As for most industries, it’s important for the Hotel industry to adapt to the digital age in order to remain successful, especially with the expansion of people searching for the best hotel deals online. To remain competitive means constantly being up to date with the latest digital marketing trends.
That’s why we have come up with what we found were the most important digital marketing trends for the Hotel Industry and how it can help your business.
1. Maximise local SEO
Local SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) helps the person searching for something online find relevant, local results. For example, if you own a hotel in Bournemouth and someone searches for ‘Hotels in Bournemouth’ your hotel will be easier to find. To maximise your customer base, you need to find a way to get to the top of the rankings.
Maximising your Local SEO will make your hotel more visible to potential guests, giving you more brand awareness. Examples of local SEO opportunities for the Hotel industry includes using Google My Business, Yelp, and TripAdvisor. Also, large OTAs (online travel agents) like booking.com can help with local SEO opportunities.
It’s worth keeping in mind that SEO takes time, and remaining amongst the top results on the first page of Google at all times requires skills and constant investment. To help this, you may want to consider investing in paid search.
2. Have a mobile-friendly website
Creating a mobile-friendly website is a necessity for growth in the Hotel industry. With more and more people using their mobile phones to initially search several different hotels at once and book their hotel stays online, the importance of an accessible website via mobile is clear.
According to ABTA’s Holiday Habits report 2017, Bookings on mobile devices have leaped from 13% to 20% in the space of 12 months, whilst PC bookings had fallen from 92% to 85%.
You want your website to be available to as many users as possible to increase potential bookings, regardless of the device they are using. Not only should your website be accessible by all devices, but the quality of the website on all devices should be the same. This prevents any of the users avoiding booking a stay at your hotel because the site isn’t of great quality.
(Related content: Why Is It Important That Your Website Is Mobile-friendly?)
3. Create more content
Content marketing is an important part of your hotel’s marketing strategy. Content marketing is the creation and sharing of online material such as videos, blogs, and social media posts that do not promote your brand directly but is purposely intended to stimulate interest in your products/services (in your case your hotel).
For example, you own a hotel in Bournemouth, you could write a great piece of content about sightseeing in Bournemouth, and although sightseeing isn’t what you offer your potential guests it could persuade them to visit Bournemouth staying at your hotel. To make your content even more effective you should include CTAs (call to action) such as ‘book now’.
4. Be present on social media (organic & paid)
With 42 million active social media users in the UK in 2017 (according to Statista), being present on social media is vital for the Hotel industry. By putting a strong social media strategy in place, this can help you build engagement with existing and potential guests, create brand awareness, and it lets you target new audiences.
There are many different social media channels varying from Facebook, to Twitter, to Snapchat, and more. You don’t need to be on all channels, but having a few varied options are advantageous.
Monitoring and responding to feedback from guests is a crucial part of your social media strategy, whether it’s positive or negative feedback. By being present online, it makes it easier to discover feedback and in turn, you can respond in a professional and timely manner.
One point to keep in mind, your competitors are very likely already on social media, and to stay a step ahead and get noticed amongst the “noise” you may want to invest in paid social ads to make sure that your offer is pushed to the right audience at the right time.
5. Use video in your marketing strategy
When it comes to advertising your hotel, customers want to see what they will truly be experiencing. Images have always been a good way to display your hotel’s rooms and facilities, but a more effective way to give your customers a visual representation of your hotel in its truest form is by using video.
According to Worldhotels, 80% of internet users prefer to watch a video than to read the same content in text. Moreover, videos encourage social media shares, in fact, 76% of social media users would share a video if it was entertaining.
Seeing your hotel in a video will give potential guests more confidence to book a stay at your hotel and there are a few great tools to share this asset with your audience: Rich SMS, Social Media etc.
Ready to transform your digital marketing strategy?
We hope this article gives you more insight into the current marketing trends for the Hotel industry and some food for thought to adapt these trends into your own digital marketing strategy.
Starting with an audit is a great first step to adapting to these digital marketing trends, find out Why Running A Digital Audit Is The Best Decision You Will Make This Year.