As we march into a new season, it's time for us to spring into action.
I'm sorry - I couldn't resist...
Calendar puns aside, now the mercury's rising and the sun's out for longer, it's clear that spring's just over the horizon. As the packed agenda of festivities begin to creep closer to us, it's time to give your hotel marketing strategy a bit of a spring clean.
Here are 5 tips to increase your hotel's bookings this Spring.
Rejuvenation and Rebirth
It might seem like a bit of a cliché, but Spring's all about rebirth and starting anew. Maybe it's time you freshened up your website and email marketing templates. I'm not suggesting you turn them all green and add daffodils just because it's Spring. However, a new look might just renew the interest in your subscribers and social followers and encourage more people to book directly.
You could even use your rejuvenated image to tease some guest-generated content. A simple: "What do you think of our new look?" campaign might stir your market into action. It can generate traffic to your new website, and have them tweeting in response.
Remember your Mother, Patrick and the Bunny
With Spring comes a lot of exciting marketing opportunities. Mother's Day and St Patrick's Day both happen in March. You could use Mother's Day as an excuse to get people sat in your restaurant. St Patrick's Day promotions involving Guinness and Jameson's whiskey might bring a few more people to the bar. How about an Easter Egg hunt in April?
Not only are these good times to hold promotions, but they are also events searched for by your target market. Make good use of your email marketing, website and social media to draw attention to your hotel over these important dates.
What's Going on in Town?
You're probably sick of me droning on about destination marketing. It's sort of becoming my 'thing'. So I'd better not let you down.
What's going on in town? Is there a Spring festival happening? Will there be flower shows, local parks and farms having fun days? How's Spring enriching the area around you? Working with the organisers of local events will increase your reach, and make you a central part of everything that is going on.
Perhaps you could offer a special discount for any frequenters of the local festivals and concerts that'll inevitably be springing (he he) up around your area.
Start Looking to Summer
On average, travellers book 34 days ahead of their stay. A quick sum reveals you'll therefore be a month into Spring when people will be considering their Summer bookings. It won't hurt to get a little bit ahead of the game.
This will really come in handy when you're getting closer to Summer, because finding time to do any marketing is more difficult once the kids are off school anyway. Look at the many ways you can draw people into your hotel throughout the Summer and be ahead of the competition.
Keep an Eye on the Competition
As much as I would like to imagine that I'm a one-of-a-kind true original hotel guru, the chances are that other people have already looked at their calendar. There will be some that began their marketing back in January, but that doesn't mean you have lost. In many cases, it gives you some time to react.
Make good use of your PMS and OTAs to see what the competition is doing, and then devise a killer room rate to match. As more and more people start to flock to your area, make sure your competitors don't price you out of the market. Perhaps consider a fresh new offer if you find your nearest rival has a room rate that's difficult to match.
Spring to me is a dress rehearsal for Summer. It's the time the party people start to slowly come out of hibernation and throw on a couple of village fetes. It still presents many opportunities to march a few customers over your threshold.
What marketing techniques are you considering this Spring?