A boutique hotel will often appeal to customers looking for unique experiences, picturesque accommodation, and a more personal touch, but your marketing strategies need to highlight what you have to offer. In this article, you will find some boutique hotel marketing tips that can help you to increase bookings and boost revenue.

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What Is a Boutique Hotel?

You may have heard properties described as boutique hotels, and the name does conjure up a certain image, but defining boutique hotels is made difficult by the absence of mandatory features or traits. Essentially, a boutique hotel can be described as a small, fashionable hotel, which aims to deliver a sophisticated, personal experience for guests.

With that being said, while there are few hard and fast rules, boutique hotels will often be situated in urban areas. For a hotel to be described as a boutique hotel, it will usually have a unique selling point or qualities that are not typically seen with chain hotels, or larger properties.

Most boutique hotels will have a relatively small number of rooms, and this can vary from as few as 10, to around the 100 mark, depending on the property in question. Although boutique hotels can be part of a chain, they are often independent hotels or hotels that belong to a chain that specifically focuses on boutique properties.

Video: What is a boutique hotel experience?


How Do Boutique Hotels Differ From Traditional Hotels?

In the absence of a strict definition, it can be difficult to pinpoint precisely what separates a boutique hotel from a more traditional property. As a general rule, a boutique hotel will be fairly small, yet fashionable. Most properties will have no more than 100 rooms, and these rooms will capitalise on the latest fashion and hotel trends.

Another difference relates to location, with traditional hotels generally choosing their location based on convenience and access to local amenities, services and attractions. By contrast, boutique hotels are typically situated in urban areas, with a focus on the more aesthetically pleasing parts of cities.

With a boutique hotel, there is typically an emphasis on personalisation, and complimentary services. Finally, boutique hotels will often have a novelty factor, a unique selling point, or characteristics that are not common throughout the hotel industry, and this makes them great for guests who want to take photos and enjoy unique experiences.

Creating a Unique Value Proposition for Your Boutique Hotel

To successfully run a boutique hotel, those in hotel management roles need to share a vision of what the hotel is trying to be and what its unique value proposition (UVP) is. Essentially, this can be thought of as an overarching marketing strategy, which explains to customers what makes your boutique hotel distinctive and superior to competitors.

There are many possible options to explore here, depending on the nature of your business, but regardless, there needs to be a clear way to appeal to potential customers through boutique hotel marketing and branding.

Do you have a unique location? Is your hotel uniquely themed, or does it look different from other hotels? Do you have unique business practices, like a strong focus on sustainability? Do you make effective use of unique hotel technology?

On a more general level, boutique hotels are often able to provide a more personalised experience, with each guest receiving more individual attention from hotel staff than they may receive in a traditional hotel. Identify what it is that makes your hotel stand out from rivals, and make this the focus of your marketing efforts.

The Role of Digital Marketing in a Boutique Hotel Marketing Strategy

Almost all hotels now depend heavily on digital marketing, but it can be especially important with boutique hotels because they often rely on unique qualities to capture the attention of potential customers, as well as word-of-mouth promotion. Both of this highlight the clear and obvious role that social media and viral marketing can provide.

However, beyond this, boutique hotels have the option to focus marketing efforts on more specific customer demographics. This can be achieved by, for instance, running a content marketing strategy that discusses themes related to your hotel. On top of this, search engine optimisation (SEO) can help a boutique hotel to place high up on search engine results pages for specific terms linked to the theme or unique qualities of the hotel.

Top 5 Marketing Tips for Boutique Hotels Increase Revenue

Marketing is essential for attracting customers to a boutique hotel, but your strategy needs to be carefully designed to accentuate your positives. Below, you can explore five tips to improve hotel marketing strategies and increase revenue.

1. Reward Customer Loyalty and Incentivise Referrals

A boutique hotel will usually have no more than 100 rooms and it could have as few as 10 or 20 rooms, so it can pay off to focus your attention on high-value customers, lasting loyalty, word of mouth marketing, and referrals, so that you capture unique market segments. Of course, for this to be successful, you need to reward loyalty and referrals.

A hotel rewards programme can help to encourage repeat business and provide an incentive for guests to refer friends to your hotel. Rewards may include discounts, or free services. As the unique qualities of a boutique hotel mean that repeat business becomes more likely, a focus on these aspects can really help to drive up bookings.

2. Impress Customers With Your Website and Social Media

Boutique hotels are more likely to intrigue customers, rather than simply fulfil a basic need, so boutique hotel customers may be less likely to book via an online travel agency, and more likely to explore your own online presence. This means making your hotel website and social media channels a core focus of your boutique hotel marketing strategy.

Both your website and social media should include high-quality photographs, taken by professional photographers. Try to create a brand identity and ensure it is consistent across both platforms. Your website must look professional, unique and striking, but it should also be functional and mobile optimisation is absolutely essential.

3. Create a Blog and Capitalise on Search Engine Results

A great way to capture the attention of potential customers and keep customers engaged with your brand is to create a blog. However, the benefits go beyond this, as blogs also have the power to boost your online visibility through search engine optimisation (SEO). Ultimately, this will mean your hotel places higher up on search engine results pages.

Your blog should cover unique, interesting or useful topics, and should be written with a clear understanding of your boutique hotel and its brand identity. Carry out keyword research, include these keywords in your content, and focus on the topics your customers and target audience are most likely to be interested in.

4. Host a Variety of Events or Functions At Your Boutique Hotel

The unique locations, appearance, themes and aesthetics of many boutique hotels make them perfect locations for events and business functions, so you should try to capitalise on this alternative market. Invest in your function rooms, and try to appeal to local businesses that could use those spaces to stage events, meetings, or seminars.

Beyond this business-centric approach, however, there is also enormous scope to host events for ordinary people too. These could include weddings, baby showers, birthday parties, work Christmas parties, and more. Use your UVP and the specific qualities of your boutique hotel to appeal to people who want to enjoy unique and memorable experiences.

5. Partner With Local Businesses and Work with the Local Community

Although it is not always the case, most boutique hotels will be an independent business, in urban areas, able to attract local customers. This makes the local community focus of the boutique hotel an important consideration and it pays to try to partner with local businesses and work closely with the local community in general.

There are many possible examples here. For instance, you could create a mutually beneficial relationship with a local photographer and include their services within wedding packages. Alternatively, you could partner with a local restaurant and agree to both recommend the other business to your customers.

At a community level, try to pay attention to local causes and provide support, when possible. This then generates goodwill, which can translate into customers booking rooms, or recommending your hotel to friends and family.

Boutique Hotel Website Tips for More Bookings

When it comes to boutique hotel marketing strategies, your own website has a vital role to play. Through this website, you can attract direct bookings, which earn you more money. However, you will need to have a high-quality website design, make use of SEO techniques, add fresh content, and ensure your booking engine is user friendly.

You can read more about these marketing tips, and numerous other ways you can use your website to attract guests to your boutique hotel by reading “8 Tips To Gain More Bookings With Your Hotel Website”.

Latest Hotel Marketing Trends

To maximise your marketing efforts and draw guests to your boutique hotel, you need to make sure you are capitalising on the very latest hotel marketing trends. These include utilising hotel chatbots for customer service, making effective use of influencer marketing, creating a video marketing strategy, and much more.

To learn about the various ways you can market your boutique hotel, and to explore some of the most significant trends in this area, read the “Hotel Marketing; The Latest Trends in the Hotel Industry” article.

Creating a Hotel Promotional Video

Video content plays an increasingly important role within the hotel marketing mix, and boutique hotel marketing strategies can benefit greatly from a professional video, which aims to promote the hotel’s unique qualities. However, a promotional video for your hotel needs to be made with care if it is going to deliver the best results.

Read “5 Tips to Create The Perfect Promotional Hotel Video” for some expert insights into creating a promotional video for your boutique hotel, and to view some specific examples of effective hotel video content.

A boutique hotel will usually be a fashionable, smaller hotel, which places an emphasis on unique qualities and a personal touch. With this in mind, your hotel marketing strategies need to highlight precisely what your hotel has to offer, how it stands out from traditional hotels, and why it is better than other boutique hotels too.

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