HOTEL ONLINE MARKETING WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

HOTEL ONLINE MARKETING

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Alain Classe - HOTEL ONLINE MARKETING WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Alain Classe
Hotel Online Marketing
What You Should Know

Social media or Online Marketing can be a very valuable channel but only when it is used as part of an integrated marketing strategy. Social media or Online Marketing alone is not going to save your Hotel brand.

If you don’t have a hotel/brand objective for doing social media or online marketing than why are you even considering it?

I think this kind of attitude is like a chimera.

The reason that most online marketing programs fail is because hotels do not understand the complexity of all the elements involved in digital marketing.

Before starting in social media, E Reputation or online marketing read this post it will give you some ideas about what you can do or you must avoid.

You will find also some links to related posts.

Metrics and Costs

You need to have clear success metrics for any online marketing initiative in place BEFORE you launch your program.
If you do not measure cost per targeted action or cost per conversion for search marketing you will waste a lot of money. read more about this

Consumers

People who go to your Facebook page maybe different than the people who come to your website or to your Twitter page.
You must Think about how each one can be integrated to create a great hotel experience online.
Do not hesitate to re-think your web site with a professional Company specialized in the hospitality industry like wihp or Artiref

Hotels Brands are “Hotel media today” and you need to think about what is valuable to consumers not to marketers. Whatever you say or whatever you do will be on internet thru websites, blogs, social Networks, Forum and Review Sites.

Staff

The biggest challenge to any hotel is finding someone who can successfully bridge hotel objectives to consumers needs and wants.
You need to have more than one person doing interactive marketing. Its’ a team work.
Today you need someone for Analytics, Search Marketing, Content Marketing and Social Media Marketing and most of the time loading rates and content on OTA.
Altought you can solve one part of this problem with a Community Manager, read more but this one must have a large panel of knowledge in Hospitality industry and Web 2.0. It will be harder for a small property to hire someone.

You need to have a Social Media Calendar.You must organize a Social Media or Online Marketing Meeting once a week to discuss about marketing opportunities with your management, or during your Marketing Meeting to get one part dedicated to Social Media. Obviously, your daily Social Media to-do list will be much different, given your available time and commitments. This one should be livable

Software

From my point of view hoteliers can’t be “Professionnal” if they don’t use special software or web application to manage the flood of data and It’s complexity.

Every system should be as simple and effective as Google can be, The search engine giant gives users one screen that unlocks a world of possibilities.

The good news for hotel staff is that many technology providers have recognized their needs and have begun to offer intuitive new solutions to the hotel industry.

WebSite

Content

Every time you update your website you should test and validate it to ensure everything works well.

Photos

Every time you update your website with photos, test them, and a very important point, fillup the caption section of each one. So many Web Site upload photos with the name “IMG_123”.

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words and this adage was never more true when it comes to hotel website design. But image optimisation is critical when it comes to selecting quality shots that clearly highlight the hotel’s facilities, rooms and location but do not compromise on the usability of the website. Read more… on HotelWeb Designer Blog.

If you are not convince by the impact of photos on OTA’s or Website, Intent Media’s latest photo optimization study will be more comprehensive, involving dozens of hotel listings on Orbitz.
They found that optimizing images for click-through was incredibly effective, leading in some cases to a 100% overall improvement in CTR. Read More…on Tnooz

Blog

Patrick Landman from xotels said in one of his post “if you do not have a blog your hotel website is dead“, I totally agree with him, hotels invest in a website but most of them are static , web is alive.

Moreover it is also a tool to build a network of connections engaging with your local community about your hotel, about your food and beverage activities, sharing your local experience Read more..

To make sure your published content is always at its error-free best, keep this 13-point checklist on hand at all times. read more

Online Experience

The best online experience doesn’t matter if you don’t exceed customers expectations at all other hotel brand touch points.

Booking

To Convert, why To Convert. When guest make bookings thru OTA hoteliers pay commission, on hotel website there is no commission. Hotel website should present Rooms, Restaurants and Hotel Features in a fraction of second and also applying the LRG. (Lowest Rate Guaranteed).

Never forget customers are shopping.

Bounce Rate

One of the most overlooked metrics in interactive marketing is “bounce rate”. Most Hotelier have no clue what it means, in the middle of last decade to get a Website was a must, Hotelier were proud of their landing page, and most them said we get a beautiful website.

Bounce rates can be used to help determine the effectiveness or performance of an entry page. An entry page with a low bounce rate means that the page effectively causes visitors to view more pages and continue on deeper into the web site. According to Inc.com article: “As a rule of thumb, a 50 percent bounce rate is average. If you surpass 60 percent, you should be concerned. If you’re in excess of 80 percent, you’ve got a major problem.

Analytics

Anyone can prepare a web analytics report but it takes skill and someone who understands marketing and how people use the Internet to take data and turn it into actionable recommendations. Try Piwik

Search Engine Optimisation

If don’t Know the importance of SEO on the Web for your property take a look at this post from Tnooz Top 10 tips for hotels to improve their search engine presence,

Mobile WebSite

Cell phones are no longer just for making calls. They are sophisticated multimedia devices used by people to obtain information, interact with the Social Web, even plan their lives and travel arrangements.

Your current Web site is optimized to attract users with stylish graphics, animated buttons and catchy content. However, nothing could be worse for the mobile user! On a small screen device, those images, animations and content blocks load slowly and are confusing and difficult to navigate for the mobile user, an instant turn-off.
The rise of mobile user is on, optimizing your hotel website for the mobile visitor can have a tremendous impact on your mobile conversion rate.
Simply by making it easier for that user to navigate your site on the small screen but if it’s difficult to navigate and view your site then you’ve failed to deliver that great content to your potential customers. Read more on Blue Magnet Blog.

E Reputation

Guest Review

The online ecosystem of first-hand user reviews has grown so powerful over the past years that hotel companies are now tailoring their capital expenditures to meeting guest demand.

Hotel Management should be aware it is difficult to regain reputation lost, Althought there are some simple measures that can be taken to help avoid crises and/or minimize them if they happen.
read more on my former post

ROI

Daniel Edward Craig said “Reviews and ratings place such a key role in traveler decisions, that they should therefore play a key role in revenue-management decisions,”. To help understand the extent to which reviews should play in those decisions, Chris Anderson, associate professor in Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration, shared new information from two key studies. Measuring the impact of online reviews on rate .

Online Reputation Essentials

Managing your Hotel online reputation should be a fundamental part of Hospitality Industry today. The first step to a successful online reputation is being able to monitor it and know what customers people are saying about the property online, read more on this guide from ReviewPro.

Tripadvisors

Managing TripAdvisor should be one of your main daily task. If you want to improve your level, read more ….

Social Media

Brand Advocates

Likes or Fans following you on social media do not necessarily lead to Your Hotel business objectives. Hotels should manage their community, use SocialBro or Socialbakers to know more about your Fans & Followers

Social Media Expert

There is no such thing as a social media expert and you should never listen to someone who has not successfully provided real business results beyond vanity metrics like number of followers or likes.

Booking

Consumers today like saving money and hotels that do not give consumers a reason to purchase their rooms are going to find promotional costs rising. Why don’t you use your Social Media Channel to promote your Hotel with special Packages for your Fans & Followers.
On facebook don’t hesitate to get a Reservation Tab like Westin Hotels.

Tool

When all is said and done in this 24/7 world of social media, sometimes you have to know just when to turn it off as take a nap, you are not a machine.
After all, your Fans or Followers will still be there when you will wake you up. Don’t hesitate to use a dedicated software it will be wake up all night and all weekend long for you, see my former post

Visibility

You have noticed that with so many different Social Networks, it’s difficult to make your hotel content truly stand out. I’ve get a list of tips to increase your Hotel content visibility on the 3 major social networks: Facebook, Twitter and Google+. read more…

Social Media and SEO

If you don’t Know the importance of Social Media on the Web and the importance of your read take a look at this post from Hubspot Read more.

How Do you manage you Online Marketing Strategy? Don’t hesitate to share your comments below.

Posted on 2013, January 18, in Community Manager, Distribution Marketing, E Reputation, English Posts, Facebook, Foursquare, Hotel, New and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Alain, thank you for your article as it provides a clear blue print of what to do, but most important what NOT to do. I am a GM for a small 77 room luxury property in Central Mexico. Good luck and keep enlightening us!

  2. As always Alain, a great overview for hotels that need a high level reminder of what to focus on for 2013. Especially as it related to social media and online reputation.

    One area that you did not mention is email marketing. Most sources still show that email is the most effective conversion channel. For those hotels sites that cannot justify the time to write a timely blog, an email newsletter is the obvious alternative. It can at the very least remind past customers about upcoming events in a destination along with promoting hotel room specials and packages. I wrote a blog post on BookingCounts.com about selecting an email service provider.

    One more technology that my company offers is for hotel and travel email remarketing. In addition to using social bookmarking widgets on a hotel site (AddIt/ShareThis/…), the Book Later Button (www.BookingCounts.com) widget can capture visitors that simply want to receive a private email reminder to “Book Now” when they are ready. Hotels can manage their remarketing campaign and make it more likely that visitors will return to book a room later.

    -Scott

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