Hospitality industry moves to online space
There is much to consider when it comes to developing and executing the perfect hospitality marketing strategy. The scope of the entire campaign, along with the numerous channels that provide endless opportunities for lead generation can cause the digital transformation for your business to be a bit overwhelming.
The thing with hotel internet marketing is that it is more than getting more bookings, at the end of the day, this industry is about customers. If the customers are not happy and aren’t continuing to return, the marketing strategy can fall flat.
As the hospitality industry moves to online spaces, what are the transformations that need to take place with the core value in mind?
What is hospitality marketing?
Hospitality marketing is part of the bigger picture of creating a better experience for your customers. From services to customer relationships, hospitality marketing and its strategies are all about improving the consumers’ experiences, turning them into loyal customers, and continuing to bring in new customers over the course of time.
If you want to improve online lead generation, it is important to understand that your competitors have likely already started their hotel online marketing strategies, so we’ll have to work to catch up.
There is nothing to worry about, there is still time to get in the hospitality marketing game!
How can you improve the transition of moving towards more online spaces while providing that marketing experience?
An updated website
Research shows that TripAdvisor and other large 3rd party online booking conglomerates are popular, but 2/3rds of all reservations are made directly on a hotel’s website. When consumers are spending less than a week researching hotels, trips, and amenities out of their excursions, it is imperative that a hotel is competitive with its website.
While the hospitality industry caters to a large range of demographics, one of the biggest demographics is Millennials and Gen Z. These online customers are going to be direct to your hotel’s website, social media, and reviews, and from there, they are more than likely going to check out those 3rd party booking conglomerate to review prices.
A hotel needs to make sure that its website is more than just a website. It should provide a better mobile experience to cater to its younger demographic all while providing a seamless experience that ensures that Millennials will hit that final reservation button.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an online marketing strategy that helps to increase a website’s ranking over a period of time. This strategy uses on-page and off-page technical strategies that help a website rank in its industry!
The travel industry is worth over $1B each year, and with millions of competitors out there, this means making sure that your website is showing up in search results.
Where are most of your customers coming from? Are they local? Regional? National? This is the first question that needs to be asked and identified to ensure that this marketing strategy is properly implemented.
Whether it is local with a bit of regional or national during peak travel times of the year, it is important to hone this is because the keywords that will be used with this strategy need to target the right bookers.
A great way to do this is with a Google My Business account. This is a free marketing tool that will show in local search results, and when your hotel shows with this search, consumers can book instantly through your GMB account! Between the organic lead generation that will be coming in and any other marketing strategies involved, it is important to implement a CRM.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system provides companies in any industry with valuable marketing information such as return on investment and lead generation. This is because this system is able to tie a tangible, easy-to-see dollar sign with each lead that funnels into its system. While it does not do that automatically, over time with the right modifications, a hotel can find itself with the numbers that show their digital transformation was worth the investment.
What if consumers are calling the hotel directly? This calls for a spreadsheet or manual process that needs to be tracked and implemented within the monthly and quarterly meetings. If you are finding consumers calling a bit more, implementing a set number of questions to ask for each consumer who books a room over the phone will help with this.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is another strategy that can be funneled into your CRM software explained above, and when it comes to brand awareness and booking, social media marketing can also be a powerful tool to utilize.
Hospitality Net’s research shows that 55 percent of users buy products online after discovering these products through social media. To be transparent, who doesn’t use social media anymore? Even our grandmas and grandpas are using social media.
The thing with social media marketing is that it is not a simple strategy. It is more than posting to social platforms without an overarching strategy.
Who are you targeting? Their demographics? Is this a seasonal event? Is this for the Summer? What about all year round?
The same matters for SEO, and with social media marketing, this affects the content that is distributed on social.
The thing is, you want more consumers to book with your hotel, but if the entire Facebook page is nothing but promotions, our research shows that this pushes consumers away instead of drawing them in.
You don’t need to reach everyone on the internet, but with hotel online marketing strategies, it is imperative that the hospitality industry continues to move forward with the digital transformation with modern-day marketing efforts! Contact us for help!
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