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Typical Hotel Marketing Mistakes in 2023

In the past few weeks I had more than usual online meetings with potential clients from the hotel industry. I was really sad to see that most of them did not even get the basics right. In this writeup I’ll summarize what’s the deal and share some simple advice that anyone can follow.

The Basics of Hotel Digital Marketing

We’re in the throes of 2023, digital marketing for hotels has been around for a cool 15 years or so, and yet, some hoteliers are still missing the mark. And not just by a bit, but a country mile. The crux of digital marketing is straightforward: attract your target guests with ads that make your hotel shine, and convert the interest directly on your website, phone or through email. Not exactly rocket science.

Web Navigation: More Like a Frustration Than a Journey

However, you’d be surprised at how many independently-owned hotels are boasting websites that make you feel like you’re lost in a corn maze rather than a smooth, guided journey with great information flow. Navigating the booking engine and pricing structure feels like trying to decode hieroglyphics, and finding special offers requires you to fill out a signup form that looks like it’s straight out of the Y2K bug era. It’s a wonder any bookings happen at all.

Photography & Content: The Two Horsemen of Poor Presentation

Next on the list are the twin demons of bad photography and dismal content. Imagine trying to promote a prime steak with a blurry, unappetizing photo, or luring in guests with a hotel description that’s as compelling as reading a phone directory.

Sometimes, hotels make the colossal mistake of trying to sound so posh that their content ends up reading like a James Joyce novel. This is particularly counterproductive when major segments of your audience aren’t native English speakers. However, even for those fluent in English, over-the-top content comes off as pretentious and just downright annoying to read.

Ads Strategy: Shooting in the Dark

Now, let’s talk about the ads. We’ve all seen them – hotels seemingly taking a shot in the dark with their advertising strategy, with Facebook posts boosted without proper targeting or Google Ads campaigns being run with broad, often irrelevant keywords. The result? A budget drain faster than a sinkhole, with no substantial returns.

That said, poor campaign performance isn’t solely down to bad ad management. Market trends, pricing issues, recent bad reviews – all of these can act like secret assassins, killing your efforts from the shadows.

Getting it Right

So there you have it. A few of the most common digital marketing mistakes hoteliers continue to make in 2023. But here’s the point – digital marketing isn’t a complex challenge to crack. With reasonable thought and efforts, as well as resources put into digital marketing go a long way. Even if your team is not proficient, it’s possible to achieve and maintain great results by taking the initiative to improve.

To the hoteliers out there, take these mistakes as lessons. Understand the importance of user-friendly websites, good presentation, appropriate content, and strategic advertising. That’s all what you need to have a great digital marketing setup.

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