Digital Marketing Checklist for Hotels in 2023
Importance of Digital Marketing for Hotels in 2023
Digital marketing holds paramount significance for hotels in contemporary times. An extensive report suggests that approximately 63% of all hotel bookings are made via online platforms. This leads to a situation where hotels become heavily reliant on online travel agencies (OTAs), which is not necessarily desirable for hotel owners. Hotel proprietors are often hesitant to share their hard-earned revenue with a “middleman” like an OTA. A comprehensive digital marketing strategy can effectively help hotels owners establish a level of autonomy, reducing their dependence on third-party agencies.
The goal of this scheme is to contrive potent digital promotional campaigns to elicit a copious inflow of superior traffic to the lodgings’ web and social media pages. However, formulating a digital marketing tactic is not a mere cakewalk as it entails a plethora of intricate factors to take into account, such as paid advertising, organic traffic, search algorithm, newsfeed algorithm, passive and active channels, and many more. It is imperative to fathom that an audience in quest of the hospitality service that X provides is out there. The mainstay objective of the digital marketing tactic is to assist X in reaching out to this audience.
Digital Marketing Strategy for Hotels
Create a website for your hotel
A remarkable website is necessary to support your hotel’s digital marketing campaign. Many tourists browse through various booking engines to discover the best deals. However, numerous visitors also search for the hotel’s website to obtain more information or possibly a better rate for the night. Therefore, an appealing website is crucial for optimal outcomes. It is not only important for hotels but also for businesses in different fields, such as healthcare, finance, and IT.
Here are a few additional advantages of having a remarkable website:
Location – Emphasizing the location and its features is an effective way for hotels to distinguish themselves from their competitors. In most cases, the location is the primary factor that sets one hotel apart from another.
Voice – Booking engines are generally impersonal, but having a website enables hotels to communicate directly with potential customers. This enables them to establish a more personalized or conversational relationship with their customers.
Features – A dedicated website allows hotels to showcase their most attractive features that differentiate them from other hotels. Booking engines rarely highlight these unique aspects as effectively as a hotel’s own website.
SEO – Search engine optimization is critical for long-term success, and digital marketing for hotels increasingly depends on this effort to produce valuable information for end-users. Creating a unique website allows hotels to improve their search rankings through the use of targeted keywords and social media links, which can eventually reduce their reliance on booking engines.
Identify the hotel's unique selling points (USPs)
Ascertaining the unique selling propositions (USPs) of a hotels is a crucial component of its digital marketing strategy. Identifying these key USPs, which may include factors such as room tariffs, room types, location, and amenities like swimming pools, play areas, and holiday deals, enables the hotel to establish its competitive advantage over others in the industry. Expanding the USPs to include the hotel’s surrounding areas can further enhance its marketing appeal.
Once the USPs have been determined, they serve as the foundation for the hotel’s digital marketing campaigns. These campaigns may encompass a variety of tactics, including website design, social media, search engine optimization (SEO), content marketing, pay-per-click advertising, and email marketing. However, before launching any digital marketing campaign, a comprehensive strategy must be devised that can be effectively executed across multiple digital platforms.
Keyword Strategy for Hotel Digital Marketing
When formulating a keyword strategy for digital marketing in the hotel industry, it is essential to grasp the significance of search marketing, which merges search engine optimization (SEO) and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. More than 60% of the entire traffic in hotels comes from search marketing. Therefore, the selection of appropriate keywords plays a vital role in the success of digital marketing for hotels. As a general rule, one should commence with exact and specific keywords.
For example, suppose your hotel is located in Pune, and the primary features are affordable rates and family-oriented accommodation. In that case, it is recommended to utilize particular keywords such as “budget-friendly hotels in Delhi,” “family-oriented hotels in Delhi,” and “budget-friendly family hotels in Delhi.”
Update quality content on websites and hotel listings
Content marketing is currently gaining significant attention, but for good reason. It is the most effective approach to generate sustainable traffic to hotels listings. In other words, producing content is paramount. There are two main types of content that are generally used – images and descriptions.
When it comes to images, professional photographers are a necessity for hotel websites. High-quality images have the ability to narrate a story and professional photographers have the skills to capture this story in every shot. These images are the face of your brand and will be utilized by every booking engine. Therefore, it makes sense to invest time, effort, and money in making the best first impression.
In terms of descriptions, it is important to communicate the details clearly and effectively. From legendary hotels breakfasts to picturesque views from the balcony, every feature needs to be broadcasted. Features such as luxurious bedding, welcoming staff, and saunas are likely to be points of pride and should be communicated to potential guests.
In summary, potential guests are unable to know what they are not told. Highlighting these features is what most individuals consider when selecting the best option for their upcoming stay.
Paid advertisements are a rapid means of connecting with your digital audience and are one of the pivotal channels for digital marketing in the hospitality sector. The customizability of paid ads renders them a highly effective tool that offers instantaneous results. However, paid digital marketing is exceptionally cut-throat. It is crucial to allocate funds towards niche keywords rather than general ones, as mentioned earlier. Employing the keyword tactics noted previously is particularly advantageous when engaging in pay-per-click (PPC) digital marketing for hotels. The most prominent PPC platforms for the hospitality industry include Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Yahoo.
Manage your Online Reputation and Reviews
In the contemporary landscape, managing online reviews and reputation is of utmost importance. This notion is especially true for the hotel industry, where reputation reigns supreme. Although online reviews provide an independent insight into the hotels experience, platforms such as Tripadvisor have become subject to skepticism due to fraudulent reviews and malevolent activities. Furthermore, the platform has been known to retaliate fiercely against the perpetrators of such behavior, resulting in legal consequences.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned issues, positive reviews are critical in driving sales and increasing the standing of a hotel. Conversely, a single negative review can have a severe impact on the hotel’s reputation. As such, it is imperative to request positive reviews from guests and encourage them to leave their feedback at every opportunity. These reviews can then be shared on social media to promote the hotel’s image and attract further guests. Responding to positive reviews and demonstrating appreciation for them also goes a long way in showcasing the hotel’s dedication to customer satisfaction.
However, negative reviews cannot be entirely avoided, and it is essential to respond to them promptly and professionally. The aim of such a response is to apologize for any shortcomings and provide reassurance to future guests that the issue has been addressed. Ultimately, handling negative reviews tactfully can help to alleviate any concerns that they may pose and even enhance the hotel’s reputation by demonstrating the hotel’s commitment to excellence.
Search engine optimization for hotel digital marketing
Hotels digital marketing is predominantly reliant on search engine optimization (SEO) which is divided into two categories – on-site and off-site SEO. Although on-site SEO is easier and quicker to execute, it should be noted that off-site SEO is often the most efficacious method for increasing online visibility.
On-site SEO, as the name suggests, pertains to optimizing elements on a hotel website to boost its online presence. This strategy encompasses improving pages, posts, images, and the overall structure of the website. However, the most critical aspect of on-site SEO is the keyword strategy, which has the potential to significantly enhance the volume of traction and visitors a hotel website receives.
Off-site SEO is a process that primarily involves constructing external backlinks to a website from other online resources and directories. Social share signals are also a contributing factor in this endeavor, but guest posts, sponsored posts, and referrals are some of the most prevalent ways to improve off-site SEO.
Promote your Hotel on social media platforms
Many proprietors of hotels seem to disregard the preeminence of Facebook as the king of social media and the paramount tool to propel their digital marketing schemes.
Optimistic feedback – Reflecting on it, the evaluation segment is prominently situated at the summit of a Facebook page; however, several lodgings tend to disregard this facet. Regardless of whether one has numerous evaluations on Tripadvisor or other platforms, the commendatory feedback posted here will generate assurance and faith in potential lodgers.
Facebook Sales – Business owners are now capable of securing reservations and receiving payments through Facebook. Trivago has recently lauded a Mexican resort for its extraordinary social media campaigns, resulting in a vast number of direct reservations via Facebook.
Twitter – Though Twitter is often overshadowed by Instagram and Facebook, it is an outstanding tool to target an extremely specific audience. Cedar Manor, a British lodging, was also lauded by Trivago for its ability to increase traffic by utilizing hashtags to emphasize local events, news, and attractions.
Instagram – Unquestionably, Instagram presents hotels with an immense audience, and with the right pictures, it is another obvious means of showcasing the hotel’s high standards.
People – Social media revolves around people, and some of the most successful digital marketing strategies employed by hotels are those that integrate the personnel and the individuals behind the establishment. Stories are incredibly effective in content marketing, and narrating anecdotes about the hotel’s staff is a great method of establishing a meaningful relationship between the hotel and potential guests.
Email Marketing for Hotels
Email marketing has gained tremendous significance in the hospitality industry, particularly in an era when social media marketing and advertising are so widespread. Nonetheless, email marketing is still a cost-effective method of reaching out to audiences without any upfront expenses. However, a successful approach to hotel digital marketing must be taken, and here are just three of several crucial considerations to be aware of:
Segmentation – An email marketing campaign cannot be initiated without a well-planned strategy, and defining the audience is of paramount importance to ensure that emails reach their intended recipients. In other words, sending the same email to everyone is not a good idea, and it is necessary to divide the database into categories of interest.
Attention-grabbing – It goes without saying that generic content has no place in email marketing, and deals, discounts, or information about local events must be used to grab the attention of ideal users. However, the email must contain unique and genuine value to have any impact.
Nurture respect – Customers should be treated like royalty, and a meaningful relationship should be developed to encourage them to open emails. Feedback from emails should also be welcomed, and the customer’s expectations must be established.
Needless to say, these are just a few of the things to keep in mind. The overall message is that email marketing is effective when approached correctly.
Remarketing for hotels
Remarketing on hotels’ websites is a complex process that aims to engage prospective guests who may have previously visited the hotel’s website but left without making a purchase. Essentially, this strategy is geared towards convincing these users to return to the website and make a booking. Remarketing advertisements that offer discounts or exclusive deals to lure back previous users are one of the primary ways to achieve this goal. These ads appear on users’ news feeds, enticing them with offers that are more compelling than what they may have previously encountered.
For this strategy to be successful, it’s crucial to utilize the right keywords and offer substantial value to entice the largest possible audience. However, it’s equally important to execute this campaign with subtlety and finesse, rather than being too overt or pushy. The value proposition should be compelling enough to persuade these users to reconsider the hotel and book a room. Given that these users have already shown an interest in the hotel, this approach is highly effective at turning abandoned searches into successful bookings.
Hotel digital marketing is an expansive subject matter, encompassing various strategies and solutions for achieving success in the industry. The aforementioned tips, however, are among the most pragmatic means of doing so.
While certain methods necessitate a financial investment, the majority of the process is reliant upon knowledge and experience. Having a comprehensive marketing plan is generally sufficient in guaranteeing that your hotel is progressing with each passing moment and moving in a positive direction. Vispan Solutions houses the most adept digital marketing experts who can elevate your hotel’s online presence to the top of the leaderboard.