customer's journey

It is important to know that creating an online presence on a website and social media s not the end of your customer’s journey. You need to connect the customer’s experience back to your property and what potential guests can expect should they choose you.

Why? After getting to know your brand online, you’ve created interest and curiosity. Enough for that individual to submit their information on your website, better yet book a reservation.

What do you do with that information you’ve captured? These days, customers love it when a brand brings humanity and personalization to every step of their customer journey. Customers are willing to pay more for a better experience

Reasons to use a data-driven cross-channel customer engagement platform 

  • Easily take control of your customer data from your online reservation system, eCommerce and third-party apps in one place.
  • Gain access to behavioral data like frequency of visit, average stay, which channels do they prefer when interacting with your brand?
  • Get to know different customer groups or segments.
  • Craft personalized concierge service automations in every step of your customer lifecycle.
  • Send cross-channel campaigns on email and SMS.
  • Operating a multi-location hospitality brand in different markets? Offer milestone based rewards and loyalty programs associated with frequency of visit and average bookings from all your locations.
  • Use customer behavior and engagement insights to inform your decision on where to advertise and audiences to target.

Part of actionable hospitality marketing is about understanding what an individual goes through during the initial decision-making process. Then personalizing your brand’s engagement in every step of the customer lifecycle. 

 A data-rich customer engagement platform makes it easy to personalize your customer’s experience, regardless of whether the individual is a first time customer, a 2nd time customer or a super loyal customer.

The AIDA marketing model and how to apply it in real world and online world.

4. Elevate your guest shared spaces

WiFi marketing and the use of captive portals is not a new concept. Depending on the concept of your hotel or motel, WiFi marketing could prove to be a useful hospitality marketing tool for you. 

Reasons to use WiFi marketing as part of your hospitality marketing strategy

  • Offer WiFi marketing in shared public spaces by requiring a purchase for timed-limit use of a guest WiFi amenity
  • WiFi marketing is an easy way to grow your subscribers by offering a free guest WiFi amenity in exchange for permission based personal contact information
  • Learn about anonymized location analytics and real-world behavior including foot traffic rate, where are customers spending the most time when in your hotel or motel, repeat visits, type of devices and more!
  • Personalize each customer touchpoint with built-in email marketing and SMS marketing and deeper integrations with your POS and eCommerce systems.

5. Grow customer loyalty

At GoGoGuest, we design aspirational and milestone based programs that can flex and scale to your hospitality brand’s customer loyalty goals.

Reasons to use a milestone based customer loyalty or rewards program

  • Milestone based rewards programs are designed for your best customers to aspire to exclusive experiences.
  • Rewards are computed across frequency of bookings.
  • Points do not accumulate forever. It encourages customers to reach bigger and bolder rewards every 6 months or yearly.
  • Add points for high performing guests and customer groups to encourage increase in reservations.
  • Communicate rewards by email marketing or SMS marketing.
  • Directly integrate with your POS, online ordering channel and eCommerce, if preferred.
  • No third-party hardware is needed.
  • No plastic or digital reward cards needed.

6. Measure performance

Actionable hospitality marketing does not end in implementation and execution. Measuring the performance and iteration of each customer touchpoint is key to your success.

Reasons to measure the performance of each actionable hospitality marketing tactic

  • Use deep analytics and insights to know which customer touchpoint is performing well or not.
  • Learn from the successful engagement for each customer group. 
  • Iterate on under performing touch points.
  • Measure ROI.

Next Steps

Don’t take our word for it. We encourage you to dive in and dig deeper. Have you read The Email Marketing Playbook? Produced by the GoGoGuest team, it offers actionable next steps and best practices on how to implement hospitality  email marketing ideas from creating awareness, customer engagement to growing customer loyalty that drive value.

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