How to market your independent hotel against international brands
May 25, 2020|Hotel Marketing
How should you market your independent hotel against international brands?
How can you compete against massive multi-billion dollar international franchise brands if you are an independent hotel?
It has never been easier to compete with these big brands because of the power of the internet. Not all of these flagged hotels have a sizeable client base. A lot of them depend on great membership programs to attract guests who drive for hours and hours only to redeem their points and maintain their status with these brands.
Here are the tools you need to beat international brands in your market:
1. Connect your independent hotel to the Global Distribution System (GDS).
GDS is an online platform that feeds your real-time inventory to a global network of travel agencies. Thousands of travel agents can check your accommodations, rates, and availability with a single click. You no longer need to connect to different vendors one by one to market your hotel.
The GDS gives your hotel unparalleled exposure that can dwarf the franchise network of any flagged hotel. Connect to the GDS today and generate increased demand for your hotel.
2. Have a user-friendly booking website.
Independent hotels like yourself need to have a strong online presence if you are to compete with international brands that have deep pockets for multimedia marketing. Having a website is not enough. You need an attractive, well-designed, and easy-to-navigate website that can convert visitors to guests.
The most important feature your website needs to have is a user-friendly online reservation system. User experience is everything. Allow your guests to research the availability and rate of your rooms on specific dates, and book them in just one click. Otherwise, your guests' initial reaction is to book somewhere else.
3. Optimize your website to rank highly in Google searches.
Most online users only look at the first page of the search engine results and are more likely to refine their search rather than move on to the next page. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) will improve the likelihood of your website being highly ranked in search results, thereby increasing traffic and reservations on your website.
Google your property today. Under your property name is a list of other websites that are pulling availability from your hotel. Search for a room in your market on a specific date. Google will show you the availability of all the properties in your market. If you are not on the first page of the search results, imagine the million-dollar revenues you are losing and 20-30% commissions to third-party websites you are wasting.
4. Invest in pay-per-click (PPC) and social media advertising.
In today’s ever-changing online world, over 75% of businesses invest in some form of digital marketing. The international brands in your market undoubtedly already do. No matter your budget, you should start investing in PPC and social media advertising today.
PPC is a form of digital advertising for your independent hotel to stand out in an already saturated marketplace. You are paying for clicks on your hotel ad that will generate traffic to your website. It is a smart tool to complement your SEO practices.
Social media advertising on platforms like Facebook and Instagram is a cost-effective way of reaching thousands of people in your target market. You are paying for leads generation, which would otherwise be expensive and tedious if done the old-school way.
If you are an independent hotel competing with international brands in your market, call us at 888-999-8086 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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