When it comes to marketing your hotel services and making your presence in the online world, it’s about developing a working-strategy that recognizes the need for a strong online presence because nowadays, a guest will search or somehow come to know about your hotel (brand) via internet. Those days are gone where a guest will ask their relatives and friends before booking a hotel room! So, it’s not enough to be listed on the online travel sites anymore– these days, the guests will also research your website, dig up what others have said about you, and look for what you say about yourself (so, always be careful and attentive about reviews and testimonials).
Hotels are a self-marketing entities. They are physically present and stands stunning for everyone to see them as a brand! This doesn’t cut the fact that they need to go out there and increase their visibility as much as they can. The competition is thick and there is no reason to be lay back down and relax. In today’s digital era, every business is pumping up its online marketing strategies to attain better revenue and reach. Hotels are doing the same but mere online presence is not what will get people walking in. There is a lot that the online world has to offer and there is a lot that hotels need to do in order to exploit these offerings.
Nowadays, we all are in the hunt to gain a competitive edge over our contemporaries! Aren’t we? Some key and essential marketing trends and strategies have entered the hospitality industry and they have become impossible to ignore. In order to survive this tough, intricate, and highly competitive industry in these harsh contemporary times, it is essential for the players in the sector to prepare themselves with modern marketing strategies that included building a digital presence and which can allow them to stay afloat as well as attract new customers on the go.
The challenge becomes even greater when you’re immersed in managing the day-to-day operations of your hotel. In our earlier blog-post, we have talked about how a hotelier can save their time and utilize it to focus on other priority tasks. It’s hard to see the forest for the trees, sometimes – or, for a more appropriate metaphor, it’s hard to see the battlefield when you’re busy in the trenches. Online presence for hospitality cannot be neglected if you wish to see yourself on the top because sooner or later if you are not incorporating the digital presence in your niche; your contemporary will and you will fall behind!
The arrival of the Internet has increased the opportunities to boost the hotel industry. Now, hotel managers are fully aware of the advantages that the Internet can bring to their business. Well-informed on the far-reaching importance of the web, they are motivated to create more awareness of their industry, on top of getting more bookings online. This had driven website development for hotels and resorts, the online reservation booking system, the increased number of reviews and redesigning of accommodation websites, as well as other tourism related online enterprises. As a matter of fact, there is a steady, daily growth of the web strategies for hotel and hospitality. So, let us see how online presence can generate better revenue for your hotel.
Online presence starts with having a own hotel website! So, let us see why do you need one! One of the best reasons for your hotel to have its own website is the fact that you can display all your hotel’s visuals and amenities much more prominently. This is the best and most apposite opportunity to personalize your stories with fresh and vivid images to attract more customers thus increasing your guest-base. A visual-first mentality is a great way to represent your property and let your imagination run wild so you can have fun with your hotel’s narrative. Remember, 90% of all information that gets transmitted to our brains is visual, so bold images representing your story is the quickest route to evoking an emotional response from your audience – and capture that booking.
Now, if your website is old and hasn’t been updated in a long time, you need to do it now. Freshen it up, add blog posts and be regular with it. People love to read travel tips and blogs on hotels and food and culture of the place you are in. You need to keep up with the latest trends and attract people to your website. Ensure that the website is responsive and easy to navigate. Anything complex and slow loading is a complete no-no. Keep the galleries updated and let the best reviews and testimonials shine through. Besides all these, your website should have a 24×7 live chatbot which can engage visitors on the hotel website, thus increasing direct bookings. A live chatbot can also assist you to attain more number of millennial travelers on the go by exceeding their expectations.
Let’s talk something about social media because it is a place where most of your consumers are present! It is a fact of the digital world that people with different interests and opinions will organize themselves among communities, though there are few social media websites like Facebook who seem to cater to everyone, most Online networks have a very specific “type” of user, thus it is very important to understand which media outlets reflect your hotel’s target market the best.
As an example, hotels looking to tap the professional/business travelers markets, should opt for a strong presence on Twitter, a platform which is filled with professionals and tech savvy individuals. Along the same lines, LinkedIn would also be a good social media outlet to focus on when searching for the business travelers, as this site is used by millions of professionals world wide.
By being active on these social media sites properties can create a following and put themselves in a good position to be found by new potential customers. We shall never forget how important the old ‘word to mouth’ factor is for a hotel’s reputation and business, and in this modern world, social media is steadily becoming the main channel we use to communicate.
All it takes to maintain and manage a good following online is to keep to the basics: Upload relevant and quality content while making sure you update this content regularly. As long as there is a good flow of content coming from your hotel across relevant social media outlets and your website, it’s just a matter of time until more new potential customers stumble upon it in the web (and share it with their friends!). Learn how to make a great Facebook Fan Page and why you should use Twitter.
Since, we are talking about online presence we can’t skip SEO, too! Appearing on your brand’s home site can still do wonders for your SEO efforts because it basically acts as free marketing and generates traffic back to your site. Now with your own website, you have much more flexibility over the entire design and the various intricacies that go into allowing your page to organically rise in search engine rankings. This can be achieved by improving your keywords, headers, social media links and being maintained frequently with fresh and important content to travel shoppers.
Also, let us see the role of search engines in your hotel bookings! Since the birth of the Internet, web search engines are practically used to find the best answer to any question. Conversely, every traveler or tourist uses them to get information about the place he/she prefers to go. Hotel manager are crazy not to focus a large portion of their time and resources on this traffic source. Because of this, hoteliers have to proactively strategise how to enhance their presence on the search engines. The search engines are always changing the rules on how they rank web pages. It is also essential for accommodation managers to stay abreast with the trends of tour operators and other channels in search engine optimisation.
Last, but not the least, having an online presence skyrockets the scope of remarketing to a guest by hyper-personalizing the recommendations online. Retargeting is a specific way of converting visitors who bounced the first time around. Most of the time, only 2% of web traffic converts on the first occasion, so keeping track of a user and putting yourself in the front of their mind can have a big impact. Statistics show that users who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convert.
So, now you know the importance of online presence and how can you leverage it to boost your hotel sales, revenue, and bookings. Schedule a demo and we will tell how can you build a better guest-base via AI-enabled voice and chat-based services. Also, we can show how these smart bots can render custom-tailored recommendations to the guests via ML and NLP based on heuristic approach as per the guests’ preferences and behaviour.