Hotel franchise marketing incorporates a variety of different skills, especially after the recent proliferation of new traveling apps and distribution Goliaths such as Google and Expedia updating updated their ranking algorithms at a frantic pace, and the overwhelming growth of metasearch engine traffic, creating and executing an effective hotel marketing strategy can seem daunting.
One of the many worries hotel franchises faces is the fear that their business will fail. While many factors can cause a franchise to fail, some of the main concerns are a lack of demand or an unsustainable business model.
The most effective way to make your franchise work is to invest in a proven business model and implement and maintain a holistic cross-channel approach.
The main goal of a hotel franchise marketing plan is to increase your brand visibility, ensuring that your hotel is always open for bookings whenever your potential customers search for it.
In this guide, we’ll cover everything you must know about franchise hotel marketing and share some of the best strategies to create a solid hotel franchise marketing plan to outshine your competitors. Let’s dig in!
What Is A Hotel Franchise?
Hotel franchising is an agreement between the parent hotel franchise company and the local owner to operate a business under its name and products and follow a pre-determined set of rules to drive a new business.
The franchisee pays the franchisor a fee for the use of the brand and receives assistance in operating the business.
To enter into a hotel franchise agreement, the franchisee must agree and sign a franchise agreement stipulating the entire process, costs, and operating system that the franchisor must follow.
A hotel franchise can be vaguely compared to a chain since it is a management agreement that gives certain rights to the franchisee in return under specific rules and procedures.
The difference is that franchisees operate the business for themselves but not for themselves.
Read: 13 Tips For How To Make Your Franchise Business Success!
Types Of Hotel Franchise Marketing
Hotel marketing is now primarily done online because consumers no longer like to rely on offline advertising like billboards, TV, and radio commercials.
In the last few years, the concept of hotel marketing has changed drastically, with a myriad of new ways introduced to advertise hotel franchises online and attract new guests. Here are some most common types of hotel franchise online marketing:
1. Hotel Social Marketing
Social media has become an inevitable part of our lives, which makes it an excellent medium for hotels to reach their potential guests.
It offers hotel businesses a range of options to distribute content and engage new guests. Almost 71% of the travel agencies once committed to social media reported having better interactions with bookers.
Keep in mind that not all social media content has the ability to engage clients, but travel-related content can impact people when used creatively, such as activating their imagination and leaving a transportive effect, inspiring them to explore new places.
- Hotel Marketing on Facebook
People spend 5x more time on Facebook compared to other travel-related apps and sites and find their trip ideas from there.
Almost all tourist under 34 turns to Facebook for suggestions before finalizing their hotel bookings, while 52% of Facebook users say that they got inspired to visit destinations after seeing their friend’s and family’s photos.
However, before you can start influencing travelers on Facebook, and get more likes through organic traffic, here are things you must do:
- Invite friends and contact
- Add links to your Facebook on your website and emails
- Put up signs
- Post good quality content constantly
- Offer rewards and host contests
- Engage in the post that mentions your business
- Experiment with Facebook advertising
- Hotel Marketing on Instagram
Instagram is one of the most efficient social media marketing platforms for hotel owners after Facebook.
The platform is immensely popular with travelers and holidaymakers, given its ease of use, mobile-friendly interface, clean feed, and ability to make everything look good.
Nearly 40% of consumers below 30 prioritized how Instagram-worthy the potential hotel is while making their traveling decisions.
Instagram stories now have 100 million daily active users. Here are some ideas to advertise your hotel on Instagram:
- Highlight Your Hotel’s Amenities
Instagram allows you to boost your hotel’s image and confirm it to be a peaceful retreat. Design attractive and entertaining posts highlighting your facilities and complementing your brand story.
- Share Images Of Your Staff
Give your staff selfie missions to share their images of interacting with staff to give potential guests a glimpse of how hard working they are, share pictures of the new menu, or the food being prepared in the kitchen, guests having a good time, and behind the scene images of the kitchen.
- Share Images Of Your Local Neighborhood
Try to go beyond your hotel and share images of your local neighborhood, attractions, and backdrop to help followers get a sense of the overall place beyond the hotel.
Use the photomap feature to specify your location so people can search for your photos without any problem.
- Use Hashtags
Hashtags are one of the best ways to improve your searchability on Instagram. Instagram users usually hashtag brands to get a response.
Search for people hashtagging your hotel, like their posts, and leave a comment to create a conversation.
2. Hotel Video Marketing
There are no second thoughts that videos are another popular platform among hotel guests because they are entertaining, easy to understand, and shared with others.
Humans are very emotional creatures and remember only 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, and 70% of what they hear and see, which is why videos are the best way to engage them.
People are ten times more likely to engage with video content and share it on their social media if it is entertaining.
YouTube Statistics show that more than one billion people spend more than 6 billion hours on YouTube every month, which indicates how powerful videos are.
Hotel franchise marketers can use videos to reach new guests, drive site traffic, and attract new guests.
3. Hotel Mobile Marketing
Over the past five years, there have been countless research on mobile marketing predicting the acceptance of guests who choose to book hotels on small screens.
Google has also announced recently that users’ queries conducted from mobile phones have surpassed the desktop.
This new data has led Google to introduce the mobile-first indexing initiative, in which the mobile page versions of a domain will be used for indexing, catching, and ranking.
Hotel franchises must adapt their marketing strategies and use a mobile-first approach to enhance customer experience and attract global guests.
Here are some essential aspects of your website that needs to be improved for a good mobile experience:
- Users don’t need to zoom or pinch to see the information clearly
- Content must be concise with legible font
- Link your logo to make it easy to go back to the homepage
- Avoid too much use of pop-ups and Adobe Flash
- Integrate Google Maps to make it easy for people to find your hotel
- Easy to access search bar and data calendar
- Auto-filling options for the forms for returning visitors
- Click-to-call functionality enabled
4. Hotel SEO Marketing
If there is one thing that can complicate and disturb the hotel booking journey, it is the adaptable search engine landscape.
Given that the first page of search engine results makes up more than 90% of all traffic, prioritizing the key component of ‘search engine optimization to get your hotel found on Google.
The first page of Google is a highly competitive battlefield, and hotels need to do everything in their power to get noticed by potential guests.
Here are five ways to keep your Google active:
- Arrange your keywords efficiently
- Create a ‘Google My Business account
- Track the demands and search data
- Think about using Google Hotel Ads
- Take your content as an essential
5. Hotel Email Marketing
It’s essential for lodge entrepreneurs and sales managers to bear in mind each conventional, and rising opportunity, the fees related to advertising your lodge via more than one channel can upload up.
Enter electronic mail advertising – one of the cost-powerful strategies for attaining visitors and growing direct bookings. Email advertising is important for the lodge industry.
The first step in electronic mail advertising is to optimize your ship lists. You need to make a certain pool of prospects; further, you may need them to be great leads. Here are a few tips for you based on email marketing:
- Target repeat clients
- Remember that customer data is everything
- Optimize your send times
- Use short and authentic subject lines
- Use beautiful images in your emails
Best Franchise Hotel Marketing Strategies
Here are some best and most solid Franchise hotel marketing strategies to follow in 2022:
- Guest Experience Is The Top Priority
The Expedia Group has recently released a new algorithm update that affects how properties will show up in the OTA’s search results.
The new algorithm will take into account a lot of things, including the strength of the listing itself and customer reviews showing what kind of experience your hotel is giving to the guests.
This shows how crucial is the guest experience to market your hotel franchise.
2. Don’t Underrate Your Website
Whether your direct traffic comes from SEO, paid search advertising, newsletters, social networks, or metasearch engines, your official website is still your most effective marketing tool.
There are several things to consider when creating a website, but be sure to follow these basic rules:
- Don’t design the website for yourself; just target your guests
- Spend generously on hosting, and on-page speed improvements
- Choose the right CMS for you
- Stay informed about modern SEO practices
- Make sure your CTA is attractive and matches your strategy
3. Reputation Management
Whenever Google ranks a website, it measures its Expertise, Authority, and Trust, also known as E-A-T, and reviews are the most important way to measure it.
Review signals are the crucial ranking factor, and it also helps with your SEO. Reputation management increases the volume of your reviews and is also a tremendous search engine optimization booster.
Even though most reviews are published on Expedia, Booking.com, Google, and Trip Advisor, make sure to claim your hotel listings on other booking platforms, maps, and review sites as possible.
With a collection of infinite marketing and marketing answers out there, you have to select the one that suits your strategy.
Here are some suggestions to follow:
- Social media, retargeting, and local marketing and marketing are tremendous approaches to growth emblem focus and position your inn on your ability guests` radar.
- Retargeting and branded commercials are, on the other hand, appropriate gear to get excessive ROI with a modest budget;
- As per numerous studies, 5-15% of inn overall online sales are now generated through metasearch engines. With a batch of various bidding approaches, that is turning into one of the most powerful marketing and marketing techniques for motels of any length and type.
SEO has changed a lot since the mid-2000 but for the better. Nowadays, search engine algorithms heavily rely on AI and machine learning, and the algorithms are changing faster than ever.
The black-SEO tactics used previously are impractical to use and can negatively affect your rankings.
To expand your rankings in non-Google-centric countries, make sure to monitor how your website ranks on other search engines, including Baidu and Yandex.
Developing a solid marketing strategy for a hotel franchise is a task that requires a multidisciplinary approach, as today’s traveler touchpoints are more numerous and diverse than ever before.
Combine the tips and strategies we have mentioned with a love of hospitality and a passion for travel, and you are the perfect fit for owning and operating a hotel franchise.
Entry into the hotel franchise industry is never cheap, but the investment can pay off if you find financing and have the capital needed to run your hotel business.
Amit Gupta is the founder of DrFranchises – a digital marketing agency that helps brands rank better on Google Maps through local SEO strategies. Amit has over 11 years of experience in digital marketing, SEO, email marketing, and social media marketing. He’s also the owner of multiple franchises and has helped countless brands achieve success online. When he’s not working, Amit can be found playing with his dog.