Campaign for more conversions

Tuesday 13th October 2015

When it comes to initiating a successful marketing campaign, planning is essential. So before you begin any implementation it's important to establish certain key elements that will make up your campaign strategy.

 

Make it measurable

We’ve highlighted the importance of timeframes when it comes to judging success. Making sure that your campaign is measurable should play a huge part in your plan. If you’re spending considerable amounts of money on a marketing campaign, then you want to know whether or not it’s worked. Online this could be in the form of a landing page where you can use Google Analytics to establish how many unique visitors the campaign has generated, as well as establishing where they’ve come from to get to your hotel website.

Offline marketing can also be measured. Generating unique telephone numbers that can be used on leaflets, door drops and press inserts enables you to understand how well a particular form of marketing has performed.

Set a budget

Setting a budget beforehand is paramount. Marketing campaigns can spiral in cost if you’re not careful – you need to work out what’s affordable and what isn’t and stick to the plan. Part of the budgeting process should also see you indicate the possible return that you’re looking for, and then you’ll know if you’ve hit your target.

One vital planning point to make is that of a ‘publish schedule’. Decide on this and make sure that all of the relevant marketing material is lined up in advance. Once you’ve established your overall plan and what elements are included in its makeup, then you can layout how you want it to be delivered. To save panic and last minute spoilers, a publish schedule will let you know when each aspect is due to be rolled out, thus helping to make delivery a much smoother process.

Set clear goals

To begin with you need to set clear goals. Just what is it that you’re trying to achieve? Is it more business, new business or repeat business? Is it a focus on spa, or dining on midweek occupancy? Pre-planning allows you to settle on just what it is that you’re looking to improve upon, giving you suitable focus as a result.

You want to be able to measure the success of any campaign so you need to have an end result in mind. Numbers of rooms booked or packages sold may be your key goals. Time frames are an important part of this. Decide how long you want your campaign to last and set a finite period within which the goals can be achieved.

Pinpointing specifics is crucial. If you cast the net too widely with your marketing plan then there is a danger that you'll end up missing the mark and catching nothing.

Susie Excell, Regional Client Manager, Journey

Consider the competition

A good thing to do at this stage is to look at your competitors. What are they doing with their marketing? And is there anything you can build upon? Look to see what you can do that’s unique and that will make you stand out from rival hoteliers. Another key point to remember when looking at marketing strategy is your audience. Who are you trying to appeal to? This often depends on what you’re trying to promote. If your focus is to improve sales of dinner or bed and breakfast, you need to establish who is going to take advantage of that offer.

Audience is key

Think what you can do to improve your basic offer. Can an incentive help? This is something that can be established at the planning stage. When doing this, consider how any incentive will fit alongside your brand.

Take percentage discounts as an example. These might be suitable for a family orientated hotel looking to provide a financially appealing family package, but for a luxury couple’s retreat a different approach will be in order. Providing a bottle of Prosecco in the room on arrival for instance would be a cost effective method of embellishing a stay, or perhaps providing a cream tea for any afternoon check-in. These are relatively inexpensive additions, but things which add value to a stay at your hotel. This is about perception – adding value to a stay is an added incentive to prospective guests to book with you.

These incentives also serve to bypass potential Online Travel Agent agreements. You might be restricted on price, with no leeway on what you can offer, but little touches like free breakfasts swing things back in your favour.

Have one clear call to action

It’s also a good idea to have one clear call to action that it’s easy for your target audience to follow. If, for example, you want more people to book directly via your website as part of your campaign then put that as the central focus. Make your message: ‘book direct’. If you aim to cover too much or present too many options then you run the risk of diluting the message, which will hinder the achievement of your key marketing goals.

Once you’ve established what you want to achieve and whom you’re targeting, establish the ideal platform from which to do so. What is the best medium to use to reach out to them? Are they likely to be reading magazines? Or are they likely to be online? Is it through search engines or social media?

You can then scrutinise this even further. If social media: which platform is best? Facebook, Instagram, Twitter? Having recognised the ideal route to get prospective guests’ attention, build a marketing plan around this. Remarketing, Google Adwords, Facebook Ads and so on, are all weaponry in your arsenal that you can employ.

These tools can be very targeted, which makes them great for generating repeat business as well as creating new.

Targeting is an important point to note. Drilling down and pinpointing specifics is crucial. If you cast the net too widely with your marketing plan then there is a danger that you’ll end up missing the mark and catching nothing, which will result in wasted time and resources. Most importantly focus on your goal and work towards exceeding expectations.