Today, guests go through a multistage journey before booking their accommodations. And yet most hotels focus executing their marketing tactics only on these two stages:
- Brand marketing (at the initial stage) to woo customers to consider their services
- Promotions (at the final stage) to influence them when they are about to purchase
But digital marketing is transforming all of that. Customers who seek out friends and family for word-of-mouth recommendations now go through online reviews, compare prices on websites, and discuss things on social media.
This information flow ensures two things:
- Empowers potential customers to make informed hotel booking decisions
Enables hotel marketers to engage with them via relevant conversation Customers want to avoid falling for the hard sell. Instead, they expect marketers to engage them at every channel and not command them. That’s why shifting from a one-way sales mindset to a two-way relationship with customers requires elemental changes in how you do your hotel marketing.
Apart from offering impeccable guest service, the best way to fuel your sales pipeline (and engage potential guests simultaneously) is to have a foolproof marketing strategy. And digital marketing proves to be a shot in the arm here, building your hotel brand from its very nascent stage.
Whether it’s increasing your bookings through Google, making noise on your social media channels, improving online reviews, or sending creative emails, digital marketing is always the need of the hour.
But the question is, what strategies work well for a hotel business?
Let’s find out, as we list you some of the best hotel digital marketing strategies. They are tried, tested, and effective enough to run your hotel business function like a well-oiled machine.
So, let’s get started.
10+ Best Hotel Digital Marketing Strategies that Drive Conversions
With diverse digital channels, the potential and options to market your hotel are endless. But to witness the digital marketing magic, you need the right strategy, platform, and a bit of creativity.
While we leave the creative and platform-choosing part to you, here’s a list of digital marketing strategies to implement for your hotel business.
1. Have a responsive website design
A responsive website delivers a consistent and optimal user experience across all devices.This means that your guests can easily access and navigate your website, regardless of their devices.
And let’s not forget that search engines favor mobile-friendly websites too. Why? Because they enhance user experience and are easier to index. By making your website responsive, you can improve your rankings and attract more organic traffic.
2. Improve your user experience (UX)
We can't stress this enough. Making UX improvements (even if small) can create a positive first impression that's more likely to result in bookings.
This could be anywhere from making changes to the website's design for an attractive look to using creative layouts to display critical information and special offers or including reviews and ratings of the guests that stayed in your hotel.
3. Leverage Search engine optimization (SEO)
This is a no-brainer. To ensure your website meets search engine standards, you must use SEO to optimize it through complex algorithms. So start with the basics:
- Perform keyword research to find potential keywords (that will drive traffic and business) you want to rank for.
- Create pages targeting those keywords while ensuring you add metadata, and build internal and external links.
- Make sure to set your GMB (Google My Business) listing too.
Content Marketing Strategies
By producing unique and valuable content, you can differentiate from your competitors. That’s just not it. Providing relevant information to potential guests can significantly influence their decision to choose your property.
4. Write highly-informative blog that targeting potential guests
Regular blogging can be highly beneficial for your website in several ways. It increases traffic, improves search engine rankings, builds brand awareness, showcases your expertise, and engages your potential guests. So what types of blogs should you write?
Try these blog-writing ideas:
- Destination guides that highlight the top attractions and activities in your surrounding area. This helps potential guests to plan their trip and give them a reason to book with your hotel.
- Seasonal events and festivals that happen in your area. This attracts travelers who are looking for unique experiences.
- Hotel amenities such as spa, fitness center, pool, and restaurant. Highlighting these can attract guests looking for a luxurious and comfortable stay.
- Local food and drink options in your area, including wineries and breweries. This can attract foodies and wine lovers looking for an incredible culinary experience.
- Eco-friendly practices such as recycling, energy conservation, and water conservation. Blogging about this attracts environmentally-conscious guests looking for a hotel that shares their values.
- Guest experiences that feature stories of past stays. This serves as social proof and allows potential guests to visualize themselves staying at the hotel.
5. Create stunning video content
Only some people are readers. That’s why videos are crucial for your hotel business. Not only do videos create emotional connections with potential guests, but they also trigger them to take action.
Just in case you’re wondering what videos to create, here are some ideas to think of (although the sky’s the limit):
- Virtual tour of your hotel showing the different rooms, amenities, and common areas that are accessible to guests. This helps them to decide to book.
- Show the culinary experience of your restaurant. This attracts foodies and wine lovers who are a fan of fine dining.
- Showcase your hotel’s sustainable practices like recycling, energy conservation, and water conservation to attract environmentally-conscious guests.
6. Create compelling social media content
Creating social media content that’s captivating and convincing enough attracts new followers, increases brand awareness, and builds a loyal community of fans for your hotel.
While there are many ideas for creating compelling social media content, here are a few good ones that can drive potential guests to book a stay with your hotel:
- Highlight seasonal promotions such as summer discounts, holiday packages, or weekend getaways. This gives potential guests a reason to book with your hotel.
- Share behind-the-scenes content that shows your hotel staff working, hygiene maintenance, and sustainability initiatives. This humanizes your brand and demonstrates value.
- Create interactive social media posts, such as polls or quizzes, that engage potential guests. Interactive content has the power to pique user interest and allows them to give their genuine views. This not only drives excitement and engagement but also encourages potential guests to share your content.
Email Marketing Strategies
7. Build and segment your email list
Segmentation is the process of dividing your guests’ emails into smaller sub-groups based on specific criteria to help you send laser-targeted, personalized emails to drive engagement and bookings.
Here’s how you should go about it:
- Start collecting email addresses: Adding a sign-up form to your website is the best way to approach this. Ensure that the form is prominently displayed and offers an incentive (a discount or special offer) for sign-up visitors. Also, give a valuable piece of content in exchange for an email address. This could be your travel guides, destination guides, or tips on local attractions.
- Determine the segmentation criteria: Based on your collected data, decide which segmentation criteria will be most beneficial for your business. This can include factors such as age, location, past purchases, interests, or engagement level.
- Segment your list: Once your email list grows, segment your guests based on demographics, interests, and behavior. With this, you can tailor your messaging to specific groups for increased conversion.
8. Create targeted email campaigns
This step involves tailoring your messages to specific segments of your email list.
To get this right, follow these steps:
- Set campaign objectives: Identify what you want to achieve with your email campaign. This could involve anywhere from promoting a new package, nurturing leads to driving bookings, increasing engagement, or following up on abandoned bookings.
- Personalize your messaging: Craft content that resonates with your target guests. Use language, imagery, and relevant, appealing offers to that specific group. Pay utmost attention to your subject lines. Ensure it’s appealing enough to make them open your email and read through it.
- Choose the right email format: Select an email format that best suits your message and target audience. This could be a newsletter, a promotional or personalized email.
- Test and refine: Run laser-targeted email campaigns while refining your segments based on performance. Use A/B testing to optimize your subject lines, email content, and call-to-action. This will continually improve your email marketing strategy and achieve the goals you have set.
9. Implement email automation
Implementing email automation involves setting up a series of automated emails that are triggered based on specific actions or events.
Doing this is straightforward, and here’s what you need to do:
- Choose a good email automation tool: While there are many tools (Mailchimp, Hubspot, and ActiveCampaign) available in the market, you need to pick the one that best suits your needs and budget.
- Map out your email automation flow: Create a flowchart outlining the sequence of emails and triggers required for your automation. This will help you to visualize the entire process and identify any gaps or opportunities for improvement.
- Send automated emails: Send timely emails (welcome emails, booking confirmations, or post-stay follow-ups) to the segmented groups. Continuously monitor the performance of your email campaigns and make adjustments as needed.
Online Reputation Management (ORM)
When done right, it increases your brand's reputation. It is simple, if you have 1000+ reviews with 9 out 10 ratings, more people will book with you. It gives a much-needed competitive edge in the market.
10. Monitor and respond to online reviews regularly
If you want to emerge as a hotel brand that values guest feedback, respond to positive and negative reviews. It makes them believe you are 100% committed to providing excellent service. Again, it is also a great way to gain a competitive advantage.
If you’re serious about your ORM, this is what you should be doing:
- Set up alerts: Use online review monitoring tools to set up alerts for your hotel's name and related keywords on review sites like TripAdvisor, Google Reviews, and Yelp to notify you whenever a new review is posted about your hotel.
- Respond promptly: Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a timely manner. Thank customers for positive feedback and address any issues raised in negative reviews.
- Be professional and polite: Avoid using defensive language when addressing negative comments. Instead, maintain a courteous tone.
- Address specific issues: When responding to negative reviews, offer a solution or apology where appropriate, and show that you are taking steps to address the issue.
11. Encourage guests to leave reviews
For guests, online reviews are critical to the decision-making process. Positive reviews can help increase your hotel’s visibility and credibility, making it more likely to appear in search results and attract new guests.
Here are few trick to get reviews/feedback from your guest:
- Ask for feedback: At the time of check out, ask your guests if they enjoyed staying at your hotel and if they would be willing to leave a review. Don’t forget to give them a link to your preferred review site.
- Send follow-up emails: After your guests have checked out, send them a follow-up email (not too many times) thanking them for their stay and asking them to leave a review.
- Offer rewards: Consider offering guests an incentive. Perhaps, a discount on their next stay or a complimentary amenity, for leaving a review.
Metasearch Advertising Strategies
When a guest performs a search, the metasearch engine displays a list of available hotels and their corresponding rates and availability. With metasearch advertising, you can display your room rates and availability alongside those of other online travel agencies (OTAs) and direct competitors, which can increase your site’s visibility and drive more direct bookings.
12. Leverage metasearch engines to run campaigns
Metasearch advertising can help your hotel compete with OTAs and other competitors more effectively. Not just that, it enables you to show your USPs (Unique Value Propositions) in a better way, helping your hotel drive direct bookings.
Here’s how to go about it:
- Set clear goals: Establish goals and metrics before launching your metasearch campaigns. This could include factors like the number of bookings, revenue generated, or return on ad spend (ROAS).
- Monitor and adjust bids: Pay attention to your bids and adjust them to get the best return on your investment. If you bid low, you'll fall short on impressions/clicks and if you bid high, you may end up overspending your budget.
- Optimize your landing pages: Make sure the landing pages for your metasearch campaigns are optimized for conversions. Make sure to add compelling call-to-actions, high-quality images, and user-friendly navigation.
- Use targeted messaging: Tailor your ad copy and messaging to your target audience. For example, mention that your hotel has family-friendly amenities and activities if you're targeting families.
- Test and refine: Test and refine your metasearch campaigns continuously to improve their effectiveness. This could include testing different ad formats, bid strategies, or targeting options.
- Leverage data and analytics: Regularly monitor your campaign performance and make necessary adjustments to optimize your campaign. Use analytics tools to track your campaign's success and adjust your future strategy.
Implement these Digital Marketing Strategies to Maximize Your Hotel's Online Presence
In today's digital age, the importance of hotel digital marketing strategies can't be overstated. By embracing the tactics listed here, you can achieve long-term success for your hotel. So, start implementing them today and watch your bookings soar to new heights.