With more sunshine, warmer weather, and opportunities for outdoor fun, a lot of hotels are gearing themselves up to welcome an influx of guests this summer. Of course, summer is also the season when competition between hoteliers really heats up.
To help your hotel drive more bookings, here are our top tips to put the sizzle in your summer marketing campaigns.
Promote exclusive offers and discounts
The summer months are often the most expensive to travel, so potential guests will be looking for a great deal. To capture their attention and drive direct bookings, promote an exclusive summer offer that’s only available on your website.
Make sure this offer is highly visible on your website.
WestHouse Hotel New York is a perfect example of how to do this. At the top of every page of its website, a bold headline promotes a summer deal. The copy makes it abundantly clear that this is an exclusive deal only available on the hotel website.
A bold “Book Offer” button is positioned right next to the headline. Note how the bright red button leaps off the page, contrasting with the black-and-white backdrop.
In addition to a prominent headline and button placement, there are other ways to make your website offer eye-catching. Use a fly-in widget that appears when the webpage loads. Or incorporate a static pop-up on each page of your website. That’s exactly how The Beacon Hotel in Washington D.C promotes its Summer Weekend Rates:
When users click “Book Now”, they’re taken directly to the hotel booking engine and the offer is reinforced with urgency-based copy.
Create tailored summer packages
It goes without saying that to attract more summer travelers, you don’t have to get caught in a battle for the lowest room rate. Instead, consider which perks and incentives they’ll find most appealing, specifically at this time of year.
If you’re marketing to families, you could partner with family-friendly attractions and include discounts when guests book with your direct. Local theme parks, water parks, bike tour companies, and water sports services are all great options for summer-based fun.
Bonus tips to promote your offers
When you place special deals on your website homepage and Offers page, they will be predominantly seen by guests who are ready to buy. But what about appealing to travelers who are simply researching or looking for inspiration? To expand the visibility of your summer package or rate plan, it’s important to use additional platforms and mediums.
Create a dedicated blog post on your website
There are a host of top reasons to have a blog on your hotel website. Not least of which is the ability to subtly market special offers to a wider audience. In terms of ideas, write a blog post about the best summer activities in your destination. Or talk about the unmissable events, food festivals, concerts, or other summer activities around your hotel.
The focus of your post should be to educate and excite readers about your destination. But within that post, you can weave in a mention of your latest deal —- just be sure to include a link to your relevant Offers page! A link somewhere in the middle and at the end of the post is sufficient — your blog post needs to gently steer customers into booking with you without sounding promotional.
Utilize email marketing
To increase the visibility of your seasonal offers, you could repurpose your summer blog post into an email series. Use each email to promote a recommended summer activity or experience, and include a link back to the Offers page on your hotel website.
The beauty of this approach is you can tailor your emails to different segments of your audience, helping to improve conversion rates. As an example, you might email younger Gen Z travelers with suggestions on outdoor summer party venues, and give your foodie-loving guests a few ideas on the best alfresco dining spots in town. Tap into the desires and preferences of your own specific customers and your offers will become all the more appealing.
Check out our recent email marketing tips for hotels post for additional advice, including how to segment your email list using niche customer data.
Harness social media
Social media should also play a key role in your summer promotions. To maximize engagement on social, keep things fun and visual. If you’re posting an offer-led post on Facebook, include a relevant video or image. Be sure to promptly respond to any questions or comments, and time your posts to go out when your followers are most active.
Integrate specialist tools into your website
Finally, you can make your deals stand out with high converting web elements. For instance, our very own Conversion Plus product is designed specifically for hotel websites and can be harnessed to promote special offers using scarcity messaging and real-time price checks.
Additional ways to attract summer travelers
In addition to creating the right offers, here are a few other ideas to help your hotel drive more bookings this summer.
Use seasonal images to inspire your guests
Rather than relying on the same photos year-round, update your website and marketing content with seasonal images that get your guests in the summer mood. In the warmer months, feature images of your guests lounging by your pool, sipping sundowners on their balcony, and enjoying strolls around your outdoor spaces.
Using the right photos at the right time is a great way to tell a story and connect with your customers. By showing them all the ways they can enjoy the summer at your destination, you’ll tap into their emotional reasons for traveling — and nudge them one step closer towards booking with you.
Of course, in the cooler months, the same approach holds true. Update the images on your website and marketing throughout the year to reflect the seasons and promote the most compelling reasons to travel during those periods.
Help them avoid the crowds
In the peak summer months, a lot of travelers are keen to escape the throngs of extra tourists. So make life easy for them. Create a dedicated summer email series (or a blog post) with tips to help your guests enjoy a few crowd-free experiences.
Let them know the best times of day or week to avoid the queues at big attractions. Tell them about any upcoming events that might not be on everyone’s radar. And mention those secret beaches, rarely-visited museums, and hidden beauty spots that aren’t featured in the travel books. Encourage your guests to contact you if they want a few more insider tips.
Remember, the web is packed with travel articles that offer generic advice for escaping the summer crowds. So if you give your audience a series of specific tips relevant to your destination, you’ll become a valuable resource that keeps them on your site.
Appealing to overseas travelers
If your hotel attracts international travelers from specific countries, you may wish to translate your offer or rate plan into the relevant languages. However, there are other things that need to be disclosed if you just translate one rate plan and not the rest of your site or booking engine. For instance, if the rate plan landing page is translated, but the booking engine is not, conversions would suffer.
How hotels can attract summer travelers
Ready to drive more direct bookings to your hotel this summer? By pushing your offers out on your website, blog, social media, and email campaigns, you’ll cater to users who are actively looking for special deals AND those who are researching or just looking for inspiring content.
Each element of your marketing will need to promote your offers differently, but ultimately, they will all lead to the same place —- allowing users to take the path that best suits them.