Just like in every other type of industry, businesses in the area of hospitality whose operations aim at maintaining their current customer base, expanding their awareness towards brand new customer segments and enhancing their images as brands of undeniably high quality, are required to introduce a clear and consistent marketing plan as part of their overall strategy.
In this context, the term ‘hospitality businesses’ may refer to a wide range of business units, varying from a newly-launched restaurant making its first steps in the Food & Beverage sector to an already established major player of the hotel industry. Regardless of a hospitality business’s size and current state, the implementation of deeply insightful promotional activities of its products and services constitutes an essential move towards its continuous success. A success that is, after all, guaranteed for hospitality businesses that keep using their uniqueness and customer-oriented mentality as differentiation factors. Read our take on how to build a successful marketing strategy for hospitality businesses.
Emphasise on your customers’ needs
Every hospitality business’s driving force is corresponding to its customers’ needs. Following the specification and segmentation of your target audience, you should make sure that the products and services offered by your business will match your target audience’s needs, desires, core values, beliefs and overall profile. A hospitality business’s brand image is reflected by aspects such as its website, as much as its use of social media, both vital steps that will lead to attracting your audience and building a united community. If, for instance, your hospitality business focuses on premium products and luxury services, you should make sure that those attributes are made clear and evident through your brand values, mission and message, both of which are directed to the promotion of your brand’s unique qualities and the presentation of a purchase as an absolute privilege for each and every prospect customer.
Content is the most effective form of advertisement
The generation and distribution of authentic and engaging content of undeniable quality is the best form of advertisement any type of business can use, including the ones of the hospitality industry. The term ‘content’ refers to both audiovisual content and written copy. When it comes to the latter, factors such as its style, tone of voice and language must be taken into consideration, so that it manages to resonate with your selected target audience and it subsequently leads to a large number of purchases added to the credit of your hospitality business’s services and products. The use of audiovisual content, on the other hand, includes formats like pictures and videos and it can be used in various imaginative ways that will simultaneously showcase your business’s quality and promote a current offer, sale, event or any other kind of activity that is related to your brand. Our suggestion would be to avoid monotonous and repetitive content, leaning towards a strategy that involves a more extensive variety of content instead. Picture yourself, for example, being in charge of a restaurant’s social media accounts. Instead of merely posting pictures of its gastronomic creations, it is preferable to integrate your content strategy with high quality photos of the restaurant’s areas, events and personnel.
Benefit from customer reviews
Think of customer reviews like indisputable proof of your hospitality business’s quality. Considering that, they should be used to your advantage as part of the implementation of a holistic customer strategy. There are a lot of platforms through which customers are able to review all types of hospitality businesses, providing a wide audience with a great understanding of a vast variety of them, and thus being able to compare and decide. Whether that happens on Facebook, Google My Business, Tripadvisor or Booking, you should never cease to encourage your satisfied customers to describe their experience in a positive review. A quite intelligent way to make that happen, is to lure them with a discount or a complimentary offer. Following that, do not hesitate to include a feed of positive reviews on your website and across your social media platform of preference, thus using positive feedback as a factor of differentiation against competing hospitality businesses.
Profit from every customer communication channel
Every brand is required to maintain as many communication channels with its audience as possible, as part of a thoroughly structured communication strategy that focuses less on the one-sided promotion of your hospitality business and more on building an actual, meaningful relationship with both your current and prospect clientele. Whether that is about community management on social media like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or the aforementioned, hospitality business-specific platforms, you should always ensure the implementation of an effective customer-oriented approach throughout your strategy in its entirety, an approach that will subsequently lead to further expansion of your brand awareness through word of mouth. It should be highlighted that the term ‘communication channels’ includes several booking platforms, which will certainly help any hospitality business expand its customer base and improve its brand awareness.
Increase organic and paid awareness
Both organic content and paid ads are recommended as best practices that shall work wonders for a hospitality business’s brand awareness, the combination of which will undoubtedly amplify the results. In a nutshell, it is crucial to implement a well-organised and consistent content strategy plan, one that shall, however, avoid overexposure, which may lead to opposite results. Do not dismiss targeting your social media content towards specific segments of your audience, which will most definitely resonate with it, based on their customer avatar. This will likely lead to a generous enhancement of your brand awareness. Specifically when it comes to hospitality businesses like hotels and apartments, various forms of paid ads, like search remarketing, are considered to be highly efficient, as, especially when combined with an imaginative call-to-action, they are capable of convincing even the most hesitant prospect customers that have already interacted with your content.
Collaborate with influencers and media outlets
Nowadays, collaborating with several influencers and media outlets has become a crucial part of hospitality marketing. Besides, one of the best methods to improve any hospitality business’s brand awareness is a public recognition or endorsement of its services and products, one that will highlight their quality and provide a wide audience with several reasons to choose it among the competition. Despite how it may be an expensive kind of advertisement, identifying the right media outlets or influencers that will certainly resonate with your current target audience comes with a significant return or investment, reflected on both actual revenue and several key performance indicators (KPIs) across various social media platforms.