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8 hotel marketing priorities for 2023

Hotel Marketing Priorities in 2023In 2022, travelers eagerly started researching and booking travel again as restrictions softened and the industry regained stability. While demand increased, the pandemic fundamentally changed traveler behavior, and this year, lodging operators must alter their marketing strategies to communicate their value and unique guest experience to attract travelers.

Read on to learn more about the eight marketing priorities for hotels to focus on this year.

1. Optimize your property on Google

Over the past few years, Google has become a dominant figure in accommodation search with an array of offerings such as Google Free Booking Links, Google Hotel Search, and Google Hotel Ads. To ensure your property’s visibility across Google, you must claim, optimize and regularly update your Google Business Profile. Ensure that your hotel is connected via a Google connectivity partner so travelers can easily book direct. 

Why is it important?

Google dominates over 90% of the search engine market share. Besides being the world’s top search engine, Google has expanded into the travel industry, changing how travelers search and book their trips. If travelers can’t find you on Google, your property will miss out on bookings.

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2. Invest in multichannel advertising

Today’s travelers research, book, and buy online and usually visit multiple websites before making their final purchase decision. To maximize reach and visibility, lodging operators must advertise across multiple channels this year, including metasearch sites, search engines, and social media. 

Why is it important?

Daily room demand will reach all-time highs in 2023, so the competition to attract guests will be fierce. You must invest time and money in hotel advertising to gain a competitive edge, build your brand and secure direct bookings.

3. Ensure rate parity across all channels

Metasearch sites display rates from multiple channels so travelers can compare prices before booking their accommodation. These websites, like Google, Trivago, and Tripadvisor, are often one of the first and last stops for travelers when researching online. You must maintain rate parity across direct channels and OTAs to maximize the number of direct bookings you obtain.

Why is it important?

Inflation rates and economic uncertainty are taking a toll on hotel prices and travelers’ pockets. Travelers will opt for the most affordable booking method among OTAs and a hotel’s website. If rates are not similar across these channels, you will lose bookings to 3rd party partners and pay commission fees.

4. Create rich, helpful content

Travelers seek information online and expect to find helpful content; this includes videos, social media posts, blogs, and VR. Social media platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and Youtube are great allies for your content strategy. You can share short videos, reels, and content your guests generate there.  

Why is it important?

Consumers have high expectations regarding the type of content they see online. They are more likely to engage with video content, highlighting the importance of using videos and social media stories in your marketing strategy. People-first and helpful content is also a critical factor in Google search results and can significantly improve your rankings amongst competitors. 

5. Collect first-party data 

If you’re not already investing in ways to collect first-party data, it’s time to start. First-party data includes visitor information that you can use in future marketing efforts. Ensure you’re utilizing your booking engine and guest engagement solution to gather guest details with digital registration cards and post-stay surveys. Collect the right information, like contact details and preferences. 

Why is it important?

Right now, online marketing relies heavily on third-party data, which collects information from web visitors, their behaviors, interests, and browsing habits. 

Google revealed it will phase out third-party data by 2024, so collecting first-party data is essential for creating targeted advertisements and remarketing lists.

6. Automate email marketing

Email marketing requires time and effort but can be automated to reduce your workload. Schedule emails to reach out to guests at every stage of their journey, from confirmation to pre-arrival and post-stay. You can customize emails for each hotel guest segment to offer them specific content or discounts. 

Why is it important?

Besides being one of the most effective ways to communicate with guests, email marketing ROI is high — for every dollar spent, you can expect $36 in return. Email automation can help you scale your efforts and improve your relationship with guests. 

7. Manage your online reputation

Reputation is everything in the hospitality industry. This year, develop a focused effort on obtaining a rating of at least four stars on your Google Business Profile; this will help you rank higher in local listings and instill trust in future guests. Implement a reputation management strategy by requesting reviews from your guests via email or text after their stay. 

Why is it important?

Potential guests and search engines take reputation seriously. Most travelers read reviews before booking online, and search engines include reviews as ranking factors. 

8. Incorporate mobile optimization 

Your website, emails, and booking engine must be optimized to cater to mobile users. Design your website to fit mobile screen sizes to ensure your guests have a good user experience while navigating your website.

Why is it important?

The number of online bookings made on mobile devices is growing, and it’s estimated to continue to increase in the following years. Optimizing for mobile is essential to secure bookings and improve the guest experience, but it is also critical to obtain better rankings on search engine results. For example, Google uses your website’s mobile version to rank and index it.

Final thoughts

The sooner you identify and plan for the major trends and changes in the industry, the better chance you’ll have to improve your guests’ experience, drive direct bookings, and succeed in 2023. 

 

Tags: , Marketing, mobile optimization, multichannel advertising, online reputation, rate parity

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Cloudbeds is the hospitality management platform powering more reservations and happier guests for lodging businesses around the globe.

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