Digital marketing is growing so quickly that it can become difficult to keep up with the latest innovations, but by keeping on top of this as much as possible, you’ll find that there are more options than ever to promote your hotel and expand business.
Ideally, you’ll have a dedicated team of marketing professionals who can stay up to date with the top trends that are entering the world of hotel marketing. However, if this isn’t possible, then you want to slim down your digital marketing efforts and focus on those that can produce the best results.
2016 brings with it a wave of new trends that will be especially pertinent for the hospitality industry, so we’ve put together the ones that we think you need to master in order to be most successful this year…
Last April, Google updated its algorithm to penalise websites that aren’t optimised for mobile. So if you have yet to update your website, then this needs to be your main priority. If it isn’t mobile-optimised, then you’ll find yourself hidden in the depths of Google’s search results. Consumers are now accessing websites via mobile devices more than ever. If your website is difficult to use on a mobile device, then you’ll find that the majority of consumers quickly leave to go to one of your competitors, whose site is much easier to navigate. In fact, Google research shows that travellers spend an average of 55 minutes booking a hotel and flights. During this time they will visit an average of 17 websites and click on four different search ads during each travel search. Of these consumers, 90 per cent will conduct their research and booking process on multiple devices. So, if you weren’t convinced before, then you should be now. Ensuring that your entire website is optimised to be used efficiently on a mobile device is probably the most important aspect of your digital marketing strategy.
Use the power of social media
Social media has been around for a long time now, so we assume that your hotel is active on the likes of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If it isn’t, then this is something that needs to be done immediately, as is the case with your website. Both paid social advertising and organic social media can boost your hotel’s exposure, so you’ll want to make sure that you have a social media strategy that incorporates both of these approaches. Google’s algorithm now takes into account social media activity, measuring not only the frequency that you post, but the quality of the content you are sharing. So, with this in mind, you need to make sure that you are creating content that consumers can, and will, interact with. The more engagement that your social media profiles attract, the higher they will rank with Google – which will in turn boost your website’s ranking. To do this, encourage customers to share their own pictures as well. You can run incentives and competitions for the best pictures or experiences that they share, and find that not only does this boost engagement, but it gives you a bank of stunning images you can use in the future. You also want to make sure that you’re using relevant hashtags to make your posts come up when people are searching in Google or on social media.
Create top-quality content
In line with your social strategy, you want to have a strong content marketing strategy. This should encompass the content that you’re sharing on social media, as well as on your website and blog. Within this, you don’t want to make content about your hotel a priority, but content that will be of the most value to guests. Think about nearby events, attractions, bars and restaurants that you could write about, as well as images and infographics that could help someone to make the decision to visit the destination where you are based. Convincing someone to visit your destination is the main hurdle, and if it’s your hotel that has created the content that has made them want to visit, then they’ll certainly look to you for their accommodation. On top of this, you should include information about your hotel, guest reviews and unique qualities that you can offer to guests to make their stay even more memorable.
These are the very basics of creating your digital marketing strategy, but these key components put together will get you well on your way to becoming even more visible online. Then, just try to stay on top of the latest trends and what your competitors are doing to make sure that you don’t get left behind in the evolving digital age.