Hotel digital marketing, the thing every hospitality company is talking about, but what does it even mean? And why should we care? The literal definition of hotel digital marketing is: any form of online marketing that involves hotels. However, we found that to be a rather large stroke. That is why, after careful consideration and deliberation we decided to reduce it down to 6 bite sized categories. It may not be a comprehensive list; but we think it’s pretty close.
Those six categories are (drumroll please): Social Media, Email, Shareable Content, Website, Technical and Innovative.
Now before you choose a direction, it is imperative you select a marketing strategy to decide on your personalized approach. Did you do that? Great, then let’s jump in.
1 – Social Media
Social media may be the new kid on the block, but with tech loving millennials accounting for over two thirds of buying power it is time to get a handle* on social (get it?). In our previous post about hotel social media we gave you some valuable tips; but in this piece we are going to share some more options you may not have considered in regards to our three favourite platforms and how to use them in your hotel digital marketing strategy.
Facebook is the classic social giant, with over 1.69 billion users that provides a powerful opportunity for re-targeting as well as creating ads that will reach your potential audience. It also bestows exciting possibilities such as groups, pages and live stories.
Instagram is also a powerful retargeting and advertising tool; but more than that, it’s an opportunity for your guests to create content for you for free!
A couple of tips to help you make the most of this platform is to ensure your geotag is set up correctly, and to create and promote a hashtag. Another idea that draws attention and likes is to create an “insta friendly space” in your hotel. This will encourage guests to snap, post and share your space. Ps don’t forget to repost!
Fun fact: This hotel branded themselves as the “world’s first instagram hotel” giving away free stays.
Imagine people around the globe pinning your hotel on their dream boards. It’s a great incentive for them to make a connection. Make sure you set up and populate your pinterest with exciting images of your hotel; it’s also important to use SEO principles when creating content, this can help you with your google ranking.
2 – Email
Email marketing could mean one of three things: Mailing list email updates, outbound sales emails or email retargeting. We will review all three.
Outbound sales emails are a powerful full way to connect with potential guests or to organize bookings. These are best done using beautiful templates and re-usable written content to save you time. We recommend you invest in a smart e-mail option to speed up your process and help you keep track of your leads.
Mailing lists, more commonly known as email marketing, consist of an opted-in list of guests who have agreed to receive communications from you.
To keep your guests engaged it’s important to only send out key information.
You may want to consider segmenting your mailing list for better results. Be sure to greet new sign ups, offer knowledge, discounts or education to show your appreciation for their attention.
Finally, email retargeting, this can be done by gathering data about guests using their cookie browser data to send them information they will find the most interesting, you can also use email retargeting by identifying and re-advertising to them if they do things like visit your website, and leave a room night in their cart.
3 – Shareable Content
Content and media is a powerful hotel digital marketing tool because it creates organic awareness and growth. Some examples of shareable content might be: a unique photoshoot taken at your establishment, or an online magazine that your travelers can read on your website for free. Other sharable content ideas could be travel blogs to help your guests learn about their destination, or quotes created by your hotel group or venue. Creating content online that others want to share is organic and compelling, because people naturally want to do what other people are doing.
4 – Website
Having a website that makes guests want to book is the goal; and there are a few ways you can ensure you have done just that.
Consider the visual appearance of your website
It’s important to put your best foot forward online, so making sure your hotel or venue has photos that justify the beauty of your hotel or venue is key. How easy is your website to read? Is it mobile friendly? These are all important factors to consider and provide a good guest experience online.
Does it communicate your value?
It is important that your website communicates your value and showcases it clearly online using language, images and layout. Consider what your guests want to see about your venue or hotel – including things like atmosphere, amenities and awards. In addition, having your call to action near the top of the page is also a great way to book more guests.
Is it easy to book a room online?
You want to make sure the main goals of your website are easy to use, and understood by your future guests. Make it simple and easy to book a room or space online. An easy contact option might also be something to consider.
5 – Technical
Digital marketing can mean many things, but one of the most technical and traditional methods is harnessing the power of the internet through organic tools like search engine optimization (SEO) and organic link building or paid tools like search engine marketing, pay per click, adwords, paid ads, retargeting and more.
You don’t have to be an expert at the technical side of things or learn how to set up campaigns yourself, but it is important that your website and online accounts are set up with proper Technical hotel digital marketing basics and best principals in mind to drive traffic to your website.
6 – Innovative
The final category of hotel digital marketing we are going to cover today is that of innovative ideas in the industry. These are digital concepts that could be unconventional or never before seen; concepts created to disrupt or even create new systems into existing solutions. Some of our favourite innovative approaches to hotel digital marketing include: virtual reality tours, custom customer loyalty apps, partnerships with local tourism departments and connecting with guests digitally on unique and personal levels.
Digital Marketing can mean so many different things; but in actuality, it’s very simple. The goal is to connect in an authentic and genuine way with your future guests. If you take nothing else away from this article; walk away with that, and happy marketing.