Guide For Digital Marketing For Hotels
More and more people are using hotel booking websites these days. Learn how to build a powerful online presence with the help of these digital marketing for hotels guide.
The hotel industry is one of the biggest industries that is making great use of digital marketing strategies for growth. Being in the service industry, it becomes extremely important for hotels to go that extra mile for customer satisfaction. Digital marketing for hotels is being utilized by many hotel chains that can afford to keep a team for digital engagement with the user, but if you are not a hotel chain, you can still leverage the power of the internet for promotion.
If you follow the steps given here for digital marketing for hotels, you can save a lot of money while doing marketing for your hotel. digital marketing is much cheaper than traditional marketing.
There are many ways a hotel can utilize principles of digital marketing to acquire customers. Hotels can have their website and also list their hotel on third-party aggregator websites. Aggregator websites are popular and the most common way most people book hotels. Digital marketing for hotels can reap great benefits too.
In recent years, the way people look for businesses has changed completely. Aggregator websites like Booking.com, makemytrip.com, and others are the first places people look for when they are searching for hotels in a new place.
Since online bookings have become a big portion of customer acquisition for hotels, it is important to improve the visibility of your hotel since all the hotels in the city would be listed on the website.
The hotels that do not take advantage of and optimize their booking process for online customers will lose almost half of their revenue.
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Digital marketing for hotels
It is possible to develop a detailed digital marketing strategy for your hotel without spending a fortune. With these strategies, your hotel can get higher visibility and also provide an added touch of quality customer service.
In this guide for digital marketing for hotels, you will get many tips, ideas, and techniques to leverage the power of the internet.
A big part of digital marketing for the hospitality and service sector is social media engagement. The various social media platforms for hotel marketing include Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
But social media is not all of it. You also need to have a powerful presence on the internet with websites, blogs, paid marketing, e-mail subscriptions, and other ways. This is important to drive growth and attract more guests to your hotel.
As a hotel owner, you can learn complete digital marketing from a professional digital marketing course. IIM SKILLS is a leading online institute for digital marketing that is preferred by industry professionals themselves.
These techniques will help your hotel develop a stronger brand so you can get more bookings and more repeat guests. This way your hotel can build a loyal customer base as a result of your impeccable service.
Importance of formulating strategies of digital marketing for hotels
Let us first talk about the customer acquisition process for hotels.
When a customer searches for a hotel, they search in one of these ways-organically on search engines, on aggregator websites, or by asking other people. Out of digital channels of customer acquisition, search engines and social media are one of the best ways where you can promote your hotel.
To increase the visibility of the hotel on these channels, there are various ways including search engine optimization, social media, and paid ads. Here are different ways of digital marketing for hotel promotion.
A hotel needs to be reachable online. This is why this point is the most important in a digital marketing strategy.
Even if your hotel offers the best service package and has the highest ratings, if the customers do not know about it, it’s useless.
Online presence is built with help from anything from a great website, a helpful blog, SEO, and listing on popular aggregator websites.
It is not enough to have a website with a few self-clicked pictures and the name and address of the hotel. Many factors make a great website.
The website should have information related to your hotel. It should have professionally taken photographs from every angle depicting every type of room, alleys, and also the surrounding area of the hotel.
It should have the complete address of the hotel and a map embedded so it is easier to find on Google maps.
You should list all amenities and necessary details that customers usually ask, like is there a pool, is there a restaurant, is there complimentary breakfast, or what are the checkout timings. It must also have reviews from previous customers.
The website must be designed by an SEO professional so it gets listed on search engines.
It is also important to integrate your hotel website with popular hotel booking websites like booking.com, makemytrip.com, Trivago, TripAdvisor, and ibibo.com. Because these are the websites where customers look for hotel deals.
Paid ads can be shown on search engines but it is also a great idea to promote your hotel on hotel booking websites. This increases visibility and also increases brand value.
There is a lot of competition on these hotel booking websites. All the hotels in your city or locality would possibly be listed there. There must be others who offer a good service and since the location is the same, there is not much difference for the customer.
So how do you stand out among other similar hotels?
Well, paid promotion is a good option for these hotel booking websites since most people who book hotels online come through these websites.
This way you can stand out among other similar hotels. This can massively increase your revenue especially when you are in an area that is filled with hotels.
More and more guests in hotels today are booking their rooms online. Hotels that are not taking advantage of these websites and do not have a listing there, are losing out and will keep increasing their loss over time.
Pay-per-click or PPC is another form of advertising commonly done on search engines and ad monetization networks, where a hotel pays only when a user clicks on the ad. Consequently, PPC gives a significantly higher rate of conversion compared to any other form of marketing.
The people who click on the ads through PPC are the ones who are already interested in your product. This increases the conversion ratio. The only thing that needs to be done is to design a great landing page.
With the right bidding strategy, PPC can also help you appear higher on the Google search results page than your rivals. No startup that expects to generate a big percentage of their sales online can afford to miss PPC advertising from the digital marketing for startups strategy.
There are many advantages of PPC advertising. Unlike SEO, there are no speculations in PPC. Results in PPC are also almost instantaneous.
Since the results are instantaneous, the PPC campaign can be monitored, analyzed, and manipulated to show results in real-time which is simply impossible in any other channel of marketing.
PPC also gives the startup many insights. The startup can find among which demographic their product is more successful and target them more.
The ads can be targeted based on specific demographics like location, age, browsing behavior, and many more. This can also help the startup know the market behavior which can be used over other channels.
Startups can also limit their ad spending of a day. With the creative use of the marketing budget, PPC can be done cost-effectively since PPC appears costlier than other marketing strategies owing to its many advantages.
Social media interaction
For any business in the hospitality or service sector, it is essential to have a social media presence. People always talk about their experiences, good or bad, on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
They use hashtags too, to let the hotel know they are mentioning it in their post. So even for the hotels, it is easy to find these posts.
Social media interaction is a very important part of the strategy of digital marketing for hotels. There are many ways to take advantage of social media.
The hotel could make a video tour of the full hotel and its amenities. This could be done professionally. The video could be uploaded on Youtube with proper SEO.
You can also use Facebook and Instagram to post beautiful professionally-clicked pictures of your hotel regularly. Make efficient use of hashtags while posting content.
You can also use paid social media ads to promote your hotel. You can show ads on Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram by creating campaigns with Facebook Ads. You can use this guide on how to use Facebook Ads.
You can also use Twitter ads with TweetDeck.
Video ads are the best way to create interesting content. The presence of audio makes video closer to reality, hence it is much more trusted than a photo ad.
A beautiful photo gets shared instantly too, so posting professionally clicked pictures is also a great idea. You can use different types of ads for different kinds of impact.
Another powerful way to promote your brand is to comment on the guests’ social media posts with a compliment. This makes the guests feel special as the comment is specially directed for them.
Only do this with the posts containing the hashtag of your hotel, since that guest is letting you know on purpose. It is not a good idea to stalk other people’s profiles.
If they have made a post that contains details of a negative experience, it becomes even more important to engage with that guest since these comments can damage your reputation, especially when the guest has a decent number of followers.
This is a threat to the brand image. Acknowledge their issues and handle whatever complaint they may have. Ask them to remove the comment after you deal with the issue.
Social media engagement for hotels is an effective way to build brand loyalty, improve brand perception, and helps you stand out.
The best social platforms the hotels specialize in visual content, ie. Facebook and Instagram. If you want to promote a deal for corporates, you can post your promotional content on LinkedIn.
You can hire social media managers who can post regular engaging photos and handle communication with guests. This is a great digital marketing tip for hotels. It is important to post regularly on social media to gain some visibility.
E-mail marketing is one of the most effective ways of digital marketing for hotels and should not be underestimated. E-mails can be specifically designed for different audiences.
They can be used to communicate before the arrival of the guest with various details regarding the booking. This e-mail can guide the guest on various amenities available at the hotel if they wish to use them.
Guests can also be mailed various promotional offers and deals after their stay. E-mails can also be used to send them greetings at festivals and inform them about offers during peak season.
A booking confirmation mail is a must so that the customer can have more knowledge about their booking and their package.
Many businesses consider e-mail marketing a waste of time and resources. They believe most of the mails go to the spam folder and most emails are not even opened by people.
But this is a myth. E-mail marketing gives the highest return on investment (ROI) out of all digital marketing methods. The ROI of e-mail subscriptions and newsletters is at least 3-4 times that of conventional marketing channels like TV and print.
Besides TV is not great media for marketing for small and medium-sized businesses that operate locally. And print is of no use for hotels as the people who see the ads would be the residents of that city itself.
This is why e-mail is a great marketing option for hotels.
However, e-mails should be written by an expert copywriter. It is important to optimize the various sections of the e-mail like the subject, structure, and writing style so the reader feels compelled to read them.
E-mail marketing can be done on a very low budget. All you need is an e-mail list. You may also need a writer that understands the marketing goals of the hotel and can write promotional content that aligns with those goals.
Some brands like Swiggy have done excellent work in e-mail marketing. They use cheeky humor to write engaging content that any user would find amusing and entertaining and would end up reading the whole mail. This serves the goal of their e-mail.
There are a few points to remember when writing a promotional e-mail:
- Formulate a catchy subject that arouses interest
- Do not use business jargon in your mail. Write for the target audience
- Implement good readability. Use short sentences and provide information in points.
- Provide benefit to the reader in some form. People hate being sold.
- Always optimize your e-mails for mobile browsing since it is likely that your mail will be read on a mobile device.
- You can use various tools to design and send your e-mail at regular intervals
Influencer marketing is a mechanism that a hotel can utilize when they want to generate higher interest in their brand.
Influencers are people who have built a huge follower base on various social media channels and as a result, have the power to influence the perception of their followers in many ways.
Influencer’s powers can be utilized to influence the buying behavior of their followers, and hotels can utilize this fact as part of their digital marketing strategy.
An influencer with a travel niche is trusted among their followers for travel advice. They have a good reputation owing to their experience and knowledge in the field.
There is another reason for the popularity and the power of influencers. This is because ads are everywhere today, and most people have become immune to the claims of any advertisement because people know it’s a promotion.
On the other hand, an influencer is answerable to their followers. If they give bad advice they will be reprimanded and may face backlash.
Hotels can use the power of social media influencers by paying them to post content related to their hotel.
You could invite an influencer and offer them a free stay for a few days in exchange for promotion on their handle.
You can also hire micro-influencers if your budget cannot support big influencers. This is a cheap but powerful way of marketing.
Hotels can have their blog and post content related to the travel and hospitality industry. They can post regular SEO content that users often search for and content that can be helpful and informative to them.
Hotels can also post articles about places to visit in their city and nearby places.
Blogging is important because it shows a deep knowledge of the industry and tourism in the city. You can post articles for the hyperlocal market that will be helpful for all tourists.
But writing any content will not be useful. You need to research topics or keywords related to your industry that are commonly searched. Various online digital marketing tools can be used for this like Ubersuggest, answerthepublic.com, and others.
The content also needs to be written according to the principles of SEO or Search Engine Optimization. This is to ensure your article appears in the search results when people enter a query related to your article.
Appearing the first few results is important for any article because 75% of users click on the first three articles on ta search engine results page. Less than 2% of users ever visit page 2 of search results.
If people cannot see your article, what is the point of writing it?
Just writing the article is not sufficient, articles also need backlinks to rank. An SEO professional can work perfectly to satisfy all the requirements of a blog and make the best use of a blog for digital marketing for your hotel.
Once people reach your website, you can promote your hotel to stay in case they are visiting with promo offers and deals.
Blog articles are a cheap way of getting people to visit your website. There is no advertisement involved so the lead generation is almost free of cost. This is a great organic way of customer acquisition.
Chatbots can be commonly found today on almost all websites in the service industry. They provide customers a quick way to find answers by inquiring.
This increases the engagement of the hotel with the user and also helps in the improvement of the reputation.
They also help in communication and since any service industry is all bout customer satisfaction, effective communication that solves every problem of the customer and puts them at ease will forever be a reason for the development of new and improved techniques for customer service.
- Chatbots can be easily used to guide users to make a booking.
- They can be made to work 24X7.
- They can answer common queries of the users
- They can help connect the customer to an actual customer service agent
Summary of digital marketing for hotels
Digital marketing for hotels fits perfectly within their needs and requirements. Hotels that have only a few branches, commonly in one city, find it difficult to compete with the huge marketing budgets of the large hotel chains.
Digital marketing fits in the budget of hotels.
- It is cost-effective
- It has a high return on investment
- It can be creative
- It can be done with a small team
- It helps tap the expanding online booking market
As more and more people use the internet and hotel booking sites like MakeMyTrip, TripAdvisor, Trivago, and others to find and book hotels, every hotel needs to have a presence on these websites and stand out among other hotels.
Every second person in India now has a smartphone. They are increasingly becoming tech-savvy.
Smartphones are already being used for many activities like shopping, banking, learning, entertainment, etc. that were not thought possible a decade ago.
Hotels should be proactive and make the right move now by building an effective online presence with the help of these digital marketing techniques for hotels.
For more information, visit our digital marketing blog.