What Hotel startups could learn from online marketing gurus

As per google Hospitality industry is one of the top 10 blooming industry on their platform. Thus if you have a hotel, resort, travel agency or any unit which relates to Hospitality industry, then this is a good news for you. Millions of travellers are searching holiday packages, low & luxury accommodation at various tourist destinations online (every day). Thus if your hotel. resort or travel agency isn’t online then you are missing a golden opportunity to improve your brand name aka potential business.

When we started our Hotel {Hotel Malak Mahal} we segmented our budget for both online and offline platform, which in return was pretty profitable for us. So I decided to share some of our steps which we took to make sure that our Hotel startup had the right path towards success. Hence if you are a hospitality startup than this post is a resourceful one for you.

The first step which we took was to “Divide our Marketing Budget”. We segmented 60% on offline marketing where we reached travel agents, online travel agents, tour operators and many offline operators which have experience in hotel booking and tied up with them. But the real deal was the remaining 40%. Below we have mentioned some points about this 40% which made our brand popular not only in our region but even in faraway places like Western Europe, North America. How? Check the below points.

1. Started a website

start a hotel website

The first online promotional step we laid was to start our hotel website {hotelmalakmahal.com}. Many hotels & resorts do not understand the real value of websites. For them it’s just a page which speaks about their business and that’s it. But they are wrong. Today we get 35% of our bookings from our hotel website and this number is still growing. So a hotel startup must have a website.

2. In-house online marketing team

Most hotels who have websites and even generate business outsource their online marketing work to a digital marketing agency. Though I am not against outsourcing online marketing of your business but in the early stages this task should be done in-house. When we started Hotel Malak Mahal, we hired 2 fresher’s who had just finished their Masters in digital marketing and their tasks was to improve our online visibility both on SERP (like improving our visibility in keywords like budget hotels in Jaipur, hotels near jal Mahal etc) and Social media (facebook, youtube, linkedin).

The main advantage of an in-house team is that the top management can have a sense do & don’ts in online marketing, especially for a startup. Later you can outsource this task as now you have good knowledge of do & don’t in digital world (but be updated).

3. Be Social

Be social

No I am not talking about you tea parties. Here social refers to social media. Improving your hotel SERP visibly isn’t enough in 2013 and if you are not active on social sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+ etc than you are losing potential business. Plus if your hotel is social but your management (managers & even owners) isn’t social than again it’s not wise. Yes if your hotel is visible on online platform then your guests would like to engage with you but they would tend to connect with the hotel management (as they will always seek to get some discount for their next visit). But if your managers aren’t social then your social engagement will always be incomplete.

Let your managers spend some social media time and even go for email marketing campaigns as the core of your social media presence is to stay connected with your clients, nothing else.

There is a lot more which a hotel startup can do but in early staged these 3 steps can generate a solid roadmap for your hotel. If you have any suggestions which can help a hotel startup or even us then do comment. I would love to hear from you.