Hotels and third party travel websites have long since engaged in a tug of war when it comes to attracting online customers.
With consumers believing that the best deals are found on sites such as Hotels.com and LateRooms, independent hotels along with well-known chains are struggling to secure direct bookings through their own website, with 58% of all bookings originating from third party businesses.
Charging a 15-25% commission rate, third party sites significantly reduce revenue for those operating in the hotel industry. In an attempt to secure more direct bookings, some hotel chains have hit back over the last few years, initiating huge advertising campaigns to engage customers.
Last year, The Hilton launched their ‘stop clicking around campaign,’ which aimed to encourage consumers away from third party sites. They emphasised the benefits of booking through their website, promoting their loyalty programme and discounted rates.
It was their biggest marketing campaign in 97 years and The Hilton increased their direct web revenue by 27%. Tracking studies also predicted that 50% of UK travellers exposed to
the campaign went onto book a hotel room with the well-known chain.
While bigger hotel chains such as The Hilton are able to entice consumers to their website through costly advertising campaigns, many continue to struggle.
The hotel industry can reduce their reliance on third party sites by strengthening their approach to content marketing.
Costing 62% less than traditional advertising methods, such as SEO and PPC, content marketing generates three times as many leads and six times the conversion rate. Any hotel, whether it’s a chain or an independent can use content marketing to their advantage.
With the above in mind, we produced a free eBook which explores:
- Using your homepage to deliver a clear message
- Communicating effectively through website copy
- Producing content that adds value
- The effective use of content variety