Running a hotel is a labor of love. It has to be: the hotel business is an all-day, every day endeavor. Properties with limited capacity face competition from large hotel brands and other boutique hotel groups. Try some of these marketing tips for your small boutique hotel to build your business and keep guests coming back.
Exploit Your Hotel’s Unique Features
It could be the vintage architecture, art deco fixtures, library, or art collection. There’s a reason you fell in love with the property in the first place. If you highlight your hotel’s unique features, others will fall in love with it, too.
Perhaps it’s your location, views, or your staff’s expertise in wine or local entertainment. Maybe you offer a cozy pub, a fine dining restaurant, or a deluxe private spa experience. Emphasize whatever makes your hotel different and desirable, and you’ll find bookings increasing.
Maintain an Active Social Media Presence
Your social media accounts should be more than just informative: they should embody the personality of your property. A great example was how the Deerpath Inn, located in Lake Forest, Illinois, maintained interest throughout pandemic lockdowns using social media.
The Deerpath’s Instagram account featured luggage rack races in the street in front of the hotel. They kept the hilarious and heartwarming posts coming through the many months they couldn’t welcome guests, showcasing the Inn’s luxury but also its sense of humor. They even ran an auction for future packages to benefit other local businesses that struggled during lockdowns.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the main pillars of social media. Encourage viewers to share your posts.
Don’t forget email. Run an effective loyalty program that offers discounts, celebrates birthdays, and promotes special events and packages. Communicate those benefits via email to past guests. Make email sign-ups prominent on your website, so you can gather the contact information of prospective guests.
Vacationers and businesspeople search for lodgings online, and when they find a few that are in the right location, they want to see what they look like. Photos of your rooms and suites are just a start: also feature your lobby, pool area and spa (if you have them), bar or restaurant, patios, views, and exterior.
If you’re skilled with a camera, you can take your own hotel photos. If you’re not so confident, hire a professional photography service to visually document your property.
Create cross-referral programs, support local charities, or sponsor youth arts or athletics. Get your hotel’s name out into the community to encourage word-of-mouth publicity for your property. Join the local chamber of commerce and explore promotional partnerships that provide mutual benefits.
Marketing tips for your small boutique hotel aren’t that different than tips for other kinds of businesses. The notable exception is the unique atmosphere, service, or personality your hotel offers. That’s the key to your small hotel’s marketing plan.
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