13 Facts About Digital Marketing That Hotels Need To Know
Primary to all Digital Marketing is the development of a sound Digital Marketing Strategy. Choosing the right tools while targeting the right audience at the right time is much more science and research than art. This is important to understand in a rapidly changing Digital Environment.
Today it is important that all Hotels recognize that the rules now has changed. Digital Marketing represent two way communication, group influence and community driven content. The control brand and marketers once had is now history.
With Digital Marketing there are two primary strategies for Hotels to focus on:
Pull Digital Marketing – present information that consumers find through search, listings, blogs, webinars, ebooks, white papers, reviews and Social Media Marketing. Pull Digital Marketing is also known as Inbound Marketing.
Push Digital Marketing – is what you put out to find the consumer through email marketing, display ads, text messaging, web feeds, TV ads, billboards, radio spots and flyers. Push Digital Marketing is also known as Outbound Marketing.
Today Hotel Marketers has to learn to implement Digital Marketing Strategies that supports the Hotels overall Marketing Strategy.
1. Optimize your Hotel for Search Engines
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a key component of your Hotels Digital Marketing Strategy.
Search engines by themselves have no formulas to gauge the quality of your Hotels content. Instead, search technology relies on the metrics of relevance and importance, and they measure those metrics by tracking what people do: what they discover, react, comment, and link to. So, you can’t just build a perfect website and write great content; you also have to get that content shared and talked about.
2. Mobile the new frontier
Mobile hotel bookings: Year-over-year growth in mobile and tablet device categories is staggering. Source: HEBS. pic.twitter.com/gimwU3UgX3
— Daily Travel Stats (@skiftstats) May 1, 2014
Mobile is a critical aspect of your Hotels Digital Strategy. Tap into business travelers shopping journey and add value to their dream stage. Mobile today is used in various context today. You will experience consumers watch their favorite TV-show and the show will provide a #hashtag that identify the show. Consumers will share details from the show with the #hashtag. Don’t be afraid to engage with consumers if this is a show at your Hotel.
— Hotel De France (@Hotel_de_France) March 12, 2015
3. Social Media: Where Stories Begin
Web-based and mobile technology will assist in transforming Social Media into interactive dialogues. Social Media is all about developing a Story Board that represent your Hotel, and then share stories that support this Story Board.
— FourSeasons Maldives (@FSMaldives) March 18, 2015
4. Email is still the King
Email Marketing is still one of the most valuable tools for your Hotels Digital Marketing Strategy. Branding, awareness, lead generation and revenue generations is key goals for emails.
- Conversation – Email works best for marketing today when it can prompt a dialogue and encourage social sharing.
- Targeting – To whom will you mail. Determine where to obtain your list.
- Timing – Timing refers to when the e-mail is received; the time of day, day of the week, point in the month and even the year; how does it relate to events or other campaign elements.
- Integration – Are the e-mail campaigns part of your integrated marketing communications?
- Creative and Copy – This is part of the creative and refers to the structure, style and explanation of the offer together with the number of location of hyperlinks and other calls-to-action in the e-mail.
- Attributes – The message headers such as the Subject line, From address and format (HTML or text) have all been written about at length.
- Landing page
- Metrics – start with goals like; how many opens email, clicks and revenue producers.
- Testing – each element of the email process will Impact how successful your campaigns will be.
– The page reached after the recipient clicks on a link in the e-mail.
5. Rich Media brings stories to life
Include photos, full motion video, 360 degree video tours, slideshows, interactive schematics and audio. Bring your Hotels stories to life. Business Travelers is heavy users of rich media, and they use it very strategic while research an upcoming journey.
6. Blogging your Hotels Hub
Your Hotels Blog will be the focal point of your Story Board. Remember you don’t own your Social Media Profile even if they become key components of your Story.
- Drive traffic to your website
- Increase your SEO/ SERP
- Position your brand as an industry leader
- Develop better customer relationships
7. Relationship Marketing is the new Welcome
Social Media has brought a new aspect to Relationship Marketing. The time with one-way communication is replaces with two-way or multi-way communication. Hotels is now dealing directly with the customer instead of through some intermediary sources.
Customers today will today engage with whom they know, like and trust. Hotels today is required to know their customers beyond the Hotel visit.
8. Webinars to connect with Social Media Communities
The reason to consider webinars is that you get the opportunity to create a sense of event around your Hotels ideas, value and information.
— Leonardo (@VFMLeonardo) March 25, 2015
9. Community your Hotels new Strong Hold
Today you find influencers and decision makers mingling with their Social Media Communities. This because that their Social Media Communities is also their best and most loyal brand ambassadors.
Social Media Communities is the interlinking between a significant percantage of members. Even if there is no official membership in all Social Media Communities influencers know to treat them as valuable members. These members is very active, and will share the Social Media Communities information with their Network.
Join our Hotel Social Media & Collaboration Community on Google Plus.
10. Social Advertising
Relationship, trust and engagement is important aspects of Digital Marketing Strategies.
A convergence of three high-tech trends — precise ad analytics, programmatic audience-buying tools, and the stickiness of social apps — means Social Media is becoming one of the major ad platforms of the future.
11. Wearables your Hotels next service channel
It wasn’t that long ago that the arrival of the personal computer changed just about every aspect of our personal and business lives. The Internet did the same thing not much later, on a bigger scale. Now we’re in the Post-PC era, with our smart phones and tablets keeping us constantly connected.
The future for Hotels is to be part of the Wearable era. Wearable technology typically includes smaller, unobtrusive, hands-free devices that are always on, and always connected to the network.
It is expected that one of the first components of the Customer Experience that will be impacted by Wearables is Customer Services.
12. Big Data: Hotels New Revenue Channels
13. Reviews is now a People To People network
According to TripAdvisor 81% of travelers said reviews where important when deciding which hotel to book, and almost half said they wouldn’t book a Hotel unless it had reviews.
One interesting aspect to notice is that travelers focus on the wisdom of the crowd. And they usually ignore extreme comments.
Today new applications and technology makes it easier for Hotels to capture reviews from their customers. And customers is now influenced more by their Community when they make a booking decision.
Reviews has shifted from a B2C community to a P2P community.
Digital is today key for travelers when they research information related to upcoming travels. The path to purchase is still complex, and travel search is intensifying. Most travelers go into their search undecided, and in many cases unclear about the differences between the Hotel Brands.
Data and research today also show that today’s business traveler is less likely to plan their business travel based on loyalty programs and points they earned. Business travelers is still seeking rewards for their business trips. Today it is all about accessibility, innovation and creativity.
Digital is the primary source of travel inspiration: 65% of leisure travelers are inspired by online sources, most notably through social/video sites and search, while 42% of travelers are inspired to travel by YouTube content.
At the onset of planning, travelers increasingly turn to search first: The most notable year-on-year increases in travelers starting with search were exhibited with car rentals and accommodations. Travelers use a variety of search terms throughout the research process.
The research phase is a clear branding opportunity for Hotel marketers: A majority of leisure and business bookers consider multiple brands when researching (regardless of category).
Mobile is critical at all stages and influences booking decisions: Smartphones are used throughout the travel process, including for inspiration during “snackable moments.” Nearly half of those who use their smartphone for leisure travel inspiration ultimately book through another method/device. Only 23% of those who encounter a non-mobile-optimized site actually push through to complete their activity.
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