Marketing is always a vital outlet which you have to look into constantly, to keep it and your business alive and to showcase your hotel or resort. You need to take advantage of the trends, you need to be able to create new ones.
Hospitality marketing is unlike any other type of marketing. Content, design and images must capture the imagination of your visitor and put them at your hotel or resort before they ever step foot on the premises. This is only possible with a digital marketing strategy created specifically for hotels and resorts.
Give your future guests a narrative worthy of your hotel or resort.
Is your hotel or resort your dream investment finally realized? A family property passed down through the generations? Your hotel or resort has a story and a smart digital marketing team will leverage that story to build your personality and fascinate your future guests.
Social media is an amazing medium to build a following and start a conversation with your customers. You can also send coupons and deals to followers easily through posts. It is also worth looking into footage features in the various platforms – it’s all about the visual.
This is an important medium to build an audience and a stable image of the company. The most engaging of hotels post 1-3 times a day, giving one liners whilst also posting relevant images at the same time.
In the hospitality business there was found to be an increase of around 55% in Likes on a page after a successful vacation. Experiment with Facebook ‘Live’ to get you going with some live footage of your hotel, so that customers can have a taste of what their experience is going to be like.
This is a platform that is not really made use of but it is worth looking into if you want to reach a broader audience. You can use it as a platform from which your customers can easily book their reservations or make to-go orders. Their footage feature is Periscope.
Now you can’t go wrong with this. It’s a great medium you can use to simply snap some great shots of your hotel/resort and show how beautiful as well as how much fun people are having. It was found that over 76% of people post whilst on vacation – this implies that you have a lot of repost potential! Boost your image while exploring Instagram’s Stories, as you tell yours.
Whatever your social media strategy make sure that you post quality content frequently and answer your followers’ requests. It’s all about community building – it’s as much about the people conversing as about the ones listening in.
Top five items in a hotel digital marketing strategy
Digital marketing for hotels is becoming increasingly complex. Hotel managers need not only to service guests, manage rooms, availabilities and pricing, but now are also expected to compete for guests in new channels and digital communities that emerge every day. Hence, many hotel managers are asking themselves how they can expand their brand online while still having the time to run their business.
Hotel website and booking engine are Number One
This is probably nothing new to you, but your hotel’s website is the best opportunity that you have to engage and sell to your guests. On average, guests spend 6 minutes on hotel websites. 6 minutes is ample opportunity to engage your future guests with bold pictures, easy-to-read room descriptions and attractive offers that make the decision to book simple and predictable. One additional important item is to show what guests will experience when they come to your destination: ensure video is part of your web strategy and you will mesmerize your guests. So, when was the last time you updated your website? If the answer is more than 2 years ago, your website could probably be a lot better.
60% of consumers are social travelers
According to Forrester, 60% of guests use one or more social networking platforms during their search, shop and buy process. Hence, it is critical to manage tripadvisor ratings, have a professional-looking presence on facebook, and allow guests to engage over twitter. And to use the social network to amplify your message, ensure that good experiences your guests write about are shared on the different digital communities. For photos we see the best results using Flickr and for videos a dedicated YouTube channel. And don’t forget email: it is still the most widely mechanism used to share itineraries and ideas of trips.
Mobile consumers will demand optimized content
Mobile traffic is the fastest growing category in digital marketing, and to no surprise also in travel. Google research states that 19% of all hotel searches are already executed on a mobile device. If you deployed a mobile solution in 2011, you will realize that mobile consumers have a much more utilitarian behavior – they are looking for the hotel’s address, phone number, or want to book a room for tonight or tomorrow night. Hence, the experience to conclude those tasks must be optimized in 2012. While success can be found using mobile as a stand-alone media, it provides the largest rewards when it is used as an integrated, multi-channel engagement platform. If you can provide consistent messages across web, social and mobile, while ensuring that the most relevant offers are prioritized then you truly have provided multi-channel digital marketing.
Diversify online distribution channels
Recent studies indicate that booking.com is driving a whopping 50% of all hotel online bookings in Europe. This dominance is threatening to hotels as they become more dependent on (and therefore vulnerable to) a single channel that is already demanding higher commissions based on results. Therefore, it is critical to diversify your channels. If you are the manager of a boutique property you should consider signing up with tablethotels.com, mrandmrssmith.com or jetsetter.com. One good source of information for the latest trends in accommodation websites you should consider signing up for is tnooz.com’s roundup of top travel websites per market.
Innovate with marketing campaigns
Digital marketing is not a one-time project. It is a new discipline that must be embraced by hotel managers. However, digital marketing does not necessarily require learning a lot of new tools and hiring a lot of new staff. Using the appropriate tools, hotel managers can use their existing e-commerce and reservations staff to create campaigns, follow-up and reap the rewards of increased marketing exposure: more and better bookings. So, choose your tools to minimize setup costs and provide maximum flexibility when creating your campaigns.