Autumn and winter can be a tricky time for the hospitality industry and operators need to do what they can to maximise revenues – especially given the current challenges brought about by the pandemic.

Traditionally, it’s the low season – but this obviously depends on location. Coastal resorts enjoy a bumper summer, while city centre hotels may strike it rich in the boom of Christmas time.

 

This year though, with the hospitality industry in crisis and demand affected in ways we’ve never seen before, hoteliers need to be creative and imaginative to attract custom and stay afloat.

 

Focus on marketing

Marketing during these times is essential. People will only hear about your offering if you shout about it. So, make sure you do to get ahead of the competition.

 

Make it tailor made

One thing that guests are placing more and more value on is a personalised experience. If you’re able to tailor packages to the individual then they’ll be more inclined to book with you, so make the most of onsite amenities to help guests envisage the experience through ‘storytelling’.

 

Use pictures, videos and compelling copy to subtly sell your strong points – highlighting that cosy snug and warm fire in winter, and prominently positing Christmas decorations to make it appeal for the time of year.

 

A good CRM

A CRM is more than just a database, it’s a powerful revenue management tool that enables the creation of a uniform and consistent pricing strategy you can specifically target.

 

Hotels who engage with their audience and existing customer base enjoy better return business, and an extensive database with the relevant marketing consents and GDPR compliance offers a wealth of opportunity to encourage people to revisit. All while being confident they’re happy to hear about it!

 

Segmentation

Segmenting your marketing ensures the message is reaching the right audience – be that couples, over 50s, families, those on business, or another suitable segment. Through market segmantation you make sure your message only reaches the audience you want it to – and you don’t risk spamming those who don’t want hear about it.

 

Bear in mind, though, that your hotel target audience may evolve and develop over the year due to seasonality, so be sure to regularly review this. And don’t forget your domestic market. Make your marketing appeal to a home-grown, or local, audience – especially now, given the ongoing travel restrictions.

 

Early birds get the upgrade

Revisit existing offers and packages and revamp them to make them appeal for the season, while offering ‘book early’ promotions, such as free upgrades, to tempt early bird bookers.

 

Give your website a polish

You need to make sure that your website matches your marketing material (and includes online booking), when someone expresses interest.

 

Your website is effectively the face of your business online – so it needs to do it justice!

 

Make your website mobile first – not just mobile optimised

You should be making your website work best on mobile, not merely make it functional. Statistics suggest that 70% of all last-minute hotel bookings are made via mobile – a huge proportion of the market.

 

Create a landing page

An easily accessible, specific landing page that highlights the qualities on offer at that time of year allows browsers to appreciate the finer details having been led there by marketing. It needs to be both compelling and actionable, so tailor the copy to ensure it relates and appeals to the guests you want to target.

 

Retarget abandoned bookings

The abandonment rate for hotel bookings in 2019 was an astonishing 84.63%, meaning only slightly more than 15% actually go through to confirm a booking.

If someone is intrigued enough to get into the booking engine before leaving, then there’s plenty of opportunity to tempt them back in with a retargeting campaign. So make sure to do so!

 

Don’t neglect metasearch

Utilising metasearch engines such as Google Hotel Ads, TripAdvisor and Trivago, which aggregate price and availability, helps to put you in front of a large audience of prospective guests and can be an impactful tool in support of a direct booking strategy, while also lowering Online Travel Agency reliance and hefty commission fees.

 

Blog about it

Blogging helps you boost your Google rankings, while also allowing you to wax lyrical about your offering – without having to conform to anyone else’s standards thanks to it being self-published.

Don’t just talk about your hotel – create destination based blog content and talk about the wonderful things to do in the local area to make people want to come there and sell the location.

 

COVID safe

Promote your COVID safety measures to improve consumer confidence and show you take your guests’ safety seriously – it’s essential at this time.

 

 

Author: Samantha Williams is the UK Market Owner for Profitroom, a leading SaaS provider of hospitality booking solutions and direct strategies.


Sponsored content by Profitroom
Profitroom specialises in maximising revenues using all of the tools above, if you’d like further advice and guidance, please get in touch.

 


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