What'S it GOING TO cost?
The idea of investing in your independent hotel marketing should be that it provides a return on investment in a reasonable period of time. That is, the money invested is returned back and then some, through increased bookings, revenue and profits in the near future.
Here are some of our philosophies that help you achieve maximum return on investment:
WHO WE ARE
Locus Focus is a small hotel marketing agency based in Brisbane, Australia that works with independent hotels, consisting of Chris Jack (Lead Consultant) and Nick Smith (Consultant).
For clients outside Australia in the APAC region we bill at US$75 per hour, or AUD$100 per hour+GST inside Australia (we are registered for Australian GST).
So what are things actually going to cost? What is the bottom line... Well we only charge for the time that you engage us whether that be by email, phone, Facebook Video, Skype or text message. And of course the time we spend implementing the marketing strategy we agree on.
We can also work proactively by allocating a set spend per month. For example, it might be $800+GST per month which means eight hours of marketing. Clients that agree to a minimum spend like this are prioritised and time scheduled appropriately.
Your website is a vital part of your online presence, but it is not the 'be all and end all'. We place equal emphasis on your entire online presence and guest experience.
As such, we believe your marketing website is very important, but it shouldn't be a massive, expensive undertaking.
We are big believers in keeping it simple, both in terms of design and the user experience, and the content and structure of the websites we build for clients.
BRAND NEW MARKETING WEBSITE
A brand new, mobile responsive, secure marketing website built using Squarespace including:
- Attractive design featuring and showcasing your hero marketing photo (not some image slider that distracts guests, but one great image).
- Search Engine Optimisation and redirection of old pages using industry standard 301 redirects.
- Blog for Content Marketing and News that guests can actually benefit from.
- Prominent direct booking links connecting to your booking engine.
- 'Things to Do' in Your Local Area blog or content portal.
- Important Hotel Information like check-in, check-out and other helpful stuff.
- Contact and About pages that encourage direct bookings and group enquiries.
- Rooms & Amenities pages that are clean, simple and are photography centric.
- Guest Information such as menus etc for any related facilities or services.
- Integration of your newsletter signup if this is a valid marketing strategy (not always).
- Rewriting your copy and descriptions as required so they are clear, concise and reflect your USP's.
- Switching over your domain records to the new site and all the other technical stuff.
- Setting up if required, Google Apps cloud based email hosting if this needs replacing.
Etc... takes about 25 hours of work for the average independent hotel or motel to do properly. If you are a very small motel or hotel on a budget, we can probably do it in 15 hours ($1500+GST).
Therefore, the example pricing for this service is $2500+GST.
Unlike other agencies, we do not do 'project pricing'. This leads to significantly less costs for you. You do not need a $5000 or $10000 website to attract and delight and more guests. If you invest that much it is probably because you have multiple locations or complex technical requirements.
A single, stand alone, independent hotel or motel in 2018 should not need to invest more than $2000 in their main marketing website.
You probably need a simple, attractive and functional website that showcases your photography and unique selling propositions and meets the expectations of both prospective and current guests.
If you have great photography and have clarified your branding and positioning, the website itself should come together easily.
An investment in improved photography for your motel or hotel should be aligned with the potential to increase the profit over the useful life of that photography.
So if you intend to use that photography for the next 3-5 years, you may want to budget more than if the useful life is only six months, as there are upcoming renovations planned.
Likewise, if you are a smaller hotel with less overall revenue, the benefits of improved photography (while still being justified from an ROI perspective) will be less than a hotel with say, 20 or more rooms.
Locus Focus will work with you to determine the strategically ideal level of photography that works best for your hotel.
Our strategic approach means we first determine these factors, and then present a proposal for photography that reflects your position.
Therefore, there is no fixed price list for hotel photography, it could be as low as $1000 for a small motel.
On average, a small motel, hotel or apartment hotel should budget anywhere between $1000 and $2000 to completely replace their photography including hyper local attractions. A larger hotel should consider having the photographer stay overnight, and process the photos on location to proofing stage (costing in excess of $2500).
Note: These estimates are for properties in Brisbane, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Travel charged may apply outside Brisbane.
NEW LOGO AND BRAND IDENTITY
It is often too expensive to completely rename your hotel for obvious reasons. But doing a brand identity makeover and creating a modern and properly designed logo can be a very affordable first investment.
How much you spend on this really depends on your budget and size, and therefore the amount of hours that can be justified or needed.
All brand identity redesigns and refreshes are accompanied by formal style guides and usage guides, which can be as simple as colour palletes and font recommendations, or as complicated as a 10 page guide to the use of your brand identity, brand voice etc.
Again, the amount you spend has to be right for your budget and priorities.
All branding and logo redesign is created by Nick Smith in-house and would normally include at least the logo redesign in both colour and grayscale versions, along with font pairing recommendations.
A typical logo rebrand and refresh from an existing logo takes between 5 and 10 hours and therefore will cost between $500 and $1000 for the average small to medium size independent hotel.
Investments in your marketing are crucial to attract and delight more guests and make more profit. In fact, investments in branding, signage and your website not only attract guests, but improve the overall reputation of your hotel leading to even great returns down the track.