The Complete Novice's Guide to Hotel Digital Marketing
Developing a marketing plan for your hotel comes with a lot of unique challenges. Your hotel has a lot to offer your guests and your local community, but so do a lot of your competitors.
How do you create a marketing message that will appeal to your audience without sounding like everything they’ve ever heard before? The success of your business relies on your ability to book rooms and keep them full. You have some unique challenges, and you don’t have time or budget to waste on marketing efforts that don’t work.
We’ve had a lot of experience working with hotels just like yours. At EZ Texting, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t when it comes to hotel marketing. To help you get started, we have assembled a list of some of our most effective strategies for hotel digital marketing.
Hotel Digital Marketing: 4 Tactics That Generate Immediate Results
When it comes to marketing, you don’t have time to waste. All of the strategies listed below will generate results quickly, but they can also have a lasting impact if you employ them on an ongoing basis.
1. Have a Mobile-Friendly Website
You probably already know that having a mobile-friendly website is important for your hotel business. In the travel industry:
- 31% of consumers plan to search for their next trip from a mobile device.
- Between 2011 and 2015, mobile bookings grew by 1700% and revenues generated from mobile bookings is projected to reach $108.75 billion by 2021.
- In 2017, up to 80% of last-minute bookings came from mobile devices.
- 85% of international travelers carry some form of mobile device such as an iPod, tablet, or smartphone.
Consumers are using mobile devices more than they have in the past. This is due in large part to bigger smartphone screens, easier mobile payment methods, and an overall shift to on-the-go browsing.
Thankfully, building a mobile-friendly website is also easier now than it ever has been before. Technologies have adapted to allow for things like responsive design to help websites to fit on any screen. Just be sure to work with your developer to make sure that the site is intuitive and seamless enough to view information about your property and book a room online.
2. Share Content on Social Media
The development of social media gave the hospitality industry a huge leg up. Imitaz Ali, who manages some of the largest New York City properties, explains why this is beneficial:
Ten years ago, they would walk into a travel agency and the agent would be the one influencing their decision-making process, while today guests are completely independent and very well-informed in choosing a hotel. Publicly available reviews are everywhere, from major travel websites to hotels’ own websites. Everything is transparent: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Social media marketing gives you a platform to build and engage your audience, spread the word about your hotel, and get more people booking rooms. Customers use social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to ask for recommendations, browse pages, and decide where they want to book a room.
As you are planning out the posts for these pages, it’s important to realize that each platform is slightly different and serves a different purpose.
- Facebook is good for all-around content. You can focus on building engagement, posting photos, running marketing campaigns, sharing links, posting videos, and publishing teasers that lead back to content on your website.
- Twitter is a good tool for customer engagement. It’s a great way to get users to generate content, such as getting them to share pictures of their trips and showcasing their experience in your hotel.
- Instagram is a very visual channel. It’s a great place to showcase what you offer, such as photos of your rooms, food, facilities, services, nearby attractions, and other tourist destinations.
3. Nurture Your Ratings on Hotel Review Sites
Many hotels don’t understand how important online reviews are in their marketing toolkit. Having your guests write reviews on sites like TripAdvisor is a critical tactic for hotel marketers.
One of the first things that a potential customer will do after checking your website is to read your online reviews. They will be looking for more insights into your accommodations and the services that you offer.
If there’s only one review site that you have a solid presence on, it should be TripAdvisor. They are the largest travel review site in the world, with an average of 390 million unique visitors every month. After you sign up, take full advantage of your profile by populating it with as much information as possible, including your hotel’s description, contact details, website link, photos, and integrating it into your booking calendar.
After you started gathering reviews, you should consider sharing the positive ones on your website and social channels.
- In 2014, L2 found that hotel brands that featured guest reviews on their website saw an increase in on-site conversions.
- On average, businesses saw a 26% increase in traffic on Twitter after sharing reviews.
- Businesses also saw an average of a 6% increase in traffic from Facebook after sharing reviews.
4. Use Text Message Marketing
Text message marketing has some pretty powerful proof that it works. The open rates for text messages blow away all other marketing channels.
- Our own internal studies reveal that 98% of messages sent from our platform are read by recipients — compared to only 20% of emails.
- Other research showed that people read 90% of text messages within three minutes of receiving them.
Text marketing is being used successfully by hotels of all sizes. Instead of calling the front desk, guests are able to conveniently use text messages to order services like room service, valet service, or even to order drinks while lounging by the pool.
Guests simply receive a welcome text message when they check in, and that lets them know how the service works. This increases guest satisfaction while giving the opportunity to upsell them on more of your services.
Get the Playbook for Hotel and Resort Text Message Marketing
Building a successful hotel marketing strategy is about more than just a few tools and tactics. You need to have a solid strategy for how you’re going to use them as part of your big picture plan.
At EZ Texting, we have the privilege of helping many hotel marketers just like yourself get started using SMS marketing to achieve amazing results. We have combined all of that knowledge into our hotel and resort text marketing playbook. Download your copy today to get a jump start ahead of your competitors.
Photo: Adobe Stock/Jacob Lund