I get this question often from managers of independent hotels: how to compete with international 5-star brands on a limited budget? The answer to develop quality presentation, precise audience targeting and smooth booking experience.
The 4 pillars of luxury marketing are the 4E:
Here are 3 fundamental practices from luxury brands that require little to no additional investment but careful analysis, proper planning and high level of execution.
1. Sell the experience
Cost: $$$ (moderate)
Leisure travellers want to enjoy your hotel, explore the destination and try local experiences. Provide a clear presentation of the overall experience on your website, social media channels, email and paid search campaigns. Highlight key selling points and unique values. Tell a story and share interesting details that will engage your audience. Use only high quality images and well written content.
Investing in high quality media and well written content can result in high (avg, 60%) increase in sale conversion rate, revenue and it will also increase brand value.
- Present the experience and tell the story behind the product
- Highlight key values and make details available
- Invest in professional media
- Invest in quality content
2. Engage your audience
Cost: $$ (low)
Analysing user behaviour, typical customer journey and demographics of your converting customers to discover what they are interested in. Use these insights to distinguish profitable and less relevant segments of your audience. Optimise content, layouts and navigation towards the preferences of your profitable audiences to increase engagement and purchase intent further.
Content and audience optimisation can result in high (avg. 50%) increase in sale conversion rate meanwhile contributes to repeat business and brand loyalty.
Precise audience targeting can contribute to quality brand awareness and ROI (Return on Investment) from display & remarketing campaigns.
- Create specific content for each profitable segment
- Measure and analyse segments separately
- A/B test content on key pages
- A/B test images & videos
3. Make it enjoyable to book
Cost: $ (minimal)
Return: very high
Above 80% of booking engine visitors leave to OTAs (Online Travel Agents) to complete their reservation. Payment is an unpleasant procedure for most customers so it is important to make it as quick and smooth as possible. Reduce the number of input fields and eliminate any unnecessary steps to guide your customers through the process as smoothly.
The bottleneck of most hotel websites is the booking engine. Small improvements can deliver high (avg 65%) increase in successful transactions.
- Eliminate unnecessary steps
- Use clear navigation
- Use auto-fill options
- Use short forms