Hotels were never desired as much during a holiday. That is until boutique hotels hit the scene and took the travel industry by storm. They came and made travellers want to inhabit them, make them home, and even take back some elements to their own homes. Boutique hotels are now the ultimate in lifestyle living.
This boom has also seen supply catching up to demand across major destinations around the world. So, how can hotel marketers continue to grow revenue as more and more players join the fray? Driving more direct bookings are obviously the one major solution, but for that to succeed, your content marketing strategy needs to be on point.
Here’s our list of strategies that we think will help your hotel deliver on the promise of providing the best experience in 2018:
1. Video will take centre-stage
Internet users love their videos. Studies show that 61 percent of all marketers expect video to dominate their strategies. This makes it absolutely crucial that you make video marketing a central part of your 2018 marketing budget. To generate direct bookings, video marketing needs to begin at your website. Your hotel website should act as the central hub of visual content. Moreover, any video content on your social media platforms should also be available on the website. The type of video content will depend on your property’s unique selling proposition.
2. Virtual Reality will gain more ground
Luxury travel and hospitality brands are increasingly teaming up with virtual reality production agencies to help bring the luxury to life through immersive experiences.
For instance, Four Seasons is already looking at a marketing virtual reality application. Your boutique hotel will need to create unique, immersive experiences that attract customers.
Virtual reality experiences can bring your brand to life from anywhere in the world. They help transport potential guests to experience the hotel before booking it and allows them to navigate their own experiential experience. Additionally, it offers a personalized viewing experience, unique to each brand to extend their reach and boost visibility.
3. Mobile will remain top priority
According to a report by Deloitte, mobile is poised to overtake desktop as the savvy traveller’s go-to tool for research and booking. About 27 percent (and counting) of online bookings are completed via smartphone. This trend goes past the booking stage. When guests arrive at their destination, they’re turning to their mobile devices to find activities to do around town. In fact, a majority decide on activities only after they’ve arrived at their destination. By sending guests updates about what is happening around town during their stay, your hotel can provide them with an empowering experience.
4. Experiential marketing will rule the roost
As a boutique hotel, it is more important to sell an experience, rather than a product.
With the increase in the number of millennial travellers, experience is steadily taking centre-stage as travellers look for unique experiences over preplanned, packaged itineraries. That is what your hotel will need to create for your customers.Whether it is a person travelling for business, or a young couple looking for a perfect weekend getaway, the goal is to create memorable experiences. Read more about how APAC millennials are transforming global trends here.
5. Automation is going to be the next big thing
For efficient marketing, automation is the key. It is going to be vital for boutique properties to make sure their CRM is set to respond to different actions the customer may take on the website. Make the check-in and check-out process easier by building apps or sending an email that lets them do it from their phones. Another area where your property can stay ahead of the curve is by automating the internal sales process. When someone submits a contact form for enquiry, make sure it triggers an email to one of the salesperson who can deliver more context and personalization to the booking process as the guests finalize their choice of stay.
Any other trends you have in mind? Let us know.