Previously trusted techniques for digital marketing in the hotel industry still apply in many cases, however changing consumer behavior requires new and effective strategies to gain traction and improve online sales.
There are also new tools constantly being released to take advantage of.
Your hotel marketing strategy is going to be key to make sure your hotel revenue management is on point.
If you want to keep up with the competition, change is necessary because the market is now driven by convenience and experiences.
1. Help your guests with their experience
When it comes to choosing a hotel trip, guests are more circumspect and demanding - you need to prove them that you can give them the experience they are looking for and beyond.
Accordingly, you have to create a deeper connection with potential guests by showing them exactly what they are looking for and using language and images which resonate with them.
Whether it’s complete relaxation, an activity break or a total escape from reality that your guests are craving, the messaging, website collateral and testimonials all need to be coherent.
You will need different sections on your website that are tailored to alternative types of guest experiences. Feature them in your blog using feedback from previous guests.
Create guides on Instagram using posts from each type of experience to showcase your hotel as the best option.
2. Engage on social media
If you have a social media strategy to keep your target audience engaged, you should be driving bookings from these platforms.
- Focus on the engagement not the followers.
- Social media is all about people and you will be more successful if you involve the staff and people behind the hotel. For example, your chef or gardener can create story about the food you grow, your spa staff can post exercise or beauty regimes.
- User generated content is incredibly effective for marketing on social media platforms. If someone posts a picture of your hotel, engage with them and ask them is it possible to use their post on your social media? And remember to mention them in your post because not only will they love it, it is also more authentic
3. Use influencer marketing
Influencer marketing can work wonders for your luxury brand.
How? The answer lies in authenticity. Business-minded influencers create interesting, original content that drives social engagement.
They have devoted followers who rely on their recommendations.
Genuine videos, photos, and online reviews posted by influencers will help your hotel increase credibility, gain trust and foster loyalty.
If high-profile trendsetters are outside your budget, consider working with well-respected micro-influencers.
Even though they might only have a modest number of followers, local influencers can introduce your hotel to new audiences within your community.
Search Instagram or YouTube in your vicinity - look for fitness enthusiasts to promote your Zumba classes or home bakers to introduce your new afternoon tea.
Establish key performance indicators to be able to select the right accounts for a collaboration.
Forget followers and focus on engagement - shares, impressions and video views will give you the real insights.
4. Don't forget the mobile experience
From seeking entertainment through doing business to getting fit, people’s lives are now centered around their mobile phones.
As a luxury business, you must seek out your customers where they want to be - in this case on their handheld devices.
A superior mobile experience is now as crucial to your hotel’s success as answering the phone when it rings.
If you are serious about your hotel’s book direct strategy
, the booking process needs to be as seamless on mobile devices as on any desktop computer.
The majority (>60%) of your bookings will come from mobile devices.
Check with your website provider that your booking engine
is fully responsive and that key calls to action are displayed effectively on your mobile homepage.
To stay on track, ensure that the mobile site provides your essential content, providing a rich, engaging browsing experience and also driving conversion.
Users expect fast digital experiences, especially on the mobile web.
The effect of slow load time is well documented: an extensive Google study found that as page load time goes from one to ten seconds, the probability of a mobile visitor bouncing increases by 120%. For better conversion, invest in your content delivery network and concentrate on speed, experience and usability.
5. Brand lift studies help gauge brand awareness
Measuring brand awareness of hotel properties has been difficult during the pandemic.
Now might be the time to consider a brand lift study – it will help you to measure the impact of your ads on perceptions and behaviors during the customer journey.
You can then start to optimize the content and messaging you provide at different touchpoints during a guest’s booking process.
It helps you to understand how your ads are impacting the metrics that matter such as last seen brand awareness, ad recall, consideration, favorability, purchase intent and brand interest.
You can optimize your campaigns based on these real time results broken out by demographics, frequency and more.