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.