All About Hotel Marketing Software
The hospitality industry is incredibly competitive, and if you want to be successful you will need to find ways to make your business stand out.
One of the best ways to grow your hotel is to secure repeat visits from more affluent guests, because those business travellers and retired couples that like to travel frequently are the people that will contribute a lot to your income, and also tell their friends that “If you’re in that city, I know this amazing little hotel you can stay in”.
Relationship building is everything in the world of hospitality, and when you have a large number of guests to think about, it’s so much easier to automate your marketing and to use a good database to keep track of people.
The good news is that these days there are dozens of hotel management applications out there that can help you to keep track of your guests, send special offers to frequent travellers, collect feedback, and turn prospects into bookings. Here’s a quick look at what you can expect from some of the different platforms that are out there. The more you know about hotel marketing software, the easier it will be to pick a platform.
CloudBeds is a cloud-based platform that is aimed at small and medium-sized hotels, and it’s one of the first things that people think of when talking about hotel marketing software for B&Bs and hostels.
It can be used as an online booking engine, a system for housekeeping management, a CRM platform, and a business intelligence platform. It offers easy integration with Expedia, Booking.com and many of the other popular hotel reservation platforms, and it allows you to view detailed information about each guest too, so you can look up the people due to check-in each day, and see which are regular visitors, which are first time visitors, and so on.
innRoad is another great cloud based / Software-as-a-Service hotel management platform that includes CRM tools as well as booking, marketing, reporting and management systems. It provides at-a-glance information about room availability, and offers some great analytics features for those who have larger hotels and who want to get a detailed overview of how their hotel is performing.
Because the system integrates with so many booking platforms, it allows for widespread and easy marketing. Managers can view and handle bookings for multiple properties from one easy interface, and have their inventory updated across all of the different booking platforms, so you can be confident that you aren’t missing out on guests just because they use a different platform to you.
Skyware is another cloud-based platform that is designed to be used by hotels of any size, from a small boutique hotel or B&B to a huge chain of business hotels. It offers a sophisticated online booking engine, and options for customer relationship management, as well as activity schedulers, and more.
It’s perfect for those who want to add a personal touch to their dealings with their customers, and it allows you to run a hotel as a well-oiled machine, with maintenance done when guests aren’t around, and each guest getting things done to their liking.
GuestPoint is aimed specifically at small and mid-sized hotel managers. It combines the back-end tasks, such as record keeping and financial management, and the front-desk and marketing operations all into one tool.
The easy to use drag and drop interface, and the hybrid deployment model which includes online and desktop software, ensures that it can be used by as many people as possible, and that it’s intuitive and accessible. One really useful marketing feature is that the mobile-responsive booking page can integrate with social media sites.
This amplifies the reach of the hotel’s online presence, and ensures that visitors aren’t forced to leave social media and go to an unknown website to book. It’s a small thing, but removing friction is a huge part of improving the effectiveness of marketing.
Non-Hotel Specific Tools
The above tools focus on managing your hotel in general, and knowing about hotel marketing software is useful, but there’s a lot more to online marketing than just doing your own job well. A successful business will work with a lot of different social media and advertising platforms to get as wide of an audience as possible.
Posting photos on Instagram and sharing videos on there too, making long-form posts to Facebook, and shorter ones to Twitter, using Pinterest to reach the more creative demographic, or Snapchat if you prefer to appeal to youths. Every platform has its place. Even LinkedIn can be useful if you like to work with business travellers.
Scheduling posts can help to reduce the time burden required to keep up with all of your social media requirements. Tools such as chat bots can be useful if you want to be able to automate parts of your customer service.
Not all businesses make extensive use of bots, because there is somewhat of a prestige associated with personal interaction, but it is something that may be worth trying. Consider the image that you want to put forward with your brand, and whether automation in any form would fit with it.
Don’t forget about blogging, directory submission, and building relationships with the local tourist board. All of these things can help you to grow your online presence, which should in turn help you to reach more people, and increase your average guest figures.
Plan your marketing around the peak periods when people are booking hotels. Get a media diary and learn about which national and regional ‘days’ are coming up, so that you can hook in to those for your marketing efforts.