Attracting hotel bookings is fundamental for all hotel marketing strategies. Increasing hotel bookings through OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies) comes at a significant cost to hoteliers via commissions and OTA hotel booking websites offering competitive packages and prices often drown out hotels looking to capture direct booking customers. OTA revenues are approximately $400bn annually at present!
So how does a venue marketing manager approach the hotel booking challenge and make the leap to increase and keep direct hotel booking customers? The first step to manoeuvring around the hotel direct booking obstacle is to give Swayy a call +442038088385.
Firstly, Swayy can help you wade through all the hype of OTA’s and find a clear space to build your foundation: your website. Swayy can help you define who your target hotel booking customers are, increasing your direct booking sales and decreasing your dependence on OTA’s. Secondly, Swayy connects you with the perfect Instagram Influencers for the venue which will increase online awareness of your brand. Thirdly, Swayy helps you control brand messaging (using Influencer photos and posts) making your hotel’s website focused on the needs of your customers which, in turn, improves your SEO ranking on search engines. Visit our site for Leisure Businesses and find out How Swayy can help you.
Five ways to increase hotel bookings:
Direct bookings without OTA’s
There are many suggestions available online to guide a manager to increased hotel bookings and brand awareness. At times, it can be completely overwhelming and counter- productive. Here at Swayy we always want to find the best, most efficient methods to help you define your direct hotel booking strategy. First and foremost, start at the bottom – the foundation of your online direct hotel booking goal:
Your hotel website is the first point of contact outside of OTA’s. This is the foundation of your strategy for hotel bookings. It should be easy and simple to use. More importantly, it should be mobile friendly and accessible across a variety of devices. Remember, your marketing strategy needs to address the new digital generation; the millennials. These potential customers are skilled at online shopping, hotel booking; anything that creates the experience they are looking for. So, your website needs to feature quality photography from your Influencers that will tell a story about the venue. A story that your potential customer can relate to.
Use Swayy influencers to tell your story
You have full control over the content of your message. Businesses can easily tailor the story you want to tell when they are matched with a Swayy influencer. Match your content to the regions, lifestyles and desires of your customers. Using Influencer photos focuses the customer on the experience at your venue. Influencers can also use caption text to enhance the hotel’s image further. Businesses can motivate potential customers to use their sites for direct bookings. For some great ideas read about how some of the most popular venues use Influencer photos and text posts, about how Influencer Marketing Space is being used to increase hotel bookings.
Trust and security – the website
If visitors to your website get a sense of security and trust they will be more likely to stay rather than moving to a known site like booking.com. This is especially true for new visitors – those who have always used OTA’s for hotel direct booking reserving rooms. Make sure to have security certifications fully visible. If the venue has received awards and certificates in hospitality these should be clearly visible to visitors.
Your website should be simple and interactive for the user and prominently displaying an area for reviews. Sharing the experiences of other clients who have used direct booking gives additional assurances to potential guests. Seeing that other guests have used the direct hotel booking experience, and enjoyed it, will more likely keep clients using your site rather than OTA sites.
Make good offers
This probably the most important factor in attracting customers to direct hotel booking websites like your own. OTA’s can offer attractive discounted packages and prices, but so can you! If possible offer tailor-made scenarios such as:
- Free passes to local attractions
- If spa services are available, either at your venue or nearby, offer a free massage for returning clients
- Offer to help a client make a romantic impression, perhaps by having a free bottle of champagne or chocolates waiting at arrival
- Offer additional room discounts or add-ons for clients who make referrals for hotel bookings
Engage your future customers!
As with any competitive marketing strategy, your main focus is first, get noticed. Second, hold the attention of a potential customer. Third, engage them in the story about your hotel. This is where Swayy can really aid you. Using the thoroughly vetted professional Influencers available in Swayy’s program, you can virtually transport potential visitors to your property, thereby creating direct hotel bookings that can be multiplied many times over as these visitors, in turn, share their experiences with reviews and photos posted in a clearly visible area on your web page. To understand how Influencers can tell your story read How Hot Hotels Engage Visitors.
As with any marketing plan to increase customers using direct hotel booking, the sooner you begin the sooner you will see an increase in brand awareness for your hotel’s unique offerings.