3 easy online campaigns for your boutique hotel.

For me, the difference between a boutique hotel and a large brand hotel is the personalisation of service. Whilst the big corporate chains try to mimic a personal experience, it’s a tough job when your a 400+ key hotel, in a 400 hotel chain. When I check into a big brand hotel and the front desk “Welcome me back”, I know this is merely a screen prompt they are ordered to repeat.

During the last 8 years of my career, I have stayed in more hotels than I could put a number on – from a deluxe 5-star in Knightsbridge, to a safari tent in Zambia (a posh tent with electricity and air conditioning). During my travels and countless meetings with hotel owners and General Managers, I started to develop ideas based around the unique and personalised services that boutique hotels strive to deliver.

What would happen if we took this personalised approach to digital platforms?

Here are 3 beautifully simple ideas that will both amplify your brand, and encourage repeat business.

  1. The Happy Birthday email for previous customers. Firstly, if the guest stayed with you once, 6 years ago, it’ll seem a little odd for you to email them out of the blue. Lets start with people who have checked out within the last 8-10 months. If you are already doing this with a generic html template, pushed out in an automated email blast – stop it immediately. It looks spammy and gross. How about creating a few different templates that are generic enough to seem personalised – from the GM and all the staff… The key to this yielding success is a strong call to action – why not offer them a complimentary birthday meal for two and a bottle of wine with their next booking? They must book with you directly via your website or phone quoting the reference “Go shorty, it’s ma’birthday” (or whatever seems appropriate to you).
  2. Honeymooners and Anniversaries – Facebook’s ad manager enables you to launch both short term and ongoing campaigns aimed at life events. Why not target couples who are recently engaged, or with up and coming anniversaries? Create some different ad sets (aimed at local, regional and international audiences) with images you feel do your hotel justice. Don’t forget the CTA (Call to Action). Put together an exclusive package for couples looking to celebrate and make some social noise about it.  Try to tell the story of what they can expect from their stay with you before they click the “Book Now” button.
  3. First family holiday with a baby. I came up with this idea after a close friend had her first baby. In those early months after Finley was born, travel for something as luxurious as a mini-vacation was unthinkable! The sheer logistics of leaving the house for any reason were daunting. Once again, Facebook enables you to launch campaigns aimed at parents with babies and toddlers. I ran a “First Family Holiday” campaign for a client that yielded a healthy amount of engagement and web traffic. We created a simple carousel ad with images showcasing a Deluxe room, beautifully made up with a crib and a huge pile of clean fluffy towels in the corner. Create a package for parents with young children, upon check-in, give them an “In case of Emergency” kit with baby wipes, tissues, chocolate treats and other practical items.

If you would like to learn of more creative campaign ideas, or if your existing campaigns aren’t yielding the desired results – feel free to contact me by filling in the below form.

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