In 2019, these marketing trends are crucial to the success of your business. Don’t let your hotel fall behind and lose out on bookings; follow the advice in this article to increase brand loyalty, improve guest experience, and get more direct bookings.
Invest In Local
Local Search Engine Optimization helps the person searching find a local result that matches their query. In the hotel industry, local SEO could involve TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google My Business. Search engines are very useful for a hotel marketing campaign, because the people searching for a local hotel are often already primed to purchase. They are looking for a hotel because they need one. Investing in local SEO can increase your direct bookings, as interested people will see your hotel in their search results and contact you.
Don’t only focus on search engine optimization, but also AEO, or answer engine optimization. People may type “hotels in Seattle” into a search engine, but with the ability to use voice to search on devices, “what are the best hotels in Seattle” is a long-tail keyword you want to rank for as well. Keep voice searches in mind when creating your content.
Using Google Hotel Ads is another great way for hotel marketers to increase bookings. You can decide what you pay for the ads, and it allows customers to find you and book with you easily. This way, you don’t lose a portion of your profit to OTAs. That being said, you may still want to consider OTAs for sponsored ad placement, especially to increase bookings in your low season. Find creative ways to encourage direct bookings such as perks for your guests.
Have A Mobile-Friendly Site
One of the top digital marketing trends is to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Many people search and surf sites from their mobile devices. This means that if your site doesn’t function properly on mobile, you’re missing out on traffic. Online travel searches and bookings can make up a huge percentage of your sales.
If your marketing efforts don’t include a content strategy, you aren’t taking full advantage of the traffic and potential guests content could bring. Content marketing involves posting content on your social media channels and blog that stimulates interest in your hotel without directly promoting yourself. Still, it is important to remember to include calls to action regularly. Remind readers to follow you on social media, ask followers to subscribe to your newsletter, and encourage people to book with you.
When creating content, keep your targets in mind. Millennials and Gen Xers are very interested in travel and hospitality, and once they discover a brand they like they can be very loyal. Don’t only focus on the experience of staying at your hotel; provide a full picture of what you can offer and what experiences travelers can have. If you have unique dining venues or other perks on your property, highlight those in your content as well.
Spend Time On Social
Social media marketing is crucial to hotel success. First of all, it allows you to create brand awareness. Potential guests as well as previous guests can engage with you online. Second, you can monitor and respond to any comments being made about your hotel. If you encourage social logins, you can capture data on your customers and use that to improve your marketing strategies.
You may even want to consider sharing user-generated content; if a guest shares photos, videos, or a testimonial, your other followers may be interested in seeing it as well. Always ask for permission first. Share positive experiences, and others will want to have that same experience.
Grow your social following organically as much as possible. Cross-promote your accounts; invite your Instagram followers to follow your Facebook page. Use hashtags. Promote local events or businesses and tag them in your posts; they may return the favor.
While a picture says a thousand words, a video says more. People who are interested in booking your hotel might want to watch a video of what they will be experiencing while staying there. Give them a glimpse into the guest experience they could have if they stayed at your hotel. Take them on a walk through tour of your hotel. If there is an event going on, create a live video to share, but remember to keep video quality in mind.
Don’t Forget About Real-Time Marketing
The hotel industry can take advantage of marketing in real time, as guests often show up on time and have scheduled in advance. This gives hotels the unique opportunity to prime interested parties through social media, search engines, and then upsell or personalize the experience for each guest in person.
Chatbots allow you to have a virtual assistant 24/7, answering questions and helping guests on your website. It can help nurture leads, allowing a real sales associate to step in and close the sale.
Personalize Your Marketing
Marketing professionals will personalize email campaigns for their subscribers to increase click-through rates. This doesn’t simply mean using the subscriber’s first name in the email. It can involve a personalized subject line, different images based on subscriber preferences, and even alter sections of content in the email based on criteria you’ve set.
You can also personalize your marketing efforts through retargeting people who have abandoned their booking before completing the process. Send a personalized email that encourages them to continue their booking.
Hotel marketing trends in 2019 involve incorporating digital marketing and social media marketing into your marketing efforts. Make it easier for people to find you in search engines, and engage with your audience on social media. Focus on creating a positive experience, through videos, sharing user-generated content, AI chatbots, and personalized marketing both online and in person.