Online Merchandising: Best Practices for Marketing and Merchandising Your Hotel
By Paolo Boni President & Chief Executive Officer, VFM Leonardo, Inc. | May 19, 2010
Hotel brands, chains, representation companies, third-party sites and guests all contribute to a hotel's online presence in their own valuable ways. They have their places and purposes. But hoteliers also have their roles in ensuring their hotel is marketed and merchandised effectively online.
One thing that the brands, chains. representation companies and third-party sites do very well is ensure that your property information, rates, availability and photos are available online – an integral part of ensuring that your hotel can be found and booked online on a functional level.
Guests ensure that there are plenty of written reviews of your hotel and user-generated photos and videos of their experiences available to their peers seeking real, unfiltered feedback straight from the mouths of guests.
But there's a missing piece to the puzzle. Hoteliers typically have the best knowledge of what makes their hotel unique. This is important knowledge to have, first and foremost, but also to capitalize on. This is why hoteliers have such an opportunity when it comes to marketing and merchandising online.
Hoteliers play a very important role: bringing the hotel's online presence to the next level. Not in isolation, but to complement the marketing and merchandising efforts already in place. Differentiating their hotel from the competition and connecting with consumers from the individual property level completes the hotel's online presence and drives more bookings.
What can you actually do to extract more value out of your hotel's online presence? What are the best practices for marketing and merchandising your hotel?