How To Generate Leads for Hotels: Powerful Lead Generation Ideas
If your hotel business is still feeling the effects of recent economic events all too acutely — or if you simply want to grow your hotel business — you may be looking for ways to increase bookings. You’re in the right place. With the right team on your side and sufficient tools at your disposal, you can learn how to generate leads for hotels quickly and in the most cost-effective ways possible.
Hotel Lead Generation Is Essential Now More Than Ever
As many segments of the economy work to bounce back, the hotel industry still suffers, both trying to make up for lost revenue and account for a crucial missing segment of its clientele: business travelers.
Business travelers are a major bread-and-butter population for the hospitality industry, accounting for about two-thirds of the hotel sector’s revenue in pre-pandemic days. Today, however, with corporate travel spending at about one-third of what it used to be, hotels are struggling to keep their occupancy rates at operable levels. While it’s true that leisure travel is on the upswing, vacationers simply cannot replicate what was lost due to dramatic cuts to business travel budgets.
Business travel aside, hotels — by their very essence — need reservations to stay profitable. Even with consistently full houses, most hotels operate on profit margins of 30%, which is low compared to other industries. As of the second quarter of 2020, the average profit margin for hotels was just 18%. By the end of 2021, many hotels were showing an increase in profitability. However, we probably don’t need to tell you that the situation for many hoteliers has been dire.
Bookings Begin Online
If you’re hoping to increase your hotel leads as quickly and cost-efficiently as possible, focus your efforts on online marketing. As of 2018, online bookings accounted for 82% of all travel bookings for the year. Considering that, at the time, the projected growth rate of the online travel sales market (particularly as it pertains to hotels) was 10.3%, that percentage is likely close to 90% this year.
To really emphasize just how big the online booking industry is, we’ve gathered a few noteworthy statistics:
- 83% of U.S. adults prefer to make their travel reservations online.
- 82% of all travel arrangements across the globe were made without any human contact.
- 72% of all mobile bookings occur within just 48 hours of a Google search, with many occurring the same day.
- Nearly three-quarters of hotel queries contain the words “today” or “tonight.”
- 70% of all travel customers perform their research on a smartphone.
These stats suggest that not only is it important that your customers can make reservations online, but also that they can find and research you online. This brings us to the main point: How to generate leads for hotels quickly and cost-effectively.
How To Generate Leads for Hotels
Generating leads for your hotel business isn’t rocket science, nor does it involve doing anything truly innovative. Rather, the best way to get hotel leads is to use tried-and-true tactics. Below are just a few that yield impressive results.
1. Blog Consistently
We cannot emphasize the importance of blogging enough. Blogging is the number one way to drive traffic to your website. We’re not just saying this, either. According to the data, companies that blog five or more times per month see 3.5 times more traffic than those that blog zero to four times per month. These brands also get 4.5 times as many leads and 97% more links to their websites than brands that rarely or never blog.
Why does blogging work so well, though? Here are a few reasons blogging is so powerful:
- Blogging gives you a foundation on which to build your SEO campaign. For search engine optimization to be successful, you must include relevant keywords and terms throughout your website in as natural a way as possible. The best and most effective way to do this is by producing quality content on a consistent basis.
- Blogging increases your online real estate and, therefore, helps to generate more website traffic. The more pages you have that contain relevant information and key search terms, the more likely your website will show up in the search results. The more you pop up in the search results — and the higher you appear in the SERPs — the more authoritative and trustworthy you appear. When searchers trust you, they are more inclined to click through to your website.
- Blogging helps to increase bookings. Half the battle of increasing reservations is getting people to your website. The other half entails encouraging them to book with you. Blogging helps by increasing consumers’ trust in your brand. It also gives you a way to talk about your hotel’s features, amenities and nearby attractions in a conversational way.
- Blogging is scalable. When you order content through a company like ours, you can increase or decrease your orders as frequently as your budget dictates. You can also scale back on your orders during off-seasons and amp them up during peak seasons so that you’re not spending your marketing budget impractically.
Make Hotel Blogging Easy
Our monthly blog writing services offer affordable content for hotels that engages readers, increases lead generation and builds your hotel brand.
What can you blog about, though? While you may have visions of bland posts discussing your rooms’ features and hotel amenities, we have more enticing topics in mind. Some ways to pad your blog in an engaging way are as follows:
- Travel eBooks
- Curated itineraries
- Seasonal packing guides
- Local business guides (with discounts!)
- Local language cheat sheet
- List of family-friendly activities
These are just a few ideas to get you started. You can also answer any FAQs you get regarding your hotel or the local area, provide fun facts about your establishment or the destination, provide recipes from your bar or kitchen, give virtual tours and more. You can find a whole list of blog post ideas for hotels here.
2. Go Green – and Be Proud About It
Though this may seem like an odd tip for how to generate leads for hotels, hear us out… As many as 55% of travelers say they want to start making sustainable choices while on the road (or in the air), and a whopping 70% said they’d be more likely to reserve a room from a hotel that was eco-friendly and committed to sustainability.
However, one study revealed that though many aspiring travelers have good intentions, few follow through with them, as they find making sustainable travel choices confusing. Per the study, lack of information, lack of appeal and increased costs all dissuade individuals from going green in their travels.
You can erase these barriers for your potential customers by simply educating them, and by bragging about your green status. Use your blog as an outlet through which to inform travelers about how they can make sustainable travel choices, and give tips on how they can reduce their tourism carbon footprint. Use various outlets — from your website to your blog to your social media accounts — to discuss how you’re committed to going green and the results of your efforts. Finally, if you earned your “eco-certified” badge from Google or another organization, place it where customers can easily see it.
3. Stay On Top of Your Reviews
Reviews are a critical tactic for generating hotel leads. Though people of all generations love reviews, millennials and GenXers in particular rely on reviews before making nearly any purchase decision.
According to the data, 72% of new customers will not book a hotel room without first conducting some form of research. A large part of that research entails reading reviews. As high as 15% of respondents said they will not do business with a brand that does not have any customer reviews.
You, like many other business owners, may assume that you can’t just ask patrons for reviews. You would be wrong. In fact, just 22% of customers will leave a review without being prompted. That percentage soars to 80% when the company encourages them to leave feedback.
But, you say, isn’t it true that people only leave reviews when they’re dissatisfied with a product or service? Again, this is not true. Just 5% of online reviews are negative, while 95% are positive.
4. Don’t Overlook the Power of Email
Email may seem “old-school,” but the truth is that it is a powerful lead generation tactic. It’s so powerful, in fact, that nearly three-quarters of brands use email marketing as a core component of their overall marketing strategy.
If you are wondering how to generate leads for hotels with email, you should know that email works because it allows you to send targeted messages to your audience. Unlike with just about any other form of advertising, email allows you to cater content precisely to a specific demographic’s — or even an individual’s — interests and preferences. For instance, if a small portion of your audience is interested in “cheap things to do in ABC City” while the rest of your clientele is more well-off, you can send promotional discounts, budgeting tips and “cheap-or-free-things-to-do” lists specifically to members of that demographic. By sending those messages via email, you lure in budget-conscious travelers without unwittingly scaring away more elite ones.
Moreover, email places content before consumers in a way in which they are most likely to interact with it. Think about it … Most people, on an everyday basis, are unlikely to Google travel-related terms, meaning your website and blogs are likely to remain unseen and unappreciated for quite a bit of time. However, with email, you can wiggle your way into customers’ lives before travel plans even cross their minds. Given that 61% of consumers check their emails immediately upon waking up, you have daily opportunities to make an impression on future travelers and to ensure your brand remains top-of-mind.
Another great thing about email is that you can build off it. You can send tailored stories and series to recipients to educate them about very specific topics or to address their very specific concerns. In this way, you can not only keep your brand top-of-mind but you can also build trust and, ultimately, a relationship with potential travelers.
5. Go Social
Social media is all about fun and relaxation. Few industries can confidently say the same. The travel industry is one of them.
You have a leg up over almost every other brand across any other industry in that your content is (or should be) inherently lighthearted and enjoyable. Whether you post a picture of your hotel, the surrounding landscape or a link to your blog titled, “Top 10 Things To Do in XYZ,” your content is sure to be automatically engaging. Use this fact to your advantage by posting to social media liberally.
6. Build Out Landing Pages
Finally, when thinking about how to generate leads for hotels, you need to create landing pages — and a lot of them. One marketing mistake that too many brands make is linking from targeted content to generic homepages. Keep the funnel going by creating very specific landing pages to go along with your tailored content. Doing so has several benefits:
- It allows you to easily segment audiences for future targeting
- It gives you a place to store marketing offers
- It offers deeper insights into the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns
- It provides fuel for other marketing efforts
- It allows you to capture leads at higher rates
If you only have a handful of landing pages, or if you don’t have any, set aside time and resources to begin building them sooner rather than later.
Get Help With Hotel Lead Generation
If you don’t have the time, resources or capability to implement one or several of these lead generation tactics on your own, you are not alone. Generating hotel leads is no easy feat, as it’s a time-consuming, intricate and ongoing task.
Fortunately, you don’t necessarily have to generate leads on your own. From creating blogs to bragging about your green-ness to creating landing page content, our team at BKA Content can do it all for you. Check our Content Shop to see which of our writing services are right for you.