With new innovations in hotel digital marketing being introduced daily there are more options than ever to the tech-savvy hotelier in how to promote their property to potential bookers. This of course comes with a list problems that balance out the benefits of a wider online reach. The main disadvantage being finding time in an already over-scheduled day to effectively manage the hotel digital marketing strategy.
For those without the option of bringing on additional staff to do everything for you, the best course of action is to slim-down your digital marketing efforts and focus on being more efficient at the ones that heed the best results.
1 – Make a mobile responsive website your priority
The first priority of any efficient hotel digital marketing strategy is your hotel website and direct booking platform. Google claims that travelers will spend nearly an hour (55 minutes to be precise) booking a hotel and flights. During this time they will visit an average of 17 websites and click on four different search ads during each travel search. Of these viewers, 90% will conduct their research and booking process on multiple devices.
This just goes to show how important a mobile responsive website is and no matter how busy you get, having the website up-to-date, appealing and responsive needs to be job number 1. This means uploading fresh content, plenty of high quality images and incorporating videos in order to create higher levels of engagement from users.
- Make your hotel website responsive … NOW!
- Have plenty of high quality photos taken and upload new ones regularly to your hotel website.
- Start making videos of your property. Keep them short, informative and visually appealing. Upload them regularly to your hotel website.
2 – Get simple with social media
The power of social media to influence bookings and re-bookings is significant, however the strategies of engaging users on these platforms has consistently been changing over the years. There has been a move away from advertising and sponsored posts as people’s social media streams get more and more cluttered with content. Now the focus is much more on organic reach and sharing/useful content.
This is great news! Not only do you not need to spend as much on social media advertising, but a lot of the work is now being done for you by your guests. By simply providing them with opportunities and the occasional reward, guests will be more than happy to post, tweet, share, check-in, like and instagram your hotel to their followers all over the world.
- Offer incentives and loyalty points in your hotel loyalty program for guests that check-in, like and share posts about your hotel.
- Engage with guests on social media platforms and they’ll do the same. Trade a retweet for a retweet.
- Run competitions regularly in order to create lots of user-generated content, especially on platforms such as Instagram. Guests will create thousands of beautiful and shareable images of your property and all it could cost you is a free cocktail at your hotel bar.
3 – Use tools to manage multiple channels
There are more tools available for helping hotel managers and community managers reach out to their audience than ever. In fact there are probably as many social media managing tools as there are social media platforms. To make your life more simple and your hotel digital marketing more efficient, limit yourself to using only one or two good tools. Research and try out tools that help you to achieve your digital marketing goals, not just because they’re available. If your marketing strategy is to grow your brand awareness then only utilise tools that will help you do that. If you’re already established and want to be more efficient at managing your online reputation then find a tool that helps you achieve this.
Whatever benefits you might miss out on, you’ll more than make up for in efficiency and productivity by not overloading your work day.
- Use only the tools that will help you achieve your digital marketing goals, no more.
- Sharing and scheduling apps help to increase brand awareness and guest interactions on social media.
- A free to download hotel app helps to boost RevPOR and maximise opportunities to upsell and improve points of contact with guests.
4 – Automate (but carefully)
If your hotel has a small staff or a small budget for marketing, automation and scheduling can be a great time saver and a chance to be much more efficient with regards to your posts and campaigns. However when automating, especially with social media, be careful as automated posts can sometimes come across as robotic and insincere. As we already know consumers shy away from advertising and impersonal posts, automation can do your brand harm if used too often.
If implemented correctly though automation allows for a coherent marketing message that you can organise in scheduled blocks. One example of effective automation would be to connect your mobile responsive website with your hotel app. This allows information to be updated and edited on both platforms simultaneously; resulting in zero delay and more synchronicity between platforms.
About the author
Nick Baker is the community manager for Appy Hotel, a hotel digital marketing startup based in SE Asia, that provides mobile applications and digital marketing technology solutions to hundreds of hotels across Asia and around the world. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or linkedin.com/in/nicholasmarkbaker.