Best Hotel Resources
Everything hoteliers should be focusing on to get ahead [2020/21 edition]
Hotel Resources & why you need them
No one knows everything; an expert on one topic is a beginner on another. It’s extremely important for hotel managers and staff to develop a constant thirst for knowledge, since the more you learn the stronger your strategies can be, and ultimately the more successful your business will become. Finding useful information and putting it into practice at your property means you’ll need to engage with industry resources including tools, data, visual and digital media, or general written content.
This can be time consuming however; you might not know where to start or have enough awareness of all the different resources available to you. That’s why we’ve created this blog to point you in the right direction and let you know where you should be looking to find help and advice.
Hotel tips and advice & what resources are available!
There’s more to be found than the first couple of results on Google, in fact there’s a whole variety of specialised content within the hospitality industry that will quickly let you learn and implement new skills or tactics at your property.
Some of the places you should be sourcing this knowledge is through:
Books, eBook's, and cheat sheets
Videos and webinars
Talks and conferences
Stats and data sites
Learning and training hubs
Tools and templates
Guest Experiences, (customer feedback)
What you pay most attention to could depend on your personal preferences in terms of how you learn best and what you find more engaging. Some people are happy to read for hours, while others prefer a ‘show and tell’ approach.
Let’s get started with some examples.
Hotel podcasts for regular learnings
In recent times you might have heard someone say ‘there’s an app for everything’. Well, the same can be said for podcasts. In fact, a quarter of people will have listened to one in the past month.
Podcasts can be incredibly educational and they can be listened to during a very reasonable time period. You can listen to them while you’re commuting, while you’re performing other tasks in your downtime, or while you’re in bed at night. They also stimulate the brain to actively listen and visualise, increasing the likelihood of retaining the information.
For busy hoteliers, this structure is perfect and a podcast can be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about managing or optimising a hotel business.
So what podcasts is SiteMinder loving at the moment?
The Proven Principles Podcast by Knowing Hospitality With new episodes every week, an extensive backlog, and available everywhere you find your podcasts, this is a great place to start.
You’ll get a tonne of tips on hospitality strategy and how to develop plans to give your hotel a competitive edge, as well as some deep insight into broader industry topics and trends.
Click here to check out the podcast.
Hotel video lessons for easy consumption
Humans are quite emotional animals so it’s always good to engage with media in this way. We often want to put a face to a voice and considering that people remember 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, but 70% of what they hear and see, videos are a great way for you to soak up information.
With so many factors at play in marketing a hotel business, it can not only be hard to understand some of the concepts but also very time consuming to research and learn what your best options are. This is why watching video tutorials can be highly effective. Often, you can find YouTube videos that are quick and simple, either giving you a good general overview of an entire marketing plan or a concise definition and discussion of a particular topic.
So what videos would SiteMinder recommend?
TED Talks! Some of the most interesting videos to watch are TED Talks because they always attract experts who know what they are talking about. You can learn a lot from your most successful peers, who understand what you’re going through and what you’re trying to achieve.
Check out this playlist for some enlightening talks on the hotel and hospitality industries.
YouTube is obviously a treasure trove of content and it’s likely you can watch a video on most topics you’re interested in, including tutorials, lectures, demos, and more. If you’d like to stick around, SiteMinder released a number of videos and webinars in 2020 to help guide hoteliers through the COVID-19 pandemic. See them here.
Helpful blogs and articles for hoteliers
We’re sure you already know the value of blogs and resource centres for driving traffic and engagement. You probably have your own blog for travellers and guests of your hotel (if you don’t, you should!).
Just as a blog on your website can be a great place for travellers to learn more about your property or the local area, blogs can provide a wealth of material for you to discover tips and advice for your business. The variety of information found on blogs is huge including data and statistics, how to articles, interviews, listicles, analysis, trends, for example 5 trends expected in 2021
The awesome thing about blogs is that at the same time as you’re learning something new, you’ll also be gaining a better vocabulary and understanding of language which you can put into your own content. Plus, blogs are free!
So has SiteMinder liked any blogs recently?
Preno The team at Preno have produced some good pieces recently. In a tough year, it was nice to see a data-backed blog on the hotel industry recovering in New Zealand and Australia, giving hope to the world that it can, and will happen in time. Click here to read the post.
If you’re somewhere else across the globe, use the World Hotel Index to track booking performance and recovery.
Preno also produced a useful, easy to digest, post on hotel pricing. This will help hoteliers who are looking to get back on track find ways to fill their rooms again and grow profits. Check out the blog here.
And if you want to see what blogs SiteMinder has to offer, click here.
Hotel tips and advice a plenty in eBooks
Ebooks are commonly for those who want comprehensive coverage on a particular topic. They can be at times more dense and a complex than a blog but the hotel industry can be the same, so tackling some of your business strategies with the help of an eBook is very effective.
Downloading an eBook also gives you the advantage of having quick and easy access to it and you can read it in your own time whenever you need to. Other downloads similar to eBooks such as cheat sheets, checklists, and buyers guides hold the same flexibility.
So has SiteMinder seen any great downloadable content?
Budgeting During a Crisis: What is Mission Critical for the Guest Experience? This eBook from StayNTouch in partnership with OpenKey and TrustYou is a perfect release for the world’s current predicament but also for the future. You never know when you’ll find yourself in a tight spot so it’s vital to be prepared, both from an economic standpoint and a guest experience perspective.
In this guide you’ll learn about the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead, how to evaluate technology, contactless solutions, and more.
Click here to download the eBook.
For more super useful eBooks, visit SiteMinder’s resource centre.
Learning hubs, tools, and templates for busy hoteliers
Sometimes it only takes 45 minutes to get the full rundown of a topic and consider yourself qualified to put your learnings into practice. Sometimes it’s as easy as using a template. At other times you can gain a lot of value from guided evaluation to choose the right tool for you.
You don’t always have to sink a lot of time into finding the right advice that is also fun to engage with. Masterclasses are usually run by bubbly personalities, templates can be taken and run with, while online tools are often fun to use. So what fun goodies has SiteMinder found?
Accomboost Academy Join Katie from Accommboost as she takes you through some digital marketing masterclasses for your hotel, including social media, Facebook Ads, and website search engine optimisation. In less than an hour, you can start levelling up your skills and achieving more success at your property. Check out the academy here.
If templates are more your thing, she’s also created a free social media calendar for a full year! Simply plug in your content to more than 200 post ideas.
StayNTouch PMS evaluation scorecard Choosing the right technology provider is a difficult process. After all, the management of your hotel depends on you making a good choice; you need robust tech that fulfils all your needs and is simple to use.
The scorecard provided allows you to easily rate and rank different providers, ultimately awarding them a score to make your final decision much easier. Click here to start using the PMS scorecard.
Hopefully you now have a better idea of all the different resources at your disposal as you try to grow your business and become a better hotelier. To stay up to date with SiteMinder’s latest content, subscribe to the newsletter.
Why Web design principles are absolutely critical
Pete Blackshaw, global head of digital and social media at Nestlé, suggests removing the noise from design and accentuating the critical benefits. "Four words: shrink, serve, simplify and share. They embody the notion of mobile first. … The designer's role and visual interfaces are at the heart of all those factors," he says. "Design principles are absolutely critical. Most marketers have a long way to go on this front."
Designers must become masters of the limitations presented to them. Here are four tips to help you get there.
Use speed performance budgets to guide decisions
A speed performance budget is a method of ensuring that designers, developers, and business stakeholders hold each other accountable for delivering fast web pages. The budget caps the number of seconds it takes for a design to fully load on a 3G connection. We focus on 3G because through 2020, 70% of mobile network connections globally will occur at 3G and faster speeds.
A good best practice is three seconds or less – 53% of people will leave a page if it takes longer than that to load.
Design for mobile technologies that are built with speed in mind
Technologies such as Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) are built from the ground up to allow for fast-loading pages. Any technology is still only an optimisation of design decisions, but understanding how to design for them is a good first step. A rule of thumb is to focus on the most important point in a design and eliminate features that do not support that point or general user-interface requirements.
Including speed as part of the design process is no different than accounting for the limitations of other creative mediums. Designers would not create a four-colour ad for a black-and-white print publication, or produce a 30-second video for a 15-second slot. If we don't design within the medium's limitations, the result is a bad experience.
"It's hard to resist all the clutter and the urge to account for everything," says Pete. "We need to lead by example and demonstrate traction. Many of us know simplicity when we see it. We need to share best examples as much as we can."
Designers are capable of creating compelling designs within any medium. Mobile is no different. Once we learn to incorporate speed as a dimension of our design process, utilising tools such as speed performance budgets and technologies such as AMP, we can ensure that the emotions we intend to evoke are the ones that people have when they experience our designs.
Hotel Marketing Boost Your Brand
We should all be aware that Google is the dominant search engine on the Internet and commands respect and your attention when promoting your hospitality outlet online.
Consumers contend with a huge amount of choice and information as they navigate the complex online path to purchase. New research at Google by Alistair Rennie and Sian Davies have uncovered specific strategies for marketers to navigate the purchase journey and ensure your brand is in the right place with the right messaging for consideration and purchase.
For established brands the research shows the importance of protecting your brand investment in Search and being present. For challenger brands, it highlights that applying behavioural science principles to your Search ads can help level the playing field. Yes, there’s power attached to page rank, but you need to supercharge your ad copy if you really want to optimise the return on your investment.
Michael Fox - michaeljfoxwebdesign
Heather Hollis - SiteMinder
Pete Blackshaw - Nestle
Alistair Rennie - Research Lead – Thought Leadership, EMEA, Google
Sian Davies - Co-founder, The Behavioural Architects