Reach your guests and get direct reservations

After corona, the use of marketing instruments has never been more important

Finally, the restaurants in the Netherlands will reopen soon. This also applies to many hotels. The Dutch hospitality industry is slowly reviving. We are also seeing an upward trend in reservations, especially for hotels outside the major cities. For all hotels, smart marketing is a 'must' to get reservations. In recent weeks we have deployed sophisticated online marketing tools for various hotels. These campaigns yielded much needed reservations.

In the article below we share the steps you can take to reach your guests and get direct reservations. Including concrete 'best practices'. Take advantage of this and ensure that guests find their way back to your hotel.

Do you have a question about your website or online marketing? Do you want help finding the route to your guests? We are ready to help you.

Team Becurious

Find the route to your guests

What steps can you take to reach and tempt hotel guests to make a reservation?

  1. Determine your unique characteristics. What do you have to offer and what distinguishes your hotel from the competition. No own restaurant? No problem, join forces with local companies. This includes bicycle rental, boat rental, walking routes, outdoor sports, attractions, etc. Be creative!
     
  2. Who are your guests? Where do your potential guests come from? What are their interests? What keeps them busy and why would they choose your hotel? Based on your target groups, you can actively start with marketing.
     
  3. Draw up special offers that match the interests and wishes of your target group. Be very careful with a discount or 'dumping' of rates. Bet on a unique and complete package and offer convenience, a sense of security and excellent value for money. Think along in terms of flexibility and conditions.
     
  4. Process the offer in your booking engine and place it on your website. Make the reservation as easy as possible. Not satisfied with your booking engine? Now is the time to switch to a user-friendly alternative.
     
  5. Make the offer clearly visible on your website. Place a listing on the homepage, possibly with a striking banner or notification. Provide the correct header, meta title and file name so that the offer can be properly indexed by search engines.
     
  6. State on your website what measures the hotel takes to ensure a safe and pleasant stay. Be careful with images of the virus and / or an 'over kill' of references to corona, covid-19, virus, etc .. This does not seem welcoming and may cause a negative feeling.
     
  7. Promote your offers online. Ensure visibility and use the right tools. Send a mailing to guests who have stayed in your hotel in the past. The better the segmentation, the more targeted you can send your mailing to the right target group and the greater the return will be. Place your offer on all your social media channels, consider starting with social media advertising campaigns to increase the reach. Ever thought of using Google Ads? This is the time. Smart and coordinated SEA campaigns immediately deliver relevant search traffic to your website.
     
  8. Promote your offers offline too. Let everyone in your own network know that you have a super offer and ask them to forward it to friends and acquaintances. Who are your partners? Where can you find your target group? Make sure you are there too and mention your offer.
     
  9. Measure and optimize. Make sure that the entire 'customer journey' is measured? Work with promotional codes for different instruments and target groups. See where your visitors come from and who makes the reservations. Learn and optimize.

Best practices as corona measures are relaxed

  • Communicate clearly what measures you take in your hotel. Reassure guests, follow the guidelines of RIVM and your safety region. Communicate clearly in advance which facilities can or cannot be used. Almost all our clients have clearly processed this information, we see from the statistics that these pages are well visited. Keep this information up to date.
     
  • Be careful with discounts or dumping rates. The (Dutch) consumer has (holiday) money to spend, wants to go out and search for 'value for money'. The mailing with a culinary package that we sent last week for a small and exclusive hotel in the Achterhoek, resulted in 50 reservations within three days.
     
  • Bet on direct reservations via your own website. OTAs have lost a lot of respect. Take advantage of this sentiment. Make sure you offer the best rates on your own website, give interesting benefits to direct bookers, speak to guests (by telephone) and offer them the best price. Every direct reservation is one and saves commission. At a client on the Wadden, we see a strong growth (+ 80%) in direct reservations in May compared to last year. This saves this hotel thousands of euros in commission costs, which is nice.
     
  • Use promotional codes for targeted target groups. Bypass the rate parity clause and make it easy to measure who makes a reservation via which channel. A hotel package including bicycle rental and picnic basket, which is offered exclusively on facebook and instagram with a promotional code, was booked more than 80 times within a week.
     
  • Work with local entrepreneurs. Help each other and make an arrangement including dinner in a restaurant or in the room. Have a nice goodie bag in the room with products from local entrepreneurs. Offers a package including bicycles from local landlord or museum ticket including reservation of a time slot. Be creative and provide great service for an unforgettable experience. A client of ours in Hilversum offers an arrangement in collaboration with a well-known star chef. This collaboration provides extra exposure.
     
  • Combine your online marketing. Make sure you run Google Ads and list any actions. Get started with a mailing to old guests and send them a personal offer. Communicate that you are open again on social media and mention your opening offer. Retarget visitors who previously visited your hotel website via Google Ads or Facebook Ads. Various clients have restarted the online marketing activities. It is precisely the use of different instruments that immediately creates more reservations.
     
  • Do you sell gift certificates through your website? Send a mailing to anyone who has bought a voucher or voucher. Be grateful and refer to the arrangements and options to redeem the voucher. A client of ours indicates on social media that a nice surprise will be placed in the room when you redeem the purchased gift voucher.