Most hotels experience low seasons. This may be due to a variety of factors such as bad weather, reduced tourism, or seasonal trends, which can have a significant impact on revenue. However, by identifying when these low or off-seasons occur, you can prepare and create a targeted marketing strategy to increase bookings during these periods. In this blog, we’ll share some of our top marketing tips and strategies to help you increase your occupancy rates during low or off-seasons.
1. Create Value-Added Low Season Packages
If you’re having a hard time enticing guests to book stays at your hotel during particular seasons, creating off-season packages may help entice them to book a stay with you. When developing these packages, consider the seasons you typically see lower occupancy rates. For example, if your low occupancy periods happen around the holidays, consider creating a holiday-themed package that offers discounts on local holiday attractions.
2. Introduce a Customer Loyalty Program
If you don’t have one already, customer loyalty programs are another great way to encourage repeat guests to stay with you more frequently. There are two types of customer loyalty programs you could offer to improve occupancy rates:
- Point system program: the most common type of loyalty program offered by hotels, point systems allow members to earn rewards based on nights booked or money spent. These points can then be used toward future stays, room upgrades, discounts on hotel amenities, and more.
- Special discounts program: this type of loyalty program typically offers special discounts based on the amount of stays your guests have booked in the past.
If a loyalty program aligns with your brand, we recommend creating a loyalty program landing page with a sign-up form to capture guest emails. This will provide you with an email list of engaged repeat guests, which can then be used in future off-season email marketing or remarketing campaigns.
3. Optimize Your Site Using SEO Best Practices
If you’re trying to increase your occupancy rates, it’s important to ensure that your website is working alongside you, rather than against you. A website that is outdated or difficult to navigate can drive potential guests away, resulting in lost revenue. On the other hand, a well-optimized site can help attract and convert guests, ultimately leading to increased occupancy rates during low seasons. A site that has been optimized using SEO best practices means that it:
- Is mobile-friendly
- Contains optimized page titles and meta descriptions
- Has a user-friendly navigational menu
- Contains high-quality content based on keyword research
- Uses high-quality images and videos that have keyword-rich alt-text and file names
- Has clear and compelling calls to action (CTAs)
- Uses internal links
- Has high-quality backlinks
- Has quick website loading times
These are just some of the ways you can ensure your website is properly optimized. If you’re unsure whether your hotel site meets these criteria, we recommend conducting an SEO audit to ensure your site is in good health.
4. Ensure Your Hotel is Listed on All Relevant Platforms
Listing on multiple channels and online travel agencies (OTAs) will help you reach a larger audience, which is especially important during low seasons. Many potential guests will begin their accommodation searches on these popular platforms:
If you don’t have one already, you’ll also want to make sure you have an optimized hotel listing on Google Business Profile. Read our Ultimate Google My Business Guide to learn all the ways you can leverage your GBP.
5. Implement Low Season Email Marketing and Remarketing Campaigns
Once you have developed low season packages and/or a loyalty program, we recommend creating targeted email marketing and remarketing campaigns to entice past guests to book a stay during your hotel’s low or off seasons.
When building your email and remarketing campaigns, here are some things you’ll want to consider:
- Who you are targeting: we recommend focusing on guests who have stayed with you within the last 12 months, as guests who have not booked a stay with you for more than a year are less likely to be enticed by your off-season or loyalty offers.
- Your messaging: if you are targeting repeat guests, it’s important that your messaging is personalized and demonstrates your commitment to customer loyalty.
- Date and timing: analyze your guest data to determine the typical days and times they tend to book a stay with you and ensure your campaigns are being sent out at those specific times.
6. Create an Off-Season Organic Social Campaign
Social Media can be a powerful tool for promoting your hotel during low seasons. To make the most out of your social media profiles, it’s essential to create an off-season organic social campaign that:
- Highlights your hotel’s strengths: consider your hotel’s unique features, amenities, and promotions.
- Uses engaging visuals: make sure you are always using high-quality and original imagery and videos that showcase your hotel and its surroundings.
- Shares local events and attractions: during lower seasons, keep track of the local events and attractions that are happening in your area and make strategic posts to position your hotel as an ideal place for those attending those events.
- Uses relevant hashtags: conduct research to identify popular and relevant hashtags to make use of on your posts.
- Facilitates engagement with your audience: social media is a two-way conversation, so it’s important to ensure that you are responding to comments and messages as well as sharing user-generated content where appropriate.
7. Hire a Digital Marketing Agency
If you don’t have the resources or expertise to create a multi-channel low season marketing strategy, it may be best to consider hiring a digital marketing agency to do it for you. At Ontario SEO, we have the knowledge and expertise to help hoteliers with their SEO, Digital Advertising, Social Media, and Email Marketing needs. Contact us today to learn more about our Hotel Digital Marketing Services.