Good hospitality marketing articles can be hard to find. And hospitality marketing can be notoriously difficult, so they must exist!
How do you stand out from the other hotels, restaurants, or bars in your location? What’s different about you? And how can you grab the attention of potential customers or passers-by?
With profit margins low, and sites like Airbnb and Just Eat posing an ever growing threat, it’s time to step up your hospitality marketing efforts.
A lot of hospitality marketing blogs or news sites and posts tend to focus on hotels, which admittedly, is a large portion of the sector.
There’s a lot more to the hospitality industry than hotels and lodging.
Whether you’re in the hotel business, run a restaurant, own a bar, or something else entirely, you’ll find the following hospitality marketing articles packed full of ideas.
The Best Hospitality Marketing Articles
Whilst a lot of these articles are chock full of tips, they do tend to be hotel focused.
However, as I was reading each of the articles, I was conscious of the other businesses within the hospitality sector.
As such, an article only made the list if I thought (at least some of) the advice was relevant across the entire sector.
Hospitality Marketing Trends 2017 by Cloudbeds
Cloudbeds is a hospitality management software provider, but they also write an awesome blog.
One of the most popular articles on their blog, is their roundup of hospitality marketing trends that they release each year. Even though this trends article is 2017 based, it still contains relevant, up-to-date information!
In these posts, they examine the upcoming trends, share tips and ideas, and explore areas for growth within the hospitality industry.
One of our favourite tips from their 2017 marketing trend post is:
Print Isn’t Dead Afterall
We don’t suggest that you go out and produce your own full-length travel guide, but it may be a good idea to produce physical maps, brochures, and other helpful guides for your city.
And we couldn’t agree more.
Sure, print is on the decline, but there’s still a place in marketing for outstanding printed materials.
Printed maps or city guides are a great investment for those in the travel industry. There are a few reasons that printed marketing materials still work:
- People don’t always have internet access, especially when travelling. So a printed map could easily come in handy!
- People love to collect souvenirs from their travels and share them with friends. Or they use them to create scrap books and memory frames.
So don’t rule out print design just yet! There’s life left in the medium.
Why not get together with other local businesses in your area and produce something together? This will help split the cost and add value for the customer.
If you run a hotel, why not partner with local eateries, bars, and restaurants to produce an area map. Feature all of the businesses in exchange for them contributing towards the cost.
Then, when they arrive, split them among all of the contributors for distribution.
You benefit from their customers and they benefit from yours. All for a much lower cost than producing the marketing material yourself.
Hotel SEO by Canny Creative
Would a listicle like this even be a listicle if you didn’t include one of your own pieces for self promotion?
But we don’t just put our post about Hotel SEO in here for self promotion.
It’s actually one of our most read blog posts, and ranks number one in Google for “hotel SEO.”
And there’s a reason for that:
The post goes into a huge amount of detail about the ins-and-outs of hotel SEO and shares a huge range of ideas for marketing a hotel online.
Our favourite tip included in the post is this:
Make Sure You Have a Blog
Unless you’re a big hotel chain or brand, nobody is searching directly for your hotel’s name. To bring traffic to your website, you need to be creating great content.
Even though this post is few years old, the above tip is just as relevant now as ever. Building organic website traffic is always easier with a blog.
But I don’t see people doing it!
Whether you own a restaurant, hotel, bar, you should be creating content that helps your visitors or customers.
If you’re thinking of setting up a blog, make sure it lives on the same domain name as your website or it will hurt your SEO performance.
Set your blog up as yourcompany.com/blog for the maximum benefit.
blog.yourcompany.com is a subdomain and not the same as /blog – so make sure you go with the first option.
Why Social Media Matters More Than Ever to Hospitality Marketing by The Drum
The Drum is a marketing sector media site that produce great content including; blog posts, news updates, case studies, and insights.
In this post, they share their top tips for giving your company the best chance of making your way into potential visitor’s social streams.
Their three top tips are:
- Develop a strong strategy
- Video is vital
- It’s all about content
And we can’t pick a favourite, as we whole-heartedly agree with everything they say. Visit their article to get the low down on each tip.
Remember, you don’t have to manually update each and every social channel every time you post.
5 SEO Strategies to Market a Hotel Within a Casino Resort by Hotel Speak
This SEO article from Hotel Speak focuses solely on search engine marketing and optimisation for hotels in a casino resort.
Namely, Las Vegas.
However, the advice shared could easily be taken and applied across the entire hospitality sector.
The article covers creating great content, keyword research, mobile optimisation, local SEO optimisation, and retargeting.
All of those things could and should be applied whether you’re head of marketing for a Las Vegas hotel or small restaurant in a back street of London.
Learning where and how to advertise online can have a huge impact on your company’s bottom line.
Our favourite tip shared in this article is this:
You can do search engine marketing on Yahoo! and Bing as well! It might not seem worth it, but the reality is that combined, both search engines account for over 11% of United States search engine market share, so they shouldn’t be ignored.
It’s a common mistake to forget about Yahoo, Bing, and other search engines, but people do still use them!
Getting set up and registered on Bing is as easy as getting set up on Google.
Use Bing Places to get put on their map.
Then remember to use the Bing Toolbox to submit your site.
The Ideal Social Media Content Strategy For Hotels by Hotel Speak
I’m allowing another article from Hotel Speak to creep into the list.
This time they’re sharing their thoughts on social media strategies for hotels. Again though, this advice can be taken and applied across the industry.
In this post, they share six things that could form part of your social media strategy.
- Rooms and facilities
- Food and Beverage
- User Generated Content
All of which can be taken and applied to most companies across the hospitality industry.
They’re all great ideas, and should be considered as part of your social media strategy.
Social media should play a key role in your companies marketing strategy. But choosing the right social networks to be part of is key.
Instagram is a great contender, because of their use of localised hashtags.
When posting on Instagram, don’t add your hashtags as the comment to your photo as that can look spammy and untidy on your timeline.
Instead, add the hashtags as the first comment on the photo. They’ll have the same affect, but will be hidden away from your viewers.
Need to Close More Hotel Sales? Try Implementing These Two Marketing Tactics by Hospitality Net
This post investigates both PR and Content Marketing as a marketing strategy.
Hospitality Net take the idea of these two disciplines and really drill down into the details of each.
They suggest that if you’re flush with cash, you could hire a PR agency to handle your campaigns. And if not, you can definitely manage this yourself!
The thing that I think resonates the most in this post is:
More Visibility = More Sales
And it’s exactly right. Marketing is all about visibility. You need to be seen to sell.
If you’re not measuring the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, you’re dropping the ball.
You need to know what works, and what doesn’t. Then, do more of the thing that works.
Make sure you’re tracking your website with Google Analytics. If it’s not installed already, go and do it right now.
You can only make real headway into your online marketing efforts, by tracking and mining Google Analytics data efficiently.
Get it installed, then check out this awesome post by Neil Patel who shares how to get actionable data out of it.
You’re Doing It Wrong – 8 Ways To A/B Test Emails Correctly by Revinate
A/B testing is such a jargon and insider term that I don’t think it makes any sense to anyone not in the digital marketing industry.
Essentially, A/B testing is testing one version of something (A), against another (B).
You should not only be doing this on your email campaigns, but your website too.
On Canny’s homepage, we’re always testing the text in our slider, and seeing which one gets our visitor’s to click through to the next page.
In Revinate’s article, they focus on A/B testing emails, but there’s one piece of advice that goes across the board.
Determine your end goal. What do you want to achieve with this test? Establish a hypothesis to guide your A/B test.
Without an end goal or hypothesis, you’re not testing anything.
Remember in science at school, you had to have a theory before you starting mixing chemicals together to create fantastical explosions?
Well, A/B testing is exactly the same.
There are a whole range of A/B testing platforms out there.
From Unbounce, to Visual Website Optimizer, each have their own pros and cons. I love VWO because it’s super easy to use and helps you understand the data.
5 Uncommon Tips to Get More Online Hotel Guest Reviews by Hotelogix
Customer reviews are part and parcel of the hospitality industry.
But do you have enough of them?
Nothing looks worse than an empty TripAdvisor page with two 5 Star Reviews. Sure, they’re 5 star, but really, only having two reviews doesn’t inspire any confidence at all.
In this article from Hotelogix, they share little tricks that can help you to get more online reviews.
Deliver on what you promise, but exceed guest expectations
Always going above and beyond to make sure your customers have the best experience with your establishment will help you gain reviews.
Think about this:
People are more likely to review if they’ve had a bad experience. So you need to go out of the way to make the good experiences outstanding.
That’s how you rack up online reviews.
Get your establishment on TripAdvisor straight away. The popularity of the platform is growing and growing.
But, remember to put up your professional photos. People want to see what your place looks like, so give them the best shots you can.
Something else I always notice, is a framed TripAdvisor rating on the wall, or at a desk. So if your rating is good, make sure you display it physically!
It might just encourage that extra review.
To Delight, to Sell or to Serve – Steps to Centralise Modern Marketing by Boutique Hotel News
This post is nowhere near as technical as the title makes it sound.
Essentially, they talk about creating a modern marketing plan that works for your customer. Which is exactly the right approach.
Again, there’s the whole “content is king” approach, which again, we 100% back.
What’s really interesting is this little nugget:
Creating a new taxonomy structure
Once you’ve got everything out on the table, I’d recommend moving through a card sorting exercise. Look at how you organise and classify the content you produce already. Often, you’ll find that the nature of what is produced has outgrown its system, or can be more effectively mapped across your new touchpoint structure.
Content is great, but you need to put it to work for you and your website visitors.
In the early days of content creation, companies tend to throw a lot of stuff out there, and hope it works.
This is called the hit and hope approach and is entirely the wrong way to approach content marketing.
Reviewing your content, creating a new website structure, and promoting the best content you have is exactly what you need to be doing on a regular basis.
Remember to conduct a thorough SEO and Content Audit on your website at least once per year.
Strengthening Your New Hotel’s Online Presence by Boutique Hotel News
Another entry in the list for Boutique Hotel News.
This article shares great tips for getting your new hotel (or other hospitality) venture off the ground.
It also shares this great advice:
Create a professional website
A professional website is characterised by a user-friendly structure with categories that are simple to navigate through. Website content should always address the needs of your businesses’ target group and topics – this will mean constant updates to keep up with your audiences’ evolving demands and needs.
And every hospitality company or business should absolutely have a professional website design.
However, the author then goes on to say that “Thankfully, modern, easy-to-use website builders allow users with no prior knowledge to customise their mobile-optimised company homepage at their convenience.”
Which, while true, is not the best way to go around creating the professional website he talks about.
The rest of the article contains the basics for getting your new company online, and raises awareness of site security, speed, and promotion.
Website builders are rubbish. Engage with a professional design agency to help create the website your business deserves.
The strength of working with an agency comes from the partnership you form with them.
Once that trust and relationship is built, you essentially have someone “watching your back” when it comes to your online presence.
Start as you mean to go on.
The Most Popular Features in Hotel Apps by Criton
Criton is an app for the hotel industry. So this article, whilst being a little self serving, is still definitely worth a read.
If you’re considering developing an app for your hospitality business, then Criton’s number one recommendation to include is “How to Guides.”
After they check in, guests will want to use the appliances or other services provided. Having the information on how to do so directly on their mobile devices helps tremendously. Quick video guides or simple written instructions will do wonders in making your guests stay stress-free.
And they’re exactly right.
An app containing information about how to operate the safe, or the air conditioning, would be a welcome feature in most hotels.
You need to make a useful app for your business, that encourages guest interaction, and adds to the positive experience they have with your company.
If you’re in the restaurant business, how about showing guests your menu and offering special deals via an app?
Maybe a deal unlocks if they share that they’re at your place on Facebook.
Put your app to work for your customer and your business.
Reality Check: 7 Questions for Your Hotel Marketing Agency by Words of Vikram
Vikram offers up a completely different type of article.
He’s not sharing specific hospitality marketing advice or tips, but more tips on how to choose an agency to work with.
And when you’re looking to place a large amount of work with an agency, tips like Vikram’s come in handy.
Whilst his numbers surrounding “How many clients do you have?” sound a little damning, Vikram’s other advice is great.
Choosing a full service marketing and design can be difficult. Speak to several agencies, and see which one you make the personal connection with.
Meet them in person if you can. At a minimum, take a Skype or phone call.
More often than not, it’s the relationship, trust, understanding, and openness that delivers the best results.
Social Media Marketing in the Hotel Industry: Trends and Opportunities in 2017 by Hospitality Net
Our final article is another entry into the list for Hospitality Net. The article might be from 2017 but still contains a lot of relevant information.
This article takes an in-depth look at social media marketing within the hospitality industry.
Digital payment platforms are explored in depth. As are communication platforms.
The rise in use of Whatsapp, Messenger, iMessage gives you the perfect way to communicate with your customers. This idea is built upon within the article.
This article is not as “tips and tricks” based as others, but it is very involved and makes you think about several new things you might not be experimenting with in your own business.
Creating a seamless experience for your customers or visitors is key. To do that, integrate yourself seamlessly into their lives, and make interacting with you as friction free as possible.
Could you offer receipts and booking information through Messenger or Whatsapp? Every time a customer loads up email, they’re bombarded with other things.
This could distract them from the experience you’re trying to give them. Why run the risk?
Cut through the noise, and push your ways of communicating to the next level.
Conclusion: 13 of the Best Hospitality Marketing Articles
Hospitality marketing doesn’t need to be ground-breaking.
If you’re in the hotel business, show people where you are, and what you can offer them that’s different from the slew of others in your area.
If you’re in the restaurant business, show people how great your food is and tempt their palettes with mouth-watering imagery.
For everyone in the hospitality business, it’s important to show reviews and communicate positive experiences that past visitors or customers have had with you.
Success in hospitality marketing relies on making your customers happy.
So do it.
Make things seamless, make their visit memorable, and you’re off to the races.
What do you think? Are these the best hospitality marketing articles on the internet? Or can you recommend something better? Let us know in the comments below.