In today’s age, consumers are constantly being served advertisements. From traditional print advertising to social media paid advertising, a lot of information is being shared and, if not being presented in an engaging manner, then being ignored. With so much noise out there, how do you get your hotel’s message to stand out from the rest? This is a common question, pondered by most hoteliers and marketers, but the answer is pretty simple: an integrated digital marketing strategy.
Hotel Digital Marketing Strategy 101
Digital marketing strategy for hotels refers to the different touch-points between a hotel and its prospective guests. The hotel’s messaging is being communicated through channels such as its website, social media, email marketing, etc. Your marketing efforts will be more successful when you strategically integrate your message across these different channels.
Travelers are visiting over 20 different travel websites before booking a hotel stay. That is a lot of information for the searcher to be processing and reviewing. Therefore, the more your hotel is visible to a prospective guest, the more likely your hotel will be top-of-mind for them when they are ready to book. Having consistent messages and choosing the “right” channels to spread that message on will lead to your success.
Why an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy Matters
An integrated digital marketing strategy incorporates the multi-channel approach, where each channel boasts a consistent message. Common channels in digital marketing include your website, pay-per-click (PPC), social media, and email. A consistent message and theme are developed and shared throughout the touch-points prospective guests are coming across during their hotel search.
While all of this sounds great in theory, you are probably wondering, “What kind of return am I going to get from investing in a variety of channels?” Well, a boutique hotel in Chicago, we will refer to them as Hotel Nicole, partnered with Blue Magnet Interactive to enhance their digital marketing presence. Our team collaborated with Hotel Nicole to plan and execute an integrated strategy; within the first eleven months, the hotel saw a 28% increase in overall booked revenue (plus some other phenomenal stats that we will dive into shortly).
Set a Goal
When creating a holistic digital marketing strategy, the first step is to identify the goal. How will these digital marketing efforts help your hotel in the long run? Hotel Nicole wanted to increase brand awareness and occupancy.
Develop an Integrated Digital Marketing Strategy
Once you have determined your goal, the next step is to develop what the integrated digital marketing strategy will entail. Reflect on what makes your hotel your hotel. Do you offer a “cool” or traditional experience to your guests? Does your hotel boast a unique theme, such as nautical or urban adventure? Is your hotel located in a “hot” market? Brainstorm and collaborate with your property team and your dedicated Digital Marketing Manager at Blue Magnet Interactive to determine your hotel’s selling points and how those can be best seen.
With Hotel Nicole, Blue Magnet Interactive and their hotel team decided the property’s goal would be best achieved by showcasing the unique experience guests can have when they stay. To effectively highlight the hotel and location, this would require a modern, optimized, and responsive website and support from search engine optimization, PPC, social media marketing, and email marketing efforts.
The Core – Website
The core to a hotel website’s success is having a healthy, updated website. Blue Magnet Interactive built Hotel Nicole a visually-appealing and mobile friendly website that was fully optimized through performing keyword research, evaluating current performance, creating unique and relevant content, and implementing high-quality imagery. The website highlights every aspect of the hotel while promoting their prime location and what guests can do during their stay.
The Support – Search Engine Optimization
Search engine optimization (SEO) not only helps guide a website’s success during development and launch, but, when continued, should maintain that success in the long run. With our goal being to increase brand awareness and occupancy, what better way to do so then by continuing to expand search visibility through creating more unique and relevant content as the year progressed. We created landing pages each quarter that promoted activities for that particular season. This content targeted leisure travelers and provided prospective guests exactly what to explore during their visit and reiterate why they should stay at the hotel.
The Support – PPC
To help capture even more prospective guests, we ran paid search campaigns targeting branded and non-branded keywords. By targeting branded keywords, we are eliminating competitors ranking for the hotel name and decreasing the possibility for guests to book with OTAs or other competing hotels. By targeting non-branded keywords, we are widening the opportunities for more prospective guests to find us and capturing those that are not brand or OTA loyal yet. In addition to the boosted visibility on Google and Bing, display remarketing ads are a great touch-point to remind searchers that visited your website about your hotel.
The Support – Social Media Marketing
Having a presence on social media is extremely important during the five stages of travel. Prospective guests are reviewing not only the content that your hotel is sharing, but also what past guests are sharing about their experience at your hotel. Remember, Hotel Nicole wanted to increase brand awareness and room nights by showcasing the experience that guests are going to have at the hotel.
The best platform to consistently push out new content while interacting with past, current, and future guests is social media. We optimized the hotel’s overall presence, generated relevant content on a consistent basis, and managed conversations with other users on their Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts. On all three social media accounts, we published consistent messaging outlining why it is better to stay at Hotel Nicole than others in that neighborhood.
The Support – Email Marketing
Email marketing is another important piece of an integrated digital marketing strategy. By sending out eNewsletters, Hotel Nicole had an opportunity to get in front of past and potential guests. Email marketing is useful to create urgency by promoting limited time sales, share special offers, highlight guests’ experiences, and share exciting news. Blue Magnet Interactive created monthly email campaigns to help support Hotel Nicole’s goal of increasing brand awareness and driving bookings.
Evaluate the Results
Tracking is everything! Through tracking and reporting, you can evaluate how effective the overall strategy is, learn about prospective guests’ behavior, and predict trends.
Now the moment you have been waiting for… How effective was the integrated digital marketing campaign we implemented for Hotel Nicole?
- Revenue Generated from Organic Search: $830,624 – 46% of booked revenue
- Revenue Generated from PPC: $346,013, – 19% of booked revenue
- Revenue Generated from Social Media : $19,597, – 2% of booked revenue
- Revenue Generated from Email Marketing: $109,941, – 6% of booked revenue
Hotel Digital Marketing Support
An integrated digital marketing strategy does not need to stop at the base of your online marketing needs. Tie in on-site marketing efforts to help support your overall goal. For example, encourage guests to “check-in” at your hotel on Facebook or to follow your social media accounts while they are literally checking in to help increase your following. Host events on property promoting local partnerships or attend business outings to increase local area credibility.
Think about all of the hotel’s different goals and create multiple campaigns to help support those needs. Evaluate what tactics are working and what can be improved. Reach out to your dedicated Digital Marketing Manager to discuss targeted campaign strategies or if you are not a Blue Magnet Interactive partner yet, start the conversation today.