Using an effective marketing strategy for your hospitality business is key to attracting new customers and building trust around your brand. Digital platforms have impacted virtually every sector, especially the hospitality industry. This is due to major changes in how Internet users research, plan, and book their accommodation and travel tours online. By following the latest hospitality marketing trends, tour operators, resort managers, and luxury hotel owners can optimise revenue in an effective and strategic way.
What is Hospitality Marketing?
Hospitality marketing is centred on thinking about the business in terms of customer needs and their satisfaction. Hospitality marketing takes a look at how different sectors of the hospitality industry (e.g. accommodations, food and drink, tourism and travel) develop marketing strategies to promote their products or services, resulting in an increase in revenue.
Why is Hospitality Marketing Important?
Since the hospitality industry mainly focuses on creating and maintaining positive customer experience and relationship, marketing becomes an important part of ensuring the industry’s success. If you want to attract more customers to your hotel or travel business, you need to efficiently advertise on different digital channels and be where your niche audience is.
Top 10 Latest Hospitality Marketing Trends
Here are the upcoming 10 Hospitality marketing trends within the hotel industry that can help grow your business:
1. Personalisation Marketing
Personalised marketing allows companies to deliver individualised content to target customers through the use of automation technology and data collection. The goal of personalisation marketing is to engage potential customers by communicating with them as individuals. For hotels and tour operators, it’s important to personalise their services for their guests and clients through targeted emails. For example, targeted emails can be sent to potential customers whenever an upcoming discount is offered by the travel agency or hotel. Personalisation marketing is one of the most direct hospitality marketing strategies you can use to establish a more personal relationship with your customers and encourage them to make a return visit.
Video: Personalised Marketing by Nicole Martin
You can read more detailed information and examples about personalisation marketing in the article “5 Ways Personalisation Marketing Can Benefit the Hospitality Industry”.
2. Voice Search
As the next generation of Web users prefer communicating through voice activation, this can be a great opportunity for the hospitality industry. Voice search is a type of voice control and recognition technology that primarily works with tablets, smartphones, and other similar devices. In fact, this marketing trend could soon eliminate the need for Internet users to press buttons or type their search queries online. Hotel guests can book a hotel room via their smartphone by just speaking to the device. They can even control the room’s functions, such as lights, music, or heating through voice search. It is expected that more online marketers will start investing money into this new trend in the near future.
Video: Book Travel Products via Voice Searh
Find more detailed information and examples about how voice search can benefit your business in the article “How Can Voice Control Benefit the Hospitality Industry?”.
3. Customer Experience Marketing
In the competitive world of hospitality industry, customer experience is essential in gaining loyalty. Keep in mind that providing an excellent customer service on its own doesn’t always result in direct profits. It is crucial to develop comprehensive customer experience marketing plans to meet the needs of your hotel or travel company. To generate healthy returns and a steady stream of returning clients, you must compile analytics from online customer testimonials on review websites. This will provide you with a wealth of information about your customers’ preferences, how your company can do better, and which factors will lead to future conversions.
Video: Customer Experience in the Hospitality Industry
Find more detailed information about customer experience in the hotel industry in the article “4 Use Cases of Facial Recognition in The Hospitality Industry”.
4. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence has the ability to streamline processes and provide valuable insights. Most online hotel room seekers tend to use aggregator websites to book their accommodation through, while some may land on a hotel’s homepage but leave without booking. In most cases, users would prefer to speak with a hotel staff without having to enter preferred dates and check-in details, which can be quite time-confusing. By using artificial intelligence chatbots on your website, you can provide a personalised service and develop a robust system. Thanks to AI technology, your guests will even be able to place their room service requests through your AI-enabled website, which will surely save your hotel staff time.
Video: Restaurant Table Booking Chatbot
Video: Example Hotel Chatbot
Find more detailed information and examples about artificial intelligence use cases in the hospitality industry in the article “How to use Artificial Intelligence in the Hospitality Industry”.
5. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is fast becoming a great opportunity for hospitality marketers to remain relevant in a highly competitive industry. Influencer marketing is a digital version of the traditional word-of-mouth for increasing hotel brand awareness and generating direct bookings. By using this strategy, you can reach a much larger audience and attract more customers to your hotel or travel business through credibility and trust building among consumers. For example, your influencer marketing campaign can be specifically aimed at young people who are increasingly choosing Airbnb services over conventional hotels. You can engage your potential customers with authentic content that doesn’t sound too brand-oriented.
Video: Surprise Hotel Lobby Dance Party with PrankvsPrank’s Jeana
6. Virtual Reality
When online users look for information on tours and hotels, they can make better decisions through videos and pictures rather than content. This is where virtual reality will have an impact on users’ experiences as they can virtually put themselves right there in the hotel room or resort to see whether it meets their needs or not. Virtual reality is not just an entertaining marketing feature, but it also offers endless possibilities. The hospitality industry can use virtual reality to show their customers the local sightseeing attractions. For example, if your hotel receptionist recommends the local waterpark, your guests can check out the place through VR before they go. Virtual reality helps take away the guests’ or travellers’ uncertainty and is an essential tool for all hotel and tour operators to use.
Video: 360 Virtual Tour for Holiday Inn Express Adelaide
Video: The West Restaurant 360 VR Tour
Find more detailed information and examples about how virtual reality can benefit your business in the article “How Virtual Reality (VR) can Enrich the Hospitality Industry”.
7. User Generated Content
User generated content is created and shared by online end-users. It can come in different forms, such as testimonials, comments, forums, blog posts, and social publications, to name but a few. When a prospective customer looks for your brand’s content online, he or she will normally read the customer reviews about your company on other websites or social media platforms. If you implement user generated content correctly, you will be able to increase your brand awareness significantly. This strategy will also help you get more room bookings. One effective way is to encourage your guests to share their experience on social media. To do this, you can run contests, create brand hashtags, or create photo opportunities at your hotel.
Video: Example User Generated Content for Hotels
8. Augmented Reality
One of the most interesting hospitality marketing strategies is augmented reality. This tool works by altering one’s perception of their physical surroundings through the use of computer technology. Augmented reality allows hospitality businesses to change the way their clients perceive the environment they are in. Hotels, for example, can sell rooms online by enhancing their features through AR. There are hundreds of ways you can entertain your guests through augmented environments, such as allowing the guests to see virtual depictions of their favourite celebrities in the hotel. You will also be able to use this tool to send virtual keys to your guests through their smartphones.
Video: Menu AR – menu of restaurants in augmented reality
Video: Example Augmented Reality Within the Hotel Industry
Find more detailed information and examples about how augmented reality can benefit your business in the article “How Augmented Reality is Transforming the Hospitality Industry”.
9. Video Marketing
Travel industries and hotels can use video marketing to engage their target audience from YouTube videos, Instagram, or Snapchat, to going Live on Facebook. Gaining brand exposure and capturing the attention of your audience can be done through written content, but in order to engage them instantly, why not give them easily digestible videos about your hotel or resort. For example, you can use video marketing to capture the relaxing moments guests can enjoy in your hotel’s facilities. Keep in mind that your videos or photos must be very high quality in order to attract customers.
The range of options available to marketers is almost endless, from live streams of hotel activities, through to promotional videos highlighting hotel features, and interviews with customers, sharing their experiences. The growing prevalence of 360 degree video also opens up greater opportunities to fully immerse audiences.
Video: Example W Hotel Barcelona Promotional Trailer
This marketing tool involves targeting potential customers who have already viewed your website or shown interest in your services. Remarketing is a way of re-engaging people who have spent time browsing pages on your website, but without booking a room. You can use this tool to re-connect with those who have visited your site and offer them a discount to encourage them to return. For example, you can set up this strategy through Google analytics by the users’ demographics or interests. It is also possible to filter these searches to collect the information you need about the people who visit your website.
Video: What is Remarketing?
Connect to Travel Agencies to Increase Bookings
Travel agencies are one of the most vital distribution channels within hospitality marketing. In recent years the amount of travel agencies has increased enormously. This enables customers to search online for travel products or services, rather than going to individual company websites. Therefore, it is of utmost importance to partner up with travel agencies.
Have a look at “Connect to Travel Agencies to Increase Bookings” and you will read why working with travel agencies is so important. And you can also access a list of the main travel agencies, ordered to areas of specialisation.
Competition is highly fierce in the hospitality industry and using the right marketing tools plays an important role in helping you succeed. With all the hospitality marketing strategies discussed in this article, you will easily be able to reach out to a wider audience by utilising a variety of digital resources.
Want to Learn More About Hospitality Marketing Strategies?
Marketing plays a crucial role in helping businesses to maximise bookings and revenue. It is the main way in which those in the hospitality industry are able to reach out to potential customers, conveying their unique selling proposition and brand values. In the following articles you find more essential marketing strategies to boost your revenue:
- Essential Hotel Marketing Strategies
- 7 Social Media Marketing Tips to Promote Your Hotel
- The Most Important Online Distribution Channels for Hotels
- 9 Tips to Manage Online Hotel Reviews
- Hotel Advertisement; 10 Effective Hotel Advertising Strategies
- Hotel App: Optimise Your Guest Communication & Experience