Content marketing – list yourself everywhere
There is an estimated 2.4 billion people using the internet around the world. Of those users who are making travel arrangements, most visit multiple online travel agencies, social media, and review websites before making a purchase decision. Your hotel must ensure brand presence in all travel-related websites in order to increase awareness of the hotel name.
The more online travel agencies you can list your hotel with the more potential there is for additional brand benefits. If you’re a small hotel this can increase the number of available packages you offer, while if you’re a large hotel you’ll be able to tap additional guests through the travel agency’s ability to market content in multiple languages and existing market penetration.
Rate parity – don’t compete with yourself
Every empty room is a profit you'll never see. Many hotels will offer special packages with travel agencies, yet they many hotel websites won't list those packages. Don’t limit yourself by missing direct opportunities, and don’t lose out on paying your own hotel those commissions on package deals. A hotel offering the lowest rates on their official website will discourage users from booking elsewhere and increase confidence in booking direct through your hotel website. Over a longer period of time, this reduces the commission setbacks you experience from revenue sharing.
Know your customers – Implement and use a CRM
Most hotels offer some type of guest loyalty program through incentives or cash rewards which encourage onward promotion to guest’s friends and colleagues. Leverage this by using automated campaign and mailing programs to stay in touch with you customers with special packages, discounts and promotions.
Get social with social media and monitor and respond to all travel related website mentions of your brand. Respond to posting with courteous remarks and to negative comments express gratitude in pointing out the flaw and offer a solution if possible. Even bad postings can be used to generate positive promotion if handled correctly.
Hotels are dependent upon the dedication of staff and management to their primary duties. If you can automate routine reservation and customer relation tasks through careful application of new online technologies you will free up hotel employees to do what they do best: keep every guest satisfied, comfortable and looking forward to another stay.