31st May 2016
If you haven’t got yourself a sassy summer campaign for your hotel 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 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-dos 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’ve 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.
Or 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 irresistible offer
A young fashionista couple isn’t going to want to stay at a 3-star 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, candlelit tasting menu taken al fresco, Brazilian mud mask for two in the spa, and a mini gin cocktail masterclass before heading home would work better?
4. Reach out to them
It’s rare (if not impossible) to fill your property using one marketing channel.
And we’re not talking about OTAs.
This summer is going to be about your brand, your hotel, and your customer, so choose wisely.
Everyone is social media-savvy these days, so why not empty your General Manager’s piggy bank for a social media advertising budget?
As little as £100-150 can generate over £10,000 in revenue (trust us, we love paid social campaigns and have generated fantastic ROI through this channel).
How do you think Pimm’s became the taste of the summer?
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), but 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 noting this doesn’t have to be expensive.
Once you have images, social the heck out of your campaign, but try not to be too sales-y as this will bore your fans and followers.
Nonetheless, tweet it, post it, share it, email 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 the 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 ‘oomph’ 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.