Tuesday, July 16, 2019

22 Foolproof Direct Booking Strategies To Implement In 2019

In the educational spirit of the recent Direct Booking Summit in Paris, we’ve asked our speakers, partners and Direct Booking Coaches to share their top actionable tips for improving your hotel’s short- and long-term direct booking strategies.

Read on to find out what actions you can include in your weekly, quarterly and yearly planning to drive more direct business.

In a week, you could…

  • Take a look at all of the guests that have stayed at your hotel in the last 30 days who booked with an OTA alias email address such as Booking.com or Expedia. Send out a win-back campaign to them. These email addresses are only valid for 30 days after the guest’s stay, so capturing them within that window is key…and can result in those guests sharing their real information with you, so you can later market to them. (Anisha Yadav, Senior Manager – Hospitality Marketing Strategist, Revinate)
  • Regularly monitor disparities on OTA websites and take action to fix them as soon as you can. Also, try using your CRM systems to promote the Best Rate Guarantee when your customers book direct! (Thibault Catala, Managing Director at Catala Consulting)
  • Audit your website and booking engine as if you were a guest making a booking. Make a checklist: Is your website content up to date? Is your booking engine working as expected? Are your forms collecting the right data? (Ben Dean, Direct Booking Coach at Triptease)
  • Monitor your rate disparities and fix them! Also, try substituting your Net rate contracts with dynamic rate contracts. (Pierre Charles Grob, CEO, D-EDGE Hospitality Solutions)
  • To immediately strengthen your metasearch game, update your My Business listing on Google with the most current information about your hotel. (Scott Stirling, Product Manager at Triptease)
  • Plan for the future. A week does not give you enough time to measure, implement or create a direct booking strategy. However, you can ensure your campaigns are set up for long-term success by making them always on and multi-channel. According to Sojern’s 2019 State of the Industry Report on Travel Advertising for Hotels, social advertising now takes up 29% of digital ad spend, and 56% of hotel marketers planning to increase their video spend on Facebook this year. It’s time to think beyond the banner ad. (Celine Chaussegros, Sojern’s General Manager of EMEA, Sojern)
  • Set up targeted social ads that feature user-generated content. By leveraging real, authentic content across your social ads, brands can drive more bookings in less time. (Stackla)

In a quarter, you could…

  • Launch a Book Direct campaign! Make it personalized. For example, you can include in it an exclusive discount or a value-add. Be sure to highlight it on different digital touchpoints across your website! (Emilia Zbar, Direct Booking Coach at Triptease)
  • Take the time to analyze last year’s most successful campaigns for the same quarter and double down on what worked well. Look at your upcoming “need dates” and “high demand dates”, to help narrow your research and adjust your upcoming marketing accordingly. (Anisha Yadav, Senior Manager – Hospitality Marketing Strategist, Revinate)
  • Get on Meta and start bidding – intelligently! Considering the quick evolution of Google’s products, this distribution channel’s importance will continue to grow. (Ben Dean, Direct Booking Coach at Triptease)
  • Optimize content that your hotel showcases directly on your website, including copy, images, quick search and price comparison. Implement strategies to be more visible online. For that, improve your SEO, retargeting and metasearch tactics. Finally, analyze and utilize your guest reviews online! (Pierre Charles Grob, CEO, D-EDGE Hospitality Solutions)
  • Activate your data. The top reason travel marketers use data is to target travelers with marketing messages based on travel intent and buying behavior. The most successful hotel marketers are using data-driven tools to better understand the traveler path to purchase based on first and third-party data, so they can reach potential customers with the right message at the right time. Marketers who master this strategy stand the best chance of reaching travelers with their message at exactly the right time. (Celine Chaussegros, Sojern’s General Manager of EMEA, Sojern)
  • Reduce the number of clicks from your homepage to conversion on Mobile. By removing just one step in a booking journey, some of our clients have achieved a 10% conversion rate increase in only one month! (Stephan Matute, Direct Booking Coach at Triptease)
  • Stop all your beneficial discounts on third-party websites so that your guest always has the best rates available direct. (Michiel Bogaert, Revenue and Distribution Manager at International Hotel Management Group)
  • Leverage your low-demand days. Which days are slowest at your property? Knowing the answer can help you understand which guest segment to target during these days and create deals on your website accordingly. (OAKY)

In a year, you could…

  • Make your booking engine and brand website mobile-ready. Also, run A/B testing on your website and optimise it based on the results of this test! (Thibault Catala, Managing Director at Catala Consulting)
  • Develop a robust ongoing parity management process with Triptease’s Parity Management or another tool that allows you to monitor and improve your parity online. (Ben Dean, Direct Booking Coach, Triptease)
  • Stay aware of trends in the industry. According to Sojern’s 2019 State of the Industry Report on Travel Advertising for Hotels, 48% of hotel marketers count keeping up with the fast-paced advertising and technology landscape as a key challenge. Today’s top players in the industry have the potential to disrupt the entire ecosystem, so it’s important for hoteliers to stay aware of trends that will strengthen direct booking strategies. For next year’s marketing strategy, consider adding new channels like connected TV, voice tech and instant messaging apps to the mix. (Celine Chaussegros, Sojern’s General Manager of EMEA, Sojern)
  • Make sure that your Google My Business listing is up to date and has all the correct info about your hotel! (Scott Stirling, Product Manager at Triptease)
  • Plan your email marketing strategy for the year ahead of time. In your marketing calendar, you want to include planned promotions, holidays, and upcoming citywides and convention dates. Make sure to give yourself deadlines on when to have promotions ready, you might need to have involvement from other teams so having clear follow-up dates for yourself will help the team effort. This can pay dividends throughout the year when you’re a step ahead of demand and easily able to pivot to meet any changing situations. To help hoteliers, we’ve put together an email marketing planner here. (Anisha Yadav, Senior Manager – Hospitality Marketing Strategist, Revinate)
  • Set up targeted social ads that feature user-generated content. By leveraging real, authentic content across your social ads, brands can drive more bookings in less time. (Stackla)
  • Analyze data from your PMS by sources and segments in order to look at the Net RevPar by channels and see how you can push them differently the following year. (Pierre Charles Grob, CEO, D-EDGE Hospitality Solutions)

To get more in-depth content from the Direct Booking Summit: EMEA, keep an eye on our Content Hub. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing articles and videos about the latest in Distribution, Marketing, Revenue and much more!

 


This post originally appeared on the Triptease website and is reproduced with their permission.

Triptease
Tripteasehttp://www.triptease.com/
Triptease is a SaaS company that builds digital tools that create better experiences and relationships between hotels and guests.

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