I love talking about travel and hospitality. A few years ago, I created an online travel venture, traveladdicthack.com, where I’ve created hundreds of blog posts, thousands of short-form social-first posts, released almost 30 podcast episodes, and recently launched a new service of live one-on-one sessions for tourism, travel, and hospitality professionals. More recently, I’ve been inspired to write this post about some of the top marketing strategies to prioritize when opening a new hotel.
Investors in the hospitality sector are taking advantage of the growing interest by developers and are anticipating the opening of many new hotels in the United States and the Caribbean in 2022. The dream hotel group has new projects in Nashville and OklahomaCity; Marriott International has a few luxury portfolio brands lined up: Tampa Edition, The Ritz Carlton New York, Nomad, and millennial-focused Moxy Lower East Side and Moxy Williamsburg in New York. With many more new hotels coming through the door, standing out and thinking outside the box is key to thriving in this competitive industry. Implementing some top marketing strategies will help create quick wins and covert bookings on your hotel’s website.
Experiential activations, such as pop-ups, product drops, live music, happy hours, and fitness classes have become the trend with luxury hotel openings. When using this technique, take full advantage of these activations by promoting them on your hotel website and implementing the proper digital marketing tactics to reach wider audiences and create conversions.
Deciding how to market a new hotel can be tricky, particularly in creating marketing content from scratch. Working in collaboration with PR, bloggers, and influencers and making sure the content aligns accordingly is a part of a successful STP (segmentation, targeting, positioning) process. Producing the right message, at the right time to the right people, demands coordination of the many sensitive moving parts. The following are my top three marketing strategies to take your marketing game to the next level.
1. Using robust demand generation strategies to gain market share
Demand generation strategies on various ‘display’ platforms are hands-down my favorite techniques at the moment and are a snappy way to create significant value.
You can use great promotion ideas, targeting settings, and various shapes and sizes of creatives to increase awareness, user engagement, and conversions.
Below, you’ll find the most reliable demand gen campaign strategies to reach a wider audience and generate direct bookings. It’s just that good (when it’s done well).
1. Cross-channel Demand-Gen Campaign: Implementing a marketing strategy can be a little intimidating at the beginning of any new hotel promotion. Don’t be overwhelmed by creating a multichannel or omnichannel plan — create cross-channel campaigns instead by selecting specific mediums that complement one another. Certain channels work better together than others.
Common mediums that complement each other include:
- Facebook Retarget/Adwords Remarketing
Maintaining a cohesive approach across two or more channels will help guests better and more consistently recognize a new hotel brand in that region, increasing their likelihood of interacting with campaigns.
2. Display Demand-Gen Campaign: In opening a hotel, we anticipate finding those first guests to make reservations. Without diluting your marketing efforts in targeting all sorts of audiences, you can narrow down your targeted audience and market your new hotel to those who’re traveling to your city. Present your brands where their target audiences naturally are. Similar to Google Display Network, some partners like Adara & Sojern work with different tourism brands to take information from airlines, car rental companies, and other tourism data providers and determine who in-market traveling guests are. This allows targeting straight to in-market audiences or travelers more wisely.
3. Social Demand-Gen Campaign: As we know, organic reach is diminishing on all social media platforms. Leverage the paid social to create campaigns on the most popular social media sites, like the fast-growing Facebook/Instagram, and Tiktok to extend the reach of your post with budget diversification and book/shop button options. Target audiences of all shapes, sizes, and demographics to grow brand awareness and revenue in an increasingly social world.
4. Mobile Demand-Gen Campaign: Tailor your campaigns specifically for the mobile version of websites and within mobile applications. Create some interstitial ads, which are essentially full-page banner ads that take up the device’s entire screen. These ads give advertisers more real estate to work with than typical mobile banner ads that are small and hard to squeeze all the information into. Mobile video ads are the fastest-growing format and an exciting way to engage with potential clients.
5. Video Demand-Gen Campaign: Reels vs Youtube Video ads — where is more growth, and are your targeted audiences? In the first place, you need to know what your options are through each channel. Because both video platforms continue to grow at lightspeed rates, ensuring you are in front of both is vital to boosting your brand awareness or bookings.
2. Leverage owned and earned media from other portfolios – or groups of hotels
Owned Media: CRM, Email Marketing, Loyalty Programs
Earned Media: Social, PR, Influencers
When with the ‘start from zero’ strategy, you need to utilize guests’ or members’ data from your other group of properties or hotels to inform your existing guests about your new property. Your brand’s existing corporate social media account will create a buzz about your new hotel opening. Besides that, you can use members’ emails to share information about your new hotel in the region, both pre-opening and post-opening. There are so many little nuggets of marketing advice here, especially with collecting stories to help create buzz about the new hotel and updating listing on OTA websites and other partners. Use this simple strategy to market your hotel hot off of the press and should work like magic.
3. Internal marketing
Internal staff and colleagues are the most valuable assets to uplevel a brand’s reputation, and it’s an absolute goldmine. Associates will share their unique experiences of the hotel through their social networks and recommend it, which will help create new guest bookings. This engaging strategy can generate an uptick in new reservations and help hit milestones in the first quarter.
Keep measuring your marketing performance year-round, and implement new marketing strategies as needed. Be sure to get exposure on other media such as map listing, MetaSearch ads, PPC ads, and other tactics to engage with next-generation luxury consumers with a 360-degree approach!
Are there other things you keep in mind when implementing a marketing strategy with a new hotel opening, or do you have any tips to add? Let me know in the comments.
Feel free to contact [email protected] to learn more about these marketing strategies or any other strategies for your hotels. For more information, visit Travel Addict Hack Media or get social on Instagram and Linkedin.