Attract Millennials to your hotel
Millennials currently make up about a third of hotel guests worldwide, and this number is predicted to rise to over 50 per cent by 2020, according to eHotelier. With this in mind, hotels need to make sure that their efforts are focused on targeting this group, as it will inevitably make a huge difference to their business.
In order to successfully target millennials, hotels need to understand them, their trends and what will attract them to a hotel. So, where do you begin?
According to Google, 90 per cent of millennials are online every day, doing research, shopping, watching videos and checking out social media. Essentially, they’re living online – which means that businesses need to be too. You need to grow a strong online presence, and ensure your strategies are strong enough to ensure that you stand out. First of all, you need to make sure that your website is up to scratch. This means that it needs to be responsive, both on a computer and on mobile devices. Last year, Google updated their algorithm to penalise websites if they weren’t mobile responsive, so if you haven’t updated yours, you’ll find that you’re probably not even ranking high enough in search results to be visible to consumers. Even if people are landing on your website, if it’s clunky and difficult to use, they won’t stay for long. Having a usable website is basically a given, so if yours isn’t then you’re essentially giving away potential customers to your competitors. You also need to think about the branding and design.
What’s the personality of your hotel?
This needs to be represented in the images you use, the colour of your branding and the copy that you write. Once you have this sorted, you need to carry this same branding over to your social media platforms as well, to make sure that all platforms are consistent. Then, think about where else you need to be online. Online travel agencies (OTAs) are necessary for most hotels unless you’re a big chain brand – but you don’t need to be on all of them. Try out a few different ones and see where you get the best results. Monitor the return on investment and develop a solid strategy for managing OTAs.
Use SEO to your advantage
More people use search engines than ever before, and the phrase “just Google it” is common in our everyday lives. When it comes to researching hotels, 55 per cent of Millennials head straight to search engines to start their hunt for the perfect accommodation. Such high numbers mean just one thing – hotels need to get to the top of Google’s rankings so that they can be seen by these people conducting online searches. To do this, you need to focus on your SEO strategy to be sure that you’re not only hitting those most prominent results, but that you’re staying there. SEO can be very difficult, so you probably won’t be able to master it unless it’s your full time job. However, there are a few bits that you can make sure to stay on top of that could really boost your ranking in search engine results. One of the most important is to focus on getting quality links to your website. You want to try and get high-quality sources to include links to your website on theirs, such as official tourism sites and well-known travel bloggers. Not only does this boost your rankings in search engines, but it increases the possibility of more visitors going to your website from these sources. You also need to look at the quality of your social media profiles. These affect the ranking of your website, so you need to develop a strong, active presence on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Do this by sharing engaging and informative content that will gain you followers, likes, shares and comments.
Boost your social media
As it’s already been mentioned in the last two points, it should come as no surprise that social media is hugely important when it comes to attracting Millennials to your hotel. Millennials are engaging with posts on social media more than once every day, which gives you huge scope to be part of that engagement. Social media provides you with various platforms on which to engage with potential guests in a variety of ways. So, first things first – you need to develop a content marketing strategy to manage this. You’ll want your content marketing strategy to extend to your hotel’s website copy, social media content and blog, to ensure that your brand message is consistent across all channels and to make your content as transparent as possible for your consumers. Social media is often daunting at first, so create a content calendar to keep it organised. Plan one month ahead what content you’re going to deliver, and then you can add to it any news or information that is relevant on a day-to-day basis. Make sure that you’re including posts about local news and events that will be relevant to guests too, as this is the type of information that can really add to their stay. You also need to be sure that you’re using high-quality images in your posts. When people are seeing thousands of posts on their news feeds everyday, an image could make the difference between someone stopping and reading your content to just continuing to scroll through without even seeing your post.
Depending on your target market, you also want to be aware of other groups you want to target. However, not only are millennials the most frequent travellers, but they’re also big influencers, meaning that other generations are now starting to follow similar trends.
If you do these few things, not only will you attract more millennials, but hopefully more guests from all markets.