There are quite a few different types of hotels out there, ranging from those that are a part of a chain to independent operators. The ones that belong to a chain have a built-in customer base, logo, and marketing plan. It’s very different for hotels that are independent. You’ll need to come up with your own advertising, marketing materials, and overall plan of action in order to keep your rooms full. Basically, you’ll need to put together your own marketing plan, whether or not you have any actual marketing experience. Sure, you could always hire an expert, but, as you’ll see here, it isn’t too difficult to come with a plan on your own. Let’s start at the beginning.
The Beginnings Of A Marketing Plan
The very thing that you need to do in order to create a good marketing plan is answering some basic questions. These include: What makes your hotel special? Who are you targeting? What do you want people to know? The response to the first question will provide some focus. You need to choose something to make the focal point of your advertising. Is your hotel historic? Does it have a great spa? Is it known for something particular? All of your advertising efforts should make that clear.
Next, you need to choose your target market. Obviously, you want to attract travelers, but which ones? Do you want to go after people on their honeymoons? People, who like to stay in historic places? (This is a useful option if your hotel is over 100 years old and has some interesting history.) Has your hotel been completely upgraded with new electronics? If so, you might want to market it to tech people or even younger generations of travelers, who’ll appreciate such things. You don’t need to limit yourself to one particular group, but you do need to decide who to aim your various ad campaigns at.
After that, you need to decide that you want people to know about your hotel. We already discussed this somewhat above, but need to reiterate it here. Some of the characteristics that make your hotel special will be expressed when you answer this question, but it goes a bit deeper than that. You need to choose the top three things that everyone needs to know about your hotel and make sure that all of your marketing materials are aware of them.
Overhauling Your Existing Materials
Once you’ve answered all of those questions, you’re ready to move on to the next steps. These are designing a new logo – one that fits your focus, as well as setting up or updating your social media accounts, and redesigning your website. Let’s start with the logo. A good logo for a hotel is one that’s both memorable and welcoming. It also needs to be creative, and contain some properties of what you want people to know about your hotel. For example, if your building dates back to the 1920s and has some art deco elements in the lobby, then add some to your logo. If your hotel features an extensive spa with plenty of treatment options, you should make that clear in your logo. Of course, you could always keep your new logo similar to your old one, although you don’t need to do this. As long as you really like your new logo, that’s all that matters.
Your new logo should be used as the inspiration for your redesigned website, and it also needs to be placed on all of your social media accounts. One good way to get some additional attention for your hotel is by making your rebranding into an event, complete with a new logo “unveiling” on social media. People will tune in for it, helping spread awareness of your brand. Your website should include the logo (obviously), and every color on the site, besides basic black and white, needs to be taken from that image. This is the best way to tie everything together. Since you already have a website, you know the information that needs to go on it, just in a slightly updated format.
Setting Up Your Marketing Efforts
The very next steps involve the marketing efforts themselves. You’ll need to place ads in order to attract new visitors to your hotel. You also should use your social media accounts wisely. We’re all aware of the damage wrought by a social media misstep. The best way to do this is by putting a plan into place. Yes, another plan. This one consists of a series of rules that need to be followed when posting on social media. The person that you have in charge of your accounts should adhere to them to avoid getting into any trouble. Everything that is posted on social media needs to be under the umbrella of your overall marketing plan.
Another part of this plan involves placing ads. This is why you took a good look at your target market. You can place ads in travel publications, historical magazines (if your hotel has some history), websites and magazines that cater to people planning their weddings (if you have great spa facilities), and so one. Everything needs to be targeting that main group. You need to develop ads that feature what makes your hotel special, while at the same time, find ways to draw in those ever-important new customers. You’d be surprised at how well your efforts will pay off.
As you can see, developing a marketing plan for your independent hotel isn’t an intimidating process. It does take some time to go through each step and come up with the best answers to those initial questions, but once you have down, the rest will fall into place. Before you know it, you’ll have a complete marketing plan with which to set up ads and develop strategies. Attendance at your hotel will soar, as you manage to reach out to the right people. It will be great!