The competition in the Ghanaian hotel business is rapidly escalating with new hotels sprouting up in areas like East Legon, Osu and the like. As a hotel owner, you will need to employ strategic methods to make your hotel stand out and garner more traffic than your competitors.
With this in mind, we have put together a list of ideas that can help your hotel business flourish.
Utilize Peak Seasons & Push through Weak Seasons
Every hotel encounters both peak & weak seasons in the year. However, how each season is managed can make or break your hotel.
During peak seasons, even though you are getting enough occupied rooms, you need to use this opportunity to excite your guests with promotional offers and packages in order to build loyalty and inspire good 'word-of-mouth'/ reviews to other potential guests.
Weak seasons can be hard. No hotel owner likes to see unoccupied rooms but we can help make things better. One of the best ways to get out of this pickle is o think outside the box and make uncommon offers. Packages for holidays or commemoration days such as Founders' Day, International Womens' Day, etc are uncommon and can go a long way to attract guests. You can also have short-stay / weekend packages for guests.
If your hotel has a beautiful landscape, you can create packages based on the current trends such as pre-wedding shoots, pre-birthday shoots etc. Even you have a banquet at your hotel, you can also offer packages or events such as weddings, business day out etc. These methods can work all year long.
Set Up Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs have for some time now been used as a marketing strategy to encourage customers to use the services of a business. One major perk of a loyalty program is that it helps you change one-time guests to repeat guests. The most common program is the points system. However, aside from that you can go further to offer reward them with something that is of real value to your guests and help you profit as well. You can offer one night free on group bookings, the next booking free after 2 fulfilled bookings.
Looking at the trend of marketing now, we will now delve into some technological methods of promoting your business.
Maximize the Benefits Online Travel Agents
According to eZee Technosys, OTAs control approximately 2/3rd of all online bookings with major OTAs being Expedia, Booking.com, and Priceline. Out of these, Expedia has 28.09% share, Booking.com has 19.13% and Priceline has 16.15% share.
There are different strategies that you can follow when working with OTAs, which include negotiating the commission that you are going to be charged.
However, when you’re a part of such competitive industry, it’s never a good idea to limit yourself to just 2-3 OTA connections for your hotel. Instead, you can generate maximum revenue and reach out to more guests if your hotel is listed with multiple online distribution channels.
"The job of channel(s) is to find, win, make, keep and grow happy guests." – Hans Peter Bech
Constantly Update Your Website
The look of your hotel website tells a story about your business.
Are they organised? Are they modern? What offers do they have? etc. Thus, it is up to you to make sure that your hotel's brand is well represented.
However, if you don’t have a hotel website, then get it developed from someone who provides hotel website design as a service. Make sure you highlight your amenities and make the website easily navigable and dynamic to let your visitors explore your website from wherever they want.
Take Advantage of The Power of SEO
Search engine optimization or SEO refers to a process by which your hotel website’s rank gets better on the search engines. That means, when people search for you or for hotels similar to yours in Ghana, there’s a possibility that your hotel website comes in the search results.
You can start with the keywords research. That way you can focus on making your content rich and crisp with relevant keywords. Interlink all your content and you will be visible in all the related searches people make.
Google Hotel Ads: A Googly Trail to Direct Bookings
You’ve already appeared in the search with Business listings. Now, how to make sure that your guests are able to choose your hotel wisely? Well, that’s when Google Hotel Ads comes in the picture.
This exclusive service available only through Google’s authorized integration partners is one of Google’s successful endeavors to help hotels increase their revenue without the jumble of registering on OTAs and such likes.
It’s a compelling way to promote your hotel, as it will help your guests book with you right from the search results. This increases your direct bookings, which then leads to the promotion of your hotel.
Snatch the spotlight with the right advertising
Advertising is a crucial facet of your hotel promotion ideas. Set aside a budget for this, and find the best place and way to run ad campaigns. Advertise your hotel’s amenities, promotions, and packages online across all the platforms by gauging the right. You can make use of the following important tools:
Google AdWords – Play around with Search and Display ads from Google Adwords. These ads will help you acquire direct bookings by reaching up to the right target audience, all the while maintaining your budget.
Remarketing ads – Now, have you ever search for something on Amazon, and then that search followed you everywhere? Well, that’s called REMARKETING, which is also a beneficial way to promote your hotel. It helps your website visitors keep you in their mind, and leave an impact.
Facebook ads – Facebook provides this beautiful feature of Facebook Ads, using which you can easily promote your Facebook page and posts to the relevant audience. This increases your visibility and gives a significant path to hotel promotion.
Track Your Potential Guest's Behavior in relation to your hotel
You may be already using the above methods to promote your business but your conversion rate is below expected. You can track guests behavior by using tools like Google Analytics and similar tools to know how your hotel website is performing and how is the experience of the visitors while exploring your website. Based on this data, you can easily gauge visitor behavior and try different hotel promotion ideas to increase engagement and even direct bookings.
Attract Guests with Online Hotel Reviews
Nothing is more effective or convincing than a guest praising for hotel, It tell other guests that you can be trusted. However, your hotel reviews must be handled with extreme care. At the same time, they are one of the quintessential hotel promotion ideas; being generated by the user, for the user, and from the user. Focusing on your hotel reviews and reputation management should be a priority.
Collect as many reviews for your hotel as you can, and fixate on responding to them. Employing an online hotel reputation management software for this can help you handle and make the most of your online reviews effectively.
Other ways to promote your hotel business....
Find, befriend, tag and promote with Facebook
Get your hashtags trending on Instagram
Explore the avenues of Youtube marketing
Welcome those travel writers and bloggers
These hotel promotion ideas are a part of the most impactful bunch of practices that you can follow to grow your hotel business. Identify what works the best for you from these ideas, and have a go at them in your next strategy.
An integrated hotel software, which includes cloud-based hotel PMS, hotel booking engine and a channel manager is a productive tool which not only aids you in managing your day-to-day hotel operations; but also assists you in several ways to promote your hotel.