To sell people on an idea, you first need to speak their language. Philip Kotler, the S.C. Johnson & Son Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, is widely regarded as the father of modern marketing. Kotler developed the Four P’s of marketing in his seminal 1969 book Marketing Management: product, price, place and promotion. Basically, it is the Marketing Mix: only those who know their target group well can address their needs. This also applies to the hotel industry and hotel marketing. The following five tips illustrate what you can do to improve your hotel marketing and attract more guests.

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1. Use personalised marketing

Digitalisation and globalisation are not only accelerating life, but also act as an equalising force. People can measure up to each other using likes, shares and tweets, and thus individuality is evermore paramount. Due to the sheer volume of information that people are exposed to on a daily basis, individuality has become the most cogent form of self-differentiation. Therein lies hotel marketing’s great potential.

The days of the average guest are gone

What guests really want is a personalised stay. They want offerings that are customised to individual expectations and preferences. Personalisation is also the magic word for your hotel marketing strategy. Therefore, you should first undertake a detailed and comprehensive data collection and analytical process. Use the information you collect from your website traffic, capture in your booking system, and generate from online travel agencies. Process your guests‘ personalised data such as age, gender, origin and reason for travel. Based on this information, you can find out more about your guests‘ behaviour and what the guests want. You will obtain an effective guest profile that substantially supports your hotel marketing.

Individuality is also the magic word when it comes to hotel marketing tailored to the preferences of your guests.

Business travellers in particular are quite busy and apart from their work spaces, they also need a place to retreat – think work-life balance. The greatest opportunity for conference hotels lies in the wellness factor. Hence, along with designing the rooms to be a retreat, special attention should also be paid to how the conference rooms are designed. Use variable lighting and spatial layout to provide your guests with a relaxed and productive work environment, in addition to digital meeting technologies. While all these things are important for keeping your guests happy, using up-to-date technologies that meet your guests needs is the key element in personalising your guests’ meeting experiences. This in turn facilitates productivity assisted by fast and flexible technological solutions. More tips for designing your meeting spaces can be found here.

2. Maintain your online profile

Think online travel agency. Here is where many travellers come to look for information about hotels. They look at the pictures, compare prices and read the reviews. Particularly the latter provides the foundation on which you can build your hotel marketing campaigns. Show that your hotel is active and that you are reading your guests’ reviews. Also react to negative comments. A professional response to criticism will make a good impression and will show that you have an open ear and take seriously your guests‘ concerns, as you are also willing to improve.

This is why your guests’ opinions are worth gold

According to the results of a survey by Tripadvisor, 81 percent of those surveyed were impressed whenever a hotel responded to guests’ comments in reviews in a professional manner. So take the time to maintain your online profile on third-party platforms. This will play well in your hotel marketing strategy.

3. Use the power of social media

How many people would you guess use Facebook? More than two billion. So many people interact with this social media network every day. They are watching videos, reading posts –and ads. And you should make use of this in your hotel marketing. Post ads in social media like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Co. Use the power of social media and increase your reach.

Let others speak for you

Another opportunity to use social media for your hotel marketing is through the power of so-called influencers. Travel bloggers in particular have hundreds of thousands of loyal followers. Make your hotel attractive for influencers by having selfie-friendly corners in your hotel and comfortable lobbies and rooms. Let the reach of your guests’ posts work for you.

4. Successful hotel marketing with a digital strategy

Digitalisation has arrived to the hotel industry. Great, responsive websites, search-engine optimised text or calls-to-action should therefore be the tools commonly used in your hotel marketing. Your website is especially important here. Along with photos and reviews on booking portals, your website is often one of the first things your potential guests will see about your hotel. As with anything else in life, the same adage applies: the first impression counts. Score points with easy navigation, short loading times, and responsive device-independent designs, calls-to-action draw the user’s attention to your site and enable easy booking – also an added advantage for you.

Good content wins

Before guests book your hotel, they usually look up information about the hotel’s surroundings, about sights to see in the area, etc. Therefore, putting useful tips on your website can be extremely helpful. This is why you should use search machine-optimised content on your website or manage your own blog, which in turn raises your website to the top of search queries, a boon for hotel marketing purposes. Studies have shown a 33 -percent probability that users will click on top search results. Search results below that will only be clicked on 17 percent of the time, or less the more you scroll down the results. Search engine optimisation is therefore the secret to successful hotel marketing.

A convincing big picture

Visual content is likewise an incredible hotel marketing tool. Add short videos to show potential guests tips about nearby sights, for instance. It has been proven that videos receive more clicks than pure text, and video content is also a more memorable way to differentiate yourself from the competition.

5. Do not forget your mobile device users

More than half of all smart phone users book hotels from their cell phones. Your hotel marketing strategy should take this fact into consideration. Thus mobile-friendly website design is a must. Use clear and navigable design that provides your clients with a simple fast, and clear booking portal from their mobile devices. This will guarantee client satisfaction from the moment of booking. And, as you know, good news spreads. A call-to-action for hotel reviews is therefore a great tool you should be using to garner long-term success in your hotel marketing strategy.