With a new year comes new priorities. If you haven’t done so already, begin strategizing for the new year and start an action plan for your goals. As hoteliers, we can agree that every year the end goal will be the same. Increase direct bookings and drive top-line revenue. But, every year is different. We have to establish new strategies. These help us meet the needs of the ever-changing web as well as the evolving traveler.
Let’s focus on managing your online presence. We must optimize for ongoing success. Be in touch with the next wave of technology. Think about how your hotel can gain a broader reach with travel consumers. Here are a few focal points to put in place into your hotel’s strategy. Use these to achieve success in the digital marketing world far beyond this year.
Manage Online Presence
Before coming up with a strategy for this year, let’s look back on the success and failures of the past. As hoteliers, we are busy running the everyday operations of the hotel. Because of this, we may lose sight of the online guest experience before booking. That said, it is crucial that you take the time to put yourself in the shoes of the traveler. Find out how they are searching for you, what they are seeking, and when they are searching for your hotel. Also, check what comes up when they are searching for your competitors. Make a list of things you might like to change and make a commitment in the coming year to work through that list. Remember always to keep the end goal in mind when you formulate these ideas.
Optimize the Guest Experience
Optimizing your website and its media will give the mobile and on the go consumer a satisfying experience from their phone or tablet. According to a recent report from SalesCycle, of the 1,000 consumers surveyed, 13% of them would abandon their booking because the process took too long and the checkout was too complicated.
If this is an issue for your hotel’s website, it must be corrected immediately. Don’t let it be a hassle for a traveler to book direct off your site. If your booking engine is complicated and/or fails to provide adequate information or photos of the rooms, then you may want to switch providers. What’s the use of having a beautiful and well-crafted website when your booking engine doesn’t seem to provide the same kind of impact? For tips on finding the right type of booking engine provider click here.
Create visually engaging content across platforms from social media to your own vanity website. Focus on providing a captivating narrative when describing your hotel’s features on your site and on your hotel’s social media channels. Visitors want to learn what the experience will be like. This can be achieved through simple storytelling.
Let this year be the year of visual storytelling. Paint a picture for your audience. Amplify the experience of the hotel by creating a story that will engage the visitor and allow them to imagine themselves on a relaxing vacation with friends or family. Nothing showcases a hotel’s features and amenities and conveys a total hotel experience more compellingly than through an array of multimedia factions including photos, virtual tours, and videos.
When telling your hotel’s story, be authentic and informative. People, especially millennials do not like to be sold to so be cautious of using any ‘salesy’ words. Instead, mention any unique features that your hotel offers that would be of value to the potential guest.
Let these tips be the starting point for coming up with your own hotel’s marketing strategy. The key to success this year will depend on how in tune you are with what travelers want from a digital property as well as what they want out of the guest experience on your property. Be mindful of what will convert a visitor into a guest along every step of the booking process and be everywhere where your guests will be.