A hotel is not just a place to stay but an experience for all the guests who visit. Thus, it is of paramount importance for hotels to build their unique brand. Whether you are a small boutique hotel or a large chain of hotels, or anything in between, creating your brand’s voice in the digital era is critical.
Branding isn’t restricted to a logo or company name; it extends to your personality, your hotel’s values, how customers perceive you, and their overall experience with the hotel. If you’re looking to grow your business and boost your brand, here are some intelligent branding moves to try.
Utilize social media
The most cost-effective way to give your brand a boost is to utilize social media. Anybody can create a social media account and start promoting their brand without spending a dime. There is a lot that you can do leveraging social media. Here are a couple of ideas:
1. Create strong socials
Whether you are in the hotel and hospitality industry or any other industry, a solid social media presence is an essential part of modern branding. If you’re planning to build your social media presence, start with a solid plan. Conduct research through a survey to find where your target audience spends most of their time. Analyze your competition to understand which platforms they are leveraging.
Once you decide on your chosen medium, work on a content strategy for your audience base. Engage with them by sharing meaningful content that they are likely to care about. You can do all of these on your own, or you can hire a professional to help build brand presence on social media. Remember to do social media audits from time to time to understand what is working and what is not. Tweak your strategy and repeat.
2. Give your guests a postable experience
Guests love sharing photos of their stay and sharing their experiences with their networks on social media. So, give them a positive experience that they’ll want to share on social media. When guests talk about your hotel or the stay experience, remember, it is free advertising for you, and you don’t want to miss the chance to leverage it.
Set up beautiful and unique Instagram-worthy spots where guests can click a photo. Organize events like a dining experience with a menu curated by the chef or entertaining the kids during their stay in the hotel that people would love talking about on social media.
Give custom gifts
As mentioned, a hotel is not just a palace to stay in – it’s an experience. So, why not delight your guest with some perks? For example, it is always a great idea to offer a gift basket with each room full of branded items, like water bottles, towels, personalized pens, etc., that they can carry around even after they check out from the hotel.
You can also put your brand on all apothecary items in the room so that, even if guests swipe them to take home, that branding leaves your hotel, acts as a reminder of your guest’s stay, and spreads the word to everyone who sees it.
Commission local artists
Apart from making it a comfortable stay experience, you can also look for ways to enhance your hotel room’s aesthetic appeal. For example, you don’t need to put up boring arts adorning the walls, instead of commission local artists to capture the spirit of your hotel’s location.
All these little add ons set you apart from the chain hotels that probably have the same art in every hotel. All these efforts create relationships with the local community, which means word-of-mouth advertising and recommendation for your hotel.
Offering incentives to guests who post photos of your hotel, share a review, or use your hashtag/handle is a great way to build a strong brand image online. Why not reward them with little incentives, like a gift card for dinner, a bottle of wine, complimentary desserts, a discount on spa services, or tickets to a local shop to acknowledge their gesture? You can do this using a service that can automatically generate the incentive you offer every time a guest shares their stay experience or a photo through social media.
Up your game
There are several ways to boost your boutique hotel brand without spending an arm and a leg. However, before jumping into one, make a solid plan based on your target audience and your findings. Know that each business is different, and so are their goals, so try out different methods to see which are the ones that would work best for you and your brand.