Nowadays, there’s too much information and it's everywhere. So, there are tons of hostels and it becomes difficult to stand out among so many options and hostel competitors. Even though we know (or at least we should know) what makes our hostel different from the rest, it's important we broadcast that message appropriately to backpackers.
To help you stand out, we leave you here 6 easy marketing tips. Not only will it help you broadcast your message more effectively, but you may also end up increasing your site's traffic, and therefore, to your hostel!
1) Content that's worth reading
Your hostel's website is very important. But it's not just your site that's important: the things you say on it, and how you say them is just as important. Your site shouldn't be just about selling your services and getting more reservations (self promotion). You need to provide guests and future customers with useful and relevant information so you can create a community.
But what kind of information? Well, that depends on your hostel, the services you offer, the city you’re located in, etc. For instance, if you have a blog on your website (something we definitely recommend), you can give information about the most important tourist landmarks, the weather throughout the year (best times to visit), traveler tips, videos, etc. If your hostel is an outdoorsy kind of place with mountain climbing, hiking, etc., then you'll want to write up guides on the best places close by to visit. It's important to note that when you write content like this, you're building up your SEO score and bringing traffic to your site, and consequently getting better visibility of your hostel on Google. Woohoo!
2) Being here, there and everywhere
It's essential to “be there” in as many places as you can manage, on several platforms and social media sites, and to be an 'expert' as much as you can. It's not about feeding the same information everywhere, it's about adapting it to each platform’s users. This way, we take advantage of the full potential of each one, and we maintain unique content on each one which is very important for Google and not looking like a machine when we copy / paste the same things everywhere.
Here are posts to help you get started with some social networks:
- 5 Steps to Create Your Hostel Facebook Page
- Get started with Foursquare (part 1)
- Get started with Foursquare (part 2)
- Get started with Pinterest
- Pinterest PlacePin
3) I don’t know what I want, but I want it now!
It’s very important to have a central plan and for all of our marketing goals to stem from that central communication strategy. To begin with, like with any plan, we should establish goals, deadlines, and measurements (ways to assess whether we reached our goals). We need to know what to expect from each network, platform, website, etc. in order to know whether we are meeting our goals or need to make changes. For example, our strategy for bringing in new customers won’t necessarily be the same as the one for building long term traffic to our site. Each goal would require different strategies and deadlines, and possibly, the use of different networks.
4) Data everywhere
Google Analytics is relatively easy to use, at least if we want to “read” the simplest information it offers. But… what exactly is it useful for? Knowing how people arrived to our site, at what time, where they are from, what pages they spent time on, etc. could be very helpful in many ways. First of all, it might help guide us in where we should spend our marketing budget. It will also be useful in correcting mistakes and knowing where we should be putting our efforts.
And some social networks, like Facebook or Pinterest, also offer simple but very useful analytics! Check them out!
5) SEO for beginners
Very often we hear the word, SEO, and we immediately think it's something difficult that only programmers, or the technically minded, can understand. But, SEO is something very important to understand! If you didn't know, SEO = Search Engine Optimization; that is to say, the strategies that help your website rank higher on the search engine results pages. There’s a saying that goes like this:
If you want to hide something, put it on the 2nd page of Google results. Nobody will ever see it. - Author: the internet.
And here are 5 quick tips for starting to boost your hostel's SEO ranking:
1- Don’t use flash.
2- Pay attention to keywords. Make sure you write content on your pages that reflects the words you want to rank for.
3- Where should I put the keywords? In the URL, the page title, the headline, and in the paragraph.
4- Avoid content duplication. Never Copy and paste. Google doesn't like duplicate content.
5- Create a blog and publish posts as often as is possible for you. Google likes fresh and original content.
Want to learn more about SEO for your Hostel? Check out our post about Hostel SEO.
6) Union means strength
Very frequently, one has the feeling that we can do everything on our own. Not! Division of tasks, responsibilities, and team work is very important. But what does this have to do with your hostel’s marketing? A lot! If goals are not clear, and tasks not divided among your staff appropriately, the lack of organization could be reflected in what you communicate and the way you do it on networks. Plus, some people are good at one thing, and others at something else. Make sure people do what they are good at and enjoy, they'll always do a better job. That’s why task division is so important!