We work with a lot of clients who are launching a new hotel into the market and are often asked – when is the best time to go online? The answer is straight away and we recommend to our clients starting with a simple yet cost effective landing page.
With one of our clients we actually started 2 years before they were ready for guests. They were building a $15 million super yacht and we started a landing page and blog when they blessed the wood that was being used to build the traditional (phinisi) style luxury yacht.
The importance of establishing your domain name, creating a landing page for Google to index, involve your audience in the development with a blog and most importantly, start to build your database contacts to invite them to be the first to come and stay etc.
As you get closer to a more fixed opening date, you can connect a booking link and start taking bookings.
You can also start the full online footprint process by claiming local listings, Google maps, local business listings etc.
It is also advisable to start your social media presence to establish the brand and again start to set the tone of who you are talking with. You can post CGI’s and development progress to include people or just build the excitement in general so that when you are open, you already have fans.
A super important part of a landing page is to build a database of new potential clients. This is only valuable if you set up an email strategy that welcomes people when they join up, and you can even trigger emails to automatically flow to your new database which can drip feed them information about what is being created. We live in an information dense world, so people appreciate small amounts of information at a time to digest. This is where email marketing is brilliant.
Of course this also puts you firmly in the drivers seat of your hotel marketing once your property is open having all these resources already set up, your team familiar with using them and then sit back and watch the results.
A common oversight is not having a digital opening strategy to launch into the market. You may want to bring in your favourite PR firm or at least have a simplified plan to get some media and hype from the get go.
Local Partnerships – link in with some of the other locals that complement your business who will be putting in a ‘good word’ for you with their customers. You could have some opening special offers where they are included or you could do blog posts on who offers what nearby. Get onside with your neighbours early on.
Data – we love data and analytics. With a new landing page you can already start to track where people are visiting from, what device they are on, what goals they completed, what pages they looked at, what blog posts capture their interest.