The following is more of an account of what we did rather than a prescription for your business. We didn’t offer any ‘discounts’ or ‘promotional offers’ for the hotel during the described events. We hope this serves as a guide to take some things and develop your own strategy from there. We’re only going to unpack the social media strategy in this blog due to the amount of time needed.
We simply took our marketing strategies and principles that we do for other businesses and applied them to this specific business. This hotel had great reviews from TripAdvisor and others, but it wasn’t enough. We saw the struggling hotel go from a 63% occupancy rate to a 93% occupancy rate within 6 months. They’re still with us today and their results are not guaranteed for you, but it’s worth trying.
The first thing that probably needs to change is your approach. Do you come across like you’re selling all of the time? If you’re on social media and only trying to sell, it’s going to fall on ‘deaf ears.’ And if your business is not on social media, you’re missing some big opportunities. Understand that people today want to feel a connection with the business they’re going to give money to—especially millennials. With the right approach, social media gives you a long runway to sell to your audience.
Do a Deep Dive on Your City
Your hotel sits in a physical space at a real point in time. Being genuinely excited about the place that your business is will enable you to get potential customers excited too.
Even if you’re not completely new to the area, find out what people are writing about for your area—this will give you a decent sense of what others find attractive about the area. Make a list. Order that list from the most popular to the least. If they’re not writing blogs about your area, then this is a HUGE opportunity and area for you to start and gain some ranking on search engines (also known as SEO). Do people come there for the outdoor escape, the downtown vibe, or the art and music scene?
Additionally, if you're new to the area, talk with your local chamber of commerce. They will likely be able to give you insight on current tourism as well as upcoming things in your community.
Understand Yourself to Understand Your Customer
Who is your ideal customer? What are the top 5 words that describe your business? What brands do you admire and why? These are just a few of the questions we asked our client so we could know who they are, what makes them unique, and also so they could get reinvigorated by what makes them different.
Luckily for us, their hotel was quite an original experience—tree houses in the middle of a jungle kind of original experience. Ultimately, when the brand understood better who they were, they were able to understand who their target market was.
...knowing that people don’t want to be sold to influenced how we talked to them.
It’s Time to Speak
Then, we started in on their social media right away. We created ‘mini blogs’ with each post on Instagram. Understanding the opportunity with Instagram is important because it’s a very visual experience and has been since creation. Understanding the platform helps you understand the content that should be generated for it. Photos and videos needed to be dramatic and expressive of this incredible experience that people all over the world would experience if they stayed at their hotel. They needed to see and feel what it was like to be there before they ever stepped foot on location.
Our strategy included informing the target audience (more on this later) everything about the area that they were going to be in. We informed on everything from animals, plants, things to do, culture, the history of the country, the people, travel tips, and the food. We would rotate through these topics based on analytics, current events, and more. Let’s not forget here though that the hotel was a key topic in all of this. Everything was pointing back to the hotel whether it was food that was close to the hotel, things to do that the Hotel offered or set up tours for, animals frequently seen on site, etc.
We only posted directly about the hotel once a week as a ‘hard sell.' All other posts were ‘soft sells.’ We were informing more about the context of the hotel that led people to get excited. And then, the natural choice for a place to stay would be the awesome hotel that was informing the audience of the location. Note here that just because it’s a ‘soft sell’ doesn’t mean it doesn’t convert to leads. In fact, knowing that people don’t want to be sold to influenced how we talked to them. So after they got excited about the local cuisine, for example, they’ve already made up in their minds that they want to come, so a simple call-to-action to hit the link in the bio can (and does for us) result in bookings.
Stay on Their Minds
It’s not enough to just get people’s attention. You have to stay on their minds. Frequent posting when your audience is actually online is key. We recommend at least once a day while using other features of the platform as well (i.e. Instagram stories, IGTV, etc.) There’s a lot competing for people’s attention; therefore, providing value, and doing it frequently, is very much needed on social media.
This boost in business provided the hotel with the ability to get a new website designed while also updating all of their branding. This investment into their brand led to a greater reach and even more loyalty from current 'followers.' Later, to see continued growth, they added on services like SEO and digital advertising that caused them to explode. They loved the opportunity to hire new staff and to explore other opportunities for their business.
Of course this can seem like a lot to do for the business owner especially when you consider various things that could get you a low amount of people reached or even shadow banned by Instagram. We get it and we’d love to help any way we can. Email us today (firstname.lastname@example.org) to learn more about how we can implement similar strategies and get your business growing.
Recap & Action Items
outline exactly what the area is like and what it has to offer people
understand who you are as a business (brand identity)
outline exactly who your target market is
begin pumping out well-crafted, valuable content directed at your target audience and do this regularly
You have the opportunity to create a community around your business that is genuinely excited about taking a visit. Capitalize on this and you’ll be happy to see your business and your employees flourish. Learn more about marketing strategies in the context of your business here.
tags: #hotel #hotelbusiness #hotelmarketing #hoteladvertising #bnb #marketing #businessmarketing #socialmediaforbusiness #digitalmarketingstrategy #smallbusiness #tourism #tourismmarketing #tourismbusiness #finaltouchmedia