With the world becoming increasingly internet savvy and computer literate, the online marketplace and digital platforms continue to increase in importance. As such, it is important to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to the fundamental trends, and make sure you’re one of the ‘early adopters’. As digital platforms grow, so do the opportunities to utilise them and provide something unique for your customers, and sharpen your selling point edges – particularly in the realms of search engines, social media and online booking sites. Your own private hotel websites also continue to hold a crucial role in making your sales, so an efficiently organised landing page, as well as good external partnership cooperation can be key. In this article, we’ll explore a 4-factor methodology for optimising your digital marketing strategy so you can remain ahead of the game.
1. Hotel Content on Third-Party Sites
The basis of digital marketing is down to creating content which is attractive and appropriate, so as to set the base for higher numbers of hits through search engine mechanisms and amongst social media. The key words here are attractive and appropriate because even the best content will be ignored by the the incorrect audience. In the age of information, having carefully curated content at the most appropriate window is the key to success and in creating a customer connection. Working with a third-party media provider can be a blessing here, one that creates the most appropriate, quality content for your hotel, but also has its own platform for distributing it appropriately. Opt for visual content for ‘a picture speaks a thousand words’, addressing specific questions and feedback to meet travellers needs, allowing the customers to feel an identity with the hotel and its image. This can be combined with a clear message to increase the content’s reach through all media platforms.
2. Handle Concierge Services Digitally
As the hotel’s website is likely to be the pre-first impression of the customer, the quality of presentation will typically reflect the quality of the actual hotel and services. It is the place where customers build up a relationship with the institution prior to their visit, and as such they give a lot of trust to their hosts. Concierge has always played a fundamental role, but with everything being organised through digital platforms, concierge services can be fulfilled in this way. Interactive maps of local activities and sites of interest, pre-booking desired services and accessible blog posts of the local area are all sought after services that start from the hotel’s website. These can be arranged into special sections of your site for easy navigation, clearly communicated crucial information to the customer and seamlessness in booking services. Maintaining an active blog helps to ensure that the customer has potential for a unique experience every time they visit.
3. Video Content on Website
When a picture is worth a thousand words, the audio-visual experience of an embedded video can express infinitely more. Furthermore, with a higher demand for instant and desirable content, videos dominate social media feeds and help bring the highest search results in a search engine. Within the tourist industry, the video media gives the customer the best taste of what is to come at their chosen destination, tapping into the feelings of anticipation – something the advertising industry has utilised for years. Now this technology is democratised and you can use it to your advantage. On average, companies that use video have lower pay-per-click costs and obtain higher conversion rates. As a result, the use of video is an essential tool. Three top ways to use video for your platform: make small, specialised videos that highlight special aspects of your hotel and how you’d like to transmit that wow factor to your customer; work with already established video bloggers who are experienced in creating high quality content and have a broad reach on social media and other online platforms; support live broadcasting functions to stream specialist hotel events and reach out to your customers, emphasising the hotels major selling points.
4. Dynamic Presentation on Online Travel Platforms
Travel agents and hotel selection websites have had to adapt their own content in order to compete with direct sales of hotel websites. Thus, there is a broader range for a dynamic presentation of the multi-faceted aspects of your hotel available on these platforms. New trends suggest that online travel platforms want to utilise as many of these options as possible, with the directions set to increase as time and technology progress. In practical terms, this means using these platforms to showcase the very best your hotel has to offer, beyond the rooms. Common themes include spas, sports facilities, restaurant/cafes and specialty dishes or features. It’s important to be true to description about service so the pictures can highlight these attractive aspects, make sure the images display a complete picture of the hotel experience and to dynamically update facilities so the hotel can be found through multiple search channels.
In conclusion, we can see that the traditional forms of advertising, including imaging and brand awareness continue to rule the roost, and have come home in an increasingly dynamic form. Simple targeted pay-per-click advertising is no longer enough, and hotels need to invest in order to to maximise on organic sales. The opportunities out there are greater than ever, however it requires being constantly able to adapt marketing strategies to the evolving platforms.