Have you created your W-inbound strategy yet?Prashant Raj
When it comes to marketing for hotels, the game has mostly been the same. Nail down your USPs, and create enticing marketing messages. But the rules of the game have changed drastically over the last few years. Till the end of the 20th century, the most important collateral to attract guests was a good signboard. People would look at it and be enticed to walk in.
As more and more bookings are moving online, you need to create marketing that pulls the customer towards you; rather than marketing that pushes the message across to them. Provide valuable and engaging content, participate in online conversations on your hotel, and cast a wide marketing net.
Here are a few stats –
- 85% of research related to hospitality is carried on search engines like Google.
- When Social Media is a part of guests’ conversion process, they tend to convert at a 129% higher rate.
- According to a Hubspot study, inbound costs 62% less per lead than outbound.
These numbers indicate the importance of modern marketing methods, like inbound marketing. Let’s go over some steps which can get your inbound marketing strategy in place.
Website optimization is the most essential step for inbound marketing. Create an SEO friendly site, and keep it updated with relevant and unique content. Make sure it is responsive on all devices. Once that is done, focus on your blog strategy. Blogs are one of the most effective ways of getting people back to your website. Write fresh content that is informative yet interesting. If the content is engaging, it will not go unnoticed. But how do you know what types of blog posts to write?
That brings us to our next point.
Different content for different personas
The crux of inbound is to develop content that attracts guests, right when they are at the start of the conversion stage, so that THEY reach out to you. How do you make that happen?
Every hotel has one or more specific guest personas, each mapping to different types of customers. Take two hotels on the Baga beach in Goa. One might be more family oriented, for guests who are looking for a quiet beach vacation with lots of on-site activities. These are some of the blog topics it should cover:
- 5 fun water activities for kids on Baga
- How to build a great sandcastle!
- Historical places to visit around Candolim
Such content ideas, targeted to specific locations and activities that a particular traveller might be interested in, will attract them to your hotel. You can even promote your own facilities like water sports, or historical walks organised by your hotel.
The other persona might for younger travellers who typically travel with friends and are looking for a beach party vibe. People looking for such a hotel will be interested in the following information.
- Why Baga beach is the party capital of Goa
- 3 must visit music fests in West Goa
- 5 most popular clubs near Baga
So even for the same location, there can be more than one persona.
Nail down the persona(s) for your hotel, and develop relevant content to attract such people.
Don’t be antisocial!
If you still do not have an actively engaging presence on social media, you are losing out on a lot of attention. To better complement the photo gallery on your website, posting creative images on Facebook and Instagram will pique the interest of your potential guests and give them a feel of the property.
Remember, the SM page is a natural extension of the website. Try to match the look and feel of the website, and provide relevant information about the hotel to make stays more convenient.
Look no further than Wonderla’s SM to find inspiration for creating engaging posts and contests
Other than that, you can also create engaging posts – like some trivia about your destination, or a contest to create buzz and increase visibility. Don’t miss out on including Call To Actions in posts!
Piggyback on events and attractions
A great way to get quality links to your website is to partner with local events and conferences happening in your city, and offering discounts or deals to the attendees. Similarly, every city has someplace famous like a museum which acts as an attraction for travellers. They get a lot of editorial attention these days on online ‘listicles’, created by new age digital publishers. You can get in touch with these publishers and partner for getting subtly promoted in such articles.