19 Apr How to make your boutique hotel stand out
Leisure travelers don’t have high expectations only from destinations. They also have high expectations from hotels. And when their choice is a boutique hotel then they usually expect even more unique memories and treatment.
The main goal of your business strategy should be a decision about your hotel’s unique points. Also about experiences that will leave your guest fulfilled with their memorable stay at your place.
No matter if your boutique hotel story is built on architecture, design, tradition, and heritage, culinary experience, or wellness. You have to take care of your communication with the world. Nobody will praise you just because it is you. And because you have in any way some kind of special accommodation in the city.
Being a boutique hotel means that you already decided to offer your guest a personal experience. Therefore you will need a personalized set of communication activities.
You don’t need to be discouraged by marketing and PR strategies of large and well-known hotels. We all know they have much bigger budgets to rank among the first few choices on search engines.
Hotel marketing and PR teams at smaller and boutique properties should focus on creativity that will set their hotel apart from the crowd. Also, that will position it as a place of some special commodity.
How do you wish to be perceived by others
Find your “wow” factor and turn it into a story! Then make sure you dominate in this “wow” area in your destination.
It could be gastro value, kid’s activities, swimming pool fun, wellness or healthiness. Think about any special activity in your hotel, or at the destination. Maybe it can be a beach entertainment, exotic garden in your hotel, mini bar for organic drinks. Do you have in your boutique hotel party animation or any other animation? How about clubs for wine or beer lovers, clubs for organic food lovers, different kinds of workshops? Any of this could be developed as your “wow” factor… A personalized and unique experience is a must for every boutique hotel. A boutique hotel that cares about the guest experience and guest satisfaction after all!
Share your “wow” factor with the world
When you find and state your “wow” factor you have to create a story you want to tell the world.
Focus on creating memories and share them through different communication channels. Share as much as possible videos and photographs on your website blog and social media. In this way, guests could experience your service even before coming to your hotel. But have in mind to use high-quality photos and videos; otherwise, your story will go in the wrong direction that can greatly affect your image.
Instagram is very popular in branding hotels and their services. It is advisable to set your profile and post regularly with attractive photos and experiences. Motivate your guests as well to post their experiences and then repost them on your profile giving “thank you” note.
Offer discounts to everyone who is posting a video about his/her hotel experience on social media. Make your guest your brand ambassadors by keeping good and constant relationships with them. You can do it through social media, email marketing, and loyalty club messages.
Don’t spend too much money on printing brochures. We are in the digital age.
Take care of your Public relations
Public Relations isn’t just about managing media. It’s about representing your business in the tourism industry. Also about connecting your hotel with other interesting brands outside the tourism industry.
PR is here to handle communication with your local tourism board, convention bureau, and business associations. This activity will maximize promotional opportunities.
One of the easiest ways to gain a positive image is through press opportunities. The PR person is important to pitch stories and attract the attention of media organizations. Be ready to offer a complimentary stay for travel bloggers, journalists, and social media influencers. The more exposure your hotel gets, the more bookings you can generate.
Online presence is vital for hotel promotion
That means that you must have a proper website. Take care of the SEO process. In other words, integrate specific keywords with content, allowing your website to climb the Google search ranks.
By using SEO strategy, your hotel website will become more visible to the general public. Make sure your hotel is listed in targeted online booking channels as possible. It is also advisable to spend some budget on paid Google search. Especially in periods when you have something special to show or when you expect a lower booking season.
Your website and your social media channels are a great place to share a virtual tour of your hotel and surroundings.
Invest in shooting a guest testimonial videos that you will put on your website and social media.
Motivate people to share their recommendations for your place on TripAdvisor and social media. Make a review request for your guests regarding their satisfaction with your services, and ask for places for improvements.
Reward your guest with some discounts on the next booking. Or award them with discounts on other services in the hotel.
Remember to always respond to all reviews, no matter how bad or good they are. Don’t use a template for answering. If a person in a review asks for a specific thing, you have to answer specifically. If a person complains, you have to give him an adequate answer not just template words.
Create a branded newsletter, and offer discounts based on the demography of email subscribers.
Take care of your previous guests and their birthday, anniversaries dates, etc. Take the opportunity to congratulate them. Also, don’t forget to send “thank you” notes for staying at your place. Or offer promo offers and early bird possibilities, news about your business updates, initiatives in your destination…
Connect with your destination
Connect your brand with activities in your city, with local artists, local manifestations, and traditional festivals… Be the one to motivate some local events that correspond with your values.
Include local food in your culinary offer. Be creative with your menu content and the names of your dishes.
Create attractive tour packages and values as an additional offer to your hotel service.
Allow your guests to try some attractive activities near your hotel.
Co-branded stories can make your image even better. Take time to think about all possible stories that go well with your hotel story; maybe it is an activity, event, food, piece of art, and maybe cosmetics or some gadget. People like positive surprises. When you find a way to impress them you did a lot for your future PR strategy.
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Photo credits: Jared Rice/Unsplash, Hello-lightbulb/Unsplash, Alex Bertha/Unsplash, Samuel Zeller/Unsplash, Manuel Moreno/Unsplash, Derek Truninger/Unsplash, Roan Lavery/Unsplash, Siim Lukka/Unsplash, Toa Heftiba/Unsplash