1. They Offer Value Upfront
Research has shown that people are more likely to do you a favor if you do something for them first. In marketing, this is called reciprocity, the principle of give and take. If you offer something of value upfront, travelers will have an innate desire and obligation to return the favor. Major travel brands have already tapped into the reciprocity technique to boost their reach and conversions.
Booking.com promises exclusive “secret deals and specials” that will never be publicized on their site in exchange for a guest’s email address. TripAdvisor does something similar, offering their online visitors free, smart travel tips when they sign up for the email newsletter. Later, they can tap into these email lists to frequently market to them, bringing that one-time visitor closer and closer to making a booking.
Incorporate reciprocity into your own hotel website by offering:
- Local tips for authentically exploring your destination. This shows you care about providing an immersive, local experience, rather than just talking about the same ol’ tourist attractions every other hotel is promoting.
- A complimentary or discounted perk with their first reservation, such as free parking, a free appetizer or spa credit.
- Exclusive offers only given to those who give you their email address.
Whatever you decide, it must be valuable to your guests and relevant to booking a stay. Don’t expect your visitors to care if you offer something cheap or trifling.
2. They Are the Experts
By nature, people follow orders and respect authority figures, whether that’s an expert recommending a product, a doctor prescribing medicine or a professor teaching a class. So, how can you use this to book rooms?
Prove that you are more than just an expensive hotel room. Show visitors that you are the ideal base camp for the full, local experience.
This means offering authentic knowledge that shows your hotel is the consummate local and not simply a business out to make money. After all, who do people consider “experts” when they’re traveling? The locals.
Highlight a popular bartender and her picks for best happy hours in town. Or, showcase one of your spa’s massage therapists and their favorite local spots to find solace and reflection.
3. They’re Likeable
This is Sales 101. People buy from people they like. But many hotels are missing out on this dynamic and hoping to win over travellers solely based on their product, amenities and dining.
Here’s how to make online visitors genuinely like you and respond to you:
- Speak their language.
Are your guests made up of families looking to make vacation memories? Then, don’t use hip and trendy language. Write your copy as if you were a parent yourself. Marketing to millennials? Stop being so bland and boring. Acknowledge who your customers are, how they talk and work to be “one of them.”
- Share your story (or, even better, your employees’ stories).
Guests like to have a local tie to the destination. So, if you have an interesting story to share, you better be sharing it. For instance, the Battery Wharf is more than just a stunning, luxury property in Boston’s North End. It was an important site on many occasions leading up to and during the Revolutionary War.
- Photo Realism.
Too often, hotels and their marketing crews show too few, poor quality or only the best looking rooms. Today’s travellers are all about authenticity. They want to stay at a property that relates to them, and that reflects them.
- And finally… make them laugh!
Humor is magnetic. Use it. Enough said.
We have marketing strategies to effect all of the above, if you want to call and discuss, we are always up for a chat.
Original article - Tambourine
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