Hostel Marketing Plan: Complete Guide thumbnail picture
  22 Apr 2023

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Hostel Marketing Plan: Complete Guide

You might believe that the marketing techniques used by hostels can be pretty complicated. After all, it attempts to reach a specific occupancy rate while communicating with comparable groups. 

Running and managing a hostel is a demanding, yet beneficial job. Having a hotel is a totally different scenario from this one. 

We're certain that a lot of you are probably using a variety of dormitory or hostel marketing techniques. However, it's a good idea to assess what's effective and what isn't, and if necessary, add a few creative solutions to that. 

In this digital age, hostels need to have a website that is easy to use, a solid presence on 

social media, and a distinctive brand.

The Three Stages Of Hostel Promotion

Consider your hostel marketing as a procedure rather than an event—a never-ending voyage.

Your overarching objective is to help your ideal visitor transition from being unaware of your existence to becoming a rabid admirer who won't stop going to your hostel and passionate about it.

This appears to be a very difficult job. How then do you consume this enormous elephant? One mouthful at a time, that's the solution.

Let's dissect it. An occupant’s stay is divided into three main stages:

Stage 1(Before)

Potential visitors are those recognized at this point. Here, it's important to transform prospective visitors into real guests who arrive at the scheduled time.

Stage 2 (During)

The actual current occupants are the ones who are recognized in this stage. The idea is to impress your visitors while they are there.

Stage 3 (After)

The majority of hostel proprietors either totally ignore or are only vaguely aware of this stage.

When executed properly, individuals at this stage are labeled "fans."

Here, we want to begin a never-ending chain of good deeds that strengthens a positive feedback cycle.

How to Promote a Hostel Business

Your hostel is both a business and a commodity. Operating a hostel is similar to operating a media firm in that your internet reputation or brand is just as essential as your hostel's actual product. 

By using these strategies, you'll not only increase the exposure of your hotel but also earn the favor of visitors to your city. 

Go over them, put them into practice, evaluate the outcomes, and then determine whether you want to expand the strategy or abandon it. 

Define Your Target Market

One of the most important steps in your hotel marketing strategy is defining your target market. It outlines EVERY action that comes after.

About 80 out of 100 hostel proprietors will say "everyone" when you ask them who their primary market is. One of the biggest errors that shelter operators make is this.

Don't misunderstand me. Making accommodations for various types of individuals is not terrible. However, "everyone" actually implies "no one" in marketing words.

Because you can concentrate on the unique requirements and desires of a particular group, a carefully chosen target market will help make your marketing efforts far more successful.

You can use it to:

  • Dominate the industry.
  • Set your prices at a suitable rate.
  • Accomplish a higher return on investment (ROI).
  • Make running your company more fun.

So the issue is, on whom do you want to concentrate your marketing efforts?

Additionally, if you already operate a hostel, what proportion of your present visitors fall into your perfect target market?

Study Your Target Market 

You want to give a personalized impression (branding) when you market. You must therefore be completely aware of both who and how your target market is. This is accomplished by conducting a thorough target market analysis.

Have you ever questioned the reasons behind the impact your immediate family or possibly your closest acquaintances have on you?

That's why they are aware of you. They are familiar with your values and language. They are aware of all of your emotions, motivations, hidden wants, and other details. To put it another way, they know which ropes to draw to make the puppet move.

They are therefore one of your primary decision-makers. Your marketing will benefit exponentially from every minute you spend researching your target market.

Last but not least, make sure to do your research before you complete any part of your offer or consider the layout of your hostel property.

Create A USP

Consider your "Unique Selling Proposition" as your brand identity or, even better, as your competitive edge. Maybe you're thinking there is nothing particularly noteworthy about that because you run a hostel.

The question is, why don't they all just book the lowest hostel? Why are some hotels completely booked despite charging up to double the amount per bed? 

The answer to that question is that they have meticulously and repeatedly developed their USP. It's comparable to being the only person with the cheat code to a really difficult video game.

Prices become less important when a USP is strong. If your USP isn't to be the king of hotels, you can quickly assess how well you've created it by asking yourself the following questions:

What draws travelers to my hotel in particular? You might want to reconsider your present USP if the price is the issue.

Why should I purchase from you instead of your closest competitor? Is the central issue that your USP aims to address.

Sign up for Suitable Online Travel Agents

If you own a hostel, the very first thing you should do is register with the appropriate Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and by pertinent.

Consider those websites where you can find the visitors you want to host. Registration with specialized OTAs that handle hostel reservations is advised, particularly for hostels.

The majority of hotels don't take this into account when promoting their facilities. But trust me when I say that being on these scheduling websites will greatly increase your trustworthiness.

The most well-known websites in the hotel business include;, Bedbooker, HostelWorld,, and others. 

These websites will expose your hostel to countless new users and ultimately increase the number of tourists and backpackers who register with you. 

Additionally, the more OTA links your hotel has, the better. You'll be more visible to the largest possible portion of your community, which will result in more appointments.

Find an SEO-ready, Expert Lodging Website

The sooner you recognize the value of a website for your lodging company, the better off your establishment will be. 

Technically speaking, your website is your sole and primary business resource. 

So you can use it however you like. Every other tool you use, whether it be online communities, OTAs, or something else, is always evolving. As a result, your website must serve as the centerpiece of all of your online marketing initiatives. 

Always handle your page appropriately! If done correctly, it could be the most successful dormitory marketing approach. 

Don't continue using outdated methods of digital marketing when designing your dormitory website. Create a website with excellent SEO and add relevant terms to get the most out of your website design efforts.

Your website will become more noticeable and prominent through SEO. Additionally, area SEO is crucial for increasing hostel reservations. 

We have a blog article with SEO advice for motels that also applies to hostel websites. Here are a few of the top methods for SEO for dormitory websites. 

Last but not least, make sure to register as a Google My Business. As a result, when someone searches for lodgings in your area, your hotel will appear. With the correct contact details for your company, viewers can easily locate your website.

If your hostel company has multiple locations, add each one as a Google My Business, just like GoStops has.

Prioritize Social Media Growth

Social media is now more important than ever. Without using social media, any marketing strategy for a hotel (or any other kind of company) would be lacking. 

It is a crucial component of promoting hostels due to its amazing benefits. The internet now makes up 95% of social media! 

You can commence by setting up a website and opening accounts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tiktok, and Pinterest if you're a beginner. 

Establish a relationship with the people you want to reach over time, then use that audience to grow your identity, share your message, and make connections.

Use social media to engage with customers and provide them with the personalized service they desire. The absence of any third-party costs is the finest aspect of this situation. Social media marketing for motels and this sector of the business are somewhat comparable.

While traveling, people frequently snap photos. Utilize them in your marketing plan.

Create a lovely photo section or selfie location, for instance, with your name and the location of your hostel in the foyer. 

Then, hold sweepstakes where the most inventive picture with your hostel tagged will win a free night's stay! Done! This allows you to access a large audience.

In addition to all of this, remember movies. Since forever, there has been more contact and involvement with visuals. Film everything that might demonstrate the experience you're offering, including events you plan and activities that take place at your hotel.

Hostels can greatly benefit from our blog article on the finest hotel Instagram concepts, which are also applicable to them.

Using social media to drive business is like living in a fantasy. Concentrate on the platform that works best for you, know your community, and communicate with them in your own unique manner.

Run Ad Campaigns on Social Media

One of the best methods to market your hostel, if you're willing to spend the money, is by running advertisements on Google and Facebook. 

Because you want consumers to arrive on your site after clicking on the ad campaigns, these ads can be based on your website. However, we advise incorporating a booking system with your website so that customers can make reservations straight from it. 

Google ad campaigns

In addition to standard search and display advertising, Google advertising is a fantastic tool for lodging providers to boost direct reservations. In other words, Google Hotel Ads. 

Once you sign up with them, these advertisements will be a component of your Google Business Profile and will allow users to schedule appointments immediately with you. However, bear in mind that solely Google's approved interaction partners allow you to sign up for Google Hotel Ads.

Facebook ad campaigns

You can simply advertise your Facebook page, messages, and even the hostel's website to the appropriate demographic by using Facebook Ads. 

Instagram ad campaigns

With the help of Instagram Ads, you can quickly draw attention to your Instagram page, your messages, and even your hostel’s business website. 

Plan Events to Grow Community and Prospect Interaction

There has been a surge in travelers venturing out on their own and, more significantly, connecting with other like-minded individuals. This could be a huge benefit for marketing your hotel.

Strategies for cross-promotion

They are an effective way to draw in neighborhood companies and benefit one another's operations. Visitors who stay with you want to get acquainted with the local culture, consume locally grown food, shop for souvenirs, and tour the city. 

Therefore, it is a good idea to retain flyers or business cards of individuals who are ready to introduce your hostel to their clients.

Building a solid image involves being visible in the area and participating in the community. This will be noticed, and people will tell their friends about your hotel. 

As a result, neighborhood relationships and word-of-mouth advertising become crucial tools for your marketing.

Organize events

With the help of these connections, you can arrange activities like cycling excursions, tree plantings, food sampling tours, city tours, and slum tours to draw visitors and give them a feel for the area.

To give their visitors a distinctive experience, hostels like The Hosteller and Zostel frequently organize activities like cycling trips, treks, and out-of-city tours.

Describe these events in depth on your social media sites. This is crucial if you want to establish your brand's reputation among tourists. In addition, you can leave some items on your property to encourage interaction between your visitors.

Keep a sheet available for them to color, for instance, and let them purchase it to take home for a small fee. Keep miniature planters with plants in them for visitors to take home. Or leave an instrument and some animals in the foyer for people who enjoy music and animals.

Maintain a gaming area or a leisure area where visitors can engage in a few activities. For lone travelers, a bookshelf is also a fantastic option.

Connect with Industry Influencers

For people who are unaware of the effectiveness of influencer advertising and blogging, creating blog content has transformed the hospitality sector. When discussing hostel marketing tactics, blogging should be utilized as effectively as possible.

How then does this operate? Simple. Offer to welcome these writers (influencers) for free. Trust me, the benefits are enormous.

They are bloggers and tourists who have a sizable following or are building one; after staying at your hostel, they can spread the word about it. 

They'll offer you a review on different websites, blogs, and social media sites to make sure your hostel gets the widest possible audience.

Quality is more important than quantity. Remember that! Bloggers can even seek complimentary accommodations, so invite them and grant them. Establish explicit rules for working with influencers and bloggers so that everyone benefits.

If you cannot afford the resources to work with celebrities, start your own journal on the hostel’s business website. 

Do it regardless of whether you have money set aside for influencer promotion. It will significantly improve the SEO of your website and even attract visitors with fresh content.

Reading Zostel's blogs is a pleasure because they are full of tips and directions on how to travel and the top destinations to see nearby.

Offer Supplementary Services

Nowadays, "hostelling" refers to more than just providing a place to remain in a room. There is so much more to it than that. At least some of India's top dormitories have continued to include additional services in their packages. 

Consider including a supplemental service in your marketing for your hotel in addition to your standard services and products. For instance, provide journey services, city visits, or trekking excursions.

This will boost your word-of-mouth exposure and keep the hostel's reputation up even in the downtime. Create specialized city trip packages, local food tour packages, and similar packages to offer on your website.

A few hotels, like goStops, also enable online experience booking for guests. 

Make the Most of Reviews

Reviews play a significant role in your visitors' decision-making. Besides affecting your internet image, they even impact your bookings either positively or negatively. 

Online evaluations are becoming more and more important to the business. Additionally, the sooner you do the same for your company, the better. 

You should now place a focus on managing your hotel's image and reviews.

Collect as many evaluations for your hostel as you can, and react to them. After they leave, request reviews from your visitors on Facebook, scheduling websites, and even Google. You can reciprocate by giving them some savings the following time they come by. 

Additionally, the TripAdvisor Review Express Program allows you to amass more TripAdvisor evaluations for nothing. Here, you can learn more about it.

Repeat and Get Better 

Marketing is more of a voyage than an occurrence. Recognize that the chances of you getting everything perfect on your first try are not just slim, but also impossible. 

When put into practice, ideas that in principle seem brilliant frequently turn out to complete failures. As a result, you must continuously evaluate and enhance your marketing efforts.

This procedure is known as the PDCA cycle among engineers, which is what I was in for three years.

Establish a Network of Hostels

Expanding into a hostel network is one of the most encouraged hostel marketing tactics for individual hostels. 

After you've established yourself in an area with one hostel, carefully plan how you'll launch your brand in another city. Consider your personal identity.

Decide on a spot for your upcoming hotel before anything else. Make your choice based on the experience you offer, the visitors you accept, and the number of travelers a place attracts. This one will function in the finest manner possible if you apply it correctly. 

Do not underestimate this task. Take it slow. One by one. Make sure that the encounters you offer remain consistent across all of your sites. 

How to Manage a Student Hostel

As HEIs enhance the educational system over time, the conventional hostel administration software system is evolving. 

Educational establishments are no longer physically handling their hostel amenities in a time-consuming setting. This has had an influence on the general effectiveness of scholastic organizations and led to poor utilization of resources.

Because of the following issues, the method used to manage and maintain housing, the disarray, and other amenities in schools is ineffective:

  • Disorganized management of the shelter.
  • Manual facility allotment.
  • Capital wastage.
  • The increased burden for the employees.
  • Long waiting lines for penalties and approvals.
  • Retrieving lodging asset and inventory data can be challenging.
  • Time-consuming and tedious task.
  • Data integrity issues.
  • Unique data processing is used to verify enrollment forms.
  • Mistakes & data repetition.

In order to enhance the hostel services for students, managers, and employees, it is time to assess the conventional method of administering dormitories and adopt a hostel property management system on the internet and mobile devices.

Key Takeaways

Apply the same marketing strategies to each of your hostels. By doing this, you will eventually develop a reputation as a brand within the sector as well as among millennials. 

We are confident that if properly implemented, such hostel marketing strategies and advice will assist you in elevating your hostel's level of customer care and conversion rates. 

Get your mind right on these tactics if you'd like your hostel to be packed this season.

We would like to provide you with the appropriate hostel administration advice in addition to your hostel marketing.

Leading dormitories all over the world and many others around the globe have already embraced authentic end-to-end hostel property management software like Booking Ninjas.

With the finest marketing advice in your possession, streamlining your business processes is the only thing left to do.

To learn more about what we do and why we do it, schedule a free call with us right now!

Improve Your Property's Management, Operation & Revenue With Booking Ninjas Property Management System

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