One of the fundamental rules of marketing is this: you need to understand your audience, inside out.
Without this knowledge, how can you expect to create effective strategies to reach your audience and craft messaging that resonates and turns casual travel shoppers into paying guests?
Here are 6 actionable ways you can get to know your hotel’s audience better.
Take a cue from your competitors
Identify some of your key competitors that share the same target audience as your property. Take time to evaluate their brand, their main marketing strategies and the tone of voice they use in their messaging.
What angle are they going for? Why did they choose a certain turn of phrase over another? What’s the thinking behind their image selection? Of course, there’s always the possibility that your competitors’ marketing isn’t up to scratch, but even in that case, you can start getting a feel for what works and what doesn’t and why.
Create your guest personas
Do you have a clear idea of your different guest personas yet? If not, you really should.
This tried and tested tactic is one of the best ways to get a strong grasp on your hotel’s target demographics. By creating an outline of your ‘ideal’ guest – their careers, education levels, family life, income level, consumer behaviours and even hobbies and interests, you can really get targeted with the messaging you create. These fictional ‘characters’ also offer a convenient way to get new members of your marketing team on the same page.
Make the most of face to face time with guests
Even if it’s very limited, the face to face time you have with your guests presents a valuable opportunity to find out what makes them tick.
What are the common points of concern you notice when they talk to you? What do they get excited about? Do you pick up on any distinguishing factors in the way they talk?
You may not always be able to apply these little snapshots of information to a wider audience, but the more you interact with guests on a personal level, the more you’ll start to notice overlaps which will help inform your marketing efforts online.
Monitor blog comments and social engagement
You’re hopefully doing this already, but monitoring the comments on your hotel’s blog and social pages and identifying the most popular types of content is a great way to get to know your guests’ interests better. Delve into your metrics and look for recurring patterns to figure out the kind of content your audience appreciates the most and the types that don’t appeal to them – the results could reveal more than you expect.
Employ social listening
Don’t forget the value of social listening for finding out the other topics and brands that interest your audience.
Tools like Hootsuite and Social Mention will help you plug in to the conversations your guests are having online, offering the chance to discover new trending topics and potential new approaches for your marketing you might not have otherwise come up with.
Conduct guest questionnaires
Last but not least, there’s the most obvious tactic for finding out more about your audience: simply ask them questions directly in the form of a survey. Guest questionnaires can be whipped up very quickly using a tool like SurveyMonkey and can include anything you want to find out about your target audience.
All these tactics will help you get a clearer idea of exactly who you’re marketing to. Once you have a better understanding of your guests’ lifestyles and habits, you can mould your messaging for even better results.
How do you find out more about your hotel’s guests? Let us know in the comments below!