When it comes to building and sustaining your customer base, marketing is the key to success. But since there are so many ways to reach your audience these days, you need to wonder—what kinds of marketing do you need? The answer is simple: ALL of them.
And the secret to making them as impactful as possible is Integrated Marketing.
Integrated Marketing is basically a cohesive campaign across all channels, where your brand is recognizable, your messaging is consistent, and each marketing piece seamlessly works together.
For example, let’s say your hotel is offering a special Labor Day Weekend package. You want to get the word out to as many potential guests as possible. The first thing you do is work out the inclusive features (i.e. length of stay, room type, brunch for two, popular local activity) and set up your promotional pricing. Then, you start on your marketing plan!
- Highlight Package Prominently on Website
- Create Engaging Blog Post
- Promote on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram & Twitter)
- Send Out Targeted Email Marketing (Eblasts)
- Promote on Third Party Booking Sites
- Send Out Press Release About Package
- Advertise in Local Publications or Post Flyers at Local Businesses
As you build each piece out, remember the golden rules across the board:
Keep Design and Branding As Uniformed As Possible
Design all ads for your promotion with the same color scheme, same or similar looking graphics, same fonts and same logo position. You want the campaign to have a cohesive feel that’s instantly familiar. So, if someone receives your Labor Day Weekend Package eblast… and then comes across your (similarly designed) ad on social media, the visual recognition will keep your hotel at the forefront of their mind.
Make sure the text on every platform has the same tone (friendly, informative, engaging) with similar messaging, the same package name (i.e. Labor Day Getaway Bundle), and accurate details. In the same vein as the design, the wording from piece to piece should be in the same voice and style.
Have Clear Call to Action
What do you hope to gain from this promotion? Whatever it is—that’s your CTA on all corresponding pieces. In the case of a weekend package for example, the call to action is most likely BOOK NOW—and don’t forget to place it where it won’t be missed.
Link Out for Maximum Integration
Adding hyperlinks (aka: words or graphics that link to another website page) is a must for digital marketing platforms. First of all, using links can connect multiple pieces together, which is a sign of a truly effective campaign. You can link a social media post to a coinciding blog post. Or you could (and should!) link your call to action to the appropriate webpage—such as connecting a BOOK NOW call to action directly to your hotel website’s reservation page. It’s a great shortcut that can inspire users to make the leap from “should I?” to “booked” in no time.
Sound complicated? It’s not. Especially when you have RMS’s tools behind you. Between features like the RMS Internet Booking Engine (aka: your CTA destination), Dynamic Pricing (where setting your pricing parameters is a snap) and the Guest Marketing Solutions—your integrated campaign can be off the ground in no time. For example, take a look at how straightforward (and dare we say enjoyable) the EDM (Electronic Direct Mail) feature is.
Ready for this? If you want to create and send professional looking, effective guest marketing, just subscribe to the EDM feature, add it to your Dashboard for quick access, and get your design underway.
With the EDM tools, drag and drop technology is the name of the game—meaning it’s incredibly simple to use. Select a template and make it your own by dropping in customized titles, images, text boxes, hyperlinked CTAs and more with a quick drag of your mouse. Once you’re happy with the design and the text is proofed, use our test email function to ensure things look great on all browsers and screens.
Now you want to send it to the right audience. So…you create your own targeted recipients list! And when we say “targeted,” we mean micro-focusing on exactly who you want to reach. EDM allows you to narrow down your recipients based on everything from geographic location, marital status, and accommodation preferences to personal interests, pets, and even the reason behind past visits. It’s that precise.
PLUS, there’s a whole new aspect of RMS’s email marketing suite that can affect your selections too—and FYI, your guests are going to love it. We’re talking about the new Email Categorization feature (launching officially in August), which gives recipients the ability to choose exactly what kind of emails they receive from you. So, if promotions, hotel news, and family packages peak their interest, that’s the only kinds of eblasts they’ll receive from you! It’s a pretty big deal that’s worth checking out.
Once you have the recipients list nailed down—all that’s left is to schedule the eblast or get it out there right away. Then you can track the campaign’s effectiveness in real time, which is pretty nifty. You can see when messages are opened, which recipients interact, and even who unsubscribes from future emails. Having this info is a great way to understand what campaigns succeed or fall flat—and you’ll learn from both scenarios.
Inspired to get started, aren’t you? Just remember—with Integrated Marketing, every piece supports the other and it’s important to have at least four in place. The most powerful being your hotel’s website, a targeted eblast, social media and your blog. If you have partnerships that will be part of the promotion, such as a local winery participating in a Wine Tasting Weekend with you, be sure to cross promote on all fronts. It’s a great way to further the integration and reach your biggest audience.