You might not know it but your property’s location is feeding you some of the best hotel marketing ideas you have yet to try. Whether it’s taking advantage of the latest natural phenomenon to riffing off national events, these ideas are prime to get guests in your door.
Here are 15 hotel promotion ideas to supercharge bookings:
1. Newsjack Natural Phenomenons
Natural wonders of the earth only come around every couple of years. Is your hotel’s location primed to promote that natural phenomenon? For example, the Perseid meteor shower is a natural phenomenon that only a few get to experience. If your hotel has a rooftop that’s the perfect location for skygazing, why not create a hotel promotion around it? For planners who have events booked at your hotel during peak viewing times, offer their guests a complimentary beverage on the rooftop bar for a stellar, out of this world experience.
So what if you have don’t have events booked during peak viewing times of other galactic bodies like solar eclipses or comets? Promote the space availability in tandem with the natural event and show why your space is the best way to showcase Mother Nature’s events.
2. Leverage National Holidays and Events
If you relegate national holidays and events as a slow period at your hotel, you’re missing out on all the possibilities. One of our favorite hotel promotion ideas is to leverage national holidays and events to push direct bookings. Having a singular message about the national holiday or event will help push stays for a long weekend to all the segments in your audience. You’re able to leverage nationally known hashtags for the holiday or event to amplify your hotel’s promotional message.
So what’s step one in linking a national holiday to direct bookings? First, think about the spaces at your hotel that can best serve your guests and promote it. Is your hotel rooftop the best place in the city to watch July Fourth fireworks? Or, is your hotel lobby the perfect location to watch the USA in the Olympics? Don’t forget your hotel bars: is there a special New Year’s Eve cocktail menu you can craft just for guests?
Bonus: Commemorative days aren’t necessarily national (or official) but provide some fun hotel promotion ideas. Why not rally local pastry chefs for a National Donut Day competition? Or offer guests a coffee special when they book during National Coffee Day? These are thoughtful, fun touches that can make your guests’ stay a memorable one.
3. Take Advantage of the Seasons
The surrounding area of your hotel property is primed with hotel promotion ideas. While it may be obvious of the ways you can take advantage of the city’s natural wonders, it may not be for guests.
For example, is your property near the beach? Offer a surfing lesson package for guests who want more than just a hotel stay. Or, if your hotel is situated in wine country, set up a hotel promotion that rewards those who book direct. Chat with the sommelier of the best winery in your area and arrange an exclusive tour of the vineyard. Take advantage of warm temperatures in fall by looping in outdoor activities into your hotel promotions. For example, you could promote outdoor yoga in any green spaces near the hotel or arrange a running group to experience fall first-hand.
4. Offer Direct Booking Discounts
Increase your bookings by enticing your website visitors to book with your property directly! This tactic will not only bring you more business, it’ll also save you money because it’ll help you eliminate OTA commission fees. If your customers see that you offer incentives by booking on your website, they will start to think of your site as the most credible communication tool too.
What kind of incentives can you offer? Your only as limited as your imagination. Offer a bottle of wine, a discount at the hotel restaurant or bar, or maybe even 10% off their overall booking.
5. Leverage Holidays in Other Countries
The world is large and all cultures celebrate different holidays. Sometimes, even if countries have a similar holiday, they are often celebrated at various times. For example, the United States celebrates Thanksgiving in November and Canada celebrates it in October.
Capture the attention of these international vacationers by offering them discounts. This is a great way to fill up rooms at your property without decreasing your rates at a busy time. If the discount becomes a part of your marketing plan each year, families may turn into recurring customers as they include you in their holiday tradition.
6. Offer Bonus Points for Loyalty Programs
Your customers are devoted to you. Reward them for being so. Offer them a special promotion since they come back to you time and time again. The notion of a loyalty program is fairly common and guests are beginning to expect these kinds of perks, so ensure you’re offering them.
Take a page out of Hilton’s book. Through the beginning of 2019 they offered unlimited bonus points to their members who booked directly through them. Not only did members earn 2,000 bonus points per stay, they also earned 10,000 bonus points for every 5th stay or every 10th night.
7. Buy Two, Get One Free Deal
Do you want to offer a more tangible reward to your members? Something other than points that can be confusing to track? Give them a bonus of a free item after they’ve purchased it twice.
Best Western offered their members a free night’s stay with the purchase of two stays. Adopting a similar promotion at your hotel will encourage your members to visit again. They may also extend a typical weekend trip into a three-day getaway.
On another note, an extra night’s stay means guests may pay additional for other items in your hotel such as spa services, meals in the restaurant, and even parking.
8. Offer AirLine Miles
If your customers often fly to your city, demonstrate to them that their entire trip experience matters to you by offering airline perks. If you can become a one-stop shop for rewards, customers will take advantage of the benefits.
Offer them points on their miles that they can cash in for a gift card if they stay more than once. If they book a stay with you on a weekend, make the reward even higher. You could also partner with an airline so your customers can convert their hotel points into airline points.
9. Provide a Branded Gift Card
What do some people think when they’re offered a gift card with purchase? Two words: free money. Providing customers with a branded gift card will give them the feeling that they are saving on the actual stay itself, encouraging them to book with you over your competition. Branding the gift card solidifies their awareness of you but also encourages them to spend additional money at your property.
This type of promotion can be offered regardless of how long someone stays with you. For example, if someone books a one-night stay with you, consider offering them a $20 gift card.
10. Give Branded Credit Card Holders a Rebate
Individuals who have signed up for a credit card with your brand have demonstrated a large commitment to you. They’ve given you their social security number and address, and even tied their credit score to your business. Start a promotion that will benefit these stakeholders but also encourage others to join the ranks.
Offer to give your customers back some of the points they spent when they stayed with you. Then, they can use these points towards a future stay, which will generate even more revenue long term.
11. Personalize Promotional Offers
If you feel that you’re the only one getting a good bargain, doesn’t the good bargain seem that much more irresistible? Your customers thinks so too! Send your members one-of-a-kind deals into their inbox or directly into their member portal. Also, making your customers feel that their experience with you is personal will help develop their loyalty to you. That experience starts with booking!
Marriott moved completely from general promotions to this type of specific advertising in 2019. They have been offering “Exclusively for You” discounts to those who have accounts on their website.
12. Award Statement Credits
Providing money back to your customers in the form of a credit card statement is another promotion idea that will feel like free money to them. Stakeholders may interpret this discount as a means to spend an additional night with you or treat themselves to one of your paid amenities. This type of promotion also encourages more bookings because it doesn’t require any additional action by your customer. The only thing they have to do is book a stay with you.
Hyatt rewarded a credit of $50 to cardholders who spent at least $300 at one of their properties. The credit appears automatically on the cardholders’ Chase account.
13. Host a Social Media Contest
Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are amazing platforms to use to connect with your customers. You can post photos of your beautiful property or links to your blog for your fans, or you could spice things up and draw them in with a little friendly competition.
One approach is to craft a branded hashtag and set up a selfie station in one of the prettiest areas of your hotel. Then, ask people to post a picture of themselves in the station on social media and instruct them to include your hashtag to be entered to win a prize. 1888 Hotel in Sydney has tried this, and their hashtag has been used over 2,000 times on Instagram! This memorable marketing will increase your brand awareness so that when someone is looking for a place to stay, they’ll think of you first.
14. Unite Multiple Properties Under One Promotion
Not every hotel brand can be in every corner of the world. Try capitalizing on the locations you’re not in by partnering with other brands to offer your mutual customers exclusive perks. This will introduce your customers to other hotels, but other hotels’ customers will also be introduced to you!
There is a network of 550 hotels worldwide implementing this type of promotion. The Global Hotel Alliance Discovery Program offers consistent membership benefits across all those hotels. Their customers can count on experiencing the same level of service, regardless of where they are staying.
15. Encourage Staycations
You may not need to look further than within a few blocks of your hotel for the person who will book a room with you next. Work, family, school, and other obligations are increasing the demand for time and resources in people’s lives. Staycations are becoming a popular alternative to the traditional out-of-town vacation for those who need to get away.
You could mail a promotion to those in your neighborhood or city and offer them a promotion with the presentation of the piece. Otherwise you could offer the promotion to those with a valid form of ID that demonstrates they live in your city or state.
Now you’re ready to sell out rooms thanks to these great hotel promotion ideas!
With a little bit of creativity, launching these hotel promotion ideas in your hotel marketing efforts could be what it takes to boost direct bookings. Test out these new ideas when planning your next hotel group marketing campaign at your hotel.
What other hotel promotion ideas have you tried? Tell us about your best idea in the comments or give a holler on Twitter!