Many hoteliers who have a hotel flag or franchise mistakenly believe that they do not need their own standalone hotel website. They misinterpret having a major franchise like a Choice, Wyndham, IHG branded hotel means that they have no need for their own website because ‘the franchise is handling it’ or the ‘franchise does my website’. We are going to demonstrate to all of you franchisees that this could not be further from the truth and that if you have a franchised hotel and no standalone website that you are potentially losing thousands of dollars of revenue per month, not to mention the opportunities to engage and connect with your guests and build your own moat to protect your hotel independently from the franchise.
Franchises are great to help you differentiate your property from your competitive set. They also help establish a signpost of credibility and quality standards and the branding helps with product placement and high-level promotion. The Franchise, however, does not do much to promote your particular hotel locally or on the Internet. You might see an advertisement on TV for the Days Inn brand, but you will hardly be pressed to find any local advertising by the franchise to push your particular property. The same goes for online marketing. Franchises do not maintain a SEO friendly presence that can replace a standalone website for your hotel. Franchises do a fantastic job building a network of properties and points programs to keep customers within the family, but they neglect the differentiation of your particular hotel at your particular location and this doesn’t even take into consideration the fact that there may be multiple representative hotels of your franchise or its branding tiers within your same geography. For example, your town and neighbors might be of the same franchise. Say your hotel is a Days Inn—there might be another Days Inn across town, a competing Ramada, Super 8, HoJo, Travelodge, or Knight’s Inn right next door. Your franchise is NOT doing you a favor by marketing their independent brands right next door with no standalone marketing offered for your hotel.
It is imperative to have a website for your own hotel and it is key to establish your franchised hotel’s independent identity on the Internet with a hotel website Powered by INNsight. A standalone website will ensure that guests can find your franchised property amongst the clutter of other franchised hotels and it will begin to develop your own channel to engage and drive traffic to your franchised hotel and not just rely on the franchise’s network or portal website.
Not having a standalone hotel website for your franchised property is a big no-no. You know why? If you don’t claim your URL and establish a footprint in the digital world for your franchised hotel you are not considering the value of your online real estate. With almost all technologies such as mobile, local, and social deriving their value from your own URL, without a website, you are forgoing powerful link authority and the discoverability and off-line marketing touch points to your physical hotel. Namely, without a website that is standalone from your franchise presence, you are forgoing the following powerful marketing and advertising vehicles:
A URL to promote on off-line or marketing collateral such as business cards, rack cards, print advertising for your hotel
Link to your Local Search venues such as Google Maps, Yelp, etc.
We find that all of our clients that have franchised hotels who subscribe to our Marketing Engagement subscription see at least $5k in revenue per month and many see tens of thousands of dollars in revenue being driven through their standalone website. This directly demonstrates that not having a standalone website for your franchise hotel is costing you money. Real money.
Your franchise is not helping you connect with your own guests. In today’s highly connected world, it is important that your franchised hotel has its own Facebook page, Twitter feed, and Google+ accounts. These social media vehicles help you connect with your guests, provide news, and offer discounts. Franchises do not assist in driving such connections directly with guests for your hotel. If you subscribe to a standalone website Powered by INNsight, we set up and manage all of your social media accounts.
Some franchises push you to use so called preferred vendors. While INNsight has begun to build relationships with the franchises to become preferred, we want to caution you against blindly signing up with your franchise’s preferred vendor to provide your digital marketing services. Let us show you how INNsight’s product and services trump any other provider in the industry. INNsight has the only end-to-end digital marketing system coupled with Internet and social media marketing services which none of our competition can match. Many so-called preferred vendors are simply web designers or simple applications that templatize your hotel’s website which set it and forget it. In a year, or even less, your website will become stale and outdated.
A standalone hotel website for your franchise that is Powered by INNsight is the most powerful tool to drive incremental direct revenue to your hotel, build connections, and increase the visibility of your franchised hotel.
INNsight has designed and developed hotel websites for Choice, Wyndham, Red Roof, Vagabond, IHG, Hilton, Marriot, Americas Best Value Inn and even lower tier local franchise hotels.
You carefully chose your location before buying your hotel. Online real estate is equally, if not more, important in today’s digital world. Savvy travelers want to see what you offer and what is exciting to do in the area in connection with their accommodations. They want specials & packages. They want an experience. That experience begins with their digital impression of your property, and its online reviews.
With a standalone website that is Powered by INNsight your franchise property will stand out from the endless “cookie cutter” corporate sites. INNsight delivers a user friendly, SEO optimized, fully customized, bookable website and free mobile website. Travelers will really know your property and what you offer.
Through specials & packages featured on you INNsight standalone website you can begin building strong bonds with area businesses. Offering guests discounted activities connected with accommodations at your hotel. You can’t do this with a corporate site.
You own your hotel. Depending on the size of your franchise, you may run its daily operations. You are good at it. However, most franchise hotel owners don’t have the time or the strategic marketing skills to market their property. An owner posting on Facebook once a month isn’t going to draw any additional revenue.
Let us do the work so you don’t have to.