Sophisticated hotel digital marketing in 2019
Investing in digital marketing is not an option
Hotel marketing and advertising have evolved a lot since I started in 2008. In the past 10 years we have witnessed trends becoming paradigms, technology becoming common knowledge and online advertising which was once considered to be a risky investment by many old fashioned hoteliers is now a must. This article is about how hotel management teams should approach digital marketing and advertising in 2019, and possibly 2020.
Diversify digital advertising campaigns on your key channels
Which are Google Ads, Facebook & Instagram, and ideally TravelAds by Expedia to maximize OTA exposure. If you manage a 5-star resort or hotel with above $500 ADR then be prepared to spend around $1,000 on each channel, which is around $3,000-$4,000 monthly. Today we have a lot of excellent tools to get our message across and attract customers.
Google Ads offers search, banner and video ads with re-marketing features
Facebook ads also deliver to Instagram and offers video ads, carousel formats, slideshows and a lot more
Email marketing was never this simple, thanks to solutions like Campaign Monitor
Tell a story, sell the experience
Nobody cares about your room and excellent service any more. Your hotel has to be spotless, this is a must. What matters most is the story that surrounds your brand, as this story will make your hotel stand out. Craft a unique stay experience that starts at the time of the booking and builds on details like smooth check-in, warm welcome, genuine artwork and highly personalized service. Embrace the location and the surroundings of the hotel, make it a valuable part of the experience.
Develop and tell stories that guests can connect with, such as how celebrities stayed in the property, how the building played a part in history, or if it’s a new hotel then tell why it was created and how it is meant to stand out.
Master story telling and communication on your website
This is very important. Guests will check out your website even if they don’t book there. They want to see information that is not available on OTAs, to learn more about your brand, hotel features and services. These people arrive to your website with a great amount of curiosity, ready to intake whatever you want to tell them.
Don’t let these people down with disappointing content. Through imagery, videos and brief but well written content, you need to answer the following questions almost immediately:
What is this hotel all about?
What experience I will have there?
Why should I choose this?
Forget pricing gimmicks
The times of crazy discounting and other pricing tricks are gone. Most travelers see through these tricks and don’t appreciate such practices. It’s a better idea to maintain rate parity across all channels, offer a transparent pricing structure that reflects the value of what they pay for.
It is still a very good idea to offer exclusive value adds on the website, but avoid making it seem needy or cheap. Refrain from using anything like “best price”, “discount” or similar - focus on expressions that reflect class, exclusivity and insider offers that OTA and agency clients won’t have.