Group business represents an enormous percentage of hotel revenue, and without it, or enough of it, the bottom line severely suffers. Unfortunately, hotel’s frequently neglect marketing themselves to attract group bookings, and focus instead on the leisure travelers. All business is good business, but there’s more bang for each buck when it comes to large groups, especially considering there’s no OTA commissions, and they will likely pay for rooms and other amenities.
Unbeknownst to many hotels, marketing to the business sector can be easier than marketing to leisure travelers. People on vacation are interested in your hotels proximity to entertainment and attractions, on the flip side, business groups are interested in what’s inside of your hotel. Meaning, everything they want is within your direct control, making it easier to cater to their needs directly. They want to take care of their team members via practical solutions offered by your hotel.
Follow the following three steps to begin increasing revenue from group business immediately:
Meet at the Roundtable
Having a strategy in place and sticking to it is key. Without a cohesive strategy any efforts will be scattered and could potentially waste resources. With your marketing team, develop a marketing workbook that includes keyword research, buyers personas, and a content calendar.
Before creating any messages, you’ll need to research which keywords are relevant to your buyers, and which keywords will lead your audience to your site. Develop buyer personas, meaning create an outline of the traits, qualities, and typical desires of the people you are selling to. Strategize messaging that would appeal to the persona. Create content that is useful and informative for your buyer personas.
Consistency is critical. So, to stay on schedule, you’ll want to create a content calendar, indicating what messages your team will create and when, alongside a social media strategy to promote your content.
Ready, Aim, Fire
Armed with your content calendar, now it’s time to execute the strategy. Create the content, publish the content, then promote the content – via social media, paid or organic.
An example execution model would be something along the lines of:
- Write a useful and informative blog, laced with keywords and links, based around the buyer persona.
- Promote via social media using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and whichever other platforms you’re likely to find your audience(s) on.
- Send out an email campaign highlighting the blog(s), and providing some sort of specific offer.
- Repeat this process each month.
Tally the Results
No strategy will be effective without proper analysis. Rather than blindly pushing ahead, hoping your strategy is working, consider utilizing an analysis platform that will aggregate all of the data for you. There are numerous platforms that will measure your efforts and provide you with a detailed report as to which tactics are working and which aren’t. Once you are equipped with the data, you can begin to discuss how to adjust your strategies and tactics to be more successful.
Content marketing can be used to attract any personas desired. As mentioned initially, group business is an area of revenue that is quite substantial, and can be acquired with less With that said, this same strategy can be applied to leisure travelers, weddings, and more. You can even develop as many buyer personas and relevant keyword lists as desired, and then utilize the same steps for each. Avoid missing out on an enormous amount of revenue, especially considering the minute initial investment of content marketing compared to a PPC campaign. Get your team together and brainstorm the best way to get the content marketing ball rolling, whether you utilize an internal team, or hire an external team. HMG Hospitality is available for consultation on this matter if your hotel is in need of assistance.
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