While Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales have surged in popularity over the past decade, most hotels still need to set up separate campaigns for selling rooms, event tickets, and other ancillary spend throughout the holiday season.
NB: This is an article from Cendyn, one of our Expert Partners
Of course, from discounted rates to special inclusions, there are many ways that hoteliers can tempt potential guests and encourage them to book a stay. That said, there are extra steps hoteliers can take to maximize holiday bookings and make sure their marketing efforts hit the right notes and drive conversions.
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Keep reading to learn about our most effective quick wins to make the most of your holiday campaigns.
1. Generate buzz
The best holiday campaigns start long before the season officially begins. As all hoteliers and hospitality marketers know, the travel-planning journey can involve multiple steps across multiple touch points. To help increase conversions during the campaign, hoteliers need to take the time to define their audiences and create a series of unique holiday campaigns that speak directly to those audiences. It’s also important to start generating buzz through your website, social channels, and email subscription lists.
For example: add a promotional banner or tile on your hotel website — preferably on the home page. The promo can tease the campaign and let website visitors know that something special is coming.
Another example is creating an email with a call-to-action (CTA) sign-up button which promises to alert the user when the best holiday offers go live. You can also use an email-subscription pop-up when users arrive at the website or when they leave.
2. Create urgency
Creating a sense of urgency is a solid strategy for increasing conversions during a campaign. This is especially true for holiday sales as they only last for a limited period of time. Make sure to remind your website visitors that your special holiday events/rates/packages/etc. will not be available for much longer. A great way to do this is by using a countdown timer on your website home page or within your holiday emails, as well as including specific Must Book By dates on your digital marketing and paid social campaigns. Sometimes that extra urgency is all it takes to turn a looker into a booker.
3. Make it personal
When it comes to marketing, personalization is one of the strongest ways to maximize conversions. Guests have become accustomed to using platforms and websites that immediately recognize them – including their interests, spend, and preferences. Slightly changing your offer and promoting different inclusions to different audiences, such as complimentary parking for drive-in/in-state guests, welcome amenities for new visitors, or VIP experiences for loyalty guests, are all good examples. Personalizing the creative and offers on your website to address these groups directly will further help your offer stand out and drive more bookings as well as ancillary spend.
4. Don’t let them forget
During the holiday season, you are not just competing for attention with other hotels, you’re also competing with hundreds of other brands trying to convince consumers to Buy Now. While the goal is not to overwhelm your audience, it is important to find ways to stand out from the crowd (in a good way). Take advantage of this by utilizing pop-ups and promotions on your hotel website in addition to setting up dynamic retargeting campaigns. Remind users about your holiday specials/events at every step of the website experience, from first landing on the site to initiating a booking to navigating away.
5. Deck out your digital spaces
Don’t confine the holiday spirit to your physical location, but continue that messaging and imagery across your digital channels – from your Facebook page and Instagram stories to paid search ads on Google to the landing pages on your website. It can also help to create a central theme or tagline that encapsulates your take on the holiday season – as long as it accurately reflects your overall brand tone and style. That way, you have room to create unique content aimed for specific segments, while having it relate back to a larger theme for consistency across your assets and channels.