Now More Than Ever!
In the history of hotel and motel management, it was known that local marketing was the life’s blood of the industry. Owners and managers all well understood that schmoozing the local businesses was important. That and local advertising in newspapers, magazines, radio, TV, and the Yellow Pages were considered essential. And they were.
With the advent of the Internet, smart phones, and online resources hoteliers have embraced the marketing opportunities in these zones as they should have. However, as owners and managers moved to online techniques, they moved away from the local techniques that by now appear outdated.
As the branded chains became more prevalent and owners and managers came along after the advent of online marketing, the abandonment of local marketing accelerated. The perception was that local marketing was simply no longer cost-effective.
Nothing could be farther from the truth!
What happened from then until now?
New owners and managers have entered the field as the online, social media, and digital marketing were developing and offering many new options. They never experienced marketing to their local communities. If they were aware of those techniques, such as Yellow Pages or print advertising, they believed them to be passé and no longer cost-effective. While that certainly does apply to things like Yellow Page print advertising, it trampled the really valuable tools in local marketing that are very effective.
The real money is in local marketing!
Certainly, the online and mobile marketing techniques are essential. Properly employed, they will keep your doors open and pay your bills. However, the real profit is in local marketing. The local marketplace is where you can really distinguish yourself and have profits NOT available to everyone else on the World Wide Web.
Of course, managing a small hotel, motel, or B&B is tough – especially when you’re doing most of the work yourself! But the good news is that you can appeal directly to your local communities to boost your profitability.
Since fewer hotels and motels are emphasizing focus on local community marketing,
it is much more effective for those who do!
This is a no brainer. Offer hot deals and special discounts in your low seasons, and increase your rates or adjust your terms and conditions for deposits in high season.
Don’t just offer a one size fits all approach – tailor your seasonal promotions to the types of travelers you know work best. For example, corporate travelers, traveling sales reps, military personnel, airline staff, and other regular clients.
To get the word out, consider using daily deal sites and OTAs that focus on deals
If yours is a destination that sees plenty of weddings, run a honeymoon or wedding package deal. Include different elements, like shuttle and transport, as well as access to your function room and catering.
To get the word out, strike deals with wedding planners in the area. Don’t forget local advertising with local businesses, in print and on their websites.
Here are some secrets on making your ads much more effective.
Promotional events are perfect for boosting revenue, because you will likely attract locals as well as travelers, and are able to make money off selling tickets to the event.
Though your venue isn’t a large one, you can still do things like run pie eating contest, a canine agility competition, or a specific fitness challenge.
Another way to open your doors to the public is by running regular fitness groups on your property.
Are you near the water? Run a stand up paddle board class.
Do you have space for people to work out? Offer group pilates, yoga, or boot camp classes.
The easiest way to do this is to approach a tour or activity operator who is already doing this, and ask them to partner with you.
To get the word out, contact publications that let locals and travelers know what’s going on in the area.
To get the word out, use email!
Here is to your facility being the dominant hotel business in your marketplace!
(With many thanks to Little Hotelier from which this was adapted.)