Building a full marketing strategy for facilities in the hotel industry is quite a big challenge. In this particular case, we are talking about two exclusive apartments. One of them is located in Gdańsk, the other is located in Toruń. Get to know our activities step by step and learn that full marketing brings results.
The range of our activities
We started, of course, by getting in touch with the person responsible for the management of apartments – Mrs Monika. We needed to get to know the needs and requirements of our client and preferences for the way the services would be carried out.
Mrs Monika is a very demanding person when it comes to the expectations of services she is provided with but also very exact with herself and the people she works with in terms of the quality of hotel services they perform.
She tries her best to ensure that everything offered in the apartments is at the highest level, so she expects the same from companies that provide services for her.
She is widely experienced in the hotel industry and has the knowledge of current trends and also, she knows how a modern website and strategy for apartments should look like, so our cooperation was great.
The apartments definitely stand out from the crowd, not only in the cities in which they are located but also against the background of the whole country.
We faced a real challenge – to present them in such a way to highlight their strengths, but not to overwhelm guests with too much information.
The apartments are distinguished by a subdued but full-class style and interior design proving it is a premium class. The most important thing was our work being able to properly show all these aspects.
Where did we start?
Our first step was to perform the RankingJUMP service for the Angels Home apartment in Gdańsk. The service was treated as an introduction to further activities and due to the success and high results, it was extended with further services.
The service involved creating a business card completely from the very foundations, so the step regarding the report of the current status of the business card was obviously omitted.
After arrangements with the apartment manager, all the elements on the account were supplemented, high-quality photos added (reflecting the atmosphere and quality of the object!), added amenities and prices regarding individual configurations and dates.
You can read more about how exactly business card optimization works on the website dedicated to the RankingJUMP service.
Effects of activities on Booking.com
Above you can see that these are statistics in the range: June 22 – July 20 (it’s the first month of action). The exception is July 10, when the object’s availability was intentionally excluded from the booking portal.
In the Booking search engine, the object was viewed 2718 times, while the apartment page up to 1000 times. This brought 2 reservations.
As expected, the activities brought results and our client clearly noticed the positive results of our work. Therefore, we moved on to the next stage of action.
Angels Home logo
In one of the last publications, I wrote about the effective creation of a hotel brand – what components should be included in the whole process.
For apartments, the situation is not different at all. Also, specific moves should be made to maintain consistency and go through the entire process so that you can then build the strength of one specific brand.
Without needless breaking into minor ones, which separately would not be able to obtain such strength, or would obtain it much more slowly and with worse results. Our marketing strategy, therefore, covers every element of our activity.
Therefore, despite the fact that both apartments are located nearly 200 kilometres from each other, the activities were focused on creating one brand – Angels Home.
So we created the logo, which was not a particularly easy challenge. It had to present the atmosphere of the apartments and clearly associate it with the high standard offered to their guests.
In addition, it had to be appropriately slim and modern, and fit all the booking platforms preferred by our client. From the website (about which we’ll speak in a moment), through portals reserve up to business cards for Google My Business for both facilities.
The logo is used on all graphic materials, both online and offline. So it must look equally good in both variants.
Website and booking engine
The biggest and most time-consuming task and also, the most representative element of the entire marketing strategy – Website!
The Angels Home brand had not had a website before, so the only thing we had when we started the activities was the purchased domain (Mrs Monika bought it earlier to make sure that nobody would take it) and the concept of how the website should look like.
The task set we faced assumed that the website is going to be clear, transparent and allow you to book accommodation easily, but in a more elaborate way than using a simple contact form.
Here, the ideal solution was to implement our proprietary booking engine on the website (more on this subject in a moment), visible in the first view, with the option of choosing the date of arrival and departure from the first contact with the site.
Both apartments are described on the page (here view from the main page). After switching to the aggregate subpage, a bit more detailed information is visible:
The subpage on which both apartments are presented has been created so that the description shows the most important advantages of the object:
- the exact address,
- housing area,
- square footage of the balcony and terrace,
- number of beds and their dimensions,
- additional spaces for relaxation,
- equipment of the apartment.
The most important point of the page is a Book now button, which takes you directly to the booking engine.
After clicking on a specific apartment, you are transferred to detailed information, photo galleries and a wide range of various amenities.
All the most important things that a potential guest can search are visible on one page and it’s enough to click the reservation button to choose the date for yourself.
BSEngine – reservation engine
Our original booking system – BSEngine has been implemented on the website. Both us and Mrs Monica wanted to get as many reservations as possible without intermediaries. Deploying the engine was, therefore, one of the most important arrangements.
The above screen illustrates the layout in which both apartments are presented. It shows the price, description, amenities, photos and the Book now button.
Once through to the details of the offer, you can see the photo gallery of the selected apartment, as well as data and dimensions.
The marketing strategy including online payments
When creating a website for apartments, we have set ourselves the goal of the easiest booking options available – online booking and payment. Our engine fits in perfectly into this idea and our client went along with it.
Google My Business cards, Gdansk
The next step in building a full strategy is to create business cards on Google maps for both objects. However, I need to add here that the process for both accounts was not identical.
Statistics indicate the time from when the business card was created, so for both apartments, the dates are different. Gdańsk is the first month since its foundation, while Toruń is the first two weeks because it was made a bit later.
Creating a business card for an apartment from Gdańsk went without any problems. The business card was created completely from a scratch – it had not existed before.
We used the same photos that were posted on the website. They present the object in a very favourable light so it would be a sin not to use them. The only minor problem – photos weren’t appearing for a long time, but after contacting Google support, the crisis was quickly resolved.
Facilities and contact details have also been supplemented consistently with what is on the site. The most important element, the link to the website, has also been completed.
The longest point of the verification process was creating the business card. The only option available then was a postcard, verification of which takes the classic 14 days of waiting.
Business card effects after 4 weeks
After the first month of action, the business card of the Gdańsk apartment was displayed over 6,000 times on Google Maps and 108 times in the search engine.
This is a great result of an object creating its brand from the very beginning. In addition, pay attention to the fact that at the beginning of July there were no results, which means that the business card was not yet active at that time.
Customer activities – rational benefits
During the first 4 weeks, customers performed 71 actions on a business card. This is the most rational benefit that can be mentioned in the case of business cards:
- 39 visits to the website,
- 22 route queries,
- 10 phonecalls.
It is a great result, especially for the apartments just starting the tedious process of creating their own brand and marketing it’s presence on a difficult market. The marketing strategy, in this case, is just beginning, so the better the results at the beginning, the better it bodes for later.
Toruń apartment on the maps
In the case of Toruń, the matter was much more difficult. Starting work on this location, we received the instruction to take over an existing account from the hands of an external company. The situation was similar when it comes to the Toruń’s visiting card on Booking, but I will write about it later.
As for the Google account, this company, in theory, was supposed to deal with the marketing of the apartment, but as the managers admitted – in practice the result was miserable because the actions were either absent or unsatisfactory.
With both booking sources, the work was carried out independently by apartment managers, so it was established that the help of this particular external company is completely unnecessary.
The business card was therefore taken over, all the data was changed, the verification was successful, which was not a problem because the location did not change. The name and business profile were subject to change, luckily everything went well, sounds perfect? None of these things!
Problems encountered along the way
The verification was successful – after two weeks a letter with a verification code came. All data, photos and facilities have been supplemented identically without problems, the same as in the case of Gdańsk.
There was also a problem with uploading some photos, but as before – reaching out to the help desk solved the inconvenience.
After a few weeks and observation of business card statistics, it turned out that the current one is still searched by the attributes of the old location. The solution had to be repeated again in the Google help section.
What did we have to do? The business card had to be restored to its previous state and marked as closed.
Then we had to create the business card again without taking over any parameters of the old location, so bypassing Google’s hints. Then we went on to the verification process, fortunately, the phone verification option was available, so it only took us a moment.
The complement of the amenities, photos, contact details and all the elements that are necessary for the account was managed without any problems.
Were there any problems which, despite contact with Google, could not be resolved?
- A takeover of the short name after the previous location – Google recommended setting up a new short name because the takeover is impossible,
- Moving reviews to a new location – A Google employee in chat said that moving one review would be problematic because they were unable to verify that it belongs to that location (even though it was added after the business card was changed)
A new business card, unrelated to the previous account, appeared at the beginning of August.
Effects after 2 weeks
The account was launched on August 4, as above we can see August 19. Within two weeks, the search engine displayed the business card 32 times, while on the maps 274 times.
Considering all the problems occurring along the way, the result will certainly increase over time. Should we worry about such big differences from what results Toruń achieved in comparison to Gdańsk? Not at all. Let’s check why.
Customer activities in Toruń
Statistics on customer activities began to be visible after August 10.
As of August 19:
- 6 visits to the website,
- 8 route queries.
14 rational actions in 9 days is a very good result. It bodes well for further development. What remains is only to take care of the status of the business card and expand it further, and over time more and more benefits will be added.
Toruń on Booking
Just like in the case of the Toruń’s business card at Google, also here, the marketing was done by an external company. Ms Monika, similarly, did not see satisfactory results, so she decided to take care of the facility herself.
The business card was taken over from an external company, cleaned to zero and supplemented with new, current information about the current location.
The above screen illustrates the change of the photo gallery into the one focused on sales (which is necessary to increase the results). All photographs were tagged accordingly.
The description below still has traces of the previous business card, but it is normal for booking.com to slowly action the changes correctly.
As it was published relatively recently, we still have to wait for meaningful effects. However, taking into account the effects achieved in the Gdansk’s apartment, we are absolutely calm about how it’s going to be in this case.
Summary – full marketing strategy
All available marketing activities, except social media, have been included in our work. Is it worth considering creating multiple channels at the same time? Of course! The full marketing strategy works very well and the statistics visible in the previous paragraphs clearly show that: Reservations are coming in the first weeks after the start of activities.
We will not publish financial results here, but we guarantee that splitting into separate channels is less effective than conducting several channels at the same time. Our client can also confirm this.