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Why cross-border inbound marketing gives more direct bookings.

cross-border, inbound marketing, more direct bookings. hotel marketing, online bookings, sales, international, millennials, future, strategy, 2015, ROI, advise

Hotels that want to perform better next year in terms of profit and more direct bookings, must start thinking about some serious strategic marketing. The most efficient way in terms of ROI is inbound marketing. This is the kind of targeted marketing that brings guests in. But at Hotel Marketing Support, we take inbound marketing to the next level; we go cross-border. This works great if you know two things: your key USP’s and the profile of your ideal guest. Are you ready for some inbound marketing?

The dark side of price selling
Investing in a new marketing strategy may sound a bit strange in times where you and your competitor are anxiously looking at each other’s room rates. Darn, your competitor offers the same room at a lower price via an OTA. Of course, the OTA tells you to follow the competition and do the same. Otherwise, they can not guarantee enough bookings for you. Because you don’t have a lot of direct bookings yet, you lower your room rates.

Welcome to the dark side of price selling. Yoda would say: “Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” (Do you also hear that voice of Yoda when you read his wise quotes?)

If you only focus on what your competitor does, you can get frustrated because they seemed to be always fully booked. Ask yourself: ‘fully booked, but at what price?’ It’s no rocket science to get your hotel full. Just dump your price and see what happens. But are you making enough profit? And are these the kind of guests you want?!

Make a inbound marketing plan
If you focus on your strength, it will become stronger and stronger. Do everything you can to become the best in your town and you will be noticed. Focussing on your Unique Selling Points allows you to create content around it. Maybe you have the only hotel in the area that allows pets. Or people often write in reviews that you have the best bed they ever slept in. Or you organise at 06.00 am a ‘Shopping with the Chef’ local tour where guest goes with the chef to the local fish or fresh market to buy fresh goods for the restaurant.

If you don’t have experiential travel ideas; let us help you. With creativity, you can use your USP’s as a starting point for lots of interaction in your on-line marketing. Hiring positive people from outside will give you energy; they always see things with a fresh eye.

Now make a list of what kind of guests make you happy. And from what country they come. Maybe you love Chinese people. Or you have great experiences with Brazilian guests. Or Americans. Or Germans. The more you focus on the home country of your future guest, the easier it is for you to reach them with a cross-border inbound marketing strategy.

Cross border and multi lingual
The name already explains it: with IN bound marketing, we bring guests IN. They are attracted by your content and storytelling. Could be a blog, a video, a review or anything interesting for your guests to read about your hotel.

At Hotel Marketing Support, we take inbound marketing a step further; we bring your content to the country where your favorite guest lives. And because we write in their language, your content and your hotel is found in their local search on-line. The content is posted in local social networks and forums, other than Facebook. Once this hook is placed in the international water and fish start to bite, the next step is to give them an overwhelming presentation of your hotel with great visuals, positive reviews and a package they can’t resist.

Make sure to explain that these packages can’t be booked with any other online service. They can only book the package deals with you, directly online. Don’t be afraid to stand your ground; if an OTA wants the same packages for a better price, don’t. Let the guest decide if they choose for price, or for a personal approach and a warm welcome on your hotel website.

Interested how cross-border inbound marketing can work for your hotel? Go to our Digital Check-in. Within ten days, we will send you a tailor-made inbound marketing plan. For free. In plain English. Or in Dutch. Or French.

Ab Kuijer

Hotel Marketing Support is powered by JuniorSenior, innovation for the next generation.

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