The internet has transformed the way people perceive travel. With only a few thumb taps on our smartphones, we can discover any corner of the world. This newfound wanderlust is causing more people to travel than ever before.
In fact, a 2015 study from the United Nations World Tourism Organization found that 1.2 billion people travelled outside their countries borders for one night.
The market for hotels is currently bigger than it has ever been.
The opportunity is huge, but so is the competition. Your hotel needs to be equipped with a strategy that effectively reaches and captivates your target audience.
As we develop and grow in the digital age, more and more of this communication is happening online. It’s your job as a marketer to establish a presence on these digital channels and maximize your online reach to get more guests in your hotel.
The following 5-step digital marketing strategy is designed to bring your hotel into this online conversation.
Step One: Search Engine Optimization
As a hotel, you are swimming in a saturated market. Search engine optimization is crucial to give your hotel the online visibility you need to connect with potential guests and compete with the big names like AirBnB and Booking.
There are two kinds of SEO you should be focusing on: Local and Global.
Local SEO is important for businesses with a brick and mortar location because it focuses on geo-specific searches. This will help your business appear on search engines when people are looking for a hotel in your city.
Global SEO refers to organic search visibility at large. Ranking well on search engines is crucial for getting in front of the eyes of your target audience, bringing users to your website, and booking guests in your rooms.
Step Two: Content Marketing
Content is the key ingredient to an effective inbound marketing strategy.
An empty website is just about as useful as an empty hotel. You need to be continuously filling your web pages with remarkable, keyword optimize content that resonates well with both search engines and readers.
There are many forms of content, including eBooks, SlideShares, PDFs, quizzes, videos, and blog posts. When getting started with a content strategy, the best type of content to focus on are blog posts. Creating a weekly blog for your website will help increase your organic traffic, extend your hotel’s ethos, and inspire potential guests to take action.
Step Three: Organic Social Media Marketing
Social media is one of the biggest catalysts for the recent explosion of travel and tourism. These social platforms have enabled us to take a personal look at the lives of people from other countries and cultures, and follow along with world travelers on their whirlwind adventures. Additionally, social media can be exceptionally useful to combat the low season blues.
Take advantage of social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook to visually communicate your hotel’s story and connect with new audiences.
Step Four: Social Media Advertising
Online advertising can be a challenge for hotels. There is a lot of competition in the tourism and hospitality industry, and many of the biggest competitors, such as Booking or Airbnb, have unrivaled ad budgets.
Social Media advertising gives small hotels an opportunity to have a voice in the conversation because they are easily accessible and far more cost effective than other ad platforms. Experiment with ads on Facebook and Instagram to expand your online reach.
Step Five: Analytics and Reporting
Analytics and reporting are some of the most important components of a digital marketing strategy. SEO, blogging, organic social media and paid social media can be incredibly powerful tools when used properly. But, if they are not effectively accomplishing your business goals, they serve no purpose. Reviewing your data is the only way to measure your performance and understand if your techniques are working.
Reporting on your analytics allows you to understand your baseline performance, track your growth, and quantify your success.