SEO or advertising? Influencer marketing or MetaSearch Engines.
NB: This is an article from Direct Your Bookings
Or again, a new booking engine as opposed to an Attribute-based selling system, a better reporting tool, or email automation. You see, Sales is Sales; Revenue management is Revenue management; Housekeeping is Housekeeping… but what if I ask: “what is Marketing?”
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Because when it comes to defining marketing, here situation becomes way more difficult, especially in the hotel industry, because whilst on one side we share marketing disciplines with other business sectors, on the other side the industry implies something that is actually quite unique and quite more complex, if you think about, for example, MetaSearch Engines or even Hotel Distribution.
And so, previously I asked the question: “if you’re giving a certain budget, let’s say 10,000 – 50,000 – 100,000 $€£, how do you spend it? How do you decide where to allocate this budget?”
You see how the situation may become a little bit difficult. You can decide to do some advertising on Google as opposed to Facebook, or both of them.
You may decide to create a very structured and solid SEO plan as opposed to run very effective MetaSearch engine activities and campaigns.
Or maybe you simply decide to do everything. But, of course ,the more you want to do, the more budget you’re going to need.
Or maybe again, you just don’t do anything simply because you can’t decide. Eventually you just look around in an attempt to see what other fellow hoteliers do and just try to copy them.
Because ultimately this is our nature, human nature: we like doing things that other people do, especially when we don’t know what to do otherwise.
And so, whilst we talked about all the different opportunities, but also the scams that we should be aware of, today let’s go through the different types of marketing, the different marketing disciplines.
It’s like a menu with a list of dishes and you have to decide which one you want. But of course you cannot take everything, unless you have millions of dollars to spend in your marketing activities.
And for each and every of these marketing disciplines, let’s see together some of the most important pros and some of the most important cons, in order to decide how to allocate your marketing budget.
These are more coming up, so let’s dig in.
#1 SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
Probably the most known discipline, the one that everyone knows, even though typically we just refer to SEO as just one discipline, deep down we have so many other sub-disciplines that can be kind of summarized with “Technical SEO” and then “Content SEO”.
Besides, SEO is the slowest yet most solid marketing activity that you can invest your money on.
And so the main pro is that SEO itself, as a marketing discipline, is free. Ranking number one on Google is not necessarily something that you have to pay for.
And the second thing is that following the best SEO practices and techniques, it means that you are an authority in your respective target or market.
In other words, you are the authority, the go-to hotel for those search terms that you want to rank for.
The cons: of course, we said before, it’s very slow, and thus if you are in the need of immediate results, well… Probably SEO is not probably the best option you have. The second drawback is that SEO can be very competitive for the very reason that we said before: it’s free and it’s the most solid marketing activity that you could adopt.
And last but not least, there are no guaranteed results. No one can say whether it will take six months, one month, one year to position and rank for certain keywords on Google, organically.
And no one knows what Google tomorrow morning in one month, in one year will change again in the algorithm that will define how websites rank in their SERP.