8 web marketing techniques for hotels and tourist accommodations
By helloDarwin
February 06, 2019

8 Web Marketing Techniques for Hotels and Tourist Accommodation (with examples)

The field of tourist accommodation has evolved considerably in recent years. The omnipresence of the internet in our lives has had a hand in this, as we've seen the advent of several new types of tourist accommodation, including the inevitable AirBnb, a company that has turned the traditional accommodation business on its head.
The industry has also been largely transformed by the existence of booking sites such as Booking.com, Trivago, Priceline and Hotels.com, which have huge resources to attract people to their websites and require virtually all establishments to register with their platforms for reservations.
That said, the presence of these companies hasn't necessarily meant the end of independent advertising for hotels, motels and B&Bs. However, to succeed in promoting your tourist accommodation business in the face of big companies with lots of resources, you need to put in even more effort, be very creative and keep abreast of the various trends in web marketing.
Do you own a tourist accommodation business? We've put together a list of web marketing strategies you can put to work to promote your business on the Internet and fill your rooms!
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8 web marketing strategies for hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts and other tourist accommodations

1) Know how to target the right people

This may seem like an obvious point, but it's one we insist on addressing in every article in this series on web marketing strategies. Too often, we find that companies (of all kinds) don't know how to target the right audience. The result: ads that go to the wrong people, campaigns that have little or no impact, websites that aren't well optimized. Tourist accommodation is a sector that reaches a large part of the population, but each establishment targets a different audience, depending on their interests, budget and needs. If you've never taken the time to draw up a profile of your clientele, now's the time to do it.
Here are the most important points to consider in order to better target your advertising and corporate branding:
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Salary
  • Interests
  • Geographical location
For the last point, knowing where your customers come from will enable you to tailor your ads and website accordingly. For example, if you own a hotel in the Charlevoix region, but your customers are mainly from France, you might want to target your Facebook ads to a French audience!
In addition to the criteria already mentioned, such as age, gender, salary, interests and geographical location, it's essential to integrate other key elements to refine the targeting strategy in the hotel sector.
Booking behavior and travel history
Understanding your potential customers' booking behavior can greatly influence your targeting strategy. Analyze historical data to identify trends such as average length of stay, preferred booking periods and the type of room most often booked. This will help you personalize your offers and marketing communications.
Analyze revenue trends
In addition to knowing the general income of your target clientele, it's useful to analyze spending trends within your establishment. Which services are the most popular? Are guests more likely to spend at the spa, in the restaurant or on hotel-organized excursions? This in-depth understanding of your customers' spending behavior enables you to better tailor your services and promotional offers.
Leverage social networking data
Social networks are a mine of information on the preferences and behaviors of your potential customers. Use social network analysis tools to understand which topics most interest your audience. This could include preferences for certain types of destinations, activities or even cuisine.
Using online reviews
Online reviews left by your customers are a valuable source of information. Analyze these reviews to understand what your customers appreciate most and what they would like to see improved. This will give you an indication not only of the type of clientele you attract, but also of how you can better meet their expectations.
Personalize your services
Finally, think of personalization as a targeting tool. Offering personalized services can turn an occasional customer into a loyal one. For example, if you notice that a segment of your clientele is particularly interested in wellness, consider developing personalized spa packages or special offers on relaxation treatments.
By incorporating these elements into your targeting strategy, you can not only reach your target audience more effectively, but also enhance the customer experience, increasing the likelihood of loyalty and referrals. It's by understanding your customers' needs and expectations in depth that you can offer a truly personalized and memorable experience.

2) Use social networks to promote your accommodation

Ah, social networks! How useful they can be, but so ubiquitous in our lives. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, YouTube and other platforms boast billions of members, and Canada is said to be one of the most social-networking-friendly countries in the world. In fact, according to CBC, over 94% of Canadians have an account on at least one of these platforms. This impressive figure shows just how important it is for businesses to maintain a presence on these platforms.
The most interesting social networks for tourist accommodations are Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. These are social networks that are very image-centric, allowing you to create interesting communication with the public. For hotels and accommodations, they can be used to present the services offered by the establishment, to send out promotions and, above all, to create a thirst for escape.
In addition to the aspects already mentioned, there are other key strategies on social networks that can maximize the impact of your online presence in the hospitality industry.
Visual content and video strategy
Visual content and videos are powerful tools on social networks, especially in the hotel industry. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase the best aspects of your establishment, such as rooms, facilities, surrounding landscapes and services offered.
Guest testimonial videos or hotel tours can also be highly effective in attracting travelers. On Instagram and Facebook, stories and reels offer a dynamic format to capture users' attention.
Highlighting services and improving revenue
Social networks are ideal platforms for promoting additional services that can generate extra revenue for your hotel. For example, you can highlight your spa area, catering offers or event packages. Offer exclusive promotions to your social network subscribers to encourage direct bookings and increase revenue per guest.
Interaction with travelers
Social networks offer the opportunity to interact directly with travelers. Respond actively to comments and messages to create a sense of community and engagement. Encourage customers to share their experiences and tag your establishment in their posts, which can increase your visibility and attract new customers.
Use relevant hashtags
Hashtags are essential for increasing the visibility of your publications. Use relevant hashtags related to hotels, travel and your geographical location. This makes your publications discoverable by people interested in traveling to your area or looking for accommodation ideas.
Collaboration with influencers
Partnerships with influencers can be very beneficial for hotels. Choose influencers whose style and audience match your brand. They can help promote your hotel to a wider, more engaged audience, often with a considerable impact on bookings.
Performance analysis
Finally, it's crucial to regularly analyze the performance of your social media posts. Use analytics tools to understand what type of content works best, what the optimal publishing times are, and how your followers interact with your posts. This will help you continually refine your strategy and maximize the impact of your online presence.
By incorporating these elements into your social networking strategy, you can not only increase your hotel's visibility, but also improve customer engagement, increase revenue and strengthen traveler loyalty.
To get your head around it and establish a strategy, here is an article to check out: - Beginner's advice on managing corporate social networks

3) Create a website or optimize the one you already have

If you don't already have a website to promote your business and take bookings, this should be at the top of the priority list! When people are looking for accommodation, they go to the search engines and type in a very specific query, such as "Miami hotel" or "Trois-Rivières inn". Rarely do people type in the name of a specific establishment directly. The first results are usually the large sites mentioned above. Next, we see companies that have websites and have taken the time to optimize them well. Your site should be : - Attractive; - Easy to navigate; - Filled with relevant information; - Enhanced with beautiful photos.
To help you prepare your website, consult these articles:
If you've got a website, but haven't updated it in a while, now's the time to act! Make sure your website is beautiful, effective and optimized for SEO. Read the following articles to find out more:

4) Use content creation

To enrich your website and have more content to share on social networks, you should consider adopting a content creation strategy. By this, we mean writing articles on a blog within your website, creating videos to put on YouTube and Facebook, taking photos to put on Instagram and so on.
Let's focus on the idea of running a blog on your website. What could be in it for you? Firstly, to make your site more complete and give people even more reasons to book with you. Secondly, to improve your SEO. The more relevant content you have on your website, the better your results will be in search engine rankings. If you cover different topics that can attract the right audience, you'll get more visitors from different backgrounds. Here are a few examples of topics you could cover on a blog:
In this example, we're thinking of a hotel in the Gatineau region: - Top 10 gourmet restaurants in Gatineau - 10 must-do activities in the Gatineau region - Where to relax in the Outaouais region To learn more about content creation and blogging, here are our articles on the subject:
Looking for web marketing experts for your hospitality business? Contact us to be put in touch with specialists!

5) Use online accommodation reservation services

Few Quebec accommodation companies don't use booking platforms like Booking.com or Hotels.com. In fact, they've become such an integral part of our lives that it's almost impossible to escape them. Some accommodation owners have even claimed to have felt trapped by these online booking agencies.
These platforms charge fees for their booking services, and while they're very useful, they can make things more complicated for some establishments, not least because customers are less loyal and it's hard to stand out from the crowd with so many accommodations on offer in the same place.
For tourist accommodation companies, there are two main approaches to adopt: - Focus everything on their own website and avoid booking platforms - Be present on the platforms and take the time to optimize their page to appeal to their algorithms. Of course, there are other options, but we'll focus on these. In the first case, this would mean creating a website that's optimized for SEO, probably advertising on search engines and promoting your website on social networks.
In the second case, it means using these platforms, but making sure that your company profiles are well optimized to be displayed in the first results and so that people are convinced to book with your company. How can you do this? Here are a few examples:
- Beautiful photos - Detailed descriptions of your establishment and services - Special promotions and prices - An up-to-date calendar - Lots of customer reviews - Use programs offered by the sites, such as VisibilityBooster (Booking.com)
Please note: having a presence on these platforms doesn't mean you shouldn't have a website! You mustn't become entirely dependent on the booking platforms, as a simple change in the algorithms could harm your business.

6) Advertising on search engines and social networks

When it comes to advertising on the web, there are two concepts to remember: social network marketing and search engine marketing. In both cases, there are "free" and "paid" options. We put the word "free" in brackets, because that doesn't mean you won't spend money on this strategy. In fact, you'll have to pay the SEO expert, the content creator and the time you devote to SEO. However, when it comes to paid search, you're also paying a specific amount for targeted advertising. There are several paid search strategies that are of particular interest to hospitality businesses, including retargeting, which involves sending ads to people who have already visited your website.
The use of targeted advertising on search engines and social networks is essential for lodging establishments, as it enables them to effectively reach users interested in hotel services. Retargeting campaigns, in particular, are a powerful way of reminding past visitors of your hotel's unique qualities, using techniques such as sending personalized e-mails.
These emails can contain engaging videos that showcase your establishment's ambience, facilities and staff, creating a deeper connection with potential customers.
To find out more about retargeting, Facebook advertising and Google advertising, here are 3 articles to check out:

7) Building customer loyalty

In the competitive world of hospitality, customer loyalty is crucial. An effective loyalty strategy goes beyond convincing customers to return; it aims to create an experience so positive that choosing your establishment becomes a matter of course for every new stay. Here are a few tips on how to boost customer loyalty in the hospitality industry.
Understanding your customers
The first step towards successful customer loyalty is to deeply understand your customers. Who are your customers? What are their needs and expectations when they stay in your hotel? Analyzing customer data and feedback can help you personalize your offer and services, making each stay unique and memorable.
Customized loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are a powerful tool in the hotelier's arsenal. However, to be effective, they need to offer real, attractive benefits. Think discounts, upgrades, or exclusive services like late check-in/check-out. The key is to make these programs as personalized as possible. For example, offer rewards based on individual customer preferences - a spa enthusiast might receive a discount on a massage, while a gourmet might enjoy a free dinner at your restaurant.
Exceptional customer experience
Customer experience is at the heart of loyalty. This experience begins with the first online contact and continues throughout the stay. Every interaction must reflect the quality and values of your brand. Pay particular attention to the welcome, the atmosphere of the hotel, the cleanliness of the rooms, the quality of the meals, and the availability of your staff.
Proactive, personalized communication
Communication with customers shouldn't be limited to the duration of their stay. Send personalized emails before and after their visit. Before they arrive, let them know about local events or special hotel offers. After their departure, a personalized thank-you message can make a big difference. Use these communications to gather feedback that can help you improve your services.
Using customer reviews
Customer reviews are a treasure trove of information. Not only do they influence the decisions of future travelers, but they also give you valuable insight into what your customers appreciate and what areas need improvement. Always respond to reviews, whether positive or negative, to show that you value your customers' feedback.
Exclusive online offers and services
Your website and online booking platforms are essential contact points. Offer exclusive deals for direct bookings, such as free breakfasts or room upgrades. This not only encourages loyalty, but also the use of more profitable booking channels for the hotelier.
Social networking integration
Social networks are a great way to keep in touch with your customers between stays. Share engaging content, such as stories about your hotel, news, or special offers. Encourage your customers to share their experiences and interact with your brand on these platforms.
Local events and partnerships
Organize or partner with local events to create unique experiences for your guests. These could be wine tastings, local art exhibitions, or concerts. These events can not only enhance the stay experience, but also strengthen the link between your brand and the local culture.

8) Use a web marketing agency

We've shared several tips that you could implement yourself to benefit your business. As a company owner or manager, it's in your best interest to be aware of what's new in the field of web marketing, and to be able to do some things yourself. That said, if you're reading this article, you're probably not an expert in the field, and you have some questions about it.
So, if you'd like to launch a web marketing strategy for your establishment, it's best to call on the services of specialists, entrusting the task to a web marketing agency or a freelancer. They'll be able to determine the best approaches to adopt, run tests, and in the end, you'll experience more positive spin-offs, while sometimes saving money in the process!
Calling on a web marketing agency specialized in the hospitality sector offers the significant advantage of in-depth expertise in customizing communication strategies. These professionals understand the importance of creating targeted campaigns that resonate with users, using tools like video to capture the essence of your establishment and convey the excellence of your hotel service. They also know how to use email strategically to maintain ongoing, personalized communication with your customers, ensuring that your message stands out in their inboxes. Ultimately, a specialized agency can go a long way toward strengthening your brand presence, improving customer engagement and maximizing the return on your marketing investments.

6 examples of tourist accommodations with interesting web marketing strategies

1) Shangri-la hotel (Toronto)

Toronto is full of boutique hotels, each more elegant than the last. So how do you stand out from the crowd? The Shangri-La is working on several fronts, including with influencers on Instagram.

2) Le Saint-Antoine (Rennes, France)

The Saint-Antoine hotel stands out for its pretty website, which gets straight to the point while giving a good idea of the atmosphere on site.

3) The Inn at Sedona (Sedona, Arizona)

During our research, we were struck by the original tactics of the Sedona Inn, particularly their use of Pinterest, which is not a typical strategy for a hotel. Precisely because they're among the only ones to do so, they stand out from the crowd and the impact is visible.

4) Le Germain Hotels (several locations in Canada)

The chain's first hotel may have opened its doors over 30 years ago, but the establishments haven't aged a day! That's partly because the chain has adapted to the best web marketing techniques, including the creation of a highly effective website.

5) Manoir Hovey (North Hatley)

Manoir Hovey can count on the fact that it has been awarded "Relais et châteaux" certification, a title that brings it a great deal of prestige. Despite this, the managers don't rest on their laurels, and among other things, take the time to regularly feed their Facebook page.

6) Airbnb The Beach Lodge by Tiffany (Malibu, California)

We thought it important to include an Airbnb as an example, given the popularity of this type of accommodation. As the owner of an accommodation listed on Airbnb, it's not always enough to create the ad and wait patiently for travelers to book nights! You have to put in some marketing effort, as in this example where the person is very active on Instagram!

Optimize your hotel marketing

In conclusion, hotel establishments need to strategically exploit various digital marketing channels to stand out in a competitive sector. Effective management of their online presence, including optimal use of booking platforms and social networks, is essential to attracting and retaining customers. Tools such as video and e-mail marketing enable personalized communication with users, enhancing the customer experience. With the assistance of professional services such as helloDarwin, hotels can develop and enhance their marketing strategies in an eligible and efficient way, providing exceptional customer service that translates into increased loyalty and improved profitability.
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