September 13, 2023
By Kim Campbell

The process of capturing customers’ attention and compelling them to book is winding and complex. Individual advertisements and marketing materials come together to create strategic, targeted campaigns designed to appeal to a traveler’s budget, comfort level, travel purpose, booking pattern, trust in a particular brand, and other preferences. In addition to producing high-quality content, marketing managers must keep up with hotel advertising trends to remain competitive in an ever-evolving industry.

We’ll cover the ins and outs of hotel advertising and provide hospitality professionals with the marketing resources they need to stand out amongst the competition. We’ll review different forms of hotel advertising, discuss the benefits of strategic marketing, and examine the objectives various advertising techniques can help hotels accomplish. Keep reading to uncover actionable tips, advertising best practices, and software solutions your team can use to take your hotel’s advertising to the next level.

Discover proactive marketing strategies and hotel advertising techniques

What is hotel advertising?

Hotel advertising is an umbrella term that encompasses a broad spectrum of marketing types, strategies, and styles; it covers the marketing techniques and promotional activities hotels use to advertise their location and services. In addition to overnight accommodations, hotels advertise attractive amenities, key features, event space, packages, and other offerings. The purpose of hotel advertising is to capture the attention of potential guests or clients and entice them to book at your property.

The many faces of hotel advertising

Hotel advertising comes in many forms, from printed brochures and directories to video ads and virtual reality experiences. Each property’s strategy will vary based on its size, market mix, goals, and budget, so hotels may choose to use both free and paid forms of advertising, such as:

  • Email marketing
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Video advertising
  • Social media campaigns
  • Influencer marketing
  • Print marketing
  • Direct mail
  • Display advertisements
  • Pay-per-click ads
  • Search ads
  • User-generated content
  • Experiential marketing

Previous guests and satisfied clients are some of the best marketing resources hotels have, as their reviews can significantly impact how other consumers perceive your hotel. 81% of travelers report reading hotel reviews before booking a reservation (always or often). Pay close attention to guest feedback to see hotel customers advertise the hotel on your behalf.

Why is hotel advertising important?

Marketing is about more than selling a product. In addition to highlighting what the hotel has to offer consumers, hotels use advertising to accomplish a wide variety of goals and objectives, such as:

  • Expanding audience reach
  • Capitalizing on shifting demand
  • Driving hotel occupancy
  • Increasing revenue
  • Attracting specific traveler types
  • Upselling hotel products and services
  • Boosting loyalty  
  • Capturing planner attention
  • Driving meetings and events
  • Outshining the competition

High-quality marketing can capture consumer attention, communicate valuable information, and more. The most effective advertising represents what your hotel is all about—its style, energy, mission, and values.

CTA for hotel online marketing


Ten tips for boosting your hotel’s advertising potential

Whether you’re new to hotel advertising or looking for ways to revitalize your current strategy, you’ll find tips, tools, and best practices to boost your marketing power below.

1. Improve hotel SEO content. Boost where your hotel ranks in search engine results by optimizing online content linked to your business. Ensure that hotel information is accurate and up-to-date across all listings and platforms, including:

  • Main hotel website
  • site
  • Venue/directory listings
  • Third-party booking sites
  • Social media pages
  • Google business page

If you haven’t already, find and claim your Google My Business listing. Activate geolocation services to help your hotel appear in common keyword searches for your area, such as “hotels in San Antonio” or “waterfront hotels Myrtle Beach.” Maintain the same voice and communication style as you engage with audience members across different platforms. Use relevant keywords in review responses, website copy, and social media posts, and drive more referrals with backlinks.

2. Create targeted marketing campaigns. Design unique offers and packages that appeal to different types of hotel guests and use them to attract travelers from target market segments. Whereas digital nomads may find video ads that feature in-room technology and flexible community workspaces appealing, social media campaigns promoting spa or entertainment packages may appeal more to leisure guests.

3. Tell a story. Storytelling helps consumers connect with your product, increasing the likelihood that they will remember your property later. Think of hotel advertising as a vehicle to tell your business or brand story in an exciting new way. Celebrate what makes your property unique and what you do best.

4. Embrace experiential marketing. In addition to telling clients and potential customers what’s great about your hotel, encourage them to experience it for themselves. Virtual hotel tours, engaging social media challenges, and interactive floor plans are valuable experiential marketing tools. Invite travelers to explore hotel guest rooms or take a virtual stroll through the lobby. Offer clients a collaborative event planning experience with interactive floor plans. Planners can view event setups, alter the layout, add meeting items, and see their changes reflected in real-time.

5. Advertise where the planners are. Serve ads to planners actively sourcing across the Cvent Supplier Network highlighting the hotel’s features, amenities, and brand identity. Target critical channels to attract attention from planners looking for accommodations in your area, and show them why your property is perfect for their booking.

Find out more about what planners are looking for

6. Create a distinguishable brand identity. Celebrate what sets your hotel apart from the competition with branded advertisements. Consumers should immediately associate branded marketing materials with your hotel. Build a distinguishable brand identity with your logo, font choice, color scheme, and other creative design elements. Cultivate a brand that represents your property and tells guests what to expect from a stay with you.

7. Promote rewards for direct and repeat bookings. Build customer loyalty and attract more travelers to your brand page with exclusive rewards. In addition to encouraging return business, driving direct bookings helps hotels avoid losing revenue to online travel agent (OTA) fees, AAA bookings, and discounted rates.

8. Build a prominent social media presence. Create a profile for your hotel on major social media platforms and design marketing campaigns that incorporate the most powerful features of each. For example, you could:

  • boost Facebook posts to increase their reach.
  • run paid ad campaigns on Facebook and Instagram simultaneously.
  • show exciting behind-the-scenes renovation updates via Instagram Stories.
  • start a viral hashtag challenge on TikTok.

Partner with industry influencers for cross-promotional marketing and boost the profile of both of your brands while expanding your marketing reach. Look for content creators with a brand, mission, and aesthetic that matches yours.

9. Focus on mobile-friendly marketing. Mobile advertising is marketing content optimized for mobile viewing, and it comes in many forms, including mobile apps, search ads, video, display ads, text, and others. Design mobile-friendly text message marketing campaigns, advertise your mobile app, and employ a hotel chatbot to improve mobile guest communications.  

10. Analyze each campaign’s return on investment (ROI). Track spending and ROI to determine which campaigns are successful, which channels the hotel should continue to invest in, and which poor performers you should eliminate. Track your SEO success on a platform like SEMRush, Ahrefs, or Google Keyword Planner. Track opens, impressions, and clicks from your digital advertising to stay on top of what’s resonating with your audience.

Marketing solutions to up your hotel advertising impact

Maximize the potential of hotel advertising strategies with dynamic tools and software systems that optimize and amplify your efforts. In addition to the resources we’ve already covered, various marketing solutions can help hotels and event venues power up their advertising.

Content marketing solutions

Build a strong reputation and raise brand awareness by advertising to planners at every step of the buyer journey through Cvent Content Marketing Ads. Leverage Cvent’s broad audience reach as you capture planner attention through a variety of display ads and sponsored content that appears across Cvent’s Supplier Network (CSN). Cvent blasts hotel advertising content across valuable marketing channels, including their:

  • blog
  • microsites
  • email newsletter
  • destination guide

Hotels can also enrich their venue profiles, improve brand websites, and connect with planners through interactive marketing, such as:  

  • Competitive market ads on the Cvent Supplier Network give you premium placement in other markets, expanding your reach to attract planners that may not have otherwise considered your destination or venue.  
  • Grow group business, and get maximum exposure in a specified region by appearing on the first page of search results in a market, whether on Google, the Cvent Supplier Network, or somewhere else.
  • Give planners an onsite experience without needing a plane ticket through high-quality, immersive video marketing content.
  • Using your creative assets and ad retargeting tools, show consumers video ads on YouTube or feature display ads on websites that use Google’s Display Network.

Targeted group solutions

Build custom microsites to showcase your property as an attractive and reputable venue.

Site design tools often enable hotels to offer planners an experiential sourcing experience through image carousels, helpful widgets, photos, and other engaging tools. Hotels should connect their Twitter and Facebook feeds to personalized group web pages to make it easy for planners to get more information about your property.

See what event planners see when they source

Frequently asked questions about hotel advertising

If you have hotel advertising questions we haven’t answered yet, review the FAQs below for additional information.

1. How do hotels identify their target markets?

Establish target market segments, need dates, and booking patterns with hotel performance reports. Use historical reporting to identify past trends, and run forecast reports to identify future business on the books. Determine which market segments and travel types will best fill booking gaps and create targeted campaigns to capture their attention.

2. Why is repetition necessary in hotel advertising?

Consistent marketing efforts help your property stay at the forefront of customers’ minds. Think of every step in a marketing campaign as another action that moves consumers one step closer to conversion—to booking. Reaching out regularly keeps the line of communication between hotels and planners and guests open and active.

3. How can hotels regularly advertise to guests without annoying them?

Provide guests and potential consumers with content that they find valuable. Keep them up-to-date on topics they care about, send targeted offers, offer personalized packages, and encourage guests to share content on hotel social media pages.

Note guest communication preferences and always include an unsubscribe option in marketing content. When you receive an unsubscribe request from a guest or client, note their contact information in the hotel’s property and sales management systems to remove them from future marketing lists.

Drive more bookings with superior hotel advertising

Now you’re equipped with the knowledge, tools, and software solutions to take your advertising to the next level. Refresh your marketing strategy to incorporate new techniques and resources. Advertise your hotel in ways that appeal to target guests, but keep one thing in mind: a poor reputation can overshadow even the highest quality hotel advertising. With these tips and tools, you’ll be sure to build a trustworthy reputation with your guests.

Monitoring your property’s online reputation and influencing how consumers perceive it is critical to effective marketing. Next, we’re exploring all the hotel reputation management tips you need to know to protect and optimize your online presence. Keep reading to discover the value of real-time online engagement, how to influence reviews, and more.

Headshot of Cvent writer Kimberly Campbell

Kim Campbell

Kim is a full-time copy and content writer with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. She entered the hotel world in 2013 as a housekeeping team member and worked her way through various departments before being appointed to Director of Sales. Kim has championed numerous successful sales efforts, revenue strategies, and marketing campaigns — all of which landed her a spot on Hotel Management Magazine’s “Thirty Under 30” list.

Don’t be fooled though; she’s not all business! An avid forest forager, post-apocalyptic fiction fan, and free-sample-fiend, Kim prides herself on being well-rounded.

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