You have everything in place; great accommodations, top-notch service, a great location, and even excellent amenities. However, you still need to ensure that tourists and travelers are aware of all these services and more. This is why you should come up with a great Hotel, Restaurant, or Café (HoReCa) marketing strategy as soon as possible.
Below is a quick guide that will help ensure that target customers are aware of your presence online. The guide also goes further to help you stand out from your competitors.
Create a Website
One critical item to running a HoReCa business in the modern world is having a website, because 95 percent of your customers search online before they make travel purchases. In a world where customers first check the Internet for travel-related solutions, you need to ensure that your business has a credible-looking and professional representation online.
The website should clearly indicate your room rates, contact information, amenities available, a photo gallery, and even a booking mechanism. Without an active website, your business is missing plenty of opportunities!
Cultivate an Excellent TripAdvisor Profile
In addition to visiting your website, another thing potential customers check before coming to your establishment is online reviews available on TripAdvisor. The single most effective step toward improving your establishment’s marketing is managing its reputation. TripAdvisor happens to be the world’s largest travel review platform with about 455 million new visitors each month in 2017.
With a presence on TripAdvisor, your customers can find you online, review your services, rate your establishment, and even recommend you to fellow travelers. In addition, your customers can also upload photos of your HoReCa business, helping you gain critical user-generated content. The key is putting in place excellent offline and online management tools like Clockspot.
Get Listed on Travel Agencies Online
After establishing a TripAdvisor profile, expand your online presence to other travel platforms, especially Online Travel Agencies (OTAs). An OTA provides you booking, reviews, and rating functionalities without having to do that on your own website. Just as firms like Monshaugen & Van Huff help with liquor licensing, such services allow you to concentrate on the most important aspect, running your business while professionals handle other logistics.
Some of the biggest OTAs include Expedia and Agoda, both making it easy for hotel owners to gain a presence in their online booking sites. For example, once you are an Expedia partner, your establishment appears in all their related websites, including Trivago, Travelocity, Hotels.com, and Expedia.com.
Create a Loyalty Program
Loyalty programs are designed to reward regular and frequent customers with promotional incentives such as freebies and discounts. This type of program in your establishment is a great way of earning repeat customers. While any type of business can use a loyalty program, it is best used in the HoReCa industry.
Business travelers are likely to visit a single city multiple times just as people traveling into your city for leisure. A loyalty program encourages them to stop by your establishment any time they are in your area.
Some of the most common loyalty offers include a free or discounted night stay when a customer books a hotel for a specified number of nights. However, you can also go further and include other offerings such as spa services in the loyalty program. You will definitely need to a certain amount of creativity and investment into making your loyalty program successful.
Marketing your HoReCa does not need to take up a huge proportion of your marketing budget – as long as you lay out strategies that ensure regular bookings. Adopt some of the tips shared above and you will be a step ahead of your competitors.