Today, information is available anywhere and at any time! As a result, the modern-day traveler is well-informed and in control of their travel plans. They know exactly what they need and where to find it.
As a hotel owner, your digital marketing plans must focus on promoting your property where your potential customers are. However, the internet is a vast place. So, how will your clients find you?
I’ll show you bullet-proof digital marketing tactics you can use!
What is hotel digital marketing?
First things first! Do you know what digital marketing for hotels is?
Basically, it refers to all tools you use to promote your hotel on the internet. The goal is to build a reputation online and become a recognizable hotel brand. You’ll be closer to your customers and potential guests. From posting on social media to contacting your guests via email, the options are endless.
Why should you promote your hotel online?
An effective digital marketing approach will help you eclipse your competition, making it easier for your guests to find you online and book a room!
Key hotel digital marketing strategies
In such a vast world as the internet, how will you know where to promote your hotel? Or what’s the best strategy to reach your ideal customer?
In hospitality marketing (as in life), climbing a mountain only seems impossible until you take the first step!
1. Register your hotel on Google
Google is the number one search engine worldwide. It’s the primary source of information on any topic. And it’s also where most travelers search for their next destination. So, it’s paramount that you use Google My Business and Google Hotel Ads.
How does it work?
Google My Business lists your hotel on search engine page results, similar to a digital business card. When searching for your hotel online, your guests will see your hotel name, contacts, location on Google Maps, online reviews, and services available.
This strategy will help you gain more visibility and organic traffic. Besides, your guests will easily find your contacts and address. Booking a room or contacting your hotel has never been so simple!
The best part? Google My Business is free to use!
On the other hand, Google Hotel Ads allows potential clients to see and compare room rates and availability online when looking for your hotel.
When they decide to book, Google Hotel Ads will display a direct link to your website. It’s a great way to increase revenue and not pay a commission to OTAs.
2. Build your hotel website
It’s the best strategy to present your hotel online! It’s your digital home. And where you show potential guests all your hotel has to offer! Besides, your website is the perfect tool to increase revenue through direct hotel bookings.
Here’s a few digital marketing tips you must have in mind!
Smartphones are the most used device when browsing the web. In fact, it’s where people spend most of their time online. So, to reach your target audience, the user experience must be your priority.
When searching for their next destination, travelers prefer user-friendly websites where it’s easier to navigate and find clear information. If your website displays information in such small letters that you’ll need a magnifying glass, then potential guests will look elsewhere!
Use content marketing
Travelers are looking for the ultimate experience! With so many hotels to choose from, why book yours?
A well-defined content strategy will help you present your hotel differently. Build a hotel blog to promote your location and services. It’s a fantastic opportunity to show landmarks and activities close by.
How to take advantage of content marketing?
– Interview the hotel staff about their role in the guest experience;
– Create video content on local landmarks;
– Offer high-quality content about local culture;
– Write about what’s new at your hotel;
– Remind your guests about upcoming events.
Regardless of the type of content you choose, remember to prompt potential guests to book a room.
Call your guests to action
Your website is up and running. And your blog is ready to educate potential guests about your location. But, there’s one thing missing…
What’s worth having a mobile-friendly website if your guests can’t book directly?
Encourage them to start the booking process using several call-to-action opportunities. Yet, you must be careful not to overdo it. Otherwise, they will be put off by your pushiness.
Additionally, use a built-in booking engine. It’s a great way to convert! As a hotel marketer, it’s your chance to increase revenue, rely less on third-party channels, and provide real-time availability.
3. Invest in SEO
For travelers to see your website, search engines must find it first! And to do so, you must use search engine optimization, or SEO, the cornerstone of digital marketing!
The impact of SEO is staggering! It helps your hotel build a solid online presence, gain visibility and increase organic traffic. How? It will make your website rank first on the search engine results page.
So, how can you use SEO to your advantage?
Analyze website data
Google Search Console (GSC) is a powerful tool that helps you analyze the website’s performance. How powerful? It allows you to gather precise information on your guests’ behavior and how they navigate your website.
What data can you retrieve from GSC?
- Your hotel website’s average position to a query;
- Which is the click-through rate;
- Identify your high-ranking pages;
- Compare your website performance on mobile devices and desktops;
- Check which websites link to you.
There’s much more in-depth information you can collect from GSC. Yet, these are a good starting point to plan your digital hotel marketing strategies!
Do you know what words your guests use online when searching your hotel? If you don’t, then you’re missing out!
Keywords represent travelers’ intention when looking for your hotel online. When you analyze which keywords they use, you can build a strategy focused on solving their needs.
How to use keywords to optimize your website?
- Target long-tail keywords;
- Keywords should naturally fit your high-quality content;
- Avoid keyword stuffing. It sounds robotic. People and search engines don’t like it!
These strategies will help search engine crawlers find your website. As a result, you’ll rank higher when travelers search for their next trip!
Optimize On-page and off-page SEO
Optimizing your on-page SEO means you’ll present information that search engines will easily find. Use target keywords in titles, headings, descriptions and content. It will help your rank on the top results page!
On the other hand, off-page SEO helps you build your website’s authority. How? Through backlinking!
As a hotel marketer, use this strategy to have high authority websites in the hospitality industry pointing to your hotel website. The reward: search engines will see you as a reliable source and rank you higher!
How to build a backlinking strategy?
- Post relevant content that’s valuable to your guests;
- Partner with travel bloggers to share engaging content on your hotel;
- Publish articles about your hotel on high-authority hotel industry blogs;
Once you’ve optimized your off-page SEO, monitor your backlinking strategy performance. If there’s a broken link pointing to your website, your ranking position might drop.
Improve your website’s loading speed
No matter how good your hotel’s digital marketing campaign is, a slow website will undermine all your marketing efforts.
Potential guests know there are other hotels around the corner and won’t wait for your website to load. As a result, they will leave before completing the booking process. Additionally, search engines will notice your website’s loading speed and penalize your ranking position.
4. Social Media
Social media is a must-have in hotel digital marketing. Social media content helps you reach your guests, build brand awareness, and get more direct bookings.
Why is social media critical to hotel marketers?
Online users spend one-third of their time on mobile devices. Moreover, almost every online user is active on social media! Thus, if you’re not promoting your hotel on social media, you’ll be missing on fantastic opportunities.
However, before posting on every platform, you must choose one that suits your digital marketing goals.
As a hotel marketer, Facebook is the perfect digital marketing tool to build a meaningful relationship with your guests. Besides engaging with customers, you can build a Facebook group to present your latest special offers, hotel trivia, and positive reviews. Additionally, use Facebook Ads in your remarketing campaign. It’s the perfect tool to improve your conversion rate!
It’s the most popular social media platform among younger generations. In fact, 71% of its users are millennials. Why should you remember this number? Millennials travel more than the previous generations and make up the grander portion of current travelers.
So, sign your hotel up on an Instagram business account and show off your hotel’s best features! Post stories and reels to show what’s new. Engage with followers through polls and surveys. Build a give-away campaign to find new followers! The options are endless!
Moreover, your potential guests find inspiration on travel related content! So, why not use influencer marketing to promote your hotel? Influencers’ followers might become your new guests!
If you’re looking to promote your hotel to corporate markets, LinkedIn is the platform you need! LinkedIn users are professionals looking for relevant information for their businesses. So, you must target B2C clients. How? Post engaging content highlighting your conference rooms, company retreat services, or team-building facilities to event professionals.
5. Email marketing
It’s one of the oldest techniques in digital marketing! And the one most hotel marketers prefer!
Studies show email marketing offers a staggering ROI of 36$ per each 1$ spent! It’s the most cost-effective strategy! Yet, there are other benefits in using email marketing.
- Email users are everywhere;
- It’s less intrusive than a phone call;
- Helps you build brand awareness;
- Allows personalization and automation;
- And it’s the fastest way to communicate with your guests;
- It’s a great tool to promote customer retention.
Yet, to successfully build an email marketing campaign, you must follow a few steps.
Build a contact list
It’s the first stage of every email marketing campaign!
Ask your guests to fill out a contact form upon arrival at the hotel. As an alternative, use your optimized website to encourage potential guests to subscribe to your newsletters.
Regardless of the method you choose, guarantee you have your guests’ permission to send them promotional content. You don’t want to be labeled as a spammer!
Personalize your emails
Once your contact list is ready, segment your email audience, build specific landing pages and send them personalized offers. Depending on your digital marketing goals, you can develop an email marketing strategy focused on family vacationers, corporate travelers, or backpackers.
Reach your guests on the right moment
Email marketing and customer journey mapping are the perfect combo! Together, these strategies will sky-rocket your chances to convert!
Once you’ve identified your guests’ needs during each stage of their customer journey, you can guide them through the email funnel.
I’ll give you an example.
Joe is an old guest that subscribed to your newsletter a while ago. He read your latest email and visited the personalized landing page but hesitated in booking a room.
You can help Joe decide! Provide further information on your customer service. Let him know how your hotel has changed since his last visit! Offering a special discount, VIP amenities, or a late check-out might help Joe decide.
Send follow-up emails
A few days after your guests’ check-out, send them a satisfaction survey and thank them for choosing your hotel. They’ll feel appreciated and you’ll collect precious data on how to improve your customer service.
Use email marketing to build an online presence
You can’t optimize emails to achieve the highest rankings on Google. However, you can use this strategy to generate organic traffic.
Ask your guests to visit your website, follow your hotel’s social media pages or leave positive reviews on Tripadvisor. It will help you bring in new visitors and build a reputation!
How can you take your email marketing campaign to the next level? GuestJoy helps you find your guests wherever they are through email marketing. Segment your target audience, use customizable templates, and send them personalized information that will help you convert!
Whether you’re running a small B&B or an international hotel chain, hotel digital marketing will help you promote your property worldwide. Besides, it offers you a varied selection of methods and strategies that you can tailor to your hotel business needs.
One of those tools is GuestJoy! Alongside email marketing, GuestJoy software helps boost your reputation online, connecting your guests to TripAdvisor and Google. Additionally, you can send your guests surveys that will allow you to monitor your hotel’s performance. Book a demo, and explore GuestJoy’s services.