With its promised flurry of shiny new software, apps, and marketing platforms, 2016 is already an exciting year. Hotel industry giants with big budgets have already gotten a head start on the rest of us, which allows us to see the technology in action and to review their ROI.
Here are some of the trends already making an impact on hotel marketing:
Some hoteliers might dismiss VR as a fad that will run its course with tech geeks. But its foray into the mainstream market is just getting started. The hugely hyped Oculus Rift, Samsung’s Gear VR (powered by Oculus), HTC Vive, and other VR devices will bring to the marketplace an entirely innovative medium of online advertising, and will be able to integrate to video channels, popular social media platforms, and even messaging platforms. Marriott has taken advantage of this technology in several of its hotels by testing the first in-room 4D virtual reality travel experience. “VRoomService” allowing a guest to “visit” destinations such as Chile, Rawanda, and Beijing through what they call “V Postcards”.
Video marketing, and even live video streaming via channels like Periscope, is already a hot trend that will continue to be even more so. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then videos are worth a million. On websites, videos translate to lower bounce rates, greater engagement, and can showcase your hotel in multiple scenarios. Social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube, already offer effective video advertising, and in a move that promises to be a game-changer, Google is looking into incorporating video ads in search results. Video marketing can tell a story that resonates and allows for more out-of-the-box, immersive engagement, beyond the “look how amazing our rooms/grounds/location are” are scenario. For instance, you might promote your restaurant by showing your chef creating his signature dish or the arrival experience from a guest’s POV.
Influencer marketing is the strategy of inviting bloggers, vloggers, Instagrammers, and podcasters with a massive and dedicated social media following to promote your hotel.