Your motel is great. But the motel industry is a highly competitive one. Your competitors are many and they are aiming to stay in business.
It’s not easy to have guests staying with you if they can’t easily find you to begin with.
Thankfully, there are many different ways of advertising and promoting your motel, and amongst them there will be approaches that are more suited to your hotel/motel.
So it’s important to prioritise your campaigns, based on your budget and what’s right for you.
In this article, we look at several different marketing techniques you can use on a budget to attract more guests into your motel or hotel.
Start with a plan
Before engaging in any sort of marketing activities, you want to first have a clear big picture plan.
Little or no planning is sometimes a reason why good marketing initiatives fall short.
And a simple plan can go a long way.
Rather than buying into what’s popular, you want a plan that’s tailored to work for you.
And that means you want to first define your objectives for your marketing and the budget that you’ll be working with.
Also, who are you targeting?
Understanding and building your plan around your ideal customers is essential.
Of course, in the planning process you want the input of your current guests.
Here are some questions to consider:
- How did they find out about you?
- What do they like best about your hotel?
- Was there anything that made it difficult in the booking and pre-booking phase?
Online marketing is one of the fastest and most affordable way to promote your business.
Today, most visitors and guests are likely to initially find you online before they engage in other means of contact.
That means you want to ensure that your website is easy to find and use.
It’s important that your website is a reflection of your overall brand position.
It’s a good idea to jump onto your website and navigate it in the shoes of the customer.
When the potential guest arrives on your website, what’s the first thing they see? What next?
And with the experience, what do they feel?
When you a satisfactory branding, the next factor to consider is in maximising the ROI of your website. You want to ensure that it’s optimised for search engines.
Your website should be mobile friendly and responsive.
Many travellers today rely on smart phones and tablets to make enquiries and bookings.
Is your website easy to navigate?
To accomplish this, the next steps that a potential guest is likely to take should be clearly evident on the site. And part of that is taking away any distractions on the website that doesn’t support that goal.
Also check your website’s speed. An optimised website should take around 2.5 seconds to load or less, otherwise, it generally sees a higher bounce rate where people will click away.
And bounce rates mean less bookings.
Search Engine Optimisation
You have a quality website that is easy to use and navigate, the next step is to drive traffic to your website.
To begin, you want to research the right keywords that you can target.
Google’s changes to its algorithms means keywords should look organic when its blended into your content.
Have back links from social media (which we cover later in this article).
Back links from social media platforms can provide valuable social signals which the search engines look at.
You want to blog regularly with content that’s fresh and helpful.
And once you get accustomed to publishing content on your own website, it’s a good idea to get guest content and articles featured on other websites for backlinks.
Now that we’ve talked about a free method to drive traffic to your website, lets talk about a paid method.
Paid online advertising
If you are looking to increasing visitors and potential bookings online, paid online advertising could be a good vehicle for that.
The benefit to paid advertising as opposed to other means like Search-Engine-Optimisation and content marketing is that the results are often instantaneous.
And you only pay for advertising expenses if a person clicks on your advertisement.
If this seems like a feasible method for you, Google adwords is a good platform to get started.
Being present online goes beyond an optimised website with good SEO practices.
Your guests expect you to be socially engaged.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are all essential platforms to add as part of your social outreach.
Also use social monitoring tools to actively observe reviews rating your motel or hotel.
Feedbacks are invaluable to make constructive improvements.
And once in a while if you do get harmful reviews, it’s important to respond positively and professionally.
And finally, it’s good practice to help guests understand the best way to share their experience on social media.
Not every guest will, but you only need a handful of guests sharing on social media per week to see significant traction.
Although you wouldn’t use all of the approaches listed below, you will often see better results when you combine two or more.
Now once you have a plan, you might need a hand when it comes to some of the technical aspects.
But don’t let that deter you. Finding good vendors is what makes up your overall success.