Loch Melfort Hotel Overview
Located amongst 17-acres of gardens and beach on the West of Scotland, Loch Melfort Country House Hotel is a unique retreat boasting sea-view bedrooms and personalised greetings. Its magical location on the Argyll coast offers uninterrupted views across the Inner Hebrides, whilst dining rooms deliver enchanting, pink sunsets over Asknish Bay.
The hotel is committed to using locally sourced produce, specialising in freshly caught Scottish seafood straight from the boats in Oban. Guest can enjoy their meals in the relaxed bistro or make a night of it in their fine-dining restaurant.
The team pride themselves on delivering a home away from home experience. Deep sofas, roaring log fires, and spectacular coastal walks, all come as standard at Loch Melfort.
When we began working for the hotel in 2018, the team wanted to raise brand awareness online, and increase direct booking from their website. They wanted to be less reliant on third party websites (OTAs – Online travel agencies), for example, Booking.com.
As a starting point, Allera Marketing scheduled a face-to-face meeting with the hotel to discuss who they are, their history and what they’d done up until that day. It was important for us to understand the brand, the people, and their customers.
Following the discovery meeting, we agreed as a collective that the hotel needed to introduce a more comprehensive paid advertising strategy. They also needed to build on their social media following to create a more engaged network online.
To make sure Loch Melfort Hotel had an understanding of our planned actions, we installed a 6-month marketing activity plan to highlight key focuses including:
- Organic social activity
- The promotion of seasonal direct offers
- Paid social advertising
- Email marketing
- Print advertising
- SEO – via blog posts, back of house admin etc.
To encourage the team to share impromptu story-telling moments, we set up a Flock channel that gave us an easy line of communication with the hotel. This allowed us to schedule human interest posts and bank useful content for ‘rainy days’. Allera Marketing also stayed at the hotel to capture useful images and gain a better understanding on the product we were helping to promote.
We introduced Mailchimp as an email system, and created new email templates in order to communicate with the hotel database on a monthly basis. It was important for us to implement a database growth strategy, alongside this. We focused on Facebook campaigns and designed and introduced new data capture feedback cards, to be placed in guest rooms.
Loch Melfort Hotel Website
Between 2018 and 2019, users to the Loch Melfort website increased by +27.6%
New users to the site increased by 29.97% and sessions lifted by +32%
The average number of pages viewed per session increased by 55.9%
The site’s bounce rate dropped by 45% (from 41.3% to 22.69%). A significant result for the team, as it shows that users spend more time exploring the site and engaging with the hotel content.
Loch Melfort Hotel’s blog pages were are a key focus for us and, as we implemented an SEO strategy, pages views to the blog increased by 71%, whilst people entering the website via blog content lifted by 64%. Blog posts were carefully researched to include trends, keywords and phrases in order to attract new and relevant visitors.
Loch Melfort Hotel Bookings
Website direct bookings in 2018 accounted for 5% of total bookings. In 2019, this increased to 16%.
Loch Melfort Hotel Social Media (2018 – 2019)
Facebook followers increased by 315%
Twitter followings increased by 15.9%
Instagram increased by 187%
We focused a lot of our efforts on Loch Melfort Hotel’s Facebook audience. Their target demographic is an older customer, and this tied in with Facebook’s demographics.
A challenging 2020 and beyond
Following successful results between 2018 – 2019, the hotel continued to work with us, through a very difficult 2020 and now into another challenging 2021.
During this pandemic period we have focused greatly on gift vouchers, using the platform SKChase, as they have been a source of income whilst the hotel has been closed. We have run several campaigns to drive conversions, with vouchers now valid for 18 months to give plenty of time for redemption. Gift vouchers sales increased by 211% from 2019 to 2020.
Just recently in January 2021, we worked closely with our web developer partners Ezone Interactive to launch a brand new website for Loch Melfort Hotel, which we are very proud of. We continue to work with the hotel, driving awareness and conversions through social media activity, SEO and email marketing.
Speaking about their Allera Marketing experience, Loch Melfort Hotel owner Rachel Ross told us:
“Natalie’s background, expertise and contacts within the hospitality industry are second to none and she works as though she is actually part of our team, living and breathing what we do in our business and communicating with ‘our’ voice. She is hugely professional, takes the initiative and is always spotting opportunities that we would otherwise miss. Our online presence has hugely improved, and we are delighted!”
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