How to Create a Communication Strategy for Your Hotel
by Valeria Polverino
In the hotel industry, communication is crucial: the hotel industry has become increasingly competitive and it is necessary to differentiate oneself from one's competitors in order to attract target customers and ensure a good occupancy rate all year round.
The post-pandemic guest expects a certain level of service and professionalism from the reception staff, he wants to be sure that he will always find someone who can solve a problem during his stay.
They have started planning their trip several months in advance, maybe even contacted your establishment more than once to make sure everything was confirmed.
It is therefore necessary to implement a strategic communication plan that takes into account objectives and shows how to communicate the services you offer.
The key points of a communication strategy for hotels
Selling rooms is the highest aspiration of every hotelier but today it is no longer enough. You need to offer a personalised and engaging experience and without a strategy you risk living in the shadows.
A proper communication strategy is essential to ensure that you do not lose sight of your goals, especially in the most hectic months. One must play in advance and the low season months are perfect for testing and evaluating its effectiveness.
Strategy is the compass that tells you what to communicate, to whom and in what way. It is an investment that, done well, starts to bear fruit in a short time.
Where to start?
Target your ideal customer
Focus on your target audience, made up of customers who when they book online are not looking at price but are looking for a place that makes them feel good and excited. You need to know what they like, what social networks they frequent, when they book and what services they prefer.
All content you produce should be designed for your ideal customer, use engaging language that elicits familiarity and empathy.
Like the Thumbelina, your ideal customer leaves crumbs online, testimonials and impressions of their stay. Pay attention to the most frequent questions you receive on social media, by email but also at the Front Office. These are basic indications of your audience's needs, you cannot ignore them when creating your communication strategy.
Do you offer menus for food intolerances? How fast is WiFi? Collect all questions and group them in a special section on your site. Highlight them so that those who surf online to book their stay will find them immediately.
On social media, on the other hand, tell about daily life in the hotel to convey your concept of hospitality and the atmosphere that guests will find.
Regularly analyse reviews on Tripadvisor and Google My Business, read in what tone they speak about your hotel. Go beyond criticism: a negative review is an opportunity to understand how to improve services.
Take care of all communication channels
A check of the hotel's online presence is fundamental, the website is a business card, it must live up to expectations and convey an elegant and impactful image.
What to check?
- Are the photos of quality?
- Are the texts comprehensive and do they explain in detail the services available at the hotel?
- Are the translations flawless and free of typos?
- Does the layout of the newsletter reflect the brand colours and is the subscriber database up to date?
- Is there a blog? Is the information periodically checked and is the content original?
- Is the availability of the booking engine real?
- Does the site navigate quickly and is it well optimised for mobile devices?
- Is the information on social profiles up to date?
- Are the photos consistent with the visual identity and do they convey the atmosphere of the hotel?
Pamper old customers
Customers who have stayed at your hotel are an asset to be cherished; you need to keep your relationship with them alive because they can testify to the experience they have had.
The channel to devote to them is the newsletter, to be sent out on a regular basis with offers and useful communications to tickle their need for a holiday.
The slant should not only be promotional, use this tool to provide useful information on what to do during their stay, perhaps involving other local players.
Offer unique experiences
When on holiday your ideal customer is looking for different experiences, offer useful tips to enrich their experience at your hotel. With this in mind, consider creating a section on your website dedicated to what to do in the surrounding area, dividing the information by target audience (families, couples, sportsmen, travellers only).
Use the blog to propose recipes, itineraries and curiosities. Send a monthly newsletter to remind you of events and news available at that time. Finally, social media lend themselves well to telling the story of hotel life. Involve the staff in the creation of content; a recipe, a tip or a video is enough to tell the story of everyday life.