As guest behavior, available technology and your competitors' strategies continue to evolve, it becomes even more crucial to stay updated with the latest developments.
To support you on this journey, we’ve curated a comprehensive list of the top hotel marketing trends in 2024. Take a look to gain insights into the future of hospitality marketing and get ideas that will position your hotel as the top choice for guests.
1. The Guest Experience Is Everything
Most markets have a large hotel offering which leads to tough competition. In this case, features like rooms, dining venues and entertainment facilities may not be enough to differentiate you in the eyes of potential bookers.
For that, guest data is your most important asset. But you’ll need to go beyond basic demographic information like age or country of residence. Dig deeper to understand guest expectations, how they research and book trips and what’s most important to them.
Key takeaway: Use a customer relationship management system (CRM) to gather data that helps you refine your offering and your marketing for niche guest segments like families with young kids or remote workers. Test your offers, evaluate the results and try new strategies until you see the desired outcome.
3. Guest Reviews and Feedback Take Center Stage
According to TripAdvisor, 80% of their users read between six to 12 reviews before booking. This means reviews have a huge impact on how people perceive your hotel. They also influence your ability to maximize rates. That’s why reviews should play a critical role in your hotel marketing in 2024.
Key takeaway: Get started by generating more four- and five-star online hotel reviews. First, ask guests for their feedback privately e.g., via an email survey. Then, request that your biggest fans share their thoughts publicly on platforms like Google, TripAdvisor or online travel agencies (OTAs).
Sounds like a lot of work? It doesn’t have to be. Automate these steps with Canary Smart Checkout and watch raving reviews roll in on autopilot.
4. Recruitment Marketing Will Remain Critical
According to an AHLA survey, over 80% of hotels are experiencing staffing shortages. Address this by automating tasks and leveraging technology to speed up workflows. One option is to automate guest messaging and upselling. This saves time on sharing targeted offers and frees up your marketing team to develop new campaigns.
Key takeaway: Modern hotel tech solutions can help you both support current staff members and attract new promising candidates.
5. Generative AI Will Shape the Future of Hospitality Marketing
Generative artificial intelligence (AI) had its big break when the release of ChatGPT made it publicly accessible in late 2022. Today, tools that leverage generative AI can help you automate or at least speed up countless tasks from content creation to guest communication and data management.
In marketing, generative AI can help with brainstorming and developing new campaigns. You can also leverage it to respond to reviews faster. With the right prompts, you’ll only have to do light editing before posting a reply. This saves time and ensures you manage your online reputation well.
Key takeaway: While generative AI can streamline marketing workflows, it should complement, not replace, your human expertise. Always use your industry knowledge and judgment to verify and edit AI output before using it.
6. Email Marketing Is as Relevant as Ever
According to HubSpot, email still has the highest return on investment of any marketing activity at $36 for every $1 spent.
So, while email marketing is far from dead, it is changing. Just like with in-person service, the guest experience is gaining importance.
Readers are bored with generic messages and offers. And they don’t want cold emails from brands they’ve never heard of. Both are an email’s quick ticket to the spam folder.
Key takeaway: Use storytelling and segmentation to make your emails interesting and relevant for your readers. This will make recipients look forward to opening and reading them and increase your conversion rates.
7. Local Experiences Will Draw Curious Travelers
According to data from GetYourGuide, 90% of travelers prioritize experiencing a destination as locals would. Almost all survey participants (95%) said they’d ideally spend around three hours a day on new experiences unique to the location.
As a hotel, you can do a lot to help your guests with that. For example, feature local creators in your gift shop or work with local tour guides to offer deep-dives into the area’s history and culture. Or organize on-site events where guests and locals can mingle. For inspiration, check out the Ace Hotel New Orleans’ event calendar.
Key takeaway: Whatever you offer, talk about it in your marketing. That will differentiate you and give people another reason to choose you over the hotel next door.
The first step to winning over these guests is to keep finding new ways to go green. Once you begin implementing eco-friendly measures, highlight them on your website and social media. That shows your genuine interest in making a difference.
Key takeaway: Let your guests be part of your sustainability journey by tracking your progress publicly. But beware of greenwashing - exaggerating your initiatives to lure in eco-conscious guests. Travelers are attuned to brands abusing sustainability as a marketing hack and will mercilessly call it out.
9. Social Media Strategies Continue to Shift Towards Social Selling
According to HubSpot, 41% of consumers say they’ve discovered a new product they liked on social media in the past three months. On average, 17% of them even buy directly on social channels.
As a result, social selling will keep gaining importance in 2024. Here, the goal is to build a relationship with your audience via social media and use it strategically to drive bookings. That’s not to be confused with social media marketing where your primary goal is increased brand awareness.
Key takeaway: Building relationships with your audience and providing value will remain important. But with more people willing to buy via social platforms, active selling should become a bigger part of your social media strategy.
10. New Video Formats Gain Traction
You’ve seen them – long hotel image films and brand videos. They tell a story and give people a feel for your brand. The problem? They’re too long.
Today, with shortening attention spans and busy schedules, people prefer bite-size content that’s easy to consume but shares a strong message. Skift reveals that three to 60 seconds works well for Instagram Reels or TikToks.
And don’t worry about perfectly polished clips. Authenticity trumps high production value. Create content that sparks curiosity, makes people laugh or prompts them to interact with your content.
Key takeaway: Engaging, short videos can increase brand awareness and get your audience to further explore your brand. If you’re unsure, work with experienced creators to shoot the perfect branded clips.
11. SEO for Hotels Stays a Key Part of the Marketing Puzzle
Recent research from Backlinko shows that less than 1% of searchers clicks through to the second results page on Google. Consequently, search engine optimization (SEO) must stay on your radar in 2024 if you want to land on page one.
If your content is original, valuable and SEO-optimized, you’re already on the best track, especially since Google rolled out updates that reward helpful, quality content with higher rankings.
Key takeaway: If you don’t check these boxes yet, now is the best time to create signature content pieces and update existing texts. Of course, getting fundamentals like keyword optimization right will also remain important.
Statista estimates that over 8.4 billion digital voice assistants will be in use worldwide in 2024. That makes optimizing your content for voice search a powerful way to supplement your SEO.
People often use voice search to answer simple questions about your destination, get recommendations for top-rated properties and find specific information about a hotel (e.g., check-in/-out time).
Key takeaway: Think about the questions people might ask about your hotel. A quick look at Google Analytics reveals which search terms bring them to your site. Collect these questions in an FAQ section on your website to make it easy for everyone to find this information.
13. Augmented and Virtual Reality Will Play a Bigger Role
While beautiful images and videos already help showcase your property’s strengths, augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) take things to a whole new level. This technology lets you create interactive maps of your hotel and its surroundings.
But AR isn’t just great for drawing in leisure guests. It’s also a valuable tool in event marketing. For example, if guests want to know how you could decorate the ballroom for their wedding, the right software lets you create a digital, interactive mock-up. Share it with potential guests, so they can access it remotely and review your suggestions.
Key takeaway: AR and VR allows guests to explore the area before arriving. That can underscore your excellent location and prove that your facilities look as promised.
Now, it’s time to put your brand out there. Use these latest marketing trends in hospitality to get in front of your target audience.
Of course, you don’t have to implement all 13 points at once. Pick an area or two to focus on and dive in. Try new approaches, measure your results and fine-tune your tactics.
Then you’ll be sure to make your hospitality business shine in 2024.
The Future of Hospitality: 10 Top Industry Trends for 2024
Looking at the trends in the hotel industry, the hospitality sector’s overall outlook this year is promising. Challenges persist, of course. Stay ahead and succeed by understanding these emerging trends for 2024.