Is Your Hotel Getting Lost in the Vast Sea of Sameness?
When merchandising a hotel online, a generic “one-size-fits-all” story about your hotel may seem like the logical way to go. It would allow you to provide information to all types of travelers, and in theory, will bring in the most bookings. Unfortunately, this strategy will leave you lost in the shuffle of the hundreds of other hotels in your area doing the same thing.
To stand out in the vast sea of hotels, creating a customized, visual web-presence may be the way to go. But who should you be targeting and how?
- Does your hotel cater to business travelers? A customized photo gallery targeted to business travelers will help showcase these features and drive more corporate and event booking.
- Is your hotel family-friendly? Families are always looking for exciting things to do while on vacation, so make a page dedicated to activities in and around your hotel.
- Does your hotel hold weddings or large events? Showcase this with rich visuals, promotions and descriptive text to allow consumers to envision their special event at your hotel.
Appealing to a segmented market isn’t difficult.
In this article about Baby Boomers, President of Preferred Hotel Group, Lindsey Ueberroth, talks about what her hotels are doing to appeal to the massive market of Baby Boomers.
“Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago is creating packages and experiences that appeal to this audience. For example, they did a package that invites you to ‘explore Chicago like an architect.’
In addition, The Wit, a Doubletree property has fashioned similar ideas, creating packages revolving around museums, shopping, theater and sports. By becoming the source of information about what’s going on in Chicago, they are giving this niche market exactly what they want.
For the next 19 years, 11 000 baby boomers will retire each day. It has become the largest market in the history of the hotel industry, and many hotels aren’t targeting them. With sizable amounts of disposable income and oodles of free time, travel is the number one priority on many of their minds.
One thing that surprised David Attardi, Corporate Director of Interactive Marketing at B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, is how tech-savvy baby boomers are, especially when it comes to using social media. Hotels that are taking advantage of this opportunity and targeting markets wants and needs will thrive.
A few ways to target niche markets online:
By using Apps on your Facebook page that are targeted towards segmented markets, you are able to engage travel shoppers and highlight your hotels best assets while telling your hotel’s story.
If your hotel is featured on a corporate booking site, ensure that your visual story is customized to appeal to them. Showcase your meeting rooms, event spaces and business suites.
Use rich media on your hotel’s website to appeal to the market you are targeting. Virtual tours and videos allow people to really experience your hotel before they book.
Think about what makes your hotel stand out compared to your competitors and highlight these features. Ensure your stories are available across all relevant channels – website, social media, online travel agencies, corporate bookings sites, etc. Be sure to use rich media (high definition photos, virtual tours and videos) to engage consumers with a visual story of your hotel to let them know why they should want to book!
Ditch the generic and opt for something more customized. How is your hotel going to do this?
Interested in targeting the Baby Boomer generation? Watch this VTV episode. Professor Bonnie Knutson from The School of Hospitality Business at Michigan State University shares her insight on what hotels can do to ensure their online content resonates with Baby Boomer and Mature travelers.