Promotions are a great way to boost bookings at your small property, since they can often generate excitement for travellers, offer great value for money, and promise amazing experiences. This blog will give you a number of helpful promotion ideas to get more bookings and revenue at your accommodation business.
But first, you might be asking if there’s a difference between promotions and marketing and the answer is yes. Let’s first quickly look at what they are.
What are hotel promotions?
A promotion is a marketing tactic that will inform your potential guests about something they can take advantage of or incentivise them to take an action. For example, Get 10% off for today only. Book now!
Promotions can be used for a range of purposes, like the short-term incentives we just mentioned or bigger initiatives such as focusing a promotion on particular events, seasons, or amenities.
Hotel promotions vs marketing: What’s the difference?
A hotel promotion is a type of marketing but a promotion is used to create positive awareness or interest in a particular offering.
On the other hand marketing encompasses a whole range of activities that start from identifying customer needs and continues all the way through to selling and even after the purchase.
Why is it important to use promotions at your property?
Promotions are important because they are a great way for you to boost occupancy and revenue quickly when you’re experiencing a low period or want to take full advantage of a peak period.
A good promotion will increase trust from your customers by offering them awareness, value, and excitement.
Top promotion ideas & examples to try at your small property
Promotions allow you to get creative with how you sell your hotel and what you can offer guests to win them over.
Here are some of the best ways to get started:
Low season can make it tough to drive business, so why not offer some hot deals to increase your chances of winning bookings? You could try a promotion that gives guests a free meal on their first night, special rates for travellers on business or couples looking to getaway, or a free upgrade upon booking.
In peak season when your occupancy and rates are likely to be higher, your promotions can revolve more around discounting some of your premium extras or upsells to encourage more purchases. You could also create last minute deals to sell your final rooms, knowing you can make a profit from your food and beverage services.
Remember to use promotions that you know will work best on your regular guest types, and use the right channels to get the word out. For example, lastminute.com is the perfect place to promote last-minute deals. Along the same lines you could also try ‘early-bird’ promotions for travellers wanting to secure their accommodation well ahead of time.
Make it easy to connect and manage extra channels with a hotel channel manager.
Themed promotions are an easy way to attract particular guest segments, and can be based around events, times of year, or special occasions.
Here are some examples of themes you can use to create promotions:
- Travellers enjoying a honeymoon
- Couples celebrating an anniversary
- A sports event
- A famous musician or celebrity is in town
- Christmas or Easter
- Valentine’s Day
What you decide to offer is ultimately going to depend on your specific property but it might include package deals, food and beverage offerings, value-added experiences, or local business partnerships.
That brings us to our next idea; teaming up with other businesses in your destination. It’s likely you aren’t the only ones in town looking to capitalise on visiting travellers, so why not team up to offer exciting packages, discounts, tours, or activities?
Partnerships will help you save money and reach more people, and even introduce you to a new market which you haven’t sold to before.
Common partnerships you might consider include those with theme parks, tour guides, restaurants and cinemas, museums and galleries, sporting arenas, or other local attractions like zoos.
How to promote your accommodation on social media
Social media is a powerful and cost-effective way to interact with your target audience. Facebook and Instagram in particular are thriving hubs that millions of people around the world use to browse travel related content. Sometimes they even make their decision to book with you while visiting your Facebook page, so make sure you have an online booking engine ready to process their reservation.
Some of the best ways to promote your property on Facebook and Instagram include:
- Requesting guests to tag you in their photos
- Posting on your profiles about any specials or deals you have running
- Running polls to engage your followers
- Running competitions to get people to share your page and attract more followers
- Hosting giveaways to get people talking about you to their friends and family
- Working with influencers, reviewers, or bloggers to broaden your reach
- Research and use popular hashtags to catch the eye of potential guests
It’s also important that you promote your local area on your public social media profiles and your website too. Guests are not just looking for accommodation, they are looking for experiences, so you need to make your destination stand out.
One way to do this is to write ‘listicle’ articles and share them to your social media pages. For example, 10 of the best things to do in and around Miami.
Other ideas to easily promote your small hotel or B&B
Yes, there’s more! Promoting your property can become a very diverse and creative undertaking and you can promote it in many ways at the same time, increasing your chances of winning bookings.
Here are some more ideas which will help you reach more guests and earn revenue:
- Opening your doors to the community – Even if your property isn’t large, you can still run mini-events like eating competitions, fitness challenges, exercise classes, cooking classes etc.
- Setting up a loyalty program – Loyalty programs really can work, especially in smaller properties that may have many return guests. The more loyal guests you can reward, the more likely you are to receive positive reviews and free word of mouth marketing.
- Creating itinerary bundles – Guests will jump at the chance to have a personalised experience bundle ready and waiting for them with their booking. For example, a family bundle that includes local experiences and dinner set out for them during their stay.
- Write content about your passions or products – If your property has its own wine cellar, orchard, or vegetable patch, use your blog to talk about your amazing produce and attract visitors to your website.
- Be a local expert – People will often use discussion boards like Quora or Reddit and others to seek information about your local area. Help them out and promote your property at the same time by providing answers.
We hope this blog gave you the ideas you need to effectively promote your property!
By Dean Elphick
Dean is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist of Little Hotelier, the all-in-one software solution purpose-built to make the lives of small accommodation providers easier. Dean has made writing and creating content his passion for the entirety of his professional life, which includes more than six years at Little Hotelier. Through content, Dean aims to provide education, inspiration, assistance, and, ultimately, value for small accommodation businesses looking to improve the way they run their operations (and live their life).