I have been noticing a lot of talk when it comes to the major thing in competing against the OTA's and most of the weight of the conversation is about a great converting website. Large mass marketing companies are promoting to hotels that they have the best website that will do all the selling, and story telling in order to convert visitors into guests that book at your hotel. This is great, and is a must, but its not the do all when it comes to digitally marketing your hotel for survival. Yes I used the word survival because if you really realized how much time and effort is spent by the OTA's such as Priceline, Expedia, and others creating new fresh content surrounding your hotel you would be amazed. This is how OTA's are starting to drain the direct bookings that hotels were getting through their own website or brand.com website. Watering down your room revenue profits.
Priceline's secondary company Booking.com went and purchased a hospitality marketing agency just a year or so ago, that was called Buuteeq. Buuteeq made websites for the hotel industry that would integrate all the social facets of digital marketing. Since Booking.com took it over and now calls it Bookingsuite they have been hitting hotels hard convincing them that they need a 3rd party website to help gain more bookings. So they have a few packages in which one is where its totally free, where they build your hotel a 3rd party website and only charge you commissions for any of the bookings. Another package allows you to have a blog, and to have more pages and consult with a content manager. This way you can build the online digital content about your hotel around their booking engine. They charge a pretty hefty monthly fee for what that program does. I mean their sites do convert very well, but your brand.com site can do the same thing. Before you go and sign up for something like this with them, or any other large media agency, you really need to know the following.
Websites do not just automatically pull in traffic. I know there are some designers and developers out there that will tell you their website will generate a load of traffic and converting visitors into customers, but its simply not true. You have to direct traffic to a website by creating fresh new content that uses the key words that are being typed into search engines by your possible guests. With out having this content through social media platforms, stand alone blog, book marking, and SEO of your own site, your not going to be found on search.
HERE IS A BLOG POST FROM BOOKING SUITE TELLING YOU NOT TO BLOG BUT GET THEIR WEBSITE COMPLETE AND CREATE CONTENT ON THEIR PLATFORM.
So you go and create content on their booking platform making them commissions on bookings. Covering up any content you have that directs people to your lowest cost booking source. Which is your own website or brand.com website.
Another main thing is do you want to have a company that is not only taking your website visitors away from your lowest cost booking channel, but a company that is also working for your competition. I have seen Booking.com flood a market with their stand alone websites. This is just watering down your marketing even more, why a bigger company makes the profits off of your hard work. That's really how I view it. I also understand that you might not have time to do your own digital marketing for your hotel and that it seems like an easy way out. This is why we offer packages for hotels that are based on getting traffic to your own brand.com website.
If you would like more information on how New Simple Marketing can help you market your hotel online and bring revenue through your most profitable booking source fill out the contact form below, or visit our Hotel Marketing Services Page.
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.