8 Hotel Marketing Trends to Increase Direct Bookings in 2021

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Posted on Jan 6th 2021

Hotel guests of 2021 - what do they want and what do they expect?

2020 introduced a new way of thinking for travellers, from how they approach the outside world to what they now fully expect from a service.

And we can rely on this way of thinking to remain - for the current year at least.

To increase our direct bookings in 2021, we have to look at how guests’ attitudes have changed, what they need and what they are expecting.

So with that said, here are eight trending marketing strategies and developing hotel trends that you need to get on ASAP.

1) Peace of Mind

Right off the bat, the coronavirus pandemic has left hotel guests needing a new requirement: the knowledge that they will feel safe during their stay. Hoteliers must continue to actively provide this confidence, even in 2021.

Don’t do away with the precautions just yet - show you’re serious with the reassurance that your hotel is continuing to look out for its guests in 2021. This kind of attention to guest health and safety is already an attractive selling point for your business in itself.

2) Social Media Engagement

Lockdowns encouraged us to be more interactive on social media, and this newly developed habit is likely to continue. As a hotelier, now’s a good time to rethink your approach to social media marketing.

Start engaging more with your customers in 2021 to increase your influence - set a posting schedule, encourage comment interaction and introduce competitions and giveaways if you’re not doing so already. With social media being used more than ever, you should be capitalising on extending your online reach.

3) Content That Inspires

The way we win over and market to guests has evolved from not just informing them, but inspiring them. If your online written content isn’t doing this, it’s time to change your approach for the new year.

Sell your unique holiday experience - your website, blogs and social media posts should be selling your hotel and location in a way that makes guests feel something, while at the same time informing them of what they need to know. It’s a fine balance to strike, but a marketing strategy that works magic.

4) Audience Targeting

The restrictions to travel in 2020 taught us to pay more attention to regional and local audiences, to appreciate them, and this attitude to targeted marketing is worth building on in 2021.

You should always know your audience before pumping out marketing emails, social media campaigns and blogs to make sure that your content is tailored and as effective as possible. Not sure where to start? Work on growing your email and guest database, which will allow you to fine-tune your 2021 marketing campaigns based on location, age group and more.

5) COVID Safe

It’s perfectly acceptable that many travellers are still cautious about where they travel to, where they stay and what they decide to do. You should be offering them peace of mind with professionally written content that informs guests of what they can safely enjoy during their stay.

For 2021, continue to promote COVID Safe events and things to do on social media and via your blog. You don’t have to centre your content around it, but a little footnote informing that whatever you’re endorsing is COVID Safe is something your guests will appreciate.

6) Becoming Eco-Friendly

How’s your environmental footprint? Environmentally conscious attitudes are rising, especially among millennials, so it may be worth considering how your hotel checks out when it comes to its eco-friendly profile and influence.

This doesn’t mean ploughing money into a complete overhaul - you can begin enticing a new wave of environmentally conscious guests in 2021 by introducing small changes, one by one, such as sustainable soaps and shampoos, reduced plastic consumption, increased recycling and organic food choices.

7) Smart Modernisation

Likewise, the ‘smart’ era is on the rise - tech that saw an unsurprising sales increase during lockdown - so it’s time to make sure your hotel is ahead and not lagging behind the competition with modern features that guests will love.

You should be flat out offering free WiFi and a smart TV streaming service by now - it may not be what guests will be doing all the time during their stay, but it’s a small touch that will instantly modernise your hotel. Want to go further in 2021? Consider adding a smart virtual assistant service, allowing guests to control room lighting and temperature by voice, along with the ability to receive convenient, instant answers to local tourist information, traffic updates and weather forecasts.

8) VR Hotel Tours

One surefire way to easily increase direct bookings in 2021 is by taking your website to the next level with interactive virtual hotel tours. We all like to ‘try before we buy’, and high-quality VR tours of your rooms are currently the most superior medium for guests to feel the experience you offer in a way that photos alone do not replicate.

Here at eTourism, professionally captured VR tours are just one of the effective tools we provide as part of our hotel digital marketing service, fully comprehensive in making sure that your hotel and resort gets a flying start to 2021 with an increase to direct guest bookings guaranteed in the long run.

How are you stepping up your guest experience and marketing approach for 2021? Let us know in the comments below!

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