The Covid-19 affected the hospitality industry with an unprecedented challenge. However, the world is returning to familiar paths and adapting to the new normal.
Now that things have started moving forward, digital evolution and technological advancements are unlocking exciting ways to deliver exceptional guest experiences across the hospitality industry.
Hospitality marketing trends are constantly changing, so make sure you aren’t caught off guard. Capitalize on the demand, reach a wider audience, and generate ROI.
In this blog, we’re exploring the top 9 hotel marketing trends in 2024 that you need to know to shape your marketing strategy.
- Popularity of Short-Form Video Content
- Social Media Strategies
- Immersive Experiences with AR and VR
- Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
- Embracing Sustainability
- Influencer Collaborations
- Content Marketing Excellence
- Email Marketing is Here to Stay
- Campaigns Focused on Customer-Journey Mapping
Top 9 Hotel Marketing Trends You Need to Know
Every single trend in hotel marketing is evolving due to changing guests’ preferences and dynamics. Guests nowadays don’t perceive hotels like they used to a couple of years ago.
Therefore, substantial shifts are required to stay at the forefront of the hospitality industry. Here are the top 9 hospitality industry marketing trends you need to watch to refine your plan.
1. Popularity of Short-Form Video Content
Quick, engaging, and sharable, short-form video content has become a popular and effective way to capture and hold people’s attention. Customers have already become used to instant gratification.
The bite-sized videos are usually no more than 60 seconds long and highly addictive. TikTok, Reels, and even YouTube Shorts have been game changers in the digital space. Hoteliers are using it to showcase properties and experiences in hospitality marketing.
Here are some suggestions on how hoteliers can use short-form videos to their advantage:
- Create short videos that showcase the key features and amenities
- Announce and promote special deals or packages
- Encourage guests to share their experiences
- create short videos highlighting the events and happenings
- Offer a behind-the-scenes look at the daily operations
- Craft compelling stories about your hotel’s history, mission, or unique aspects
Most importantly, remember to analyze the performance of your videos, gather feedback, and adapt your strategy based on the preferences and behaviors of your target audience.
2. Social Media Strategies
Social media can generate leads. The high usage of social media has proven to be an influential trend in the hospitality industry.
Hotels utilize social media platforms to enhance brand visibility and guest engagement. People are also using social media as search platforms. As a tool of utmost importance, social media can engage prospective customers, convey the message, drive engagement, and increase hotel sales.
They showcase stunning visuals, share guest experiences, and offer exclusive promotions. Real-time responsiveness to queries fosters a sense of connection.
Hotels craft compelling narratives that resonate with audiences through strategic campaigns and influencer collaborations, driving online presence and guest loyalty. Social media shapes hotel marketing trends through real-time engagement, visual storytelling, and influencer partnerships.
3. Immersive Experiences with AR and VR
Immersive experience refers to completely immersing oneself in or diving into another (artificial) world. Immersive technologies such as virtual (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have the power to amaze, amuse, and inform the audience while connecting on an emotional level.
The bottom line is a great guest experience is an excellent way for hoteliers to engage and connect with their customers.
VR & AR cannot replace the actual feels of a stay at a hotel, but they can provide a clear understanding of what you should expect. Thus, guests looking to book your hotel can check out the room’s interior and make the final decision.
Here are some of the most common ways to refine the guest experience using AR & VR:
- Enhances virtual booking process by showcasing the property
- Guests can explore the hotel and destination using 360-degree video
- Using AR, you can incorporate gamification into your guest experience
- Beacon tech with AR provides location-based info, promotions, and personalized services to guests
In the hotel industry, AR and VR can be combined with other technological dimensions like IoT and big data to maximize usage.
4. Rise of Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Hotels are getting smarter with artificial intelligence (AI).
Imagine a super helpful robot at the front desk or a computer brain that plans the perfect stay. AI and automation are like hotel superheroes.
AI in the hotel industry elevates customer experience, operational efficiency, and revenue management, shaping a more seamless and personalized hospitality landscape.
- Chatbots and virtual assistants: AI-powered chatbots streamline guest inquiries, reservations, and service requests, enhancing customer service.
- Personalized recommendations: AI analyzes guest preferences and behaviors to suggest personalized services, room amenities, and local attractions.
- Facial recognition technology: Expedite check-in processes and enhance security through facial recognition for guest identification.
- Predictive analytics for pricing: AI algorithms optimize room rates based on demand, events, and market trends, maximizing revenue.
- Energy management: AI controls lighting, temperature, and other utilities, promoting energy efficiency and cost savings.
Also, AI can automate repetitive tasks in the hotel industry, such as data entry, follow-ups, and lead generation, allowing hoteliers to focus on building relationships with guests and increasing bookings.
5. Embracing Sustainability
Hotels are embracing sustainability to meet guest expectations. With a surge in eco-conscious consumerism, today’s hotel guests choose hotels based on their green initiatives.
Hotels consume water and energy resources and create a lot of waste. To help the environment and save these resources for the future, hotels must adopt eco-friendly practices.
By showcasing eco-friendly initiatives, such as energy-efficient technologies, waste reduction programs, and local community engagement, hotels can appeal to the growing environmentally conscious consumer base.
According to Cloudbeds, here are a few things a hotelier must consider as part of their sustainability initiatives.
- Improving your property’s sustainability includes water usage, energy efficiency, and waste management.
- Maximizing the social and economic benefits for your community.
- Reducing negative environmental impacts.
- Assess the sustainability of your supply chain, as this will reflect on your hotel in any certification process.
Moreover, hotels can include sustainability in their catering marketing ideas by sourcing local, seasonal ingredients to reduce transportation impact. Implementing waste reduction strategies, such as composting and recycling, minimizes environmental impact.
Opting for energy-efficient appliances and emphasizing water conservation further contribute to sustainable catering practices, aligning with eco-conscious preferences in the hospitality industry.
6. Influencer Collaborations
Influencers are the new must in your hotel marketing plan.
Do you know influencers can help shape public opinion about your establishment? Yup, that’s a strategy called influencer marketing.
Hotels are turning to influencers to reach a broader audience base and create authentic engagement with potential guests. Their endorsements, often seen as personal recommendations, build trust and can influence their followers’ decisions to a great extent.
Their posts generate immediate visibility, driving bookings and brand awareness. Influencers can create a compelling allure around hospitality offerings through captivating visuals and personalized narratives, influencing potential customers’ choices.
Here’s how you can maximize the impact of influencer collaborations and drive bookings:
- Start by identifying influencers and reaching out to them
- Create engaging and authentic content in collaboration
- Regularly track and analyze the engagement metrics of influencer posts
- Evaluate the success of each campaign and identify areas for improvement
Also, there is a growing trend of travel influencers in the hospitality industry. Travel influencers showcase destinations, hotels, and experiences, driving engagement through captivating content.
Lifestyle influencers integrate hospitality into their daily lives, creating authentic audience connections. It helps expand hotel brand reach, develop trust, and influence travel choices through relatable and aspirational content.
7. Content Marketing Excellence
Hotels craft compelling content by spotlighting unique offerings. Engaging visuals, storytelling, and social media platforms showcase exclusive amenities, themed experiences, and personalized services.
Content marketing empowers hotels by creating and distributing valuable, relevant, consistent content. Hotels can showcase their unique offerings, share local insights, and build a brand identity through blogs, social media, and multimedia.
Consider these effective content marketing strategies for your hotel:
- Storytelling narratives: Share compelling stories about the hotel, creating emotional connections with guests and conveying the unique experiences they can expect.
- Visual richness: Utilize high-quality visuals to showcase the hotel’s aesthetics, amenities, and experiences, captivating audiences and driving engagement.
- Local insights and recommendations: Provide valuable information about the local area, attractions, and activities, positioning the hotel as a knowledgeable guide for a holistic travel experience.
- User-generated content (UGC): Encourage guests to share their experiences through UGC, fostering authenticity and building a community around the hotel brand.
- Exclusive promotions and packages: Create enticing promotions and packages, incentivizing bookings and attracting attention by offering unique, value-added experiences for guests.
Content marketing gives you an edge in the hotel industry, as it helps you turn lookers into bookers. When people find your content inspiring and entertaining and treat it as guidance, they will be more likely to choose your hotel when booking.
8. Email Marketing is Here to Stay
Amid the onset of social media, email marketing is here to stay.
Email is by far the best digital marketing channel to promote your hotel. A carefully planned email marketing campaign effectively converts prospects into first-time guests and buyers into loyal customers.
Here are five reasons why email marketing is here to stay:
- Reaches a wide audience
- Delivers message effectively
- Drives conversions
- Gets higher ROI
- Track user metrics
According to Statista, the global e-mail marketing market was valued at $7.5 billion in 2020 and is projected to increase to $17.9 billion by 2027. Thus, a robust email marketing strategy helps you reach and connect with your target audience.
9. Campaigns Focused on Customer-Journey Mapping
Customer journey mapping helps you visualize how and where customers interact with your hotel brand. From booking to check-out, this insight helps identify pain points, enhance service touchpoints, and create personalized interactions.
Following the customer journey map from start to finish, you can determine what you’re doing right, what you’re doing wrong, and where you can improve the customer experience.
You can use it to design relevant, personalized, and consistent campaigns across different channels and stages. This will help you learn and later predict customer behavior and buying decisions.
Consider guest interactions at each stage and collect feedback to understand their experience. Use this data to streamline processes, improve services, and create a seamless, personalized journey that your guests appreciate.
As the hospitality industry has experienced drastic changes, the landscape continually evolves. More than ever, it has become increasingly important for hoteliers to know the latest and emerging hotel marketing trends.
Leveraging advanced technologies like AI and augmented reality enhances guest engagement. Personalization, sustainability, and immersive experiences are the new game-changer.
Social media continues to be a powerful tool for marketing, while influencer collaborations shape brand perception. Direct bookings gain prominence, driven by loyalty programs and exclusive perks.
As the industry evolves, hotels must adapt to these trends, embracing creativity and technology to stay competitive in an ever-changing market, ultimately providing guests with memorable and enriching experiences.