Hospitality: it’s a unique and highly competitive industry – and the last couple of years have been particularly tough.
If you’ve been struggling to bounce back to pre-pandemic figures, it might be time to consider working with a creative hospitality marketing agency. They can help you navigate the changing landscape of digital marketing, and identify opportunities for your business to grow.
The right marketing agency will have experience specific to the hotel industry, understand your unique business goals, and have a creative approach to marketing that will get people through your door through direct bookings.
Remember: any digital marketing agency worth their salt will be very good at, well, marketing themselves. So while it can be easy to be swayed by a fantastic pitch, it’s important to stay grounded and keep in mind your specific business needs – and to make sure an agency really understands them.
Not sure how to sort through the crowd? Here are a few key things to look out for when choosing a hotel marketing agency.
1. Hotel Marketing Experience
This one may sound obvious, but it’s worth repeating: any marketing agency for hotels should have relevant hospitality industry experience. Even better if they have a track record of hotel online marketing for a hospitality business very similar to yours. This will mean they can hit the ground running, and start delivering results quickly.
If a hotel marketing agency says they have a track record of success, they should be able to provide you with some case studies that reflect that. Ask questions about these case studies to find out how their actions got results.
One of the best ways to know who you’re dealing with is to comb through an agency’s portfolio, and see if you can speak with past clients. Someone who has had a great experience working with an agency will often be more than happy to provide a glowing reference – and that’s the most reliable kind of endorsement.
2. Hospitality Marketing Strategy
Good digital marketing agencies will want to dig down into your specific business goals and find out what you want to achieve from a partnership. From there, they can propose hotel digital marketing strategies based around your requirements.
The right agency will have wide-ranging marketing expertise, and be able to talk you through all the different options available. If they’re only focused on one or two channels – like paid advertising, for example – it’s worth considering whether they have the breadth of knowledge to really help your business grow.
As well as social media marketing and email, a hotel digital marketing agency will be able to put together an industry-specific strategy. That means also looking at OTAs, local search results, google hotel ads and your hotel’s branding.
It’s essential that an agency provides at least a rough project timeline, so you can understand what kind of results to expect – and when.
Keep in mind that marketing campaigns often take time to gain traction, and that results are rarely immediate. A good agency will be able to provide you with realistic expectations, and should be transparent about the timeline for each stage of the project.
Any marketing agency you work with should be providing you with detailed reports on the progress of your campaigns. These reports should show how marketing campaigns are performing against your goals, and give you insights into what’s working well – and what needs to be improved.
Look for an agency that provides clear, actionable reporting that you can easily understand. If an agency is using jargon or trying to gloss over the results, that’s a red flag. You should be able to see exactly what your marketing spend is doing for your business, in black and white.
Whilst the location of a hotel marketing agency may not be the first priority to consider, it pays to bear it in mind. If you’re based in a smaller city, it can be just as effective – and often more affordable – to work with a local agency. They’ll have their finger on the pulse of your local market, and will understand the kind of marketing that resonates with your guests.
On the other hand, if you’re a larger hotel chain with multiple locations, it may make more sense to work with an agency that has a national or even international reach.
If you’re looking for hotel marketing companies that will actually visit your property to suggest improvements, then location will be an important factor to consider.
6. Fees For Digital Marketing Services
Fees can vary widely between hotel marketing agencies, so it’s important to get an idea of what you’ll be expected to pay before committing to hotel digital marketing services. In most cases, you’ll be looking at a monthly retainer, plus additional costs for specific services.
Be sure to get a breakdown of all the costs involved, so there are no nasty surprises further down the line. It’s also worth asking about discounts or package deals – most agencies will be open to negotiation, especially if you’re looking to commit to a longer-term contract.
Bear in mind that a (good) agency will be putting in many hours of work over a long period of time – so hotel marketing services won’t come cheap. But if you want to see real results, investing in the right agency will result in a healthy return on investment.
Finally, you should choose an hotel marketing agency that you actually like working with. After all, you’ll be spending a lot of time – and money – on this relationship, so it’s crucial that you gel.
Look for an agency that shares your values, and that you feel you can trust. If you don’t click with an agency from the start, it’s unlikely that things will improve further down the line.
Choosing the right hotel marketing agency can be a daunting task – but it’s essential to get it right if you want to see results. By considering all of the above factors, you’ll be in a good position to find an agency that’s the perfect fit for your business. And once you’ve found that elusive perfect match, you can sit back and enjoy the results.
Looking for more marketing tips? Check out our blog for all the latest news and insights. And if you’re looking for an agency or a hotel internet marketing consultant that ticks all the boxes with an extensive experience in hospitality businesses and search engine marketing, (that was a lot!) get in touch – we’d love to chat. We may have just the right hotel digital marketing solutions for you.
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