As a boutique hotel operator, you likely take pride in the fact that you differ from large chain hotels.

You offer a more personal experience and an authentic atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean that you have nothing to learn from the bigger hotels in your region.

You can improve your hotel marketing strategy by making hotel comparisons to the large chains in your area.

Here are 5 things you might be able to learn from the big competition:

1. You should offer similar incentives and loyalty reward programs
One advantage that many chain properties have over boutique hotels is that their customers are loyal to them in order to earn rewards. You can offer similar customer loyalty programs and direct booking incentives, which will transform your new guests into repeat customers who also will recommend your location to their family and friends.

2. You can create a website that is just as useful as those offered by large hotels
Your website must have several key features that are offered on all large hotel websites, including:

  • Online booking capability
  • High-resolution photo galleries
  • Mobile-friendly design
  • Social media integration
  • Visible ‘book now’ button
  • Accurate room rates and live availability

3. You need to design a distribution strategy that is similar to the big chains
One advantage that big hotels have over boutique hotels is brand recognition and massive marketing budgets. They partner with well-known OTAs and a wide variety of agents in order to drive bookings at their properties. You can create a distribution strategy that is just as effective, though, when you invest in a property management system that includes a channel manager.

4. You can invest in the same ‘big hotel technology’
Big hotels know that guests are increasingly motivated by the latest technological offerings. Luckily, small hotel technology can keep up with the big players as long as you make it a priority. Create a mobile app for your small hotel that offers remote check-in or mobile room service ordering. Invest in new technology for your hotel rooms, such as smart TVs that allow guests to stream their favorite shows and movies. Make sure that you offer free (and fast) WiFi to those who are staying in your hotel, and create charging stations in common areas so your guests are not without their favorite devices.

5. Prioritize online reviews and feedback
One important component of your hotel marketing strategy is creating social proof for potential travelers. Big hotels know that online reviews are absolutely necessary to improving and maintaining brand reputation in the industry. Follow their lead by soliciting feedback from your guests and engaging with them on the most popular online review sites. This is the easiest way to showcase your commitment to customer service.

In many respects, your small hotel has all the tools it needs to beat out the big competition.

Learn these lessons from the larger hotels in your area, and use them to set your independent property apart from the nondescript chain hotels in your destination.

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A guide specifically designed for small accommodation providers

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).