Hospitality Marketing: The Complete Guide in 2023 [Updated]

Marketing your hospitality business effectively is one of the most important things if you want to be successful. However, hospitality marketing is also one of the most challenging things to get right. Especially because it’s such a diverse industry, and pinning down the best strategy for your particular business is not as simple as it might seem.

So why exactly do you need a strong hospitality marketing plan? What are the different strategies you can use? And what trends are effective right now?

Don’t worry if that sounds a little intimidating; we’ve got you covered!

This article serves as an introduction to hospitality marketing and will help to put your mind at ease and explain everything there is to know about marketing your hospitality business, no matter which category it falls under. What’s more, we’ve looked at a few real-life hospitality marketing examples to help you better understand what works and what doesn’t.

Ready to learn how to leverage hospitality marketing and boost your sales?

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    What is Hospitality Marketing?

    Within the hospitality industry, marketing is the process of promoting your hospitality business with the intent of drawing in more customers.

    Of course, the different subcategories, like restaurant marketing, hotel marketing, theme park marketing, etc., will each have strategies that are more effective than others. However, there is a significant overlap between all these tactics, and many of the principles remain the same across the board.

    Therefore, things like video marketing and user-generated content marketing, along with customer-centric strategies, will be present in any good hospitality marketing strategy and in the tactics used by those types of organizations.

    Summary: What’s Hospitality Marketing?

    Hospitality marketing is the process of promoting your hospitality business with the intent of drawing in more customers. Furthermore, there is significant overlap among all marketing tactics, and many of the principles are consistent across the board.

    The Importance of Hospitality Marketing

    Due to the hospitality industry’s focus on the customer experience, hotels, motels, restaurants, resorts, and theme parks need customer loyalty and social proof to be successful.

    Hospitality Statistics Infographic
    Source: FinancesOnline

    With tourism expected to begin picking up now that the worst of the pandemic is over, attracting people to your business is going to be more important than ever before. Moreover, with the drop in market size between 2019 and 2022, from $1.52 billion to $1.06 billion, you’ll need to work even harder to be successful.

    But, all hope is not lost, as air travel demand is expected to make a full recovery by 2024, meaning tourism will once again be on the rise.

    Nevertheless, a great marketing strategy is a must-have!

    Summary: The Importance of Hospitality Marketing

    Hotels, motels, restaurants, resorts, and theme parks need customer loyalty and social proof to be successful. In addition, with the drop in market size between 2019-2022, you’ll need to work even harder to be profitable in the hospitality industry. Therefore hospitality marketing is vital.

    5 Hospitality Marketing Trends

    1. Chatbots

    Chatbots are one of the newest marketing trends across all marketing categories, including in the hospitality industry, and for good reason!

    These chatbots can be used to add an extra layer of interaction between you and your customers, helping them to make a booking or reservation and answering their questions. Moreover, this has the added benefit of making customers feel heard and like they are important to you, improving the customer experience.

    To see a chatbot in action, check out this video about the Feebi Restaurant Chatbot.

    2. Voice Search

    The preference for voice activation among the younger generation of Web users represents a significant opportunity for the hospitality industry.

    With the aid of speech control and recognition technology, voice search is possible on tablets, smartphones, and other similar devices, including some laptops and desktop computers, making the process for users evermore friendly.

    What’s more, this marketing craze may soon eliminate the need for Internet users to type search terms into search bars or click buttons.

    This means that hotel guests can make a hotel room reservation by speaking to their smartphones. They can even control the lighting, music, and heating in the room using voice search.

    3. User-Generated Content

    As with chatbots, user-generated content is quickly increasing in popularity within marketing strategies and is now a frequent tactic used by any hospitality marketing agency. And if used correctly, user-generated content can significantly help you raise brand awareness and boost brand reputation.

    User-generated content is content created by online users that they then share and can take the form of endorsements, comments, forums, blog entries, social publishing, etc.

    Good Online Reviews Influence Purchases Infographic
    Source: LocaliQ

    A potential customer who is looking for information about your brand online will usually read customer reviews about your business on other websites or social media platforms before making a final decision.

    One effective strategy is to encourage your visitors to share their experiences on social media. To accomplish this, hold contests, create brand hashtags, or set up photo opportunities at your hotel.

    4.  Augmented Reality

    Augmented reality is one of the most intriguing concepts in hospitality marketing. This trend, which makes use of computer technology, alters a person’s perception of their immediate surroundings.

    Hotels, for example, can increase online room sales by enhancing their features with augmented reality. For example, you can use augmented worlds to entertain your visitors in a variety of ways, such as by showing them virtual versions of their favorite celebrities while they are staying at your hotel.

    Contrastingly, there are various practical applications you can use to make the customer experience more seamless, like sending virtual keys to visitors’ smartphones.

    5. Artificial Intelligence

    Artificial intelligence has the potential to simplify procedures while also providing insightful data to you about customers. While many online travelers book their accommodations through aggregator websites, others may visit a hotel’s homepage but leave without making a reservation.

    Moreover, most customers would rather speak with hotel staff than enter their preferred dates and check-in information, as that process can be rather time-consuming.

    Therefore, you can use chatbots with artificial intelligence on your website to provide personalized support and build a dependable system.

    Similarly, if integrated, your visitors will be able to request room service through your AI-enabled website, freeing up the time of your hotel personnel.

    5 Hospitality Marketing Trends

    1. Chatbots create a layer of contact between you and your consumers, making them feel heard and important.
    2. Voice search could soon eliminate the need for Internet users to type search terms into search bars or click buttons, making their interactions with you more seamless.
    3. If used correctly, user-generated content can significantly help you raise brand awareness for your hotel or business.
    4. Augmented reality makes use of computer technology to alter a person’s perception of their surroundings, making the customer experience more seamless.
    5. Hospitality companies can use chatbots with artificial intelligence on their website to provide personalized customer support and build a dependable system.

    6 Hospitality Marketing Strategies

    1. Experiential Marketing

    In the competitive world of hospitality, how a customer feels is the most important factor in getting them to come back. To meet the needs of your hotel, restaurant, or travel agency, you need to make sure you have good customer experience marketing strategies in place.

    Moreover, it’s important to keep in mind that giving great customer service does not always lead to immediate financial gains but will most certainly pay off in the long run.

    One way to get strong returns and a steady stream of repeat customers is to collect analytics from online customer testimonials on review websites. This will give you a lot of information about your customers’ preferences, ideas for how to improve your business, and signs of future sales.

    Experiential Marketing Infographic
    Source: Lundmark

    2. Personalization Marketing

    Personalized marketing allows businesses to send tailored content to their target clients by utilizing automated technologies and data collection. Furthermore, personalization marketing aims to engage potential customers by communicating with them on an individual level.

    As such, targeted emails are an important way for hotels, resorts, and tour operators to personalize their services for customers and guests. For example, when a travel agency or hotel is about to offer a discount, customized emails can be sent to people who might be interested.

    Personalization marketing is one of the most direct hospitality marketing strategies you can use to get to know your customers better and get them to come back.

    3. Influencer Marketing

    Influencer marketing is quickly becoming a fantastic option for hospitality marketers looking to stay relevant in a competitive industry. Furthermore, influencer marketing, a digital take on traditional word-of-mouth advertising, assists hotels in building their brands and attracting direct bookings.

    us-influencer-marketing-platform-market
    Source: GrandViewResearch

    By using this method, you can reach a much larger audience and gain more clients for your hotel or travel company by developing consumer reputation and trust. As a result, you can attract potential clients by delivering genuine content from a person who is highly influential and authoritative in the

    With your influencer marketing campaign, for example, you could target young people who are increasingly choosing Airbnb services over traditional hotels. the niche you’re attempting to target.

    4. Video Marketing

    Hospitality companies in the travel industry can use video marketing to interact with their target market by posting videos on Facebook Live, Instagram, Snapchat, Discord, Reddit, and YouTube.

    Although written content can help you raise brand awareness and attract readers’ attention as well if you want to engage them right away, why not provide them with digestible visual content about your hotel or resort?

    As such, marketers have an almost infinite number of options available to them, ranging from live feeds of hotel activities to promotional videos highlighting hotel features and customer interviews discussing their experiences. Furthermore, with the growing popularity of 360-degree video, there are more options for completely immersing viewers than ever before.

    You could, for example, use video marketing to show people the peaceful moments they can have at your hotel, highlight your delectable cuisines, or show off the fun activities you provide.

    5. Content marketing

    We just mentioned how video content is often more effective than written content; however, both fall under the same umbrella term of content marketing. Likewise, each type of content marketing has its place and can have a large impact on sales and your customer base.

    Content marketing stats
    Source: Best of MVM

    Content marketing aims to draw in customers by providing them with useful, almost always free, resources to provide them with value and sway their decision-making in your favor.

    For example, running something like a blog or weekly magazine can serve this purpose extremely well, as you’ll be giving information that potential customers will find useful.

    6. Remarketing

    Remarketing, a powerful marketing strategy, includes targeting potential customers who have previously visited your website or expressed interest in your services. As a result, remarketing is a way to get back in touch with website visitors who spent some time looking at your pages but didn’t book a room or service.

    You can use this technology to contact previous site visitors and offer them a discount in order to entice them to return. For example, you can use Google Analytics to customize this technique based on the user’s interests or demographics. You can also filter these queries to obtain specific information about website visitors.

    Summary: 6 Hospitality Marketing Strategies

    1. Experiential Marketing
    2. Personalization Marketing
    3. Influencer Marketing
    4. Video Marketing
    5. Content marketing
    6. Remarketing

    3 Great Hospitality Marketing Examples

    1. Marriott Hotels: Video Marketing

    Video marketing has evolved into an important component of many advertising campaigns today, and the hospitality industry can reap significant benefits from it. For the companies that run hotels, recreation centers, and restaurants, you can showcase many incredible experiences through video.

    for example Marriott Hotels capitalized on video marketing’s increasing popularity and effectiveness when they launched their short film campaign.

    Therefore, with short films, Marriott was able to demonstrate what guests could expect from their hotel stays while also highlighting the distinctive aspects of its brand personality. Similarly, videos can be used in your hospitality business for anything from one-on-one interviews to behind-the-scenes tours.

    2. InterContinental Hotels: Content marketing

    As previously stated, content marketing is a valuable addition to any hotel promotion strategy. However, that content doesn’t have to be text-based to be effective. As such, podcasts have grown in popularity in recent years, particularly among consumers who do not have the time to watch a video or read an article.

    The “Stories of the InterContinental Life” collection of podcasts, with tales from all over the world, was introduced by the InterContinental Hotel brand in an effort to engage with its target audience. The podcasts delve into the enchantment of luxury travel and the incredible experiences that people can discover when they widen their horizons.

    InterContinental Hotels Podcast Example
    Source: InterContinental Hotels

    3. Loews: User-Generated Content

    The best hospitality marketing tactics don’t always involve producing fresh material for your audience to consume. Instead, you can concentrate on distributing the content that your customers are often already producing and utilizing that data to increase sales.

    Loews Hotel, for example, launched its #TravelForReal social media campaign in 2015 to encourage customers to share photos of their travels online. Their catchphrase, “Because no one can tell our story better than you,” was perfect for connecting with Loews’ target audience. And as such, the user-generated content campaign was an excellent way to raise brand awareness and demonstrate Loews’ commitment to its customers.

    Loews Hospitality Marketing Example
    Source: Loews

    Summary: 3 Great Hospitality Marketing Examples

    1. Marriot Hotels: Video Marketing
    2. InterContinental Hotels: Content marketing
    3. Loews: User-Generated Content

    Hospitality Marketing Final Thoughts

    And that’s it! Everything you need to know to turn your hospitality business into one of the leading companies in your industry!

    We’ve covered everything from what hospitality marketing is to why it’s important, as well as breaking down the top trends and strategies with real-life hospitality marketing examples just for you.

    Keep in mind that hospitality marketing is a very challenging thing to get right, and it can be time-consuming. But if you are up for the challenge, this article has given you the tools you’ll need to get it right! Otherwise, you can always look into hiring a hospitality marketing agency, which will handle everything for you.

    Either way, marketing your hospitality company is one of the most critical business choices you’ll ever make.

    So what are you waiting for?

    Get to marketing!

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What’s Hospitality Marketing?

    Hospitality marketing is the process of promoting your hospitality business with the intent of drawing in more customers. Furthermore, there is significant overlap among all marketing tactics, and many of the principles are consistent across the board. Read the full guide to learn more about hospitality marketing and the best strategies to use.

    Why is hospitality marketing important

    Hotels, motels, restaurants, resorts, and theme parks need customer loyalty and social proof to be successful. In addition, with the drop in market size between 2019-2022, you’ll need to work even harder to be profitable in the hospitality industry. Therefore hospitality marketing is vital. Read the full guide to learn more about the importance of hospitality marketing and the best hospitality strategies, with examples.

    Which type of marketing is done in the hospitality industry?

    Hospitality marketing assists advertisers in travel, restaurants, and consumer services in raising consumer awareness and consideration of their products and services. Hospitality marketing strategies can help brands drive customer engagement and maintain top-of-mind awareness. Read the full guide to learn more about hospitality marketing, what it involves, the best strategies to use and some great examples to learn from.

    References

    Cvent: What Is the Hospitality Industry? Your Complete Guide

    SoegJobs: Key Success Factors of the Hospitality Indistry

    Statista: Market Size of the Hotel and Resort Industry worldwide (2012 to 2022)

    FinancesOnline: 109 Hospitality Statistics You Must Know: 2021/2022 Data Analysis & Market Share

    LocalIQ: 85+ Online Review Stats for 2022