It gets hard to keep up with the ongoing trends and altering technological developments.
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
This is where we get to witness the basic economic process which is about increasing demand with the increasing technological developments. Especially when this demand is pent-up followed by a period of subdued spending.
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In the current situation, this can be held based on the COVID-19 pandemic. As expected, a lot of industries were affected by the lockdown, from both the consumers’ and the producer’s points of view. The hospitality industry is one of the affected industries, especially when the occupancy rates or the tourism percentage in a certain period is reduced.
And now that it’s safer for people to travel, many tourists are searching for destinations for their time away and the safest way to do so is to plan through online platforms, such as contactless forums. Their attention is caught by the reviews they read or influenced by what is shown on social media.
This challenges the hoteliers.
How do they attract more customers through digital marketing?
The certainty stays about how the travellers are highly influenced by social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Blogs etc… leading them to shop or book through their smartphones or any other devices. Therefore, with this fast and quick shift to digital platforms especially during the pandemic… hotel businesses are forced to adapt and approach their travellers through engrossing content available online.
Then the question arises about what does Digital Marketing mean in the hotel industry? And what are the right ways under this marketing strategy that can grab the attention of the travellers?
In simple terms, Digital marketing refers to all the kinds of activities or strategies you build, putting them online to reach all types of travellers. In this kind of strategy, the kind of content that is presented matters more than the amount of content that is presented.
Quality before Quantity, right?
With the right kind of content, your main goal as a hotel is to build an online presence to increase your occupancy rates.
It’s important to remember that before they are even aware that it exists, travellers should be able to find your hotel online.
Marketing is all about reaching the right kind of audience at the right time in the right location, the online forum for promoting your hotel to a variety of travellers is the best marketing strategy.
1. The official Website:
The main character of online marketing is a hotel’s official website, which is the face and complete outlook of a hotel. They are the foundation of the majority of distribution methods in terms of marketing since they are cost-effective and can reach millions of travellers each month.
To guarantee that users can use the site with ease, the booking engine and site design must be mobile-friendly and should have undergone extensive testing. Having just the interest of the active travellers may not be enough unless some strategies are developed to create extra income opportunities like an upgrade or add-on, with guest reviews and high featured photos.
2. The Online Travel Agents:
Online Travel Agents are the go-to options for millions of travellers, who can book via these OTA sites. These OTAs are the biggest sources to reach your target guests.
Even the largest hotel chains in the world, with their enormous marketing budgets, heavily rely on OTA partnerships to book rooms and boost revenue, especially during off-peak periods. Hoteliers frequently mention a desire to increase their proportion of direct bookings.
3. A Loyalty Factor:
Loyalty is one of the most important marketing strategies that is used to regain your past guests and introduce them to different offers and discounts, even assigning points, based on the frequencies of their visit, give them points online or different perks that keep up their excitement and curiosity.
It has been proved that maintaining relationships with current clients is five times more economical than finding new ones.
4. Visual creativity:
Sometimes it’s harder to believe the written reviews compared to videos that give more information about a hotel and the kind of experience it is offering. It’s the visual creativity that catches the audience’s eyes and sits in their memories.
Professionally filmed videos showcase your hotel’s design and functioning. To properly highlight your hotel’s interior as well as its amenities and employees to create anticipation, it is also a good idea to do a 360 virtual tour capturing the current environment of your hotel.
These videos can be uploaded on various social media platforms other than your official websites such as Instagram, Facebook and even a youtube channel…as you highlight your employees, bringing a sense of warmth into the video.
5. Using OTA marketing tools:
OTAs offer market information and tools for locating potential customers, obtaining and processing reservations, interacting with visitors, and monitoring reviews.
- SEO (Search Engine Optimization): Given that most online users don’t go past the first page of search results, it helps your website rank better in search engines like Google or Bing, which is vital for drawing direct visitors. Having a well-optimized website, employing targeted keywords in your website language, and creating relevant and interesting content for your site are all necessary for efficient SEO usage.
- Social Media: Social Media is a viable platform for posting content that targets digital travellers, especially those on the younger end of the scale. Information that is on social media sites like Instagram, where many travellers go to study vacation locations, can be a useful extra tool. Primarily through the Instagram reels or dance videos etc.
- Emails: Emailing can mostly connect with previous guests and is a platform used to build loyalty between travellers and hoteliers. Regular publishing of newsletters or promotions, new offers and discounts increase the rates of re-booking.
- Advertising: These are often seen on websites or while utilising an app. For instance, travel blogs and websites may have hotel advertisements. Advertising may be highly inventive and eye-catching due to the format’s relative flexibility it can also contain text, images, and/or videos. You might interact with visitors at various stages of their online experience by combining search advertisements and display ads in your campaign.
Along with understanding your guest expectations and needs, leveraging hotel digital marketing tactics needs to be at the top of your list of objectives in the digitised environment that we are surrounded with. It’s very well known that today’s tech-savvy travellers use the Internet to plan their trips or find ideas for their upcoming weekend getaways.
To connect with your visitors, it’s important to advance your brand and that must be conducted through research, compilations of guest profiles (including their interests, preferences, habits, and expectations), and the development of your unique selling proposition.