Building trust, retaining guests and attracting new guests are the hallmarks of a successful hospitality marketing strategy, but it isn’t always as easy as it sounds. Any good strategy will revolve around brand messaging and increasing awareness of your brand within your target audience, however this can pose it’s own set of challenges.
The problem is that the hospitality industry not only has a product to sell, it has a dream to sell, and this is the challenge that hospitality marketing needs to overcome.
How can you use hospitality marketing to sell a dream?
A marketing strategy for the hospitality industry needs to entice, delight and engage the target market, but that can be a big ask for many within the marketing industry. So if you need to improve your brand messaging, here are a few ideas that will help you to refocus your marketing strategies.
What product are you selling?
The first step in hospitality marketing is to identify the product you selling to your target audience. Is it a holiday in an exotic location with plenty of sunshine, white beaches, crystal clear waters and family friendly activities? Is it a relaxing spa experience that leaves your guests feeling young and beautiful again? Is it a skiing holiday that offers everything for both the novice and the experienced sports enthusiasts, including plenty of adrenaline filled alpine activities?
Once you have the general experience nailed down, dig deeper to find other experiences, such as first class meals, vintage wines, modern well-lit rooms with balconies, large screen TVs, and so on.
The way you brand your product will help consumers decide whether or not they will choose your organisation over the competition.
How will you advertise and promote your product?
Once you have identified your product, you need to decide how to promote it. Will you use the more traditional methods of TV, radio or magazine advertisements in your hospitality marketing, or will you mix it up with a social media campaign? Content marketing is a very specialised area, but there are people who are experts in this type of marketing.
Think about developing your own social media network, posting images and videos online, and even investigating suitable social media influencers. Authenticity can be heightened by asking guests to write online reviews and even asking them to post their own holiday snaps and videos on your website or their own social media networks.
How will you position your brand?
Your positioning can make or break your brand, because this is how you separate your organisation from the competition. If your organisation is a hotel for example, it’s likely that there are many other hotels in the same location offering the same type of experiences. So what makes your hotel different?
This is where hospitality marketing comes into its own and it often takes a mix of talent, experience and sometimes a little bit of luck to get this right. You have to identify the definitive reasons why a guest should stay at your hotel rather than at your competitor’s hotel. This is where identifying your product comes into its own, because this information will help you to identify your positioning and make you stand out from the crowd.
Hospitality marketing isn’t always easy, but these three steps will help you to optimise your brand messaging, grow your reputation, and increase your bookings and revenue.