Hotels play a crucial role in our lives, providing short breaks in our day to day schedules where we can reconnect with nature or indulge in a luxury experience. But aside from giving us a place to rest our heads, the hospitality industry is undergoing a digital transformation that is changing the way we experience travel and leisure.
According to Mordor Intelligence, a travel and leisure intelligence company, 88% of travellers consider travel reviews and other online content when choosing where to stay. Moreover, 69% use online directories when researching hotels. Thus, if your hotel isn’t offering the best online experience, you’re losing out on a lot of business.
Why Are Holiday Hectics On The Rise?
People are gradually shifting towards enjoying life to the fullest and longer holidays are becoming a necessity as more people work remotely. In fact, 64% of people said that they’d rather work remotely over a long winter break, the happiest week of the year.
This is also driving the demand for longer holidays at work. In a recent study, one in five workers said that they’d rather work remotely for a few days than go on holiday with their company.
Businesses that provide flexible working options and allow employees to work remotely thrive in this environment. In the long term, this trend is likely to continue and even accelerate as more people realise the benefits of working remotely.
How Can Hotels Improve Their Online Marketing?
To stay ahead of the competition, hotels must constantly evolve to ensure that they’re providing the right experience for their customers. In the travel sector, this is known as ‘digital transformation’.
As noted, 88% of travellers consider online reviews and other content when choosing their hotels, so an obvious place to focus is on creating good experiences for website visitors.
To optimise their website’s digital experience, hotels should consider moving away from heavy reliance on keywords to ensuring that their content is engaging and useful to their target audience.
According to HubSpot Blogs’ analysistime domain research, 62% of people leave a website without making a purchase or taking any action. This number reduces to 28% for websites that are optimised for mobile phones.
This suggests that businesses should focus on creating useful content that is engaging to their target audience, whether they’re potential customers or those who they want to encourage to come back for more.
Creating an Engaging Online Presence
To attract more customers, hotels can incorporate several digital marketing tactics, from SEO and content creation to email marketing and social media marketing.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of improving the ranking of a website or blog in search results for keywords or phrases related to the content on the site. Websites that are well-optimised for search engines such as Google and Bing will display up top in search results, influencing potential customers to click-through.
Optimising your website for SEO means using the right keywords in your copy, ensuring that your HTML is valid and using structured data tags – namely, , , and – throughout your content. Doing this ensures that your content is recognised and displayed by the search engine in an appealing way.
To see how SEO can help your hotel’s bottom line, check out this easy-to-follow guide to boosting hotel revenues using SEO.
Building a brand and attracting customers is the key to hotel success in today’s world. A 2017 MarketingCharts study found that 38% of consumers research online content before making a purchase, while 28% use social media to learn about brands.
Hotels that understand the content marketing value proposition and can create compelling stories will flourish in this space. They’ll need to have a consistent voice across all forms of content – whether that’s on the web, social media or even in blog posts – to ensure that they’re engaging with their target audience.
A 2017 HOTELS Email Marketing Benchmark Report found that email marketing is still one of the most effective digital marketing platforms. Many hotels, especially larger chains, have turned to email marketing to grow their business, with 40% using the platform to gain marketing insight and 53% using it to disseminate product offers.
Hotels should establish a clear rationale behind their email campaigns, ensuring that each email is relevant to the recipient and that the content is compelling.
According to HubSpot Blogs’ analysistime domain research, 47% of people leave an email without taking any action, so it’s essential that hotels keep their customers engaged with relevant content and offers. This is also a platform that hotels can use to cross-promote their other platforms (e.g., social media or their websites).
Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the most important tools for any business these days, and hotels should be doing their best to take advantage of this fact. However, many hotels get the balance between marketing on social media and other platforms wrong, putting all their eggs in one basket.
Instead, they should be using all their digital tools and platforms to keep in touch with their customers and potential new customers, as well as engage with influencers and other famous people, journalists, and other organizations.
Hotels should never forget about their own websites and blogs. An engaging website is a critical part of any digital marketing strategy, and the perfect place to disseminate valuable content.
To truly engage with potential customers, hotels must ensure that their content is interesting, well-written and regularly updated. They should be using the web to tell a story and create a memorable impression that will draw customers in and keep them coming back for more.
In addition to creating a website, hotels should also be considering other forms of content, such as blogs, infographics, and short-form videos, as part of their digital strategy. These should all be designed to engage with potential customers and create a lasting impression.
According to Unica’s Global Digital Marketing Survey, mobile marketing is likely to grow 41% year from 2018 to 2025. Hotels must take advantage of this trend and ensure that their content is mobile-friendly. In this day and age, people are using their smartphones to research hotels, and if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing out on a lot of potential customers.
To stay on top of the competition, mobile marketing is an important tool for hotels. However, many brands simply copy and paste their website’s content into a mobile-friendly format, without considering the finer details of creating a great user experience on small screens.
To ensure that your content looks great on all screens, you need to have a mobile-friendly layout with large images, easy-to-follow menus, and text that is rendered optimally. Additionally, you need to be using responsive web design, which allows the content to scale and fit any screen.
Keeping guests engaged and offering them a memorable experience is the best way to ensure that they’ll recommend your hotel to their friends and family. By being consistent across all your digital platforms and channels, you can make sure that all your content is ‘brand safe’ and offers the best user experience.