How a Vanity Hotel Website Can Complement Your Marketing Efforts
Roughly two thirds of all hotels in the United States are chain affiliated. Being part of a chain offers many advantages to hotel owners; name recognition, access to established loyalty programs, more booking channels, and marketing resources. Not to mention, brands are typically able to negotiate lower commissions from OTAs.
But even with all these benefits at your disposal, there are still things you can do to drive more direct bookings for your hotel – initiatives which complement your brand’s efforts.
We’re talking about a vanity website, or standalone hotel website, independent from your listing on Brand.com. In this article, we examine why some travel shoppers’ book on Brand.com, why others prefer to book on a vanity site, and the benefits of leveraging both in your digital marketing strategy.
What’s In a Name?
A big advantage of being a branded property is having access to a loyal customer base. Customer acquisition may be the result of your brand’s attractive frequent guest program, a company mandate for business travel with a certain supplier, or someone may choose you simply based on personal preference influenced by large advertising budgets. Whatever the reason, brand devotees will likely navigate directly to their favorite chain’s website to book their hotel.
However, the vast majority of travel shoppers are brand agnostic.
According to Google’s 2014 Traveler’s Road to Decision study, only 16% of leisure travelers are certain which brand they will book with when planning a trip. 65% will consider multiple brands, and 20% are totally undecided. For business travelers, 28% are absolutely certain which brand they will book with, while 60% will consider multiple brands, and 12% are undecided.
Most hotel shoppers choose their accommodations based on value, which is a balance between price and anticipated experience. That means 2 things: