Target the right customers
Knowing who your target market is is not exactly something new, but in the digital age it is more relevant than ever. When browsing for accommodation online, guests can look at up to 38 different sites before deciding on one. If your site is maximized to appeal to the right target audience (from well-heeled travelers to backpackers and everything in-between), you are more likely to get the booking than your competitors. Think about it, in one visit to your site a potential guest can ascertain whether your hotel ticks all the relevant boxes they are looking for – level of comfort, price range, location, attractions and services – you are immediately at an advantage.

Harness the power of mail
Marketing mailers are powerful tools, aimed primarily at getting repeat business from customers, but if incentivized properly, you can drive new, potential customers to sign up to your database while they are still in the selection process. By using smart banner ads promoting email sign up through the awareness of specials (discount rooms or meals) or through the promise of sending alerts around future deals, you can build strong relationships before any money has even exchanged hands.

Adapt or dawdle
A part of successful marketing is the ability to speak to potential guests on the things they care about and despite the doom and gloom we experience through the proliferation of news, people do care. They care about their diets and will talk the hind leg off a donkey on the subject. If Banting, gluten-free or vegan meals are frequently requested by guests, then create several dishes catering to that on the menu and market it accordingly (there is no such thing as a quiet vegan). Guests also care about the environment and want to support companies that share those concerns. So if your establishment uses smart water saving solutions like NoH20, employs renewable energy sources and adopts a sustainable ethos across its operating systems, then let the world know about it! You’d be surprised how many guests will consider that as the deciding factor between you and your less green competition down the road.

Social Search Optimisation
Whether you keep your social media channels in house or farm them out to a specialist agency, you need to mandate that across your different channels each post be optimized for search. Both the frequency of your posts and the quality are of vital importance for Google to prioritise your company. Throw in social media adverts and sponsored posts (especially when running competitions) and you are on your way to an uptick in engagement, interaction and ultimately…business.

Mobilising for Mobile
If you have not already optimized your site for mobile, then you are behind. Mobile is not even a trend anymore, it’s as entrenched as any other device and growing in popularity as more and more people use their phones to browse, compare and book everything from flights to rooms, meals, cars and shuttle services. Every time there is a lag due to your site not being mobile compatible or clunky, you will lose customers to Online Travel Agents.

V is for Victory…and Video
Video is huge and continues to grow. The misconception is that you need to hire an agency to shoot video for you, along with the crew that involves, the editing process and other expenses. Obviously, a professional team, can produce something great, but with the quality of most smartphones today, it is possible to shoot appealing, short video that engages with your guests wants and needs. The emphasis here is on short, always under three minutes, preferably less. And the content can be anything appealing from a stop-frame, high-speed construction of your restaurant’s famous burger special to a magnificent cocktail or perhaps a selection of exercise activities available to business travelers from the pool to the gym and a local running route.

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