How to Launch a Sizzling Online Summer Hotel Marketing Campaign
31st May 2016
If you haven’t got yourself a sassy summer campaign in the pipeline already, you’re probably just going to end up with a predictable half-price summer sale or a half empty hotel. But like they say, it’s better late than never so here’s how you’re going to ditch the sale concept and block out those booking grids.
1# PLAN IT
To start, you’re going to need to disconnect from your endless list of to do’s and engage with your inner creative being. Start by profiling (defining in a few paragraphs and pictures) three ideal customers you want to stay at your property over the summer period.
2# RESEARCH IT
Once you established your target market, do a spot of research to work out how you can connect with these people. For example, if they are fashionable young couples, social media could be a good platform to do this. Alternatively, perhaps you’re looking to attract health conscious ladies to your hotel, in which case partnering up with a relevant publication with a strong online profile could be a possibility if the price is right.
3# MAKE THEM AN IRRESISTABLE OFFER
The young fashionsta couple aren’t going to want to stay at a 3* basic hotel including an all you can eat buffet dinner and a complimentary cup of tea. Think outside the box. Maybe a complimentary upgrade to a suite upon arrival, a candle lit tasting menu taken al fresco, a Brazilian mud mask for two in the spa and a mini gin cocktail masterclass before heading home.
4# REACH OUT TO THEM
It’s rare (if even possible) to fill your property using one marketing channel. And before someone mentions the letters OTA under their breath, please no. This summer is going to be about your brand, your hotel and your customer. So choose wisely. Everyone is Facebook savvy these days, so why not empty your GM’s piggy bank for a Facebook advertising budget. As little as £100-150 can generate over £10,000 in revenue (trust us, we love this and have generated fantastic ROI through this channel) Welcome to tomorrows world, yipee!
How do you think Pimm’s became the taste of the summer? Collaboration. So, if you want to take your campaign up into sixth gear, you need to make it distinctive and refreshing, and this is how you do it. Find a blogger (not any blogger), one who you think your target customer can relate to or illustrates them as a consumer. It’s always good to choose one with lots of website views and a big following on social media. Negotiate a deal with them to become the face/lifestyle of your summer campaign (great PR for them and their blog and perfect for illustrating your summer campaign). If you don’t fancy using a blogger, be more traditional and team up with a supplier and do something similar.
6# SELL IT IN
Visualisation is imperative to selling in your campaign (like a try before you buy). Most good bloggers have a preferred photographer who they work with, and it’s worth nothing this doesn’t have to be expensive. Once you have images, social the heck out of your campaign, but try not to be too salesy as this will bore your fans and followers. But, none-the-less, tweet it, post it, share it, e-shot it to your database, maybe even offer it to them first as a private loyalty incentive before it goes out to the rest of the world.
7# KEEP YOUR FINGER ON THE PULSE
As with any exciting project or campaign, as a Marketing Manager or General Manager, it’s easy to get exhausted by the whole affair. However, by keeping your ear to the ground and your finger on the pulse you can better the campaign as it happens. If you get it right first time, you’ll be very lucky, so by remaining creative and switched on throughout the process, you can continue to enhance the campaign as it runs, and give it some more ‘omphhhh’ as and when it’s needed. Do remember the strength of your campaign is based on your ability to resonate with your target market, so don’t make any brash decision which could compromise the success of your campaign at the earlier stages.
8# REFLECT ON IT
Like all good things, they come to an end… Or do they?! Be sure to monitor all the statistics after your campaign to determine its success and move forward. This includes all your expenditure, all the revenue you’ve generated, your margins, guest satisfaction, increased social media engagement and following, etc. If it works, you can keep it going, or even do it again next year and make it bigger and better.
If you think you need a little bit of help or guidance, you know where we are and we’re always happy to offer hotel marketing advice! You can call us on 01179 304365 or email us.
PS: Book yourself some September-sun to recover from all of your campaigning, trust us a good campaign deserves to be rewarded with a tan.