From frustrating to flourishing: 4 common hospitality marketing challenges and solutions


hospitality marketing challenges and solutions

The hospitality industry is a vibrant and exciting space, but it’s also incredibly competitive. If you’re in hospitality marketing, you’re likely familiar with some of the common hurdles that can get in the way of your goals. You want to fill rooms, build brand awareness, increase loyalty signups – without spreading your time or budget too thin.

Standing out from the crowd and attracting guests can be a real challenge. But fear not! With the right strategies and partner by your side, you can overcome these common challenges and achieve your hospitality marketing goals. Here are some of the most common hospitality marketing challenges and how to overcome them.

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Hospitality marketing challenge #1: Standing out in a crowded market

The U.S. hospitality industry is expected to reach a market size of $110.5 billion in 2024. That’s a lot of travelers looking for hotels, event centers, recreation activities, and seeking out local tourist board organizations. In this competitive space, your business needs to catch the eye of the right visitors.

The hospitality industry is saturated with businesses all vying for the attention of the same guests. Price, location, and services are often important to visitors, but are not always factors that convince them to make a decision. To avoid blending in with your competitors, it’s important to identify what makes you unique and find ways to reach people when they’re actively searching online.

Standing out doesn’t necessarily mean spending more money. Some ways to generate interest are:

  • Leveraging the power of content. Keeping an active blog and website are great ways to boost SEO and get you found by users in search engines. Write articles with topics that help travelers plan their trip, tips on making the most of their destination, and showcase the best attractions, activities, events in your area.
  • Partner with travel or local influencers.
  • Get creative with behind-the-scenes stories and virtual tours of your property. Share this content on social media.
  • Recognize repeat guests. Reward returning customers with special perks, upgrades, and amenities.
reach your target audience

Hospitality marketing challenge #2: Reaching the right audience

With so many potential guests out there, it’s important to focus your marketing efforts on the people who are most likely to be interested in your offerings. This means understanding your target audience and where they spend their time online and offline.

Yes, it does take some legwork to determine your target audience (check out our article here to get started), but running a marketing campaign without a target audience is like shooting arrows into the dark – you hope they’ll hit something, anything, but you have no real aim or purpose.

To start building your audience, ask these questions:

  • Who are your ideal guests?
  • What’s their purpose for travel?
  • Where do they live?
  • How do they find out about your property or business?
  • Where and how do they book?

Once you know where to find your audience, you can tailor your marketing messages to their specific needs and interests and strategically reach them using the right tools.

Financial marketing strategies tip #5: Build strong customer relationships.

Hospitality marketing challenge #3: Building trust and loyalty  

In the hospitality industry, trust is everything. Think of your marketing as your virtual front desk. Guests need to feel confident that they’re going to have a positive experience when they stay with you or seek your services. This means building strong relationships with visitors and providing them with excellent customer service.

Build trust by encouraging positive online reviews and testimonials. 52% of people rely on past experiences when evaluating accommodations and 58% of travelers have a set of go-to travel brands they stay loyal to. Ensure your Google Business Profile is up-to-date and reviews (both good and bad) are responded to. Your visitors can often be your best marketers by offering a wealth of user-generated content and social validation.

hospitality marketing should keep up with technology

Hospitality marketing challenge #4: Keeping up with technology 

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to keep up with the latest trends in technology. It should be no surprise that people are seeking convenience these days – 64% of guests find accommodations and 68% find trip experiences online. This means you should use social media effectively, invest in a user-friendly website and make booking experiences as frictionless as possible.

A good social media marketing strategy should be multi-faceted and use a mix of paid and organic media. Consistent posting over time builds your brand voice and story. Be authentic and don’t constantly sell. Today’s consumer can sniff out a sales pitch. Instead, be authentic and provide value to help social media accomplish your long-term goals. 

Don’t be afraid to face hospitality marketing challenges

By overcoming these common hospitality marketing challenges, you can set your business up for success. Remember, results don’t happen overnight. Start by laying out a roadmap to determine how your marketing efforts will help achieve your goals. See what you can get started in-house, and don’t be afraid to find a strategic marketing partner to support and build upon your efforts.

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