Another year has nearly flown by. You are probably in the midst of or getting started on your strategy for the next year. We’ve put together some trends to consider and tactics to deploy when shaping your 2018 marketing plan.
Make sure you have a stellar website
Nothing new here; in fact a well-designed website with a secure and high-performing booking engine is the very basic requirement of any marketing plan. Digital is the cornerstone of marketing these days and websites for the foundation of online marketing.
Have you thought of installing a chatbot to your website or social platforms? They’re the next big thing as group and personal conversations take off on platforms such as WhatsApp, Messenger and Slack.
Be local to be relevant
Everyone wants authentic … the real deal, the local flavours. Be sure to position yourself as a local specialist and deliver to this promise. Tell your guests about the best places to dine, hidden spots and travel hacks in your hood. Both your prospective guests and search engines will appreciate this content.
You are likely to attract more guests if you think beyond your rooms or beds, and start selling experiences. Partner up with non-competitive, like-minded businesses locally for improved results. Have you thought about using products in your kitchen or around the property from local producers – it’s a great way to support the community and gain brownie points with the new age conscious traveller.
It’s all about being social
Co-working, co-living and hospitality are merging. Everything is more shareable and your strategy must allow room for social living to attract guests. We are suggesting creating more public spaces within the property for guests hang out. Think AirBnB and expand that concept to mainstream hospitality – that’s where we are heading.
You also need to be social online. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat … they’re burgeoning ecosystems that you not only can’t ignore, but need to invest time and money into in order to see returns.
Wifi, kitchen technology and hi-definition TVs are now part of the essential list. Keyless entry and online check-in are also becoming commonplace. Another big trend is personalisation – it comes conjoined with artificial intelligence (AI). And while most properties can park AI driven robots outside for now, you need to start personalising. Smart back-end technology such as the new-era reservation systems is a data hub; learn to extract this data to really understand your guests’ preferences and deliver to it. Do they like room service? What sort of activities do they enjoy?
Listen listen listen… and improve
We’ve harped on about online reviews long enough for you to know that they matter. Make sure you take them into consideration when planning for next year. Tools like ReviewMinder help you keep track of what you guests are saying and make improvements. At the same time, if it ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Do more of what guests like about you.
Make insightful decisions
Draw your channel manager data for the last 12 months – easily done on Instant Channel Manager – and analyse your distribution channels’ long term trends. Look at rates, low occupancy periods, peak season profitability, etc and try and plan marketing bursts for when you need to drive up the returns.
What’s the story?
Content sells rooms. And that content has to be an inspiring story told in many different ways (images, videos, reviews and more) to capture the attention of today’s fickle audience.