Hotels are losing more and more bookings to online travel agencies now more then ever, and some hoteliers are scratching their heads wondering why. There are quite a few reasons for this. Travelers are wanting to get more information on their lodging choices. They want to know where the hotel is located, what events are being held in the area, what businesses the hotel is located next too, etc. Major brands do not do this correctly on there brand.com websites. Brands have been more focused on marketing there brands and over all company then marketing individual hotels. The online travel agencies also known as OTA's are doing this for every hotel that is in their system. They are building a strong online presence not only around their brand, but also around your hotel, which means that the content from the OTA's are more likely to be seen then your information on your hotels website.
If you do a search for your hotel in your local area, look at the search results. If you have not invested in creating a strong local online presence of your hotel, your going to see more ads, listings and content created by large OTA's such as Expedia and Priceline.com. Did you know that Priceline bought a hotel website marketing company that is now called Booking Suite? Why they are creating an online presence for your hotel, they are still getting 15% commissions why taking guests that would normally book directly with the hotel to their websites, and booking channels. Causing you to loose out on revenue and profits.
Hotels in the US will see a strong rise in occupancy this year, but will also be loosing in profits due to the fact that the OTA's are now starting to gain over 40% of online bookings due to there marketing efforts. Why most independent hotels depend on OTA's for there online bookings it does not have to be this way. Whether your a hotel that is with a large brand, or an independent hotel that has no flag, you can still take back bookings from the OTA's and send them to your lowest cost channel which is your own website or your brand.com website.
While hotels need to still do a local marketing effort by calling on local businesses, and reaching out to event coordinators, having a strong online presence is crucial now for any hotels success and profitability. Being on Social Media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and having a blog are necessary tools for operating a hotel now and well into the future. Keeping up with online reviews, making sure your reputation is being well managed, and that you have current and consistent information on all booking channels is a must!
I have heard from some hoteliers and management companies that they are shutting down there social media pages, because the brands they are associated with are already doing there social media marketing. I can't tell you how truly wrong they are in this way of thinking. So we went and looked at various brand social media pages and what we discovered is that they are promoting the brand, promoting their loyalty programs, and promoting just a few hotels that are in heavy travel resort destinations. They are not promoting your hotel or your local area. Most brand.com websites have events posted on your hotels page, that don't even happen in your area. So for these companies and hotels that say there brand is marketing them on social media and so they will shut down there pages because they don't have the time to manage them properly, are making a big mistake and handing the business over to OTA's or even worse there competition.
So if your looking to take back your bookings to where you make the most profit, you need to have a strong online presence. What will be even better is hiring an online sales team. Now before you think that your going to increase your payroll, and that its just another added cost, you need to look at your Start Report, and drive around your area and look at other hotels parking lots. Is your hotel gaining market share or are you loosing out to your competition who might have a stronger online presence then you. Then look at your P&L from the past years, and see where your booking and reservation costs are rising. Then ask yourself can you not afford to hire an online sales team?
Hiring an online sales team by utilizing a company that has experience in marketing hotels is not going to cost you a fortune as the services they provide will be driving traffic to your lowest cost booking engine, and gaining more travelers viewing your hotel online so you can gain new guests. Increase bookings and profits.
How To E Market Your Hotel
Hotel E Marketing which also stands for internet marketing, online marketing, or digital marketing is very crucial for any hotels survival. With over 88% of travelers looking online to make their travel plans, you want to make sure that your hotel e marketing is being ran on various platforms to make sure travelers are seeing your product. If you do not have a great online presence then you need to come up with an hotel e marketing strategy.
There are various ways to e market your hotel with numerous of tools already available to you at your finger tips. If you find out that you don't have time to this on your own hire a marketing agency that understands hotels to do it for you.
Get a great start by doing the following to e market your hotel.
Steps To E Market Your Hotel
1. Email Marketing- This is still one of the greatest ways to continually e market your hotel to past guests that have already stayed at your property. If you are not collecting guest emails to send confirmations to them, I strongly recommend you do it now. We have countless of times brought back guests who have stayed at various properties due to a change in management, new amenities, an event happening in the local area, or because they just haven't stayed with you for quite some time and have forgotten about your hotel.
2. Website - You need to have website as your central point of online contact with future guests. They need to be able to do some research about your hotel, and if you do not have a website for them to do this, then hotel e marketing for your property will never pay off. Its also a great benefit that these guests can make reservations on your website or have a link that can take them to an online booking engine.
3. Reviews - Responding to all reviews good or bad, shows guests that you care about your service that is given at your property. Even if you have average, and bad reviews, just be responding to the guests shows travelers that you are monitoring them, and care about your online reputation. This will convince some of the guests that would normally be turned away, to give you a try.
4. Social Media - This is a great way to get your message on your hotel out to the masses. We strongly recommend that you tell your story on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and a blog. Again we know these are time consuming, and if they are done wrong they can hurt you more then they can help you. So if you want to effectively e market your hotel on social media let the pros do it for you to give you more bang for your buck.
Hotel E Marketing Will Pay Off
Hotel E Marketing will pay off in the long run, by increasing your bookings which will in turn lead to higher occupancy, and rev par for your hotel property. If you have a hotel that has a food n beverage outlet there are many various forms to get people through your doors with hotel E marketing.
Don't get discouraged if you do not know how to do this, as there are thousands of companies out there that can do this for you, but not many understand the hospitality business like we do. Our president of our company New Simple Marketing has 15 years of hotel management and sales under his belt, and knows what you go through in order to bring guests into your rooms. This is why hiring us makes more sense, as we know the industry and know how people are looking for your hotel. Hotel e marketing also does not need to break your bank account. If you are interested in having us help you with your hotels e marketing simply click here.
Why Digital Marketing Is Important To Hotel Industry
The hotel industry has many various trends, and they are constantly changing such as the ever changing world of marketing, especially for hotels. Hotel industry trends in digital marketing has made even a bigger change and with most hotels jumping on board, its crucial that you don't allow your property to get behind.
Did you know that 6 out of 10 travelers will change their mind on their hotel selection due to something that they read on Trip Advisor, Facebook, or even by doing a new google search? That's a pretty large number, and if your hotel does not have that strong of an online presence, chances are you are loosing bookings to your competition.
Do you want to see how your hotel stacks up to the competition? Do a google search for your property this way. Type in the search (My Hotel in your city and state) example: If you manage or own a Super 8 in Charleston North Carolina then type in the search (Super 8 In Charleston North Carolina) now go through the items that come up on the search. How many actually show up that are for your hotel? Or do you see a lot of various links to 3rd Party OTA's such as Expedia, Hotels.com or Priceline? You might even see a link to one of your competitors. When people do searches for your hotel you can see that they have many various places to click on in order to get the information they want to make a purchasing decision. Your hotel needs to follow the trend and have as much digital content out there so they are booking with you, and not an OTA which cuts into your profits. Worse yet they could even book with the competition. This is why digital marketing is the major hotel industry trend to raise your occupancy.
Digital Marketing Trend For Hotel Industry Can Be Expensive
If you are unable to follow this hotel industry trend for yourself, it could cost you quite a bit of money to digitally market your hotel, however there are ways you can outsource this and have it be more beneficial to your bottom line, by choosing the right company. Most marketing companies that going after hotels do not have hotel experience. They think that the online marketing trends that work for their other clients will work for hotels as well, and they are sadly mistaking. Also do not get sucked in by the companies that are offering 3rd party websites saying that their system will generate bookings on their own so you can focus on your guests. Why the websites look very nice, and they are integrated with a booking engine so guests can make online reservation, ask yourself this.
How are these sites being found?
Its one thing to have a great looking website, but I have seen where a basic website with property information, loaded with pictures, and video have converted more guests, based on how the guests find the website through their search. Future guests are searching for your hotel in many different ways. Keyword research for hotel digital marketing is crucial.
Just building a website is not enough. Digital marketing trend for the hotel industry is like planting a garden. The website is the base, the dirt so to speak. It needs to have seeds planted in order to make the garden grow, and in order to do that you need to nurture the seeds. With the hotel industry trend of digital marketing taking fold, its very important to start nurturing your garden now.
Hire A Company That Has Experience In Hotels
To make sure your digital marketing packs the punch your looking for hiring a digital marketing agency that has experience in hotels can give you a better return on your investment. Your hotel needs to come up in various searches for your area, based on what guests are typing into Google. You need to build your presence around your room generators, whether its a large hospital, manufacturing business, or events that bring in out of town guests. You need to be able to come up on all of those searches and be able to tell your hotels story to these guests so they feel that they have enough information to book at your hotel instead of constantly searching. People want to be informed and they are hungry for information.
Most marketing companies do not know all the trends in our industry and how to find these kind of drivers that will send traffic to your website. The more traffic to your website, will lead to more bookings if the traffic is targeted to the guests. At New Simple Marketing we know how do just that. The president and chief marketing consultant for New Simple Marketing is a 15 year hotel management and sales veteran, so when you hire us to do your digital marketing for your hotel not only are you going to be promoting your hotel on various digital channels, but we are going to be driving targeted visitors to your website that are looking for a hotel in your area. Its like hiring an online sales team at the fraction of the cost.
See How We Can Market Your Hotel And Build Your Online Presence
We can start on most hotel projects and have it up and running with in 7 days! Not only do we work fast for you in order to get your online presence built, but we also will not take on another hotel client with in 10 miles of your property. The reason we do this, is because we want to drive business to your hotel, and not your competition. When you work with us, your getting a partner in sales, and not just a company looking to saturate the area with new clients.
So if you want to stay or get with thishotel industry trend, get on the digital marketing band wagon now, and start raising your rev par. Call us at 563-265-2717
Time To Refresh Your Online Content
Why your maintenance department is getting your rooms refreshed for the new year, your sales department should be doing the same with your online content, and local event marketing. 2014 is almost to a close and 2015 looks to be a good year, but you need to make sure you are positioned to be seen to ask for the business. Too many times hoteliers dont spend as much time on their online presence as they should. So if you want to make a splash in 2015 with higher occupancy you want to make sure you have all your revenue channels optimized and ready to go.
Your sales department or online firm needs to start gathering information for 2015 events. People have already experienced being turned away at various hotels for not making reservations, and booking windows are already getting bigger. So an event happening 4 to 5 months away, could have guests already making plans and reservations. You will want to make sure the following is done, and information updated so your hotel will come up in better standings in searches when these future planners are looking to book their stays.
1.Up Date Information- Any Pages you have for past events on the internet take them down, or hide them from the search engines. If these events happen every year, update the information to reflect the 2015 date with a link to that events official website. Any events that are not happening in 2015, delete the pages.
2. Refresh Blog Posts- If your hotel runs a blog and you write about local events as part of your content marketing strategy, you need to refresh those blogs for the new years events. This does not mean you have to re write the whole thing, but simply go in, write some new content about any changes to the event for 2015, and change the title to reflect the new year and new date.
3. Refresh Your Pictures- Make sure you take new and different pictures of your hotel and post them to your website and social media channels. Pictures and video are going to be the new median when it comes to hotel marketing and is already taking hold. If you start too late, you will be playing catch up for some time.
Now this is quite a bit of work for one person, so if you have more people on your sales team make sure everybody is doing their part, other wise put aside at least 2 hours a day for your sales person to work on this so its done by the end of the month. We will be writing more on how to gain more occupancy in 2015 in the very near future and announcing soon on how you can hire New Simple Marketing to be your online sales team.
2014 Is Crucial For Hotels To Have Social Media Presence
This year is more important then ever that hotels build a social media presence in order to survive. As the internet expands just having a good website is not enough to bring in online sales. Overall 88% of travelers go to review sites such as TripAdvisor.com and about 40% of those travelers look even further into their travel plans by seeing what their freinds are recomending. The only way to do that is through Social Media outlets such as blogs, Facebook, Google Plus, and Instagram.
This day an age people are looking for recomendations because they do not want to spend their hard earn money on a trip and then have it be a bomb due to bad service or worn out hotels. Social Media has grown to give them just that kind of feedback. There are quite a bit of consumers that look specifically for hotel Facebook pages to see what kind of buzz is surrounding the property along with trying to find helpful tips for their next stay. With this being said hotels that do not have a social media presence are really missing out on grabbing their fair share of the market in their areas. Just having a Facebook page is not enough. Hotels need to develop a Social Media Marketing Plan.
Just Building Social Media Platforms Is Not Enough
Ok so your reading this, and you might be feeling a slump in occupancy at your property and your going OK I am going to build a Facebook page. Well thats great that you decided to take that step however just building a page and letting it go is not enough. Its about how you use that page that really gives you the full impact. You need to designate someone on your front office team that is familar with social media to operate these pages for you, or hire an outside company such as ours to handle your social media. You want to make sure that you are getting the technical stuff down so that your page will show up in search engines to help better rank your websites, and you want your pages to be social and engaging with people that visit your page.
You want to make sure that people can see information fast, and will also interact with your page by likeing posts, sharing comments, and sharing your posts with their networks. Some hotels even offer a way to book rooms on their Social media pages and offer an incentive to do so such as a Fan Discount or a Fan Rate. Social media is also a great way to retain people and keep your property and brand in their minds on a daily basis.
Being able to have your guests and future guests attention is almost priceless, and if you utlize your social media platforms correctly and think out side of the box, it can be a very important guest service tool and revenue generator for your property.
We found this blog post the other day and it really lays out what to do to get the most of your Social Media marketing. We strongly recomend you read it. Also we will be posting about the various social media platforms that we use for the hotels we market and what is working for us incase you decide to go this alone.
MUST READ DOES YOUR HOTEL HAVE THE RIGHT SOCIAL MARKETING PLATFORM?