Hotel digital marketing initially put a strain on hoteliers as ‘internet first’ aggregators took an increasingly large share of bookings. This increased competition between hotels and drove down margins due to commission payments.
Thankfully, the landscape has started to shift, and hotel digital marketing has become more focused on promoting individual hotels and driving up direct bookings.
Digital marketing gives you a channel to inform your customers about developments that are happening in your hotel and give them the information they need to decide on where to stay.
There are a number of specific techniques that achieve this, and a good hotel digital marketing strategy combines both:
- Content marketing – By writing a blog and producing regular content you can engage your audience. This will also help to improve your search engine rankings which will increase the traffic to your site.
- Email marketing – If you keep an email list of previous guests or people who have signed up via the site, you can send them periodic emails with information and special offers. One consideration is that in light of the new GDPR regulations you will need customers to opt-in to receive these emails.
Your hotel digital marketing strategy should acknowledge the pivotal role that social media plays in the customer’s decision-making process. Via social media, you can not only share short updates with your potential guests but leverage their wider network by encouraging them to share with their friends.
- Shared experiences – Current guests sharing photos and messages about their stay sends positive signals about your hotel to other potential guests.
- ‘Liking’ content – Another option to encourage people to share content is to embed social media share buttons on your site. This gives people the option for people to ‘like’ particular pages and alerts them to their friends.
- Social influencers – Considering this in the context of a broader strategy, you could offer complimentary stats to influential social media personalities in exchange for them promoting the hotel to their followers.
These social signals are also increasingly taken into account by the search engines, making it more likely that you will rank highly in search results.
Another factor that hotel digital marketing can provide is social validation for potential guests that are looking to book a stay.
The best mechanism for this is third party reviews as this gives customers the option to leave honest feedback on their stay and show you have nothing to hide. You can use these reviews in two ways:
- Embedded – You can plug in third party review directly to your site showing people that you are proud of the feedback you’ve received
- Off-site – Sites such as trip advisor are well established and people will most likely leave feedback on their stay whether you want them to or not. Via TripAdvisor you have the option to interact with customers and respond to their comments, this can be useful to thank customers for positive feedback, and apologise for any negative experiences guests had.
Hotel digital marketing: getting started
At AsOne, we have been working with a number of clients in the travel tourism space, helping them become more digital savvy, and shifting a larger proposition of their bookings through their website.
We have extensive experience building holistic digital business development plans that help businesses to thrive over the long-term.
If you’d like some information on what a hotel digital marketing strategy could look like for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Alternatively, you can find us at the North East Expo on May 2nd 2019, at Kingston Park, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.