Different marketing strategies lay the foundation for a solid and successful boutique hotel. As a small hotel owner, your duty to establish the name of your business among the big names in the hospitality industry might be a challenge.
Although it takes lots of patience and consistency, the results from offering travellers a unique experience will pay off.
More often, smaller hotels use marketing and sales strategies that large hotels use. Before we get into the methods you could use to market your business in the hospitality industry, it’s crucial to point out that every hotel, depending on its size, targets a different audience.
From the beginning, celebrating the uniqueness of your business will attract the right clients.
Marketing a boutique hotel
With the high rise, drab settings of chain hotels and their faux-cosy, industrialised comforts, it can be hugely refreshing to stumble across a charismatic boutique hotel. Though often much smaller, they are infinitely more charming and much more stylish. Even their locations usually seem to echo character!
So, why don’t you see more of these incredibly homely, friendly hotels? Why it is that corporate hotel chains dominate the market? Well, this is mostly due to the marketing habits of those smaller boutique establishments.
There are so many unique and innovative ways that you, as a hotel owner, can market your business. A cleverly executed marketing strategy can increase your clientele base, allowing you to continuously grow and expand!
Let’s have a look at some tried and tested methods that you can implement to promote your boutique hotel:
Create a unique value proposition
Think to yourself: What makes your hotel original? What sets your business apart from your competitors? Why should a potential guest choose you over your neighbour?
It’s okay if you don’t an exact answer to all of these yet, setting a unique value proposition takes lots of brainstorming and effort. Once you find out what’s so unique about your hotel, use it to your advantage!
Frankly speaking, as a boutique hotel, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a unique value proposition. Although small, your hotel is likely to be stylishly decorated, offering premium comfort, which in itself is a unique selling point.
Many hotels even take advantage of their location, cleverly working it into their proposition. Think about it, if your hotel is in the heart of a major city, what local amenities will your guests have access to?
Located in the remote Sumba Island in Indonesia, the Nihi Sumba resort takes advantage of the main attractions of the island and encourage visitors to discover the beauty of this place.
Another way to utilise a unique value proposition into your marketing strategy is by putting a focus on your story, which you can read more about just below.
Tell your story
Most boutique hotels are born from a story. Don’t let this sit in the background – use it to your advantage!
One of the best ways to entice new guests is by promoting your origins: Use this to tell your potential customers why they should choose to stay at your hotel over somewhere else. The promotional material your business produces should always focus on what makes it unique.
Storytelling is an effective tool when sharing your individual business values, as you’re not only telling your customers what your values are but how you came to choose them. This will translate into a further sense of confidence, ultimately providing more of an incentive for guests to choose your hotel.
Boutique hotels are usually set up in stylish locations or buildings, often with a unique theme or decor. You can also use this history to sell your establishment:
- Does the building itself have a significant historical background?
- What does your hotel represent?
- Why have you chosen a certain theme?
Your story should reflect your mission statement!
Go the extra mile – and then a bit further!
One thing that everyone loves is incredible value, so one sure-fire way to retain regular customers is by consistently exceeding expectations. Do everything in your power to make sure your visitors are satisfied, providing everything they need to enjoy their stay.
This could be as simple as providing often overlooked items that can improve the quality of a visitor’s stay. For example: A set of single-use sandals for the shower, or a set of earplugs if you reside in a largely populated area.
You may even focus on offering unique incentives or advantages over other hotels, giving your customers yet another reason to choose you over a competitor. Many hotels provide free breakfast or drinks, as this is an excellent way to gain an edge over other businesses.
If your hotel is in a busy location, can you offer free parking to your guests? Maybe you could even offer a free room upgrade wherever possible! Creativity is important here, so it’ll take some brainstorming.
Above all else, your hotel customer service should be incredible. Make sure your facilities are clean, up to date and easy to use, and that your staff members are inclusive, approachable and friendly.
This will encourage returning guests and promote high ratings online, making you a lot more visible to any interested parties.
Provide an outstanding online experience
We’ve covered the importance of user experience on this blog before, but it should also be mentioned here.
A well-designed website can exponentially increase the number of bookings at your boutique hotel, which is why it’s important to incorporate an easy to use web page design.
If your website is difficult to follow, with obscured links or an awkward page layout, it’s likely to be scaring potential customers away from your hotel.
But, don’t get overwhelmed.
You don’t need to be a coder or programmer to make a smart, effective website. There are plenty of tools, such as WordPress, that make it as easy as possible to set up a creative site – even if you have no experience.
You may prefer to hire someone to build and maintain the site, freeing up some valuable time for yourself.
Clean Travel Connect allows small hotel owners to get a custom website built by our tourism experts. The process is simple & straightforward, most importantly, it offers a secure booking technology, direct bookings platform, and more advantages without any coding skills required.
It might be worth adding online incentives to your website, too. For example, you could offer an online-only discount, redirecting traffic to your website.
The online experience shouldn’t stop at your own website. In order to make it as easy as possible for your customers and grow your hotel bookings, ensure that you are listed on any relevant online travel agencies such as Booking or Expedia!
Collect (and act on!) your feedback
We’ve heard it time and time again: The customer is always right. Luckily, it’s easy for customers to leave feedback for the management to see and subsequently act on!
Avoid overlooking any useful feedback, as it is an invaluable resource to continuously update and improve your hotels. Find out what customers like about your hotel and keep offering it whenever you can.
Similarly, find out what your customers don’t like and make the necessary changes, improving the next customer’s stay.
When you act on the feedback left by your guests, you show that you care about them and not just the revenue that they bring in.
In return, you’ll build a stronger relationship between your hotel and your guest base. The most successful brands are the ones that have proven that they care about their guests, acting on their suggestions to provide the most inclusive, comfortable stay.
Keep updating your marketing strategy
As your hotel grows, so will your business needs – including its marketing strategy. In order to maintain a loyal customer base, you need to continue to offer a high-quality service, always acting on customer feedback.
Keep updating your marketing strategy, follow current trends, remain innovative in how you sell your boutique hotel.
By following these tips, you’ll see a gradual increase in the number of viewers to your website and hotel. Watch as those 5* reviews pile-in and continue to be the best you can be.