As a hotelier, you understand that online bookings are essential to your success. In fact, according to a study by Phocuswright, in 2017, 57% of all room nights were booked online – and this percentage is only going to continue to grow. So how can you dramatically increase the number of online bookings for your hotel? In this blog post, we will explore seven powerful strategies that you can use right now! Let’s get started:
Use a Channel Manager
A channel manager is software that allows hotels to manage their online distribution channels, including their own website, online travel agencies (OTAs), and metasearch engines. By using a channel manager, you can ensure that your inventory and rates are always up-to-date across all of your distribution channels. This can help you to boost your online bookings by making it easier for potential guests to find and book your hotel. When looking for one, be sure to choose one that integrates with your property management system (PMS) to make things even easier. In addition, keep in mind that some of them come with additional features, such as a booking engine, so be sure to compare your options before making a decision.
Optimize Your Website
Your hotel website is often the first place that potential guests will go when considering a stay at your property. As such, it is essential that your website is optimized to encourage bookings. Make sure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are using their smartphones and tablets to book hotels. In addition, include clear calls-to-action (CTAs) on your website so that potential guests know exactly what to do next. For example, you could add a “Book Now” button on your homepage and throughout your website. You should also make sure that your website is fast and easy to use, as potential guests are likely to give up if they find it difficult to navigate.
Use Social Media
Social media is a great way to connect with potential guests and encourage them to book a stay at your hotel. In fact, according to a recent report, nearly 60% of travelers say that they would book a hotel based on positive social media reviews. So, make sure to create profiles on all of the major social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Then, start sharing engaging content that will promote your hotel and encourage potential guests to book a stay. For example, you could share images and videos of your hotel, highlight special offers, or give potential guests a behind-the-scenes look at your property. By doing so, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and boost your online bookings.
Partner with Influencers
Influencer marketing is a great aspect of social media marketing. What is influencer marketing? It’s basically when you partner with someone who has a large following on social media to promote your hotel. This can be an extremely effective way to reach potential guests and encourage them to book a stay at your property. When looking for influencers to partner with, make sure to choose ones that have a relevant audience. For example, if you’re a family-friendly hotel, look for influencers who have families or who frequently travel with their children. Once you’ve found some potential partners, reach out to them and see if they’d be interested in promoting your hotel. You’d be amazed at how many are willing to do so in exchange for a free stay!
Be Consistent With Your Blog
A blog is a great way to connect with potential guests and build an audience. However, in order for your blog to be effective, you need to be consistent with your content. That means publishing new articles on a regular basis. When determining how often you should publish new content, consider your audience and what they’re looking for. If you’re targeting business travelers, for example, you could publish a new article every week. However, if you’re targeting families, you might want to publish new content every other week. Once you’ve determined how often you should publish, make sure to stick to your schedule! In addition, you need to make sure that your articles are interesting and engaging. No one wants to read a boring blog, so be sure to put some effort into your writing.
Create Promo Offers
Promotional offers are a great way to encourage potential guests to book a stay at your hotel. When creating promo offers, make sure to target specific groups of people, such as families, business travelers, or groups. You could also target specific times of the year, such as the summer or winter holidays. In addition, be sure to promote your offers on your website and social media platforms. For example, you could create a Facebook ad or post an image of your offer on Instagram. By doing so, you’ll be able to reach a wider audience and boost your online bookings.
Reward Direct Bookings
Another great way to encourage potential guests to book a stay at your hotel is to offer rewards for those who book directly on your website. For example, you could offer a discount on the room rate or a free upgrade. You could also offer complimentary breakfast or early check-in. There are so many possibilities! By offering rewards, you’ll be able to encourage potential guests to book directly on your website, which will save you money in the long run.
Hotels can dramatically increase online bookings by using a variety of marketing strategies, such as using a channel manager, optimizing their website, being consistent with their blog, using social media, and partnering with influencers. In addition, they can create promo offers and reward guests for booking directly on their website. By implementing these strategies, hotels can reach a wider audience, build their brand, and save money in the long run. What are some other hotel strategies to dramatically increase online bookings? Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas! So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!