The hospitality industry is among the most dynamic and competitive sectors in the world, making it that much more challenging for new hotel startups to succeed. With new concepts, brands, and locations constantly opening up, finding ways to stand out in such a crowded environment can often be a challenge. However, just by being a bit more creative and finding new ways to attract and engage customers, growth and success can be much easier to achieve.
To that end, here are some simple yet effective ways your hotel startup can gain a competitive edge in this ambitious industry:
Be active on social media
Social media is used by millions of individuals every day, some of which can easily be converted into new customers, as long as you know how to take advantage of this helpful tool. Apart from allowing you to reach a wider audience, a social media presence will also encourage interest and engagement, and even provide a deeper insight into the uniqueness of your hotel.
What’s more, it is also a great way to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, when bookings and visits are likely lower than ever. So, try to focus on more image-oriented social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, to provide potential customers with inviting pictures that spark curiosity. Try to maintain a regular posting schedule, always respond to your audience, and consider social media advertising as well.
Leverage digital content
Social media can prove to be even more advantageous, allowing you to enrich your visual marketing strategy as well. Offering free Wi-Fi to your guests is a must for any hotel, but you can take this a step further to stand out from your competition.
For instance, you can highlight hashtags under the Wi-Fi password and ask your guests to use them with each social media post, or even create interesting visual displays around your hotel that simply beg for a photograph. These aspects will encourage your visitors to post on their social media platforms and promote your branding efforts, thus increasing your outreach without any additional effort on your end.
Invest in your website
A good website is an essential aspect of any hotel startup, as it helps to provide additional information about your services and locations, while also allowing guests to directly book their stay with you. But with such a focus on social media and third-party booking platforms, many hotel websites can easily get overlooked.
To increase the traffic on your website, consider using a more trusted and personal domain such as .me. Not only is this domain quite characteristic and inviting, but it’s also SEO-friendly and a great call-to-action that will surely attract more visitors. In addition, improving your website speed, posting more high-quality content, and streamlining direct booking can all be of great help as well.
Provide unique experiences
Another way you could create more buzz and stand out from your competition is by offering unique experiences to your guests. From smaller details to extraordinary gestures, any effort to provide visitors with extraordinary experiences is bound to give you a competitive edge in this monotonous and repetitious industry.
For example, you could do something small such as creating personalized ‘welcome’ signs or providing each room with latte brewers to make your guests feel that much more special. Or, you could even go with something more impactful like catering to kids with movie nights and magic shows, highlighting nearby adventure experiences to attract thrill-seekers or even partnering with local artists to display their creations around your hotel for additional photo-sharing opportunities.
Prioritize guest feedback
It’s often more expensive and time-consuming to attract new customers than it is to cultivate your relationships with returning ones. For that reason, it might be wise to encourage guest feedback and always listen to these opinions, as they could provide you with quite valuable insight into the things you’re doing just right, as well as the areas that might need improvement.
Offer the opportunity for reviews on your website and aim to respond to each one appropriately, whether they’re good or bad. Engaging with travel bloggers, websites, and planners for reviews can also be helpful while rewarding your best guests through loyalty programs might prove to be even more effective.
The key to gaining a competitive advantage in the industry is providing your guests with incredible experiences. Whether that means streamlining online processes or offering outstanding services, a memorable experience and a good word that quickly spreads are great ways for your hotel startup to stand out.
Over to you
The hotel industry is always changing, especially during a time of crisis. Make sure to future-proof your business and continue attracting new guests by investing in these solutions.
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Related article: The Ultimate Digital Transformation Plan That Will Rescue Any Hotel
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About Are Morch
Hi, I am Are Morch. Your Digital Transformation Coach that helps hotels create unique and unexpected experiences by freeing up resources to focus on new ideas through value innovation and a growth mindset.