Innovative Hotel Digital Marketing Strategies to Maximize ROI
What Is Digital Marketing for Hotels?
The scope and opportunities for hotel digital marketing are vast in the current climate, but that also means there’s a lot more competition.
Before you can begin to develop your marketing strategy, you must answer two questions:
- What is your brand message?
- What is your key target market?
These two focus points will inform how you plan your hotel marketing strategies. The brand message will ultimately impact the types of guests you attract.
For example, you may want your hotel to be trendy and appealing to millennials, so you should consider marketing to solo travelers and young couples. You’ll also need to consider things like the location, the hotel’s size, your budget, the budget of your target customers and their reason for traveling.
Identifying what kind of hotel you run, such as boutique, budget, luxury, chain or independent, will make it easier to determine which of these traveler types suits your offerings. Once you know that, it will be easier to decide how to market your hotel and who to market to.
Strategizing for Hotels
Now that you know your brand and target market, you can dive into strategizing and work toward positioning your hotel for success.
Developing a digital marketing strategy begins with identifying your brand and marketplace. Think about your marketplace image and what you want to convey to prospective customers, as well as what your customers are looking for from you.
You should also consider market trends to create the appropriate hotel marketing strategy and stay ahead of the competition. Do some research on your competitors and see how they’re using different platforms and messaging so that you can get ideas for how to best market your brand.
Once you’ve outlined all of this information, it’s important to consider your own internal capabilities and resources. If you have a team to launch your new strategy, be sure to communicate your ideas and expectations so you can work on moving forward together. If necessary, look into external resources to supplement your team and bring fresh ideas into the mix.
Objectives are a vital part of any strategy. Defining objectives helps you determine if you’re on the right track with your marketing strategy and ensure that you’re moving toward successful campaigns.
Your objectives should be:
- Specific: Start with specific — but simple — objectives for your campaign.
- Measurable: Your objective will need to be measured and compared on occasion to track your progress.
- Attainable: Be sure that your objectives are realistic and sustainable, especially for your team, so you can increase your chances of success.
- Relevant: The objective must be in line with external factors, such as the current market and competitors.
- Time-based: Your objective should have a time limit so that you can periodically track your results. Be sure that your team is on board with the time frame.
Marketing content, whether it’s YouTube videos, paid ads, Facebook posts, blog posts or tweets, is about storytelling.
A strategic marketing approach should be focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a specific audience and drive actions. It’s a long-term strategy that provides high-quality content to your customers that they can look forward to.
Delivering valuable content means you must know your customers. You need to know their pain points, their challenges and what they’re looking for from you. If your content doesn’t cater to the right person with the right problem that you can solve, it won’t be effective.
Fortunately, you have limitless options for content that’s effective for hotels. You can create branded magazines, webisodes and documentaries, promote a resort or spa hotel with a blog about healthy living or focus on business topics if your hotel regularly hosts meetings and conferences.
Once you’ve developed and fine-tuned your strategy, it’s time to monitor performance and make adjustments along the way to ensure the most effective campaigns possible. This involves tracking not only your campaigns themselves, but all aspects of your online presence that influence and inform your customers.
Social media is highly valuable to modern businesses. You can monitor nearly every aspect of your social media accounts, but there are four main areas you should focus on:
- Engagement: Engagement is the primary area that you should focus on with social media. It is the start for improving all of your other social media performance indicators. Engagement measures the number of likes, shares and comments that your social media activity receives. No matter how small your audience is, having engaged followers will expand your reach over time and generate more leads. On top of that, platforms like Facebook and Twitter use your social post engagement to determine how many other people will see your update.
- Reach: Reach indicates how far your message is traveling and how many people are actually seeing your posts. Measuring reach can be done with followers or fans, impressions and traffic data that shows how many people reached your website from social media.
- Leads: Though engagement and reach are important, leads determine if you’re getting the best ROI from your social media. You can measure lead generation on your social media accounts to determine which channel deserves more of your attention or if you need to change your content strategy to connect with your audience.
- Conversions: Your social media interactions should always be focused on providing value and increasing engagement for your customers, but you should still know how many of your prospective customers are actually coming to you to buy so that you can determine if your marketing efforts are successful. Take note of which social media channels produce the highest and lowest numbers to find out where your best leads are coming from.
The first page of search results receives the majority of all traffic, so you need to prioritize key components of SEO to be found by visitors. Here are the ways to ensure that your site has the best chance of staying at the top of the rankings:
- Plan keywords accordingly. Think about what travelers search for when planning their travel and booking hotels in the area, then use those keywords strategically in your content.
- Create a free business listing that includes all your hotel’s information in the fields and makes it easier for visitors to get the information they need. This may include your hotel’s address and phone number, geo-marker, photos, reviews and other relevant information.
- Promote high-quality content. Providing value not only increases your chance of converting visitors, but it also boosts your search engine rankings.
- Prioritize online reviews. Prospective customers feel more comfortable with positive reviews. To give your hotel credibility, you need to respond to as many reviews as possible, particularly the negative ones, to show that you care about your customers and their experience.
Video marketing is becoming popular in all industries, but it’s even more effective for something as visual as travel. It’s engaging, easy to digest and easy to share with others, not to mention that having videos boosts your search engine ranking.
Consider posting video tours of your hotel or creating inspirational videos about a destination or attractions. Like other content, video should still be focused on the story. Use strong messaging, emotional appeals or personalized stories to connect with your audience.
Customers value good service over anything else. The key to establishing an effective hotel digital marketing strategy is developing a strong relationship with your customers. Use your customers’ needs to inspire your marketing content and craft a solid marketing strategy to reap the rewards.
If you want to fine-tune your hotel digital marketing strategy and reach your customers, M16 Marketing can help. We have a top-notch team of web designers, digital marketing strategists, content creators and search engine optimization consultants that can help with every aspect of your marketing strategy. Contact us today to see what we can do for you!