A hotel can have the best quality at the best price in the world and still not be successful. You already know that. You also know the huge role digital marketing strategies play in your hotel business.
But what's the key? It's simple: create a solid differentiation strategy that will help you stand out in the burgeoning hotel market and show why a customer should go to your hotel and not another.
If differentiation is the process by which your hotel stands out from the competition, and a differentiation strategy is the guide to knowing how to achieve this, then digital marketing tools are your vehicle to execute that strategy.
Developing and executing a differentiation strategy is a five-step process that begins with analyzing and understanding your hotel's strengths and ends with telling the world how you will enhance your guests' stays. Let's look at these five steps:
- Do you ask yourself why and how you want to stand out from others?
What makes your hotel stand out from the rest and how does the customer benefit from this? This is the first strategic consideration you must make in order to stand out from the competition: does your hotel specialize in a specific audience, does it offer exclusive services, does it have an idyllic view, etc.? These simple questions will help you focus your next strategy by aligning your communications with what the customer will truly find at your hotel and not at another.
- Please investigate.
It has been proven that companies that research their target audience and understand their needs tend to grow faster. The research helps you to better understand the needs and concerns of your customers and to align your hotel with them. You have a huge source of digital data! Research which social networks, blogs, opinion portals, etc. your target group is active on and "listen" to what they say.
- Develop your differentiators as an experiential offering.
It's time to analyze exactly what makes you different from the rest and what allows you to offer unique and exclusive value to a very specific market segment. Build your list of differentiators using these three simple steps:
- Make them realistic: It is crucial that your differentiation is realistic. Otherwise, you create unrealistic expectations (overpromising) that will negatively impact your digital reputation and lead to a loss of credibility and subsequent bookings.
- Relevant: Does your differentiation really matter? If what we want to boast about isn't really a crucial quality, we're wasting our time.
- Demonstrable: You may have identified real and relevant differentiators, but they are utterly useless unless you provide hard evidence to back them up. No matter how realistic your differentiation, if you can't back it up with evidence, your customers won't believe it.
Once you've identified your real, relevant, and demonstrable differentiators, you should align your communication plan's message with them and create a unique experience proposition for your prospective customers.
- Spread your story with digital marketing techniques.
Now you are ready to tell your story to the world. Well, your target audience. Most of your potential future customers will look at your website before making a booking, so this is a good place to start. The first impression is very important. Your website should ask your visitors, "Is this a hotel for me?" respond.
In addition to your website, you have a variety of digital tools at your disposal to spread your story and attract more users. Blogs, social media, eBooks, videos and a whole host of other channels to get your message out there. However, you need to be clever in this area so that your content focuses on quality rather than quantity. Choose the most important distribution channels through which your target group moves the most. Focus your communication efforts on these areas and keep the quality of your content up to date. It's better to focus your energy on just 2 channels than to misinvest it on many channels. To fire up the selected channels even more, place shoptimizer with a direct link to the desired channels at reception or in the waiting room. Guests can then easily use the tool at the reception and go directly to your channels via NFC. To do this, they only have to hold their smartphone to the shoptimizer for a short time and they will be forwarded immediately. Channels can be Google reviews, Facebook, Instagram or even websites. Because the guests also get in touch with you digitally, they can bind them better. Shoptimizer also helps to create a target group that can then be used for marketing. It is the most promising form of an online advertising campaign if it can be placed at really interested guests and similar people.
- Talk to the digital world and listen to what it says back to you.
Monitor and control the impact of your publications. The results will show you how, when and what content is most appropriate and its maximum effectiveness. By listening to your stats and acting on them, you can increase the quality and reach of your message. You will build an increasingly positive reputation, which will directly impact your bookings.
Differentiation is a strategy that, if developed well, will improve your hotel's brand awareness and vibe. The end result will be higher booking growth.