Travel’s the buzzword these days, let us understand how can a hotel and resort create enough buzz.
12 Travel Digital Marketing Tips for Independent Hotels and Resorts
Here are digital marketing tips which are set to benefit independent hotels and resorts in the industry.
1. Hotel Reviews are the key to success
Right from Google ratings to TripAdvisor, reviews are the quintessential key to success. Try getting more and more reviews on the property’s google listing, Tripadvisor and other hotel listing sites. If you focus on only Google listing and Tripadvisor, that’s fine because you can’t force your customer to drop a review on every site.
2. Online PR
Bloggers or travel sites, every mention counts and can potentially mean more than the thousands of advertising dollars you are otherwise spending. Try to get as many good and influential bloggers and travel sites to write about you and your offerings. Look at magazines like Lonely Planet.
3. Optimise Title and Meta Description
Might look like a simple suggestion, but it can make a lot of a difference. If your hotel’s website already ranks on page one of Google, then you simply need to ensure you clearly say who you are and what you stand for. Create your title and description for your customer, not for the search engines. Descriptions like ‘We are one of the best hotels’ won’t drive real-time users/customers. Be honest, and deliver what you promise.
4. Don’t Ignore EMail Marketing in the age of Social
Email marketing is directly marketing a commercial message to a group of people using email. It is increasingly turning into one of the most effective ways to reach out to guests, whose information you already have. Include content that appeals to each guest’s individual needs. Personally targeted marketing emails are much more effective than mass emails. They build loyalty and ensure that guests will return to your resort over and over.
Try to get as many details including email address from your customers. EMails help in not just building trust, but also in your social media and Google AdWords campaigns.
(Editor’s Note : Do check out the Best EMail Marketing Courses and Training Online)
5. Segment your Lists
An often overlooked method of email marketing is segmentation. Simply put, it is the process of dividing an existing list on the basis of various criteria into different segments. You can create segments in a list depending upon the customer’s location, gender, time of visit, duration of visit, single/couple and any other factor that helps you communicating with your customers uniquely.
6. Request for Feedback
Shoot a mail within 15 days of the checkout to customer for the survey and asking for a review on Tripadvisor/Google listing. This actually works! You can also request them for some of their pictures from their stay which you could later use for your website/social media properties or any other platform.
7. Make them Revisit Virtually
Send them mails on occasion of festivals or any special events. Let them know about what’s happening in the place they visited. No better bait than reminiscing someone about their good times.
8. Use Database for Custom Audience
You can upload the email IDs/Mobile numbers of your customers to Facebook Ad’s account (Create Custom Audience, using PowerEditor). You can run personalised campaigns for your existing customers offering them exclusive coupons /discounts on their next visit. Google also now allows targeting people on the basis of custom audience.
(Recommended Read : 15 Powerful ways to use Facebook Ads in 2016)
9. Choose Interests / Behaviour / Demographics wisely
Selecting a targeted audience in the facebook ad manager is a lot of fun! I’ve been love with the Travel Filter (Under Behavior) which includes : All frequent Travelers, Business Travelers, Commuters, Currently Traveling, Frequent International Travelers, Returned from trip 1 week ago, Returned from trip 2 weeks ago, Used Travel app (1 month), Used Travel app (2 weeks).
This can help you reach out to frequent travellers and could potentially be your most important target audience.
10. Play around with the Images
Don’t always stick to the images showing just your hotel. Also posts images from around the place to entice visitors to come to the location.
11. Offline Promotion for Online Channels
A simple banner or a placard in the reception area for Social Media Following can go a long way in helping spread word. Discounts or drinks on check-in along with other simple ideas can help you.
I’ve seen some hotels making Video Ads. Video Ads in hotel niche needs to be more personal and not should only be about your rooms. It should be about the place the hotel is situated, your staff, your facilities, hospitality, and then your service.
So those were some of my thoughts with respect to marketing a hotel or a resort digitally.