Posted in: Ideas for your websiteLast update: 17/06/21
Searching for hotels and booking online is already common. According to Google Spain’s 2017 Minerva Study, the internet is already a very popular shopping ecosystem for travel. 82% of travelers have bought at least one component of their trip online: transport, car rental or accommodation. But, with almost the entire sector operating online, how can you make your product or service stand out from the crowd?
Promotions offer a great solution to this challenge, and the digital world opens up a wide range of possibilities. We’re not just talking about discounts or advertising. Prize draws, contests, games and interactive dynamics allow hotels and other accommodation to get closer to their potential customers and create a bond with them that goes beyond the occasional purchase. Below, you’ll find some real examples and tips for putting these dynamics into practice.
According to the same report, booking accommodation in hotels, apartments, country cottages and campsites is usually the first thing people do when organizing their holidays. In Spain for example, 64% of the turnover in overnight stays in 2019 was from people coming from abroad, and the majority of bookings were made online. As well as being featured on online travel agencies and booking sites like Booking.com, many hotels have adapted their own websites to accept online reservations, making it possible for them to obtain customers directly. But how can you attract customers to your website in the first place? There are a number of actions that hotels are already using on social media and digital channels to get good results. Get ready to give them a try! Take a look at our favorite hotel promotion ideas.
Instagram giveaway to promote a hotel or accommodation
This is the easiest and fastest way to promote your hotel on social media: organize an Instagram giveaway with comments to generate more brand visibility. That’s exactly what this hotel did:
Find a theme for your giveaway and announce it on social media. Show users the prize on offer and explain what they have to do to take part. Easypromos always recommends that you make comments on the post the primary action for participating. It’s also a good idea to create some terms and conditions and share them on your social media profile. That will help you manage any incidents that may arise during the promotion. If this is your first time running an Instagram giveaway, learn the basics of writing a giveaway post.
Is your community also active on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Strava, and Twitch? There are lots of ways of creating online giveaways and capturing the attention of your audience on social media. Choose the best option for your online strategy.
Giveaway with registration to capture data from the public
If you want to go beyond increasing the reach of your brand on social media to capturing data from interested users, entry form promotions are a great bet. The most common action is an Entry Form Giveaway, where everyone who fills in their data can register for the giveaway. When it comes to hotels, the prize couldn’t be easier to choose: a free stay at your hotel is the perfect prize to attract the attention of potential customers.
In the following examples you can see how easy it is to create a microsite displaying the prize and the contact form that users must complete for a chance to win. The URL of this microsite can be shared on social media or any other online or offline channel. All participants are added to the same list of registered entrants. The Easypromos giveaway tool enables you to select one or more winners and alternates from the entrants. In this way, the brand can announce that the winner has been selected with the reliable Easypromos prize draw system and certified by a public notary. As well as the Winners Page, the brand can also display a Certificate of Validity to give the draw even greater transparency.
The email platform can also be very useful for Entry Form Giveaways because it makes it possible to contact participants, confirming their entry, informing them of the results, or sending them discount vouchers. ByHours, a micro-stay reservation platform, organized a very successful Entry Form Giveaway. Participants entered their details for a chance to win a stay at a hotel. All participants received a 10% discount on the platform as well.
A prize wheel for fun distribution of discounts and gifts
Another way to capture the attention of your audience and convince them to share their personal data with your brand is to offer instant direct prizes. If you want to gamify this action, a prize wheel is a great option. You can distribute discounts, as well as other free products and merchandising. You’ll also be able to control the probability of prizes being awarded, and add “No Prize” boxes if you don’t want a prize to be awarded every time.
In the following example, Hay Creek Hotels decided to launch a promotion to attract customers after a prolonged shutdown period due to COVID-19. They distributed discounts for overnight stays at their hotels, as well as for their restaurants.
Even more fun and interactive dynamic than hosting a final draw among registered users is to give away prizes with a Spin the Wheel contest. By distributing the prize instantly you’ll generate more engagement with users. Check out our tips for organizing a Spin the Wheel contest if you like the sound of this dynamic but aren’t sure if it fits with the type and number of prizes you want to distribute.
Games and quizzes for capturing user data through engagement
There is one type of promotion that generates an especially large amount of engagement and excitement: games. As Facebook Gaming states in its latest eBook, 86% of internet users play games on their mobile devices, and 80% of people who don’t consider themselves gamers play on their cellphones (according to the Global Web Index of Q3 2018). This means that it’s not only younger users who are attracted to gamified actions: a large majority of online audiences love them too.
An association of campsites in Girona, Spain, shared an online puzzle to remind their target audience of their brand, and also to encourage users to book their stays in the campsites that summer. Instead of doing this with a simple one-way message, the campsite association prepared a puzzle with a prize draw to win a weekend’s stay in one of the campsites.
There are several easy-to-configure game apps that enable you to include lots of branding elements while encouraging participants to have some fun playing a game. Here are some other examples with different types of games:
Ohai organized a “Word Search” game to highlight the qualities of their outdoor resorts and what makes them stand out from the crowd.
The Lopesan Hotel Group regularly launches gamified actions during the. One of these was the Memory game in the image above. Participants had to find matching Halloween images. As always, making your prize stand out is key to a successful contest. Offering winners a discount on their next vacation is a great idea.
The Devonshire Hotel has used games on a number of occasions. For its Valentine’s Day campaign it organized a Match It game, which was very successful. The hotel was able to capture data from visitors to its website, while promoting the hotel on social media.
Quizzes also form part of this field of gamification, challenging users to take part in a game for the chance to win a prize.
Hotel promotion ideas: Photo contests to convert your clients into brand ambassadors
An important part of hotel marketing focuses on transforming customer experiences into recommendations that help brand notoriety and diffusion. That’s why it’s so important for hotels to take care of every last detail and provide customers with a superlative, setback-free stay. But how can this experience be capitalized on and turned into something specific to present to future clients?
That’s where surveys, incentives and contests come in. They are a great way of converting customers into brand ambassadors who will happily recommend your hotel to others. One of the most common ways of doing this is to ask guests to fill in satisfaction surveys. Just remember to provide some kind of incentive and to make it easy for guests to fill in the form on their cellphones.
For example, you could run a monthly sweepstakes among all guests who share a photo of their stay on social media and receive at least five votes for it. You could also provide some specially designed frames, decorated with your brand aesthetic, which entrants can use to display their photos. In this way you’ll obtain two benefits: clients’ recommendations plus branding. Try the following DEMO of a photo contest for hotel branding and, if you like it, download it as a template.
You can propose this type of dynamic to your guests, as well as other potential clients. In the following example, Hotel Group Lopesan took advantage of Mother’s Day to organize a photo contest using personalized branded frames. Then they ran a prize draw for a free night’s stay for two people.
If you’re looking for something simpler, you could just organize a survey and run a prize draw between everyone who completes the survey each month. Remember, the most important thing is to achieve high levels of diffusion among your target audience by providing an attention-grabbing prize.
Do you like our campsite, tourist accommodation, and hotel promotion ideas? If you have any doubts, please get in touch with our live chat team. If you’re ready to try your first promotion, just set up your Easypromos account. Access is totally free and you’ll soon see just how intuitive it all is.
Silvia Marti FerrerMarketing and Customer care Easypromos’ team
Publication date: 2021-06-14