hotel marketing

Hotel Marketing: Effective Strategies to Attract Guests

Maria Ortega
22 May 2023

Hey there! Welcome to our blog post all about hotel marketing strategies. It's a tough industry out there, so effective marketing is key to making your hotel stand out, attracting guests, and ramping up revenue. 

In this blog, we are going to explore a bunch of awesome marketing tactics and strategies that can boost your hotel's success in the digital age. Here’s the overview of what you can expect:

  1. Understanding your target audience as a hotel owner
  2. Building a strong brand identity to power your hotel marketing strategy
  3. Why it's important to optimize your hotel website
  4. Leveraging hotel Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to get ahead
  5. Embracing the awesome world of content marketing for hotel marketers
  6. Exploring the power of social media in the hotel industry
  7. Implementing email marketing to become a digital marketing maestro
  8. Collaborating with influencers and building partnerships to top up your hotel marketing game

Exciting stuff, right? Let's dive right in!


Understanding your target audience to shape your hotel marketing strategy

To crush hotel marketing, hotel owners have to know who they're talking to. By understanding your guests' preferences, needs, and behavior, you can tailor your marketing to make them book with you, and not your local competition. Here are the keys to understanding your target audience and storming hotel marketing success:

Step 1: Identifying guests personas

First up, you need to make individual personas that represent different people within your customer base. Let’s explain what this means.

A target audience is a description of a group of people who are likely interested in being a guest at your hotel.

For example:

One of your target audiences might be men and women, aged 30 - 45, who live more than 30 miles away from your hotel, who likely stay for at least 2 nights.

A target audience persona outlines a typical person within your target audience. You use the data from your target audience to craft your target personas. These guest personas then represent each of your target audiences, and bring a richness to them. It helps you when marketing, as you can imagine you are directing all your efforts to the persona!

For example:

Based on the above target audience, your persona will tell you that these men and women are likely families or couples, looking for an escape from their usual work-and-home life balance, and enjoy upgrades or relaxing experiences.

Using this persona, you might put together a short video highlighting that your hotel has unique, relaxing experiences, like a spa, treatments, luxury dining, or other local amenities that appeal to this persona.

To develop a guest persona, you need to bring all data together on your target audience. Make sure to keep track of demographics like age, gender, and location, as well as travel preferences and budgets. You then need to combine this with your knowledge of your audience, and what the members of the audience have in common.

All of these details will come together to create unique characteristics and preferences for each persona, giving you an opportunity to customize your marketing messages and offers to what they want to see.

TOP TIP: We recommend having three personas in total. These should cover your key target audiences, without becoming too broad.

Step 2: Conducting hospitality industry research

For a complete understanding of your target audience, you must conduct a thorough market research. You should use a combination of ways to gather this research, such as:

  • Check out hotel industry trends and hotel marketing trends.
  • Understand and analyze your competitors to see what offers they’re promoting.
  • Take guest reviews to know what influences your customers. 
  • Join travel forums and check social media to find customer's pain points and needs. 

This information will help you make decisions that stand out from your competition and meet specific customer needs.

Step 3: Getting inside your hotel guests heads

Guest feedback is a must-have in understanding your guests' experiences and expectations. It’s never enough to guess! Have a quick sneak peek at online reviews, ask guests to complete surveys, and engage with them on social media to learn about their preferences and gripes.

With their feedback you can identify areas you need to work on, highlight your unique selling points, and nail your marketing messages to make your guests extra happy!

Step 4: Picking the marketing channels for an effective hotel marketing strategy

Matching your audience's interests is key to choosing the best marketing channels to reach and engage them. So, for tech-savvy millennials, social media platforms and influencer collabs often work wonders.

But if you're after corporate travelers, search engine marketing combined with relevant business networks packs more punch. 

Matching your marketing channels to your audience's preferences guarantees your message lands in the right place at the right time.

Step 5: Enhancing your hotel guest experience

Making your guests happy is key to your success, so get to know your target audience by anticipating their needs. 

Provide personalized services, from pre-arrival communication to on-site amenities and post-stay follow-ups, and align your strategy with their preferences. Your guests will appreciate that attention to detail. It's bound to earn you great reviews, repeat bookings and word-of-mouth recommendations, boosting your marketing efforts even more.

If you know your target audience well, you can design a hotel marketing plan that fits their needs, solves their problems, and wins you more bookings. Focusing on customers makes your marketing more effective, so your hotel shines bright and stays successful in a crowded market long-term.

A strong brand identity to power your hotel marketing strategy

If you want your hotel to stand out in the cut-throat hospitality industry, having a killer brand identity is a must. Your brand identity sets you apart from rivals, strikes a chord with guests and drives their decision-making.

Check out all the amazing reasons why having a strong brand identity is essential for your hotel marketing strategy:

Differentiate your hotel business with your unique selling points (USPs)

Let's talk about how having a killer brand identity can really make your hotel pop in a crowded market. Pinpoint what makes your hotel super special - maybe it's the killer location, 5-star service, green initiatives, or swanky building design. Doing this helps to differentiate yourself from competitors and attract guests who appreciate what you do differently.

Building trust and credibility towards your hotel

If you have a consistent and well-crafted brand identity, your target audience will trust and have faith in you. When customers recognize and connect with your brand, they perceive your business as trustworthy, professional, and worth their investment. This builds up a positive reputation, making you stand out against competitors and encouraging more guests to choose your hotel!

Emotional connection and guest loyalty

Making your hotel branding more distinctive helps guests connect with your hotel on a deeper level. When guests appreciate your values and experiences, they'll be drawn to stay with you again and tell others too. People make decisions based on emotion, so building a strong brand identity that triggers positive emotions is key to creating long-lasting relationships with your guests.

Brand recognition and recall

A solid brand identity leads to increased brand recognition, which makes it more likely that potential guests will recognize your name when they see it. That way, when they come across your website, social media channels, advertisements, and physical spaces, they'll remember you.

Developing brand familiarity increases the chances that they will choose your hotel next time they're looking for a place to stay.

Competitive advantage and revenue growth

Having a strong brand identity gives you a serious edge in the hotel industry. It lets you charge premium rates, bond with a loyal customer base, and drive revenue growth. When guests perceive your hotel as top-notch and desirable, they're willing to pay more for the value and experience you give them, which sharpens your financial performance and establishes your hotel's reputation as a leader in the market.

When you put your energy into creating a strong brand identity, you're setting yourself up for hotel marketing success. A strong brand identity makes your hotel stand out, builds trust and loyalty, lets you communicate directly with your target audience, and leads to increased profits. With a clear brand identity, guests will instantly connect with your hotel, paving the way for long-term success in the competitive hospitality game.

Optimize your hotel website

In the digital age, your hotel website is like the virtual storefront for your property. So, optimizing your website is super important in hotel digital marketing because it directly affects your visibility online, user experience, and how many bookings you get. To help you out, here are some key things you need to know to get your hotel website looking and working its best:

Mobile-friendly design and responsiveness:

Nowadays, more and more people access websites with their smartphones and tablets. It's crucial to ensure your website looks good and works well on mobile devices. You can optimize your website design to provide a smooth experience across different devices and screen sizes.

To achieve this, implement responsive design principles to adapt your website's layout and content to fit various screen resolutions. This way, users can easily access your website as it will be user-friendly and accessible.

Top tip: Google considers mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor, so a mobile-friendly website improves your chances of appearing higher in search results when it comes to organic performance.

User-friendly navigation and booking process

Making navigation on your website user-friendly is key for direct bookings. Clear and intuitive menus will help your visitors find the information they need, fast. Make sure to show all important pages, like hotel room details, amenities, dining options, and location information.

Don't forget to make the booking process smooth and convenient. Make it simple, reduce the number of required steps, and provide different secure payment options. A progress indicator is important, too, so visitors can see exactly where they are in the process of booking any of the hotel rooms.

Top tip: Utilize the Epos Now website builder to create a user-friendly and seamless booking process for your hotel business, enhancing customer satisfaction and increasing direct bookings.

Engaging visuals and persuasive copywriting

Attract and hold your website visitors’ attention by showcasing your hotel’s unique features, rooms, amenities and environment with engaging imagery. Hire a professional photographer and implement videos or virtual tours for an immersive experience. Create persuasive, descriptive copy that conveys the experiences, benefits and emotions guests can expect during their stay.

Web's speed and performance optimization

Fast website speed is a crucial element in delivering a great user experience. Here are some tips to optimize your website's loading time: compress images, reduce unnecessary plugins or scripts, and use caching techniques. Stay on top of your website's performance, spotting and fixing issues that could affect speed or functionality.

Integrate with a direct booking engine

Integrate your hotel's website with a user-friendly direct booking engine which matches the website's look, feel, and style. The consistency of your website design until the booking process is essential. Use a reliable, secure and trustworthy online booking system to instill confidence in your guests and increase direct bookings.

Top tip: Elevate your hotel booking system with the Epos Now hotel POS system, enabling efficient management of reservations, streamlined check-ins, and seamless integration with other hotel operations.

Analyzing user data

To get the digital data you need, use website analytics tools like Google Analytics. These give you valuable insights into visitors' behavior, popular pages, booking patterns and conversion rates. Then use this data to refine your website content, improve user experience and optimize digital marketing strategies based on real metrics and trends.


By optimizing your hotel website, you create a strong online presence, improve user experience, and increase the chances of converting website visitors into actual guests. A sleek and easy-to-use website is a powerful way to showcase your hotel's offerings, engage with potential guests, and drive direct reservations. This can elevate your online marketing success and bring you more bookings!

Top tip: You can also access further data with the real-time reporting feature available in our Epos Hotel POS system, to make informed decisions and optimize operations for greater efficiency and profitability.

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Boosting search engine results to reinforce your hotel's online visibility

Do you want to improve your hotel's online presence and attract more traffic? To make that happen, search engine optimization (SEO) is key. By optimizing your hotel's website for search engines, you can improve its ranking in Google search results and draw in more interested customers.

Not sure where to start with hotel SEO? Here are some tips to leverage this tactic as part of your marketing strategy:

Keyword research and optimization

Effective SEO begins with keyword research. The goal is to identify relevant keywords and phrases that potential guests may use when searching for hotels in your location. Be strategic and use these keywords in your website's meta tags, headings, URLs, content, and alt tags for images. It's important to balance search volume and competition by targeting keywords with high search intent and aligning with your hotel's offerings.

With the right strategy, your hotel will attract more guests and maximize its online presence!

On-page optimization

Make sure each page of your hotel website is optimized for search engines by paying attention to title tags, meta descriptions, headers (H1, H2, H3), and URL structure. To entice searchers to click through to your website, create unique and compelling meta descriptions.

Ensure your content is relevant, informative, and well-structured, incorporating your target keywords naturally throughout the text. It'll keep your visitors happy and engaged, and help your website rank higher.

Local SEO strategies

If you run a hotel, nailing local SEO is crucial for attracting guests who are hunting for accommodations in your neck of the woods. To optimize your website for local searches, it's key to pepper your content and meta tags with location-specific keywords.

Also, try whipping up some nifty landing pages for different notable attractions, events, and points of interest near your hotel. In optimizing your website for search engines, you can also create useful content that visitors can benefit from, expanding your brand not only as a hotelier, but as an knowledgeable authority in your industry or area.

Finally, if you claim and fine-tune your business listings on Google My Business and other top local directories, your local search visibility will definitely get a boost!

Link building and off-page SEO for hotel websites

Let's get real - great backlinks from well-respected websites are critical for top-notch off-page SEO. To land some top-notch, relevant links to your hotel's website, hit up local companies, travel sites, and those influencers in the biz.

Do you need more links? Then, encourage guests to blog and participate in relevant online discussions is the way to go. This will raise your hotel's profile and get you even more awesome backlinks through user generated content.

SEO regular analysis

To keep your SEO game strong, keep an eye on your performance using tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. Look out for key metrics like organic traffic, keyword rankings, bounce rates, and conversion rates.

Crunch the data to spot any gaps and adjust your SEO strategies to cover them. And make sure you're always in the know about algorithm changes and industry trends to stay ahead of the curve in the world of SEO.

Did you know you can boost direct bookings by using hotel SEO strategies? Yep, it's true! All you gotta do is optimize your website's content, structure, and online reputation, and search engines will fully understand and rank your hotel. This helps drive targeted traffic to your website and increases its online visibility, putting you ahead of the competition. Easy peasy!

Read our blog post on 'How to increase online hotel bookings' for further insights!

Embrace the awesome world of content marketing for hotel marketers

Content marketing has really transformed how hotel marketers connect with their target audience and boost business growth. By embracing the awesome world of content marketing, hotel marketers can forge meaningful experiences, build brand loyalty, and drive bookings. Check out a few reasons why content marketing can be a powerful tool for hotel marketers:

Building brand awareness and trust:

Dishing out interesting content like blog posts, videos, guides, and social media tidbits is a way for hotel marketers to showcase their unique offerings and create a strong brand presence.

This type of content marketing lets marketers sparkle authenticity, build trust, and communicate why their hotel experience stands out. Giving valuable information and insights makes the hotel look like an industry expert and connects with potential guests. It's like a relationship building foundation.

Engaging and educating your hotel's target audience

Content marketing is a great way for hotels to connect with guests. By talking about their guests' problems, sharing travel advice, or writing feel-good stories, hotels can win their guests over.

The content doesn't just grab their attention, it creates a bond between the hotel and the guest. Guests are also more likely to learn about the hotel facilities, perks, and services through engaging content.

Enhancing search engine visibility

Create killer content that's full of relevant keywords, provides valuable information, and answers frequently asked questions. This helps search engines notice your website and bring in loads of organic traffic. With higher traffic and engagement, you will see more direct bookings, and your hotel business will flourish!

Amplifying your hotel's social media presence

Use content marketing to share captivating stories, stunning visuals, and behind-the-scenes tidbits. This creates engaging social media posts for travelers to share, which grows your social media following and brand visibility. Sharing personal experiences also offers potential guests a more intimate idea of what a stay in your hotel might be like, and gives them a chance to bond with your business before coming to stay.

You can also connect directly with guests via these platforms. Answer their queries, build personal connections and cultivate a community of loyal fans.

Increasing direct bookings

To help attract guests, hotel marketers can create enticing and informative content that guides them through the booking process. With engaging blog posts showcasing the hotel's offerings, optimized landing pages advertising special deals, and seamless navigation, content marketing can urge website visitors to make direct bookings. By providing useful information and a positive user experience, hotel marketers can inspire and convert potential guests.

Content marketing offers hotel owners a powerful platform to build brand presence, engage with their target audience, boost search engine visibility, and amplify social media reach. By delivering valuable and relevant content via multiple channels, hotels can create meaningful connections with guests, inspire travel, and cultivate brand advocates. Plus, guests get to enjoy tailored content and experiences designed just for them!

Exploring the power of social media in the hotel industry

Social media has revolutionized how hotels connect with travelers, influence booking decisions, and build brand loyalty. With billions of active users worldwide, social media has become a powerful tool for hotel online marketing to engage with their audience, showcase their properties, and create unforgettable guest experiences. Let's dive deeper into the incredible power of social media in the hotel industry:

  1. Leave your mark in the online world

    To build a solid online presence, hotels can take advantage of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube. By crafting and maintaining lively profiles on these outlets, they can reveal their brand's personality, share irresistible photos and stories, and interact with their target customers on the fly. Creating a great online experience enhances hotels' brand recognition and empowers travelers to locate and engage with them effortlessly.
  2. Influence booking decisions

    Did you know that what people see on social media can greatly influence their decisions when booking travel accommodations? That's why hotels are recommended to use guest reviews, photos, and testimonials to build trust with potential guests and provide social proof.
    Additionally, social media paid advertising lets hotels target specific audiences by demographics, interests, and behaviors! So, by promoting unique selling points, specials, and promotions, hotels can beat their competitors and persuade travelers to choose their amazing property!
  3. Showcase local experiences and attractions

    Hotels can use social media as an awesome way to showcase local attractions, experiences, and events. By sharing nearby landmarks, hidden gems, tasty restaurants, and fun festivals, hotels can show that they know their destination like the back of their hand. This not only helps guests plan a killer trip but also demonstrates the hotel's commitment to delivering an unforgettable travel adventure.
  4. Create user-generated content (UGC) and advocacy

    It's all about guests sharing their experiences, reviews, photos and videos of their stay. This forms a massive amount of content that hotels can use to their advantage. By sharing this UGC on their social media accounts, hotels can boost their brand's credibility and catch the attention of likely guests.
    You can also encourage guests to use special hashtags, geotags, and mentions in their posts also works wonders in creating brand ambassadors out of happy guests. It's authentic, influential and brings your hotel a wealth of promotional content.
  5. Monitoring and reputation management

    For hotels, social media platforms are a powerful tool to keep their online reputation in check. With just a few clicks, marketers can monitor and respond to any review, comment, or mention of their property.
    This way they can show guests that their feedback matters and that their satisfaction is a top priority. Being proactive in reputation management can prevent minor issues from turning into major headaches. Additionally, positive online interactions or dialogues can inspire anyone looking for a hotel to choose yours and leave a fantastic review.

Social media's strength in the hotel industry rests on its ability to forge meaningful connections, sway booking decisions, and foster brand loyalty. This means that hotels can interact with their customers on a personal level and provide a distinctive experience. It's never been more important to leverage the power of social media to create an ongoing relationship with your guests.

Implementing email marketing strategies as a marketing maestro

Email marketing is an effective and essential tool for hotel owners aiming to level up their digital marketing game. It lets hotels reach a targeted audience directly, nurture leads, and drive conversions to build lasting relationships with potential and past guests. Implementing email marketing can elevate your digital marketing strategies, so let's explore how.

Creating a subscribers list

To start with email marketing, you've got to build up your subscribers' list. You can make this happen by offering exclusive content, special promotions or granting access to valuable resources in your email newsletters. You can collect email addresses through different means like booking confirmations, website pop-ups, social media campaigns, and guest registration forms. Many businesses are also building up marketing lists by sending customers email receipts when they come to stay, and obtaining marketing consent at the checkout.

Achieving a sizable list gives you the chance to interact with more potential customers through pinpointed email campaigns.

Segmenting your audience

Segmentation is crucial for a successful hotel email campaign. It means dividing subscribers into different groups based on their preferences, demographics, or engagement level. Once you've done that, you can personalize your email content, so they receive exciting and relevant information.

Segmentation is an excellent way to deliver unique offers, promotions, and recommendations that will charm each group, boosting engagement, and conversion rates.

Personalizing your email campaigns

Personalizing email campaigns is crucial for making an impact on customer engagement. Use subscriber info, such as booking history and demographics to create custom content. Also, addressing recipients by name and providing personalized recommendations based on their preferences enhances engagement and open rates.

To sum it up, personalization demonstrates how much you value each guest, leading to increased engagement, brand loyalty and trust.

Automation and triggered campaigns

Automating campaigns and triggering personalized emails are great ways to deliver timely messages based on specific user actions and events. You can set up automated welcome emails for new subscribers, abandoned booking reminders, post-stay feedback requests, or even personalized birthday greetings.

With triggered campaigns, you can provide relevant communication at the right stage of the customer journey, which can improve your chances of converting subscribers into loyal customers and boost repeat bookings.

Promoting special offers and packages

This type of hotel digital marketing is an awesome way to promote special offers, deals, and packages. Showcasing limited-time discounts, package inclusions, loyalty benefits, and more encourages your subscribers to book directly with you.

Also, creating a sense of urgency through time-limited deals or limited availability motivates them to act fast. By adding clear call-to-actions and booking links, you'll make the process easier and book more rooms!

Monitoring and analytics

Track your email marketing performance with analytics that monitor open, click-through, conversion, and unsubscribe rates. Analyze data to learn trends, preferences, and refine strategies. Continuously optimize campaigns with insights and feedback to maximize results and improve your digital marketing prowess.

Top tip: Streamline your hotel's email marketing efforts with seamless email integrations, like Mailchimp, in your POS system

Collaborating with influencers and building partnerships to up your hotel marketing game

Working with influencers and forming strategic partnerships has become a powerful marketing strategy for hotels in today’s digital landscape. Influencers can attract a large and engaged audience, while partnering with complementary businesses can widen brand exposure and attract new guests. Sit tight to learn how you can upgrade your hotel marketing scheme by integrating influencer marketing.

  1. Identify relevant influencers

    To collaborate with influencers, ensure they align with your hotel's brand values, audience, and niche. Find those who love travel and have an active, interested following. Check their engagement rates, authenticity, and content quality. This way, your chosen influencers' audience is more likely to be interested in your hotel, meaning greater engagement and exposure.
  2. Engage with influencer's audiences

    Partnering with influencers can help you benefit from their passionate and devoted audience. Show interest in your followers by replying to their comments, answering queries, and sharing extra details about your hotel. Engaging with them enhances your brand image and inspires potential guests to make a reservation. Ask the influencers to include calls-to-action in their content, like tagging your social media accounts or visiting your website for more information.
  3. Build strategic partnerships

    Aside from influencer collaborations, joining forces with businesses that complement your hotel can boost your marketing efforts. Identify businesses with a similar audience, like tour operators, restaurants, and event organizers. Find ways to support each other, from promoting your upsells to exclusive deals for your customer base. Working with complementary partners will help you reach new heights, extend your brand, and add value to your guests.
  4. Use affiliate marketing

    Affiliate marketing is a super effective way to build partnerships and drive bookings. To make it work, you need to partner with travel bloggers, websites, or booking platforms who have a big audience keen on places to stay during travel. Offer them a commission for every booking that comes through their referral. This will motivate your partners to promote your hotel actively, boosting online visibility and attracting new guests. Track affiliate sales to understand what’s working, and optimize your partnerships to get the most out of them.
  5. Measure results

    To successfully measure the impact of influencer partnerships, track performance with KPIs like engagement, website traffic, conversions, and direct bookings. Analyze ROI (return on investment) to understand the bottom-line impact on your hotel. These insights can be used to refine your approach and cultivate lasting relationships with influential individuals or businesses.

Embrace the potential of influencers and partnerships to elevate your hotel marketing and build lasting connections with your audience.


Final recommendations

Effective hotel marketing is crucial to success in the hospitality industry. To create an impactful strategy, hoteliers should understand their audience, build a strong brand identity, optimize their website, embrace content marketing, and leverage social media. Collaborating with influencers and partners, implementing email marketing, and delivering personalized, compelling content across channels all contribute to increased bookings, brand loyalty, and long-term success.

Staying ahead in hotel marketing requires continuous innovation, adaptability, and understanding of customer preferences. Adopting the right strategies, tools, and staying attuned to industry trends helps hotel marketers position their properties as top choices for travelers, driving growth, and achieving business objectives.


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