St Patrick's Day for UK hoteliers | hotel management systems london

St Patrick’s Day, as always, will prompt millions of people across the globe to celebrate - Irish or not.

For many, it’s an excuse to head to the pub for a Guinness or two, while others will use it to celebrate their heritage. As a hotelier, it presents a unique opportunity to engage a happy audience who are ready to spend - big.

Here are a few ways UK hoteliers can make the most of St Patrick’s Day - there’s still time!

Turn your website green

turn your hotel green for St. Patrick's Day | hotel software uk

Nothing says you’ve fully grasped the St Patrick Day’s spirit than turning as much of your brand green as possible.

It might simply be a dusting of St Patrick’s spirit on your logo or a great big clover leaf-filled banner on your home page, but whatever it is, make it clear as soon as someone visits your website that the hotel has something to offer on March 17th.

Revamp the restaurant’s F&B menus

Let’s not beat around the bush - food and drink play a huge role on St Patrick’s Day.

If you want to get as many people in as possible on the big day, make sure you’ve got Guinness and Irish beers on, at the very least. And you can do the same with the food, too; try adding braised beef, shepherd’s pie and cabbage-based dishes.

Use some last-minute keywords

marketing your hotel on St Patrick's Day | hotel upselling

If you’re running pay-per-click campaigns or undertake a concerted content marketing effort, adding some St Patrick’s Day keywords into the mix is a great way to pique the interest of those looking to do something special on March 17th.

Luck of the Irish, green, St Patty’s parade, pot of gold - they might all sound like clichés, but that’s often the best approach when it comes to keywords and events of this kind.

Decorate the hotel

simple guide to St Patrick’s Day for UK hoteliers | hotel booking systems

The busiest pubs on St Patrick’s Day are usually those that have really gone to town with their decor, and you can do the same as a hotelier.

How far you go is entirely up to you, but if you just add a touch of green to your lobby and encourage staff to get into the spirit, it can be enough to make your guests feel similarly party-ready. And that’s infectious.

Get social and share the luck

social media marketing for St Patrick's Day | hotel management software uk

Luck plays a huge role in the St Patrick’s Day theme, and you can use your hotel’s influence on social media to spread some good fortune.

It’s a great way to show the fun side of your hotel, and anyone who has experienced success with social media will know that’s a key ingredient if you’re to stand a chance of winning business via that channel.

As the day gets closer, keep an eye on your timeline and look for St Patrick’s Day threads you can get involved in. The more active you are leading up to and on the day itself, the more likely you are to grab a slice of the St Patrick’s Day engagement - it’s a great way to boost your social standing off the back of a big national event.

Wrapping up

Are you ready to make the most of St Patrick’s Day this year and next? Our tips above will work consistently each year, so make sure you keep them handy whenever March rears its head in your diary.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to get better TripAdvisor reviews for your hotel | hotel software uk

There are clever, smart ways to encourage guests to leave good reviews for your hotel… and then there are the rather more daft approaches made by Basil Fawlty types.

For an example of the latter, look no further than the owner of the Royal Clarence Hotel in Somerset, who decided to label one group of guests “muppets” after they allegedly demanded a refund in exchange for a positive review.

Harsh? We’ll let you be the judge of that, but there’s no arguing this isn’t really the way to treat guests - or paint an image of yourself online as a hotel owner.

This chap’s anger is understandable, even if his way of dealing with it is somewhat questionable. Hoteliers know the value of good reviews - they improve rankings on review sites, OTAs and search engines - therefore obtaining them and dealing with the negative stuff is a highly emotive topic.

It goes without saying you shouldn’t bribe guests into leaving decent reviews on TripAdvisor, but there are a number of legitimate, fair ways you can increase the chances of them doing so:

Never compromise on service - ever

customer service is key to great TripAdvisor reviews | hotel management systems london

Let’s get this one out of the way, immediately.

For guests to leave decent reviews, you need to provide a stellar service each and every time they step into your hotel. If you run your business like a tight ship and have a team that values customer service above all else, you’re already halfway there.

Mention it during the check-out process

ask for a review when your guest leaves the hotel | hotel booking systems

Think about how often you’re asked by waiting staff to leave reviews on TripAdvisor when they hand you the bill at the end of the meal.

As a hotelier, you absolutely need to do the same thing. During the check-out process, encourage reception staff to ask if the guest had an enjoyable stay. If the answer is “yes”, encourage them to share their experience on TripAdvisor.

This is by far the best time to ask, because the positive vibe you’ve created for them will be fresh in their mind.

Send a follow-up email

send a follow-up email to hotel guests for reviews | hotel upselling

Clearly, not every guest is going to take up - or remember - your suggestion that they leave a review, but there’s a neat way you can remind them to do so.

A day or so after the stay, schedule a follow-up email (most decent hotel booking systems will have this feature built-in) that repeats the words of the reception staff and includes a direct link to your hotel’s listing on TripAdvisor.

“We’d love to see you again”, “thanks for staying with us”, “why not leave us a review?” are the kind of things you want to be saying in this ultra-simple email.

Keep an eye on social media

social media tip for hoteliers | hotel management software uk

If you’re using software to keep an eye on mentions of your hotel on social media, you can pounce on the positive stuff (you’ll need to do the same with the negative mentions, but that’s for another blog).

For instance, if you spot a tweet that tells the story of a wonderful stay at your property, retweet it first, but then reply. Thank the guest for taking the time to tweet and kindly ask that they leave their happy thoughts on TripAdvisor for you, too.

Wrapping up

Positive guest reviews aren’t easy to come by, no matter how high your guest satisfaction rate.

People lead busy lives, and therefore often need encouragement (and the odd reminder) to do their bit on TripAdvisor if they thought your hotel was particularly wonderful.

Don’t be afraid to give them a gentle nudge!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to use Twitter’s 280 character limit as a hotelier | hotel software uk

In 2017, Twitter gave all of its users access to a new 280 character limit.

At its inception, Twitter only allowed 140 character to be used in tweets, making this sudden doubling of available commentary/shouting/ranting/opinion space quite a big deal.

Some people seem to love it, while others lament the decision to turn what was once the platform’s endearing selling point into something that gives advertisers and internet trolls far more space to irritate all and sundry.

Despite this, Twitter’s longer character limit offers some interesting marketing opportunities. It shouldn’t be abused, but we think you can definitely make better use of the service now if you’re a hotelier.

Here’s four tips for making the most of the 280 character tweet limit:

1. Use paragraphs

Twitter tip for hotels | management systems for hotels london

Perhaps the worst thing to come out of the increased character limit is a tendency for people to publish long winded tweets that don’t feature an ounce of punctuation.

When these tweets were just 140 characters long, that was less of an issue, but at 280 characters, they simply become big blobs of text that few people are going to read.

If you’ve got something interesting to say about your hotel, you now have more space in which to do so, but that means you can rely on white space, rather than endless sentences.

Use paragraphs on Twitter, and break up your tweets so they’re easily digestible.

2. Include multiple links

Tweeting offers for your hotel | hotel management software uk

The shorter tweets of old typically only justified a single link to be included, but with 280 characters to play with, you can get a bit more creative with your calls to action.

For instance, if you’ve just launched a number of new Christmas packages, why not tweet them out in paragraphs (see above), with the corresponding link to each package description on your website?

Don’t forget to include images, too - tweets containing photos or some other form of graphical accompaniment will perform better, and they no longer count to the character limit.

3. Tweet in multiple languages

should your hotel tweet in multiple languages? hotel software uk

If you regularly welcome foreign guests to your hotel or want to broaden your reach on social media, Twitter’s higher character limit finally gives you the space to tweet in multiple languages.

For instance, you can now kill several birds with one tweet if you want to announce the launch of your new online booking system to people in England, Spain, France and Germany.

4. Don’t feel you have to use every character

don't go too long on your tweet | hotel booking systems

One of the best pieces of advice we can provide about Twitter’s 280 character limit is… to not use it at all!

Just because you have all that extra space to play with doesn’t mean you need to use it each and every time. If you’ve experienced Twitter success with short, concise tweets, stick with them!

Listen to gut instinct; if a tweet feels too long or laboured, trim it back.

Wrapping up

Have you used Twitter to your advantage as a hotelier? We’d love to hear your experiences. Get involved in the conversation by leaving your comments, below!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to attract bleisure travellers | hotel upselling

The idea of combining leisure with business during an outing from the office isn’t new, but it’s a trend that has spawned its own name. And it’s growing, big time.

In a survey held last year, 75% of respondents revealed they had extended a business trip within the last year for leisure purposes.

Known as ‘bleisure’, this type of travel is popular among all generations, and for good reason. It eases work-life balance, adds some excitement to business trips and improves employee satisfaction.

If you’re running an independent hotel, the bleisure market might be one you’re currently missing out on.

Here are some tips for attracting bleisure travellers to your hotel.

Focus on offering short-stay packages

offer short-stay specials for bleisure guests | hotel software uk

Bleisure guests will typically be looking for a maximum of three-night stays during their travel. To stand out from the rest of the hotels, you could add short-stay specials that appeal directly to these people.

There’s also the opportunity to up-sell. For instance, by offering a percentage discount off an additional night’s stay, you might grab the attention of bleisure guests who fancy extending their stay for a little more leisure time.

Ensure you offer services business travellers want

what do bleisure guests need? | hotel management software uk

Take the leisure element out of bleisure, and these guests are still corporate travellers. Therefore, you need to ensure your hotel offers them everything they need to get work done on the road.

That means great, free, fast WiFi, ample meeting and working space and ease of travel to and from your property.

Oh, and don’t forget those all-important add-on services such as a fitness suite, self-check-in/out and ironing services.

Grab their attention with leisure services

leisure activities to offer at your hotel | hotel upselling

After a long day away from the office, business travellers can be easily tempted with great leisure services.

This might simply be the offer of a first free drink at the bar, but for the bleisure crowd, you can go a lot further.

If you have the budget and space on-site, offering fitness classes, therapy practices or cocktail nights is a great way to differentiate your service in the minds of bleisure guests.

Go for the super-personalised service

personalise your hotel for bleisure guests | hotel software uk

Bleisure travellers all have individual tastes. This is why personalisation is so important for hotel marketing and service teams.

The more you can profile bleisure guests, the more you can tune your service perfectly for them.

For instance, if you know they’re into fitness, a tailored stay and keep-fit package that emphasises your sports facilities will go down very well indeed.

The same goes for specific room preferences, food allergies and room service requests. If you can demonstrate that you’re listening to their every requirement, you’ll likely welcome them back again and again.

Encourage repeat bookings

how to get repeat bookings from bleisure guests | management systems for hotels london

As we alluded to above, bleisure guests are well-primed to become long-term advocates of your brand.

With that in mind, be sure you make it clear how convenient and easy it is to book with you again via your online booking engine.

Even better, why not start up a loyalty program for bleisure guests? By offering points rewards or some other form of benefit for repeat bookings, you’ll catch not just their eye but that of the person who holds the purse strings for them back at HQ.

Wrapping up

Bleisure travel isn’t a flash in the pan - it’s a growing trend that fits perfectly with the modern way of working.

Freelancers, remote employees and those who regularly leave the office for business trips represent a huge, profitable market for independent hoteliers.

Go get ‘em!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

 

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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tips for mastering local SEO for hotels | hotel management systems london

Search engine optimisation (SEO) has been around since Google was nothing more than a handy directory of websites.

Now, it’s something of a behemoth and a significant challenge for hoteliers. In particular, the nature of the sector has placed a significant emphasis on something known as ‘local SEO’.

Put simply, this is the process whereby your hotel will appear in searches relevant to your area. Clearly, given the type of business you run, this is highly desirable, but how do you go about mastering local search?

Employing the services of an SEO agency can be expensive, but if your marketing budget can stretch that far, and you’re prepared to conduct a beauty parade of suppliers, it’s one of the best investments you make.

Regardless, there are three things you can do yourself to improve your hotel website’s local SEO performance:

1. Be the master of your online reviews

local SEO tips for hotels | hotel upselling

We won’t get into the nitty-gritty of guest reviews, because it’s a topic that has been argued to the point of exhaustion. And, anyway, the fact remains - you need them if you’re to survive as a hotelier.

No matter your opinion on guest reviews, you may not be aware that they can significantly help your local SEO efforts.

This stands to reason; people love to research the hotels at which they’re thinking of staying. Equally, Google is rather fond of websites and businesses that attract a lot of reviews, therefore if you’re prepared to put the time into managing your online reviews (by approving, commenting and acting upon poor feedback), you might just see a satisfying improvement in search engine rankings.

2. Build links with local businesses

cross promotional opportunities for hotels | hotel software uk

Link building is a cornerstone of SEO and involves securing links to your website from other websites that already have high rankings on Google.

Unless you know what you’re doing, it’s hard work.

When it comes to local SEO, link building can actually be somewhat easier, because it involves gaining inbound links to your website from other local businesses.

So, if you’re staging a wedding fair next month, why not kindly ask the local pub, golf course or bridal shop to publish a note on their blog linking to your event? Promise you’ll do the same for them in return, and you’ll have undertaken a nice bit of link building that might just boost your rankings a little.

3. Ensure your website is fully mobile-ready

SEO tips for hotels | hotel management software uk

This is an easy one to finish on, and a tip that should pretty much be inserted into any ‘how to make your website rank better on Google’ blog post.

This is for good reason; Google loves mobile-ready websites. In fact, it now operates on a mobile-first index, which means it generally prefers them over their desktop counterparts.

With over 50% of hotel searches now undertaken on mobile devices, you need a website that is fully mobile-ready (not just ‘mobile optimised’). If you have doubts that yours is - speak to your web developer as soon as possible.

Wrapping up

The three things above won’t supercharge your hotel’s Google listing, but they will help a great deal.

Use them in conjunction with a great SEO contract, and you’ll stand a genuine chance of being found on page one of Google - and that’s no mean feat in this industry!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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Questions hoteliers should ask their OTA representatives | hotel booking systems

Online travel agencies (OTAs) provide a valuable source of new bookings for hotels.

But that comes at a cost; for some, a cost that’s rather hard to swallow.

Your OTA relationships are some of the most important you’ll have as an independent hotelier. Thankfully, most come with a representative with whom you can have regular catch-ups to ensure you’re getting the most from your listing.

When your next OTA rep meeting is due, here are a few tips on what to ask.

How will my hotel’s information be displayed?

hotel industry tips: what to ask your OTA rep | hotel upselling

Most OTAs let you add images and descriptions, but, sometimes, the latter isn’t down to you.

Some OTAs will take a tourism business description and use that, instead. Try and find out how much control you have over editing the description - after all, it’s the first introduction to your hotel for many guests.

What types of rate are allowed?

manage hotel rates on OTAs | hotel software uk

OTAs have different rules about rates and what is and isn’t allowed. Find out from your rep exactly which types of rate you can synchronise between your property management system and their platform.

Quiz them on the following:

  • best available rates;
  • package rates;
  • late cancellation rates;
  • advanced purchase; and
  • add on services such as dinner and other experiences.

Are there any paid marketing opportunities?

Questions hoteliers should ask their OTA representatives | hotel management systems uk

If the OTA rep is doing their job effectively, you should already have heard about this, but in case not, ask if there are any options for paid marketing.

Some OTAs will give hotels the ability to better position themselves within search results by paying additional fees. It’s a bit like Google Ads, only for OTA listings.

What markets will my hotel be exposed to?

what markets are hotels exposed to | hotel booking systems

Most OTAs are focused on specific markets; they’ll have ideal audiences and guest types to whom they target the lion’s share of their advertising.

Try and find out which markets your OTAs are strongest in and whether or not your hotel is missing out on opportunities in markets in which you’re not yet listed.

Are there referral opportunities?

Questions hoteliers should ask their OTA representatives | hotel upselling

Although a relatively new concept on some OTAs, referrals are fast becoming a great way for hotels to build relationships with local businesses.

Your OTA might offer the ability for your hotel to recommend local attractions, places to eat or events to attend during the booking process. Ask if this is an option and, if so, how you can take advantage of it.

What reporting tools are available?

reporting tools with OTAs for hotels | hotel upselling

Although you’ll hopefully be benefiting from lots of great reporting in your channel manager, the OTA itself should offer some key insight from behind the scenes.

Ask the rep what kind of reporting tools the OTA offers via the platform. It might include competitor reporting, revenue stats, rate type performance and more - but you won’t know unless you ask.

Is there a loyalty programme for customers?

loyalty programme for hotel customers on OTAs | hotel software uk

Even if you run your own loyalty scheme, many OTAs will have their own membership options for guests.

These will provide offers, exclusive deals and other loyalty tricks which may encourage a few more regular bookers for your hotel.

Wrapping up

It’s time to take responsibility for your OTA listings. Our guiding questions above will help you get the most from the OTAs you work with, but don’t be afraid to dig deeper.

If you’ve got a burning question on your mind about an OTA relationship - ask it. Remember, the OTA reps are there to help you, and it’s another example of where your commission payments go.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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How to boost occupancy in slump season | hotel software uk

The festive season is over, and for hotel operators that results in two certainties:

  1. An exhausted hotel team that desperately needs some time off.
  2. Immediate worries about how to boost occupancy during the inevitable post-Christmas slump.

We’ll let you deal with number one, but how can you boost occupancy in what is, traditionally, a quiet time of the year for hoteliers?

The good news? We live in a digital economy that is full of new ways to reach potential guests. You just need to get creative, and, sometimes, turn to the simplest solutions.

Here are a few simple ways you can boost occupancy during the remaining part of the winter and get 2020 off to a cracking start.

Run a competition for a midweek break

Hey, but that’s giving away occupancy, isn’t it?

Yes, it is, but by running a competition for a midweek break, you’ll boost your influence on social media and grab a booking that will probably spend a bit in your bar and restaurant, too.

What’s more, you might encourage others to book regardless, thus increasing midweek occupancy; a tough task at the best of times.

Look for contractors in the area

If there are new residential or commercial building operations kicking off this January near your hotel, try and find out who’s behind them.

This will enable you to get in touch and find out if the workers have any ongoing accommodation requirements. Building firms often bring in contractors from further afield for large jobs, and if you’re lucky, you may just chance upon a few medium to long-term bookers.

Tempt some longer stays

If you already have a few weekend bookings in place, why not reach out to those guests and see if you can tempt them into staying longer?

By adding a discounted night onto the end of their booking, you’ll both increase occupancy for another day and the chances of them telling the world how wonderful you are as a hotelier.

Schedule some one-day events

Poetry reading, cookery masterclasses, networking events and conferences are just some examples of one-day events that may, in turn, boost your occupancy this winter.

If you’ve got the room to host such events, why not make 2020 the year when you stage as many as possible?

Start tapping into your mailing list

If you’ve been collecting guest email addresses (in a GDPR-compliant fashion, of course), now is the time to start tapping into that goldmine of data.

People who stayed with you over a year ago or those who have demonstrated their loyalty with regular stays should be prime targets for your promotional work this year.

Get in touch and remind them that you exist. Offer discounted stays if you feel it appropriate to do so or simply provide a tantalising glimpse of the work you’ve carried out on your restaurant since they last stayed.

Wrapping up

This time of the year isn’t to be feared as a hotelier - it’s to be relished and taken advantage of.

Use our tips above, and you’ll soon discover that the start of a new year can be just as profitable for your hotel as the festive period.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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Facebook Ads strategies for hotels in 2020 | hotel software uk

Facebook is a pay-to-play platform these days. Organic posting has a place, but it’s nowhere near as effective as the Facebook Ads feature - when used correctly.

This should come as no surprise - Facebook is a business, after all - but if you’ve never used Facebook Ads before, you might feel understandably trepidatious about getting involved.

It’s worth it, though. And, if you’re an independent hotelier, it could be a great source of extra bookings in 2020.

Here are some simple tips for making the most of Facebook Ads in 2020.

Set your objective

Facebook Ads for hotel bookings | hotel booking systems

Before you go anywhere near the Facebook Ads platform, you need to set an objective or two. What do you want to get out of it?

For some hotels, it will literally be the case of gaining more direct bookings. For others, they may want to gain extra likes from people who may one day become customers, or simply get word out about their new restaurant menu.

Think of an objective that you can measure and which, ultimately, should prove profitable for the hotel.

Figure out your audience

Hotel industry tips | management systems for hotels london

One of the best things about Facebook Ads is the ability it provides to curate tightly defined audiences.

You can build an Ads audience based on age, location, interests and much more. The key lies in creating an audience that isn’t too broad, but which precisely matches the type of people you want to attract to your hotel.

The best way to do this is to create what’s known as an ‘audience persona’. This is a fictitious character who represents your ideal customer. Think about the generation in which they reside, their likes and where they’re most likely to live.

Remember - you can have more than one audience, too. In fact, if you attract both millennials and baby boomers, for instance, you’ll need separate ads for them anyway, so make sure you create personas for both.

Think about when you’ll run the ad

Running an ad for your hotel on Facebook | hotel management software uk

Scheduling is vitally important in the world of Facebook Ads. Place an ad at the wrong time of the year, and it’ll gain little engagement.

Much of this will come down to what the ad is for. If it’s for a seasonal stay package, you’ll want to start advertising it a few weeks (if not months) out. If it’s a simple ‘like’ campaign, you need to think about when your audience will most likely engage with it.

Think about the length of time you want the ad to run, too. If you’re just dipping your toes into the Facebook Ads waters for the first time, a two-week trial period might be all that’s required. For longer campaigns, carefully consider the shelf life of your ad and set the duration to that.

The ad itself

Taking care of your Facebook ad | hotel upselling

The good news? Anyone can make a Facebook Ad look great - you don’t need to be a designer.

They provide brilliant, easy-to-use tools for creating ads, even if you simply have a bunch of images you want to display. Their slideshow feature also provides lots of great looking templates you can use to turn those images into something that moves and engages.

If you’re just getting started, we recommend playing around with the platform first to get a feel for how the ad creation process works. It’s pretty addictive once you get going, but always keep in mind your audience and the kind of visuals and messaging they’re most likely to engage with.

Wrapping up

Facebook Ads is a big topic which we’ll cover in more depth during 2020, but the above is a great starting point if this is new ground for you. Stay tuned!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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power of video hotel marketing | hotel software uk

Humans are visual creatures, so it makes sense that video is set to dominate internet traffic for the foreseeable future.

Hotels can leverage video to boost engagement with their guests, increase booking rates and secure repeat visits over time.

But where does the real power of video lie and what are the best ways for hotels to harness it effectively today?

Facts & figures

even a short video could do wonders for hotel marketing | hotel upselling

There has been a whole heap of work done to investigate just how impactful video can be as a marketing medium in the age of superfast connectivity and online streaming.

Some of the claims made might sound a little outlandish, but it’s impossible to ignore the weight of evidence that supports them.

For instance, Forrester Research made waves as far back as 2014 with its assertion that 60 seconds of video is just as influential as 1.8 million words of marketing copy. Which would you rather work on as someone tasked with marketing a hotel?

YouTube alone has over 1.5 billion users globally and plays host to an army of content creators, brands and businesses, all of whom are intent on tapping into the vast, ready-made audience the platform offers.

Facebook is also a key player in the video marketing field, with more than 500 million people viewing videos daily through its social platform.

In short, the idea that people engage with video more intensely than any other medium is well established - not just over-enthusiastic hyperbole.

From the perspective of an independent hotelier, the accessibility of video marketing makes it all the more powerful.

Video marketing options for hotels

video tip for hotels | hotel booking systems

If you want to sell more rooms and get people interested in visiting your hotel, video will open your doors to a wide, modern audience.

There are lots of ways to harness it effectively, starting with the obvious choice of creating a promotional ad for your hotel. This is easier than you might think, although it’s worth treading cautiously if you fancy the DIY approach.

You could tackle this task head-on yourself, but it’s probably worth investing in professional assistance if you want to avoid ending up with a video that looks amateurish or which ends up taking far more time than you can afford.

Once your ad is finished, you can embed it on your website, share it via social media and start racking up the views on popular streaming platforms like YouTube.

Another approach is to use video as a method to showcase customer testimonials in a way that feels more genuine than relying on a simple written statement on your blog or the emergence of positive TripAdvisor reviews.

Ask regular guests if they’d be happy to appear on camera to say a few words about what makes your hotel special and why they keep coming back for more.

You can push these engaging testimonials out across your social channels and your website. Some platforms - like Instagram and Snapchat - are perfectly designed for bite-sized video content of this kind, so don’t forget to experiment with them to get the best results.

There are even platforms built to facilitate customer-focused video marketing in a way that puts businesses in the driving seat, with StoryTap being a great example of a service that makes it easier and more convenient to control the narrative directly.

Wrapping up

Video creation tools are more affordable and accessible than ever before, so there’s no excuse for independent hotels to overlook this vitally important platform when it comes to optimising their digital marketing efforts.

If you’re a hotelier and you’ve experimented with video, tell us about your experiences in the comments section, below!

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

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5 tips for attracting more corporate bookings at your hotel | hotel management software uk

Corporate bookings are the holy grail for hoteliers when it comes to filling midweek space that’s inconvenient for leisure guests.

There’s just one problem - attracting corporate clients is hard when you’re an independent hotelier battling against the big brands and their even bigger corporate booking schemes.

Don’t give up! Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and the following five tips will help you attract more corporate bookings to your hotel than you thought possible.

1. Keep an eye out for future local business events

Hotel Industry Tips To Attract Business Clients | Hotel Booking Systems

Depending on your location, you may be within a short taxi ride of a popular event venue that regularly holds conferences or trade shows. If that’s the case, keep a close eye on its schedule and add some business seasonality to your tariff by pitching rates competitively during those times.

Look at what the big boys are doing; if they’re offering discounted B&B rates during a conference, go one step further and throw in free transport to and from the venue (assuming you have a minibus or similar), and add dinner as an option for weary event-goers.

2. Enable groups to manage the booking themselves

tips for more bookings at your hotel | hotel software london

There’s nothing worse as the organiser of a group hotel booking for your company than feeling completely out of control when it comes to the accommodation arrangements.

As the hotelier, there’s nothing more time consuming than the constant requests for booking changes that often come from corporate clients.

Surely, there must be an answer that leaves everyone satisfied in this situation, right?

Thankfully, there is - if you have the right hotel booking systems in place (PMS). The best will enable you to provide group bookers with tightly controlled ways of modifying and managing the booking themselves. And don’t worry - you won’t be giving them the keys to your castle; instead, they’ll get just enough access to make the changes that would otherwise take up an inordinate amount of your day.

3. Don’t try and be something you’re not

5 tips for attracting more corporate bookings at your hotel | hotel management software london

You’re not a big hotel brand, but you know what? That’s absolutely fine!

Trying to compete with the big boys of the hotel sector by becoming a mini version of them will probably land you in hot water as you start implementing levels of service you simply can’t sustain.

Some business travellers want an independent, small hotel experience. In fact, many will crave it if they spend the majority of their travels staying in flat-pack, soulless brand hotels.

You are what you are, and that’s a very good thing indeed. Independent hotels will often stand out for all the right reasons (price, location and flexibility to name but a few) during corporate booking searches.

4. Automate where you can

hotel industry tips to attract corporate hotels | hotel upselling

Even if a business traveller yearns for an independent hotel experience, they’ll still expect certain levels of automation.

Lean on your PMS and its surrounding technology as much as you can to ensure your business guests get the swift, easy service they require from the point of booking to check-out.

Automated booking confirmation emails and SMS messages are a must, as is the ability for guests to have all of their miscellaneous spend conducted in the hotel posted directly (and accurately) to their room invoice.

5. Don’t skimp on Wi-Fi - ever

Don't skimp on Wi-Fi | hotel booking systems

It’s amazing how many hotels still charge for access to in-room Wi-Fi.

Those days are long gone, and just because you’re trying to attract business guests, it doesn’t mean you can ‘get away’ with charging for access to the internet.

Make it free, fast and secure it behind login systems that don’t require a call to reception to unlock.

Wrapping up

There are plenty of business guests out there for your hotel to welcome through its doors.

Don’t give up - the big boys have absolutely nothing on you when it comes to delivering a corporate accommodation experience that will keep businesses coming back for more.

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Welcome Anywhere has over 30 years of experience in helping independent hoteliers deliver guests an unforgettable experience with its simple property management system that controls your daily activities. The best part -  it’s all cloud hosted! We develop scalable solutions for your property such as PMS, a Booking Engine and Channel Manager. Our team has a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry and we serve you to better serve your guests.

Call us today at + 44 (0) 33 0100 1090, or email us at sales@welcomeanywhere.com. We will be happy to walk you through Welcome Anywhere’s all-in-one solution for your property management needs.

Read More