Travel has become one of the world’s most lucrative industries for digital commerce; around 90% of bookings today involve going online (compared to only 50% in 2006) and it has been estimated that global travellers will book about $278 billion worth of travel online during the next five years. By 2020 the travel industry will have the highest percentage of online payments in relation to all sales than any other industry on Earth. (Skift)
With so much competition from other hotels and continued advertising pressure from big OTA platforms, investing and implementing hotel marketing solutions to increase online bookings is essential for the success of any hotel. Companies who do not take the opportunity to advertise online can risk being swept away by the competition.
But not to fear, to help you maximize your digital presence we’ve put together 5 hotel marketing solutions that every hotelier should consider and some examples of the companies that can help you along the way!
1.) SEM: People are hooked on search — Google sees 2 trillion searches a year and 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine. It’s the easiest way to navigate the Internet and find what you are looking for.
However, attention span for search is limited. Three-quarters of people never scroll past page one of their search results. Therefore having a strong SEM strategy helps you secure the top spots on a search engine results page and puts your brand in front of travellers that are in market. Hoteliers can’t ignore the power of search and, given all the market competition, a strong search strategy is a must.
TravelTripper is one such company that will help increase your search visibility, expand your reach and drive more qualified traffic to your website with SEO and PPC campaigns all of which help your hotel to rise to the top of a search engine results, protect your brand, and drive more direct bookings to your website.
2.) Email Marketing: With 92% of online adults using email – 61% using it on an average day (Pew Research), email marketing is a powerful, easy and affordable e-marketing tool for hoteliers to stay in touch with key customer segments; it can be one of the most effective ways to grow your hotel’s occupancy rates and direct revenue opportunities for past, present and future guests.
If used properly and in conjunction with targeted marketing promotions based on personal preferences, to drive items like room upgrades, spa bookings, or future stays, email marketing can generate significant ROI for hoteliers because it helps you create a dialogue and build relationships. When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to other forms of marketing (DMA) and 81% of online shoppers who receive emails based on previous shopping habits were at least somewhat likely to make a purchase as a result of targeted email (eMarketer).
FuelTravel provide a suite of tools and can help you incorporate email into your overall marketing plan to improve your overall sales and user engagement. By maximize the power of your database to create strategic campaigns they can help you deliver personalized messaging and drive repeat business.
3.)Social Media: Over the last decade, social media influence has grown from what seemed like a temporary fad into a core component of the Internet. It has changed how people research trips, make decisions and share experiences. Today, social media is one of the best sources to distribute content to reach target audiences, and where hoteliers can readily engage and build on-going relationships with consumers. “It’s time for hospitality companies to harness the power of social media by assessing the suitability of various channels for their ability to increase customer engagement, enhance customer satisfaction and improve retention rates” – Cognizant
However, with so many social media platforms, it can be hard to know where to start – while it’s not necessarily worth being active on every social media channel and the TravelMediaGroup can help you with find out where your target customers are active and not only join in with these conversions but listen to your audience, promote your content and brand and stay engaged.
4.)Brand storytelling: According to Google, 65% of leisure travellers turn to the online space in search of ideas for their next holiday destination, with 83% finding their inspiration on social media and photo sites – for hotels, this buying phase relies on their ability to capture attention.
And while hoteliers can differentiate their hotel from competitors on the basis of price, policy and service, it’s the great storytelling at the heart of a company’s brand that can make your hotel come alive and stand out from the crowd. A strong, convincing brand that makes your hotel relatable builds rapport between hotel and customer. “Branding is fundamental. Branding is basic. Branding is essential. Building brands builds incredible value for companies and corporations…No branding, no differentiation. No differentiation, no long-term profitability. People don’t have relationships with products, they are loyal to brands” Scott Goodson – Strawberry Frog.
Similar to other companies that we have mentioned, Tambourine provide a suite of services but they have a knack for branding, telling a story and delivering a message with engaging content and enticing visuals to help your hotel connect emotionally with your audience. (They also boast a wide range of clients including well-known brands such as Hilton, Marriott and Four Seasons.)
5.)Mobile: Last but not least, mobile. We are all more than well aware that mobile devices have become an essential companion in our daily lives – we use it from the get go; as an alarm clock in the morning, email, banking, entertainment, news etc. you name it, and we’ll consult our mobile first!
Not surprising to hear then is that mobile usage is on the rise throughout the entire traveller journey and more are using their smartphones to book parts of their travel; it was estimated that 73% used a mobile device to research a trip in 2016 (eMarketer), that 65% of travellers book hotel reservations for the same day on a mobile device (Statistic Brain), and it is thought that by 2019, 46% of all travel sales will be booked via mobile (eMarketer). – Mobile is a more convenient research tool and provides a simpler and easier path to purchase and booking trips.
As a result of your customers being mobile, businesses also need to be mobile friendly. The easier you are to approach; the better the leads. If don’t already have a mobile friendly version of your site, Internet Moguls can help you “go mobile” and reach your guest and audience more effectively.
So there you have it – our marketing strategies that every hotelier should consider (if you haven’t them already in place!). If they are any other essentials marketing must haves that we have left out but you think we should of included then let us know!