Budget and strategy planning go hand in hand. As they’re both large tasks, it can be difficult to decide where to start. To help out, here are some top tips to make sure you include in your 2018 digital marketing strategy.
1. Keep a content calendar
The key to an efficient and effective digital marketing strategy is a content calendar. It will help you add structure and format in 2018. This will help you align all marketing content and assets with your marketing and overall business goals and put proper campaigns in place to target each of your guest segments.
You can plan digital content campaigns around key events, dates, and seasons throughout the year so that you can improve brand awareness and maximise audience interest all year round. You can organise a content calendar in whichever way works best for you and your business, but we advise including columns for the month, preparation date, go-live date, the content topic, team member responsible, the objective of the content and the channels for publication, and circulation. You may want to add more columns to the content calendar to go into more depth.Ê
2. Invest in video
By 2021, video traffic will make up 82 percent of all consumer Internet traffic, according to research by Cisco. As YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, beaten only by its owner Google, it seems like the way to go. Hosting a video on your site gives you the chance to showcase not just your property but your staff and excellent guest service as well. Visiting your website, potential guests can get a taste of what it’s like to stay at your hotel by taking a virtual tour of your rooms and services.
If a picture paints a thousand words, a one-minute video paints 1.8 million, Forrester researchÊhas revealed.ÊVideo content has the highest engagement rate according to global marketing agency Hubspot, with 55 percent of people consuming videos thoroughly. Videos are six times more likely to be retweeted than photos. Adding an optimised and engaging one-minute video to your website will likely improve your organic and social traffic. This will raise brand awareness and maximise the likelihood of potential guests making a booking as they get a feel for your property.
3. Target long-tail keywords
A surge in voice search has resulted in the improved effectiveness of long-tail keywords. As interactions online become more Ôhuman’, people are posing questions to Google and other search engines as they would a real person. Get an edge on keyword competition in 2018 by targeting long-tail keywords. This will allow you to zone in on lower costing key phrases while driving organic traffic.
You can easily strategise your content around long-tail keywords by adding a keyword column into your content calendar.
4. Optimise for local search (i.e. hotels near me etc.)
Local searches are growing twice as fast as mobile searches, figures from ‘Search Engine Land‘ show. With many apps automatically picking up on location, it’s important to optimise your direct channel for local search. Consider creating top-funnel content to improve your ranking for location-based keywords and phrases. (e.g. Top 10 things to do in Dublin) and ensure your property’s Google listing is up to date.
Include a map on your website as well as content around events, activities, and landmarks in your surrounding area. Leading marketing site, Search Engine News, has revealed that online coupons work really well for local searches with 70 percent satisfaction, so consider incorporating campaigns to target local searches, with exclusive discounts and packages for people searching near your property.
5. Reach out to influencers
Influencer marketing can be nine times more effective than other marketing strategies, studiesÊhave shown, with consumers being 83 percent more likely to convert if they have come to you from a referral source. Beyond friends and family, these referral sources include people your potential guests follow on social media, i.e. influencers. They trust these people, engage with their blogs and vlogs, their tweets, Facebook posts and images on Instagram and deem their opinions and recommendations to be credible.
Incorporate target influencers who are relevant to your target audience, such as travel and lifestyle bloggers and journalists into your digital marketing campaigns. Your strategy could include writing as a guest author for an influencer’s blog or magazine, or getting them to write about you. You could offer them a free stay so they review your property on their site and social channels and let the world know how good their experience was with you.
6. Get social
The benefits of sharing engaging content throughout your social media channels can be very valuable. Social media allows hotels to develop personal relationships with followers, spread key messages, and work with influencers. Use Instagram to post regular enticing images of your hotel and the surrounding area. Share updates, valuable blog posts, images, videos, and promotions on Twitter and Facebook and determine which network your guests prefer so that they’re more likely to find you. Encourage guests to follow you on your social channels and tag you in their posts during their stay.Ê
7. Incorporate metasearch
A metasearch engine is essentially a search engine that gathers up and presents information on your hotel rates and availability to website browsers so that they can find your hotel more easily online. Metasearch engines like TripAdvisor, Trivago and Google Hotel Price Ads (HPA) differ from online travel agencies (OTAs) as they link back to the hotel’s direct website, rather than selling the rates themselves.
It’s unsurprising that Google HPA has powered ahead as the biggest generator of revenue for our partners. In the second quarter of 2017, Google HPA contributed nearly half (48 percent) of overall metasearch revenue, Trivago contributed 31 percent of overall revenue with TripAdvisor at 17 percent.
We recommend setting aside a metasearch budget of Û500 per month. Our hotel partners have seen huge growth in the volume of direct bookings generated by metasearch.
8. Track yourÊsuccess
It’s critical to have an effective method of tracking your performance. For every digital marketing campaign you set up, we recommend measuring the rates of traffic, engagement, acquisition and bounces it generates. Set up regular reports that track the metrics that are most important to your marketing department and business as a whole.
To find out more about how we can help you improve your overall digital marketing strategy and direct bookings get in touch with Avvio today.
Avvio analyses performance through continuous measurement and monitoring of campaigns and user signals. Healthy user signals are increasingly important for good rankings. Top-ranked searches have a significantly higher click through rate as well as a lower bounce rate, and a longer time-on-site.
For example, visitors might leave your site from the entrance page if there are site design or usability issues. Alternatively, visitors might also leave the site after viewing a single page if they’ve found the information they need. Avvio provides daily, weekly and monthly tailored reports for hotels, along with action plans on how to improve performance.
About Michelle Noonan
Michelle Noonan is the digital strategy lead at technology expert, Avvio.ÊMichelle develops digital strategies for a large profile of clients in the hospitality sector. She has extensive expertise in Google Adwords, website optimisation, Google analytics, webmaster tools analysis, managing metasearch and bing campaigns.Ê Michelle joined Avvio in 2014 after working in marketing and event management for major companies such as Oracle and IMJ.