With the recent emergence of channels like Airbnb taking as many as 42% of hotel consumers, you may assume that the hospitality industry is in trouble, but the stats suggest that couldn’t be further from the truth. Far from drowning the market, alternative booking sites actually seem to have whet our appetite for travel, and the UK government predicts that the hospitality industry alone could create as many as 500,000 new jobs by 2021.
That’s good news, but it doesn’t mean you can grow complacent and hope your hotel meets those needs. You aren’t the only one who will have noticed this soaring popularity after all, and that makes hospitality one of the most competitive fields in the market right now, especially as self-hosting gains momentum.
If you’re to stand any chance at staying above the rest, then promotional strategies should be a key area of focus. But what promotional ideas can you put in place to ensure that guests can’t get enough of the opportunities you’re offering?
# 1 - Loyalty Programmes
Loyalty programmes are always invaluable from a promotional standpoint, but they take on entirely new heights in an industry like hospitality, where there’s a real risk that guests will stay with you once and never return. This becomes an especially pressing priority in an age where the vast majority of your guests look for the cheapest deals every time they travel using the many comparison sites now available.
Unique promotions for existing clients (more on that in the next point), or loyalty deals such as money off or discounts are your best shot at overcoming this issue. Do note that, as many struggling hotels have come to realise, long-winded programmes that require guests to collect stamps, etc. prove primarily unhelpful. Instead, focus on benefits they can receive immediately or at least during their next stay. Something such as a unique 30% discount for a second night, or even free meals throughout their stay, are guaranteed to give you the edge which sees consumers staying for longer than the standard one night that 50% of leisure travellers stick around for.
# 2 - Existing customer focus
Along the same lines, many in the hospitality industry right now are finding that a focus on retention rather than acquisition is proving effective. This is hardly surprising given that, irrelevant of industry, acquisition can cost 5 times more. Still, as competition and travel alternatives continue to rise in public estimation, the customers you already have may be your best chance for survival.
Personalisation is set to prove especially critical here, with as many as 55% of airline and travel industry professionals already investing with reliable results. Even better, with intuitive and automated software taking care of personalised efforts for you, this doesn’t mean increased work processes at any stage. Instead, promotional code software that sends automated single-use codes straight to existing consumer inboxes is guaranteed to increase conversions here with tailor-made benefits that show customers you care. In fact, 79% of consumers now report they’ll only respond to discounts tailored in these ways, making this a hospitality fundamental in 2020.
# 3 - Appeal to audiences across social platforms
Social media and its importance are now evident in every industry, and hospitality is no exception to that rule. Paid ads are, obviously, one benefit of platforms like Twitter and Facebook, but that’s definitely not the only plus side where hotel promotions are concerned.
Regular updates on social media can also prove invaluable for creating attention and, ultimately, leading to the personal connections that prove so fundamental to the points above. With 40% of millennial travellers also claiming that ‘Instagrammability’ plays a huge part in their decisions where to visit next, this is also a chance to show your hotel in its best light online. What’s more, urging followers to sign up to your newsletter, or sending follower-specific deals, discounts and unique promotions, could all work wonders for increasing the attention, and thus the profits, that your hotel stands to enjoy.
# 4 - Work with social influencers
Along those same social media lines, working with influencers could also boost your attention and profits this year. There is a range of different ways to do this, and success could begin with merely inviting top Instagrammers for gifted stays during which they post promotional photographed content for you. If you want to take this even further, though, you could pair these visits with single-use discounts for each influencer to share with their audiences.
With 49% of consumers now depending on social influencer brand recommendations and around 40% of millennials feeling that their favourite YouTubers understand them better than their friends, promotion codes like these are pretty much guaranteed to lead to the attention you’re aiming towards. Even better, with the help of automated discount software, you’ll be able to track those unique influencer codes to test which methods work, and where your primary conversions come from when you delve into this technique.
# 5 - Focus on seasonal promotions
Irrelevant of your efforts elsewhere in the promotional sphere, the hospitality industry faces significant setbacks at certain times of the year. Cold weather and vacations simply don’t often mix well, and you may find that dry seasonally-focused periods leave you playing catchup with all your other promotion successes.
That’s why you might also want to consider seasonal promotions. Again best served by unique-code generation, discounts tailored to your existing customers around seasonal focuses can boost guest numbers when you need them the most, especially if you also get personal here. If you struggle on winter weeknights, for instance, tailoring promotions towards business people who have stayed with you for work in the past could lead to bookings at last. Equally, tailoring weekend deals towards families could see your hotel lobby bustling again no matter what.
Furthermore, the focus created by seasonal offers like these ensures that discounts never work to devalue or compromise what you’re offering. Instead, guests will be able to enjoy promotions that keep your value, and your hotel business, intact all year round.
Put hospitality at the heart of your hotel promotions
Ultimately, these suggestions all point to one undeniable fact: personalisation remains key to your promotional success across the hospitality board. Guests look for that little touch of something extra wherever they stay, after all, and tailored discounts, services and focuses can all help you to provide it.
Your key priority for implementing these pointers should, therefore, be to invest in top discount software that can help you to appeal on a personal level to as many new and old customers as possible. Get this right, and putting hospitality and profits, at the heart of your hotel is guaranteed to be easier than ever.