Are online travel agencies (OTA'S) the bane of your life? It's bad enough that OTA commissions cost hotels between 15-25% of revenue on each booking.
Worse again, an average 40% of bookings made through OTA’s end in cancellation - up to 130% higher cancellation rates than direct bookings.
If increasing the percentage of direct bookings you can achieve will improve hotel revenues and reduce cancellation rates, it makes sense to prioritise this in your marketing strategy.
So what are the best tactics you can use to achieve this? Here are 5 actionable ways that you can increase direct bookings for your hotel today.
1~ Be Discoverable
If they can't find you, they can't book with you.
It seems obvious but you need to have a strong online presence in order to be discovered as your potential guest is browsing online. Your website has to show up in relevant searches, and one key way to ensure your website will be prioritised by the search engines is by having video content on your site.
There are many ways you can use video to showcase your hotel and services.
Room tours of the various sizes and facilities you offer - family rooms, interconnecting rooms, penthouse, bridal suite, executive rooms, accessible rooms for those with mobility issues etc.
Showcase your spa and the various treatments and products you offer
Tour the leisure centre and demonstrate the equipment, training or classes available
Walkthrough the gardens & outdoor spaces that guests can enjoy during their stay
Feature your bars and restaurants, with behind the scenes of your chefs preparing delicious dishes or 'cocktail of the week'
Outline the conference facilities or meeting spaces that business guests are interested in
Share inspirational videos about the beautiful wedding venues you offer to wedding couples and their guests
Create videos showing the variety of things to do and see in your locality
Capture short customer testimonials that persuade others that yours is the right venue for them
Highlight any mid-week offers you have or specialised holidays such as painting, cycling or trips for active retired groups.
By creating a variety of content that speaks directly to the many different audience segments you are targeting and using these videos throughout your website, you WILL increase organic traffic, bring the hotel to life for your audience and drive direct bookings.
2~ Be Distinctive
In order to increase bookings you need to standout from the competition. Every organisation has a story, a unique selling point - this could be something of your hotels history, its locations, the special services its delivers to guests, the team of people who work there etc.
Identify and develop your unique selling point(USP) and shout it from the rooftops with video content that engages your audience and helps get your message across quickly and effectively.
Let’s say your USP is a state of the art spa. Capture the experience of the spa through videos showcasing the treatments you offer, customer testimonials, a tour of the spa etc.
Share the video content on your social media channels, the hotel website and in email campaigns to tempt past guests to return and future guests to book ahead.
3~ Be Social
Take advantage of the power of social media.
Fill your social channels with content around the experience you offer, your location and your brand values.
Video delivers the highest customer engagement across all social channels. It only makes sense to create video content for your social channels as it's more likely to capture your audience's attention and entice them to book a stay.
Your guests are the most valuable sales people on the team... Make use of them.
4~ Be Agile
Did you know 85% of guest book activities only after they arrive?
Maximise the value of each booking by upselling spa treatments, dinner offers etc. to your guests before they arrive. But how do you do that?
Capture the magic of what you offer with video.
Send your customer pre-arrival videos featuring add-on activities & experiences they can purchase. For example create videos of your food and drink offering to prompt them to dine at the hotel during their stay.
As well as sending the videos to your guests by email before their stay, you can also display the videos on the TV in their room once they arrive.
5~ Do it Yourself
You may have sensed a theme above.
Video content is the best way to get your hotel noticed, showcase your unique offering & increase direct bookings.
The statistics speak for themselves:
If you want to stand out and capture the attention of your audience, start creating video content.
Share it on social media, Youtube and across your website.
Upskilling your team with video marketing skills gives your hotel a distinctive edge & powerful competitive advantage. With a platform like Video Sherpa, your team can easily create short, impactful videos exactly when needed and instantly share them across all your marketing channels.
If you are ready to start creating video content in-house for your hotel, get in touch and we will help you get started.