A 12 step guide to promoting boutique hotels


Boutique hotels are inherently original, different, unusual, relatively small – all these facets also make boutique hotels slightly tricky to plan for and market effectively. Get started by reading about the key attributes of a boutique hotel.

This post is a step by step guide to help promote a boutique hotel. If, however, you are at the feasibility stage, then start with how to do a feasibility study for a boutique hotel.

If you are looking for a starting point for an existing boutique hotel, you may want to start with a situational analysis to review where your hotel is currently.

1 – Establish the target audience

2 – Define the product offer

  • Product differentiation – how can you differentiate your boutique hotel from the competition?
  • Rooms – what makes a perfect boutique hotel bedroom?
  • Luxury quotient
  • Service levels
  • Location
  • Experiences

3 – Research audience booking channels

4 – Identify a clear pricing strategy

  • Room types – how to plan room types for your boutique hotel
  • Rate plans – how to choose the right rate plans for your boutique hotel
  • Seasons – how does seasonality affect your boutique hotel pricing strategy?
  • Packages – The ABC of creating effective packages for your boutique hotel
  • Pricing – How to price your boutique hotel

5 – Define branding and identity

  • Unique selling point/s
  • Local versus global
  • Positioning
  • Brand elements (logo, tagline, design, promise, colour palette, offline and online consistency)

6 – Plan website content and ongoing management

  • Key website attributes – 10 key attributes of a boutique hotel website
  • The content goal matrix – how to start planning a boutique hotel website
  • Design and layout
  • Visual impact
  • Ease of navigation – 20 ways to maximise your hotel website navigation
  • Ease of booking – how a boutique hotel website can maximise the online booking experience
  • Website speed and conversion
  • Optimise website for voice search
  • Website content management system
  • Website Booking Engine
  • Content management
    • Hotel images and video – quantity and quality
    • Descriptions – 9 essentials of a catchy hotel description
    • Promotions and offers
    • Languages and localisation – how to localise your boutique hotel website
  • Ongoing website management
  • Fresh content
  • Tracking and analytics

7 – Plan for reputation management

8 – Promote your hotel

  • Map your customer’s travel journey – study guest booking journey to maximise revenue
  • Develop a direct booking strategy
  • Establish a promotion strategy and create promotions
  • Set up e-mail marketing campaigns – how to set up email marketing campaigns for your hotel
  • Review and identify media advertising opportunities
  • Digital ad campaigns including retargeting
  • Plan public relations activities
  • Plan sales activities
  • Identify a channel strategy for promotions
  • Create partnerships with complementary businesses
  • Implement a plan to improve organic search results
  • Develop blog content strategy and creation
  • Identify a social media strategy and action plan – how to plan your hotel’s social media strategy
    • Use influencer marketing
    • Instagram
    • Youtube
    • Facebook
  • Establish loyalty driven promotions
  • Combine destination marketing with hotel marketing
  • Create an “in hotel” plan for promoting hotel services

9 – Maximise results through OTAs and metasearch

  • Direct channels (brand and voice reservations)
  • Work with metasearch companies like Kayak & Trivago
  • Choose the right Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)
  • Work with relevant niche operators

10 – Work with select group of wholesale & tour operators

  • Review if wholesalers are relevant to your boutique hotel
  • Identify niche tour operators who can bring value

11 – Consider suitability for group business

  • Review potential for small meetings
  • Review opportunity from leisure groups

12 – Identify corporate & bleisure opportunities

©Whitesky Hospitality 2019