The Sojern Guide To Boutique Hotel Marketing

4 Ways Small Hotels Can Have a Big Marketing Impact - By Catlyn Origitano

- While you may not have the team, budget, or resources of a large hotel chain or an OTA, that doesn’t mean you are out of the running in driving direct bookings. Instead, it means you need to get creative with your hotel marketing.

Our latest eBook, Sojern’s Guide to Boutique Hotel Marketing, holds tons of tips and techniques for making a big marketing splash on a little budget. Here we’ve highlighted four ways for you to do just that: 

1. Dominate Search Engine Result Pages

Search engines are the most popular online planning source for travelers. And the heavy hitters in the industry know it: Search represents 35% of all online ad spend for hotels. Compete on search with large chains and OTAs, equipped with massive hotel marketing budgets, isn’t an easy feat, but is clearly worth it to capture all these lookers. 

Improving your SEO can certainly assist your SERP (Search Engine Result Page) ranking. But, more and more, search engines push organic results down the page, giving the top space to paid ads. In order to dominate in rankings, you need to have an SEM (Search Engine Marketing, also called Pay Per Click, or PPC) strategy. 

The need is even more apparent because third-party booking websites will bid on your property’s brand and key phrases, thereby showing up higher in the SERPs than your own listing for your property. Travelers, then, book through them rather than directly with you.

If you’re not bidding on your property’s brand and key phrases, traffic, and bookings will go to other websites.  

In our guide, we outline how exactly hoteliers can dominate their search engine results page and drive real hotel marketing performance. 

2. Get Socially Savvy

Social media isn’t just a nice-to-have for smaller hotels. With everyone, and often their mom too, on a variety of social channels, you need to be present and engaged when and where everyone else is. 

But how can you do that effectively given the number of channels?

  1. Focus your efforts. Trying to hit every single social network is usually too time-consuming to do well. Instead, start your efforts by focussing on two.
  2. Use tools to smooth the process. Plan out your tweet or Instagram calendar with Buffer or Hootsuite. These tools allow you to schedule your promotions, so you don’t have to sit behind a computer all day. These types of tools also optimize to tweet when your audience is online.

Want even more help ensuring your social presence delivers value to your guests? Get the guide.

3. Keep Your Website Fresh

Content is one of the most important aspects of a website. Big teams with large budgets work to ensure their websites are up to date, their CTAs convert, and are constantly testing multiple versions of Landing Pages at once. Just because you don’t have as many resources doesn’t mean you can pack a punch with your website. 

Focusing on a few key changes can make a sizeable impact over time, including: 

  1.  Keep content refreshed. New content boosts your SEO ranking because it shows you’re an engaged and active participant on the internet. 
  2. Change up your Call to Action (CTA). Your CTA should complete the sentence: “I want to _________.” Try new CTAs every few months to see what works and what doesn’t.

Get even more tips for keeping your content fresh and improving your hotel marketing with our guide

4. Be Seen with Display

Getting new guests to your property is no easy feat—especially when you are competing with large chains and OTAs for the same booker. Prospecting via Display advertising is a great way to ensure you’re getting in front of new travelers and driving them to book with you.

For Example: A user searches for a hotel in New York, where your property is located. They use a search engine, an Online Travel Agency (or OTA) and a few competitor sites directly. This user is ideal for a prospecting because they’ve shown interest in properties like yours and you know they’re in-market for travel. Using their own intent signals, prospecting allows you to reach them with an ad for your property, keeping your property top of mind when they’re ready to book.

Want to learn more about Display? And how you can get them created at no cost to you? Check out our guide.

About Catlyn

Catlyn is Sojern's Senior Content Marketing Manager. She loves playing video games and hiking with her dog, Dottie. Her favorite part of travel is the food, preferring street food to fine dining. She holds a PhD in Philosophy.

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