7 Smart Digital Marketing Ideas for Hotels and Resorts

By Raubi Perilli |

  | May 16, 2018  /  Solutions |

Digital marketing is essential for any hotel that wants to compete in the modern era. Mobile reservations make up 27% of all hotel bookings, a 13% increase over the past year. As audiences feel more comfortable making transactions online and on their mobile devices, hotels need to become more comfortable reaching them on these platforms.  

Check out these seven tips for improving digital marketing for hotels and getting customers to book a stay at your resort. With the right strategy, you can make sure your rooms book up quickly and your restaurant is full of diners.

#1) Create Different Campaigns for Different Audiences

Your guests don’t all fit into one demographic, so why are you creating one marketing strategy? Successful digital marketing for hotels relies on knowing your audience personas and catering to them. For example, a hotel in the Bay Area might have the following personas:  

  • Tourists who want to visit local beaches and theme parks during their stay.
  • Event tourists who arrive for a specific sporting event or concert
  • Business travelers who are attending conferences
  • Solo business travelers
  • Locals who want a romantic staycation
  • Locals who want a fun night out

Each target audience has different concerns and needs. Your locals want to make sure your food is outstanding while tourists want to make sure your hotel is in a good location.  

If you’re unsure about your audiences, try out Hubspot’s audience persona creator. You can create guides for who is staying at your hotel and then base marketing tactics around them.

#2) Address Questions Potential Guests Might Have

If you want to appeal to customers then you need to address their concerns. A big part of digital marketing for hotels should be answering questions related to the town, events, and rooms. For example, do you have enough parking for all guests, and is it free? Do you have RV parking?  

While this information may be located on your website, you can attract customers by making it clear in your digital marketing content. Use customer questions to dictate your content, social media, and promotions strategy.  

#3) Ask Your Chef to Create Content for You

Food is a highly visual part of social media and a great way to share photos with stunning colors and salivating content. It’s also a great way to drive local customers to visit your restaurant and bar for a fun night out downtown.  

Talk to your chef and bartender about the specials they’re making or any upcoming seasonal dishes they have on the menu. Ask to take photos of their food and use it as social media content. Your cooking staff can feel proud that their work is featured and your digital channels can have content that is relevant to local residents.

#4) Promote Local Events

Another way to connect with local residents through your hotel’s digital content is by promoting local events in your area. You don’t have to be involved in these events to let your fans know that they’re happening. For example, if you’re a waterfront resort, you might post about beach cleanups or sunset concerts happening nearby.  

Local residents who follow your hotel’s social media pages will turn to you to find out what’s going on in the area. You can also encourage them to visit your bar for a drink after the event.  

Sharing local events can also attract out-of-area visitors. They can see everything that’s going on near you and book a stay to be close to the action.     

#5) Use Guest Comments and Reviews

The travel industry has some of the most passionate customers in the modern economy. People love to leave reviews for hotels and restaurants, which can quickly grow your business and bookings. While some industries beg customers to leave reviews, hotel reviews tend to flow in as people stay at your resort.  

Remember, increasing your Yelp score by one star can boost your sales 5-9%. Encouraging guests to share their experiences can really help your business.  

Reviews can be used to improve the digital marketing for hotels our the area. You can highlight quotes from impassioned guests and share their star ratings on social media. Let your guests create content for you and watch your digital marketing efforts shine.  

#6) Market Around Upcoming Conferences and Concerts

Tampa Bay is a popular spot for conferences, sporting events, concerts, and other gatherings. These events are typically announced months in advance, with limited ticket windows and thresholds to book. If your hotel can track when these events are announced and when the windows to buy open, you can market to out of town visitors who are looking to book their tickets and accommodation at the same time.  

Start by following the Tampa Bay Sports Commission, which announces major events that the area will be hosting. You can also keep an eye on the Tampa Convention Center calendar. If you really want to advance your marketing strategy, start sponsoring and partnering with event organizers to offer discounts to attendees or have your hotel featured as a recommended place to stay.  

#7) List Your Hotel and Resort on Local Directories

You can’t expect potential guests to go directly to your website when they book a hotel. Oftentimes, hotel guests book directly through websites like Expedia or Travelocity after reading reviews on Yelp or TripAdvisor. You need to have a business directory profile on these sites, as well as other local pages, like MyArea Network sites that highlight your brand.  

Many guests turn to local directories for second opinions on hotel choices. They want to see how locals perceive the resort and if the reviews on one site match those on another. Local directories can also help attract residents who want to take a staycation or maybe enjoy a nice dinner out.  

There’s no escaping the world of booking sites in the Internet era, but strategic digital marketing for hotels can ensure your location is featured on most search websites.  

If you want to improve your digital marketing presence but aren’t sure where to start, contact MyArea Network today. We offer free consultations to local Tampa Bay businesses who want to grow. Together, we can map out a plan to improve your digital strategy.