Improving business and turning website viewers into bookers can be tricky for many hotels, especially if they believe that they do not have the finances or experience to make vital improvements. The following five marketing tips for hotels on a budget will show just how easy it can be to update a hotel's image and improve its reputation.
1. Website Updates
The first place to start is ensuring that the website is up-to-date, provides users with a realistic, modern representation of the establishment and rewards them for the experience. A few sterile pages with no interactivity and outdated photos give the impression that the hotel is living in the past. Regular updates, be they photos, news, blogs or event listings, keep the site fresh and an improved interactivity and style makes the potential customer want to stay, potentially attracting a different or younger market.
2. Hotel FAQs
This improved interactivity and site navigation leads nicely to an important area that some hotels may overlook: frequently asked questions or FAQs. Providing the best information in an efficient way could help snare that uncertain viewer who likes the look of the updated photos but wants to know about certain policies or the distance to the train station before they commit. The more specific and user focused the questions and answers are, the greater the impact they will have and this means developing a greater connection with guests to truly personalize the FAQs page.
3. Social Media Management
Staying connected with former and future guests is crucial in creating this optimized, modern, user-friendly website. This means ensuring that the site is optimized for social media so that users can share experiences, post questions and comments and provide other users with the realistic, up-to-date representation of the hotel that was mentioned before. Getting guests to follow the hotel on twitter or “like” it on Facebook is just the start of a biggest picture including Google + – the site that leapfrogged Twitter into second place – Pinterest and much more.
4. Customer Testimonials
This deeper connection to viewers and guests via social media is great for reaching a wider audience but it also helps with another important element of modern hotel marketing: the online customer testimonial. These reviews are often the deal breaker; if the photo shows a clean, modern room but a recent visitor says it was outdated and dirty then there will be no sale. A recent study showed that 79% of customers put their faith in online reviews so it is important to make good use of them and ensure that the happy customers are spreading the word.
5. Reputation Management
All this use of better social media, regular updates, guest reviews and relevant information comes down to one final, important element – the ability to manage the reputation and image of a hotel in an effective way that increases bookings. Hotels should never forget that hiring outside help via a specialized marketing company or turnkey solutions expert can help bring all of these ideas to life in a professional way, even if the hotel is on a tight budget, and help to maximize available tools in a way that was previously unmanageable.
Investing in a digital marketing program that can manage the needs and interests of the key audience, help improve the interactivity, readability and social side of the site or improve the establishment's reputation and image could be the important and affordable next step your hotel needs for improving marketing and business in 2014.