Nowadays, most people are equipped with a laptop, a smartphone and/or a tablet during their travels. In addition to word of mouth and popular hotel search engines, one of the most common ways for travelers to find a hotel is through a simple Google or social media search. For this reason, it is crucial that hotels pay attention to their digital marketing strategy to make sure they don’t miss out on potential guests.
What are the most important marketing tactics for hotels?
For many business owners, the « online marketing puzzle » can be overwhelming, but combine it with the work involved in running a hotel and it can be very difficult. Here are the key online marketing tactics that all hotel owners should implement for their business.
1/ Get more feedback
Most travellers do a little research on their destination before deciding to book a hotel and go there. There is no better source of current tourist information than a hotel in the destination of your choice. The problem is that most hotels don’t share all their wisdom online. Keeping an active blog with tips and things to do in your area can be a great way to generate more traffic and potential customers to a hotel website. It is also useful to gain the trust of travelers if your information is useful!
2/ Local referencing
When someone types a search query such as ‘hotel Paris’, the Google program is used to display results in the area. What most hotels don’t know is that these local profiles can be optimized to influence Google’s algorithm and appear at the top of the search rankings.
Whether we like it or not, your presence on social networks is essential. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are just a few tools that can help give your hotel a positive image to encourage visitors and reconnect with former guests to ensure that if they come back it will be at your hotel!
4 reasons why digital marketing is crucial for hotels
1/ Travellers are often online
Over the past decade, the way travellers interact with the Internet and technology during travel has changed dramatically. In the early 2000s, the most common way to connect to the Internet was to visit an Internet cafe or use an available computer in a hotel. For today’s travellers, those days are over, as almost everyone travels with a device that connects to WIFI or directly to 4G. Whether it’s a tablet, phone or laptop, travelers spend a lot of time on the Internet to share experiences, communicate with loved ones and research their travels.
2/ Travellers use the Internet to find things to do
Changes in technology for travellers have also changed the way they get information about where to go and what to do during their trip. Half a decade ago, it was common to see travellers walking around with their large travel guides to find a source of information on what to do. Today, most travellers find it much more convenient to simply use the Internet to research what to do because they have access to a variety of information and do not need to carry a book.
3/ Travellers trust local information
The good thing about using the Internet instead of guidebooks is that travellers can choose from a variety of sources to determine what they want to do. This provides more opportunities for small travel companies to capture a portion of the travel information market, especially if they provide more localized information.
Most travellers much prefer « local information » from the people who actually live in the place and have the most up-to-date information on what to do. When arriving at the hotel, asking staff what to do is often the first thing a traveller does and they have great respect for this local perspective.
If a hotel takes the time to execute an online marketing strategy that conveys this local information on its website before a visitor arrives, it has a much better chance of getting a new guest. In addition, by simply providing relevant travel information about their city, hotels have the opportunity to reach a much wider audience online. If someone researches for a trip and ends up finding the information they need on a hotel blog, chances are they will look at that accommodation to see if they would like to stay there.
4/ Travellers use the Internet to get an idea of their accommodation first.
In the same way that a shop window gives a feeling to a potential buyer or a book cover gives an impression to a potential reader, a website does the same for a hotel. If your website is well designed to provide a positive user experience and provides the visitor with useful travel information to gain their trust, chances are that a potential customer will already have a good impression of your hotel before they even set foot in it.
People spend a lot of money to travel around the world and a hotel experience can often make them gain or lose the pleasure of their trip. Using a solid website and digital marketing strategy to ensure that visitors get excited about your hotel and the city they are about to visit is a crucial first step to ensure that they can enjoy their adventure.