Ready to reach your ideal hotel guest and boost your business? Don’t think you have an ideal guest demographic? That’s okay! As a leader of the online side to the hospitality industry, Valet Interactive can show you how to:
- identify the types of guests that you want to book your hotel,
- create marketing personas for each ideal guest,
- and directly target these travelers to maximize your ROI!
Hotels can use this guide to develop ads which speak specifically to this ideal guest type. In turn, this can increase overall booking, touch upon the appeal of valuable add-ons and optional amenities as well as create a loyal guest for years to come. This marketing perspective is valuable to properties that want to launch ad campaigns to influence this demographic. Plus, this successful advertising can keep guests booking month after month! Let’s take a closer look at the intricacies of guest persona profiles to fill those beds.
Ready to Get in the Heads of Your Guests?
If you’ve frequented our blog, you might remember how we outlined the importance of creating a story for your hotel, which you can read here>>. We also mentioned that it’s important for readers to feel engaged with the tale. What better way to attract (and keep) a reader’s attention than by directly speaking to them?
A tried-and-true way to get into a customer’s mindset is to create marketing personas, which are used to keep track of the average guest’s wants, needs and expectations. This is a great way to keep track of how your hotel can speak to your potential future guests, no matter how subliminally. Let’s take a minute to learn just how to do so.
Let’s start by creating a guest (or buyer) persona. Think about the average person who pays for their stay. You probably already have a customer type in mind. From there, think about their:
- Education (Might Define Interests)
- Average Income
- Traveler Type (Leisure, Business, Group, Transient, etc.)
- Where They Go to Find Hotels
- And more!
Guests ask for recommendations on things to do in the area, so consider what a typical guest is looking for. Step into their shoes to get a feel for what might make them tick. You can develop an elaborate character to imagine the possibilities you have for advertising. Hotel bookings and advertisements are a continual process, so there’s no need to stop detailing your focus personas.
Appealing to Your Ideal Guest
From there, give this guest a name! Is your typical guest male? Let’s call him Jim. Naming your marketing persona can help you visualize who you’re addressing and can help you keep track of the person you’re targeting.
Jim could be a 30-something single male who’s traveling for business. Now you can visualize this customer and think about how you would address him, his needs and his expectations. You’re most likely thinking about which restaurants or pubs to point him to when he asks. Maybe you’ll mention that a local band is playing in the area or fun conventions in town.
But these are all things that are touched upon during face-to-face interactions. What can hoteliers do to boost the appeal of their property online?
Dig a little deeper into the persona. As a business traveler, Jim’s worried about finding a hotel close to his work-related destination and he prefers hotels that offer free Wi-Fi and (probably) breakfast. You can highlight both of these amenities in your web ads, and you can throw in other benefits too. Expect that those traveling for work want to know that your 24-Hour Business Center offers free printing and fax services.
By developing this in-depth persona profile, you can continually update this information to accurately respond to trends as preferences evolve.
Let’s say Susan, a college-educated woman in her late 20s, is browsing for a great hotel to book for her and her husband during their upcoming trip. They’re newlyweds and she’s searching for a romantic place to spend her upcoming long weekend. As a professional, the office is closed for the holiday and she’ll probably book Thursday-Sunday.
So what do you do with this perspective?
Think about creating an ad centered around the ‘getaway’ vibe your hotel displays. Do you offer upgrades like a Romance Package or late check-outs for sleepy guests? (Not that late checkouts are only for lovebirds, let’s be honest). Advertise breakfast for 2 vouchers or dinner and a movie deals. Being a Millennial, Susan will most likely notice the ads on her social media sites as she asks her friends for recommendations. Don’t be afraid to launch an ad campaign on social media networks (like our experts described in this post >> ) and other locations. Your focus is to expand your overall reach and lock down this client demographic.
Need Help? Don’t Be Afraid to Ask the Experts – Your Guests!
If you’re not sure how to find out more about the details of
your targeted guest demographic, we encourage you to ask them yourself! Try sending a follow-up email to learn more about what your guest is looking for in their ideal hotel or asking them during checkout. This step is sometimes easier for businesses selling a good rather than hotels who want to connect with their guests, but just use your best judgment when learning more. Ask Cindy if her children were satisfied with the things to do at the property or Mark if your area shuttle arrived on time. Most importantly, ask how they came across your hotel. If it was an advertisement on Facebook, increase your ad campaign funds for that post. If it was with an email, get your guests to sign up for a newsletter and review which email they’re referencing. Chances are that you can use its format or address what it emphasizes in future emails.
What’s important is that you react to the information you’re given. If guests are repeatedly talking about how great your amenities are, be sure to emphasize that on your ads. Are there complaints that keep coming up? Do what you can to fix the issue. As long as you are reacting to your guests’ needs, they’ll make a note of it in their online reviews and word-of-mouth referrals. Customer service is the leader of any industry, so respond with finesse and look out for what works for your guests.
Don’t forget to update your guest persona profile continuously to accurately gauge your guests’ interests, wants and more. Keep the profiles in an easily accessible document that can be updated as needed. You’ll also want to look out for your overall conversions with help from Google Analytics or whatever website monitoring tool you’re using.
Better yet, you can turn to hospitality marketing experts to create and maintain your marketing needs. We encourage you to contact expert online hoteliers, Valet Interactive, for a free quote and to learn more about our array of services. Our team looks forward to showing how we can help you successfully boost your hotel’s reach, maintain persona profiles for your guests and get heads in those beds throughout the year!