What is a typical hotel online marketing strategy? You need to visible everywhere, on social media, blogs, email campaigns, great looking web & easy to use booking engine. You start pushing content and publishing it everywhere. You hire a community manager or you contract a company to do it for you. Fantastic, bit by bit you increase your followers and presence. Occasionaly you do a competition on Facebook or instagram to give your pages a push. Everything is great right? You feel you are covering all the bases. Now onto sending newsletters by email, you send them out frequently, you rely on your reception team to input the correct email address into your PMS and hope that the guest has given you the right one! You feel your reaching your clients and you try and incentivize them to come back and stay with you with promotions. You do business card and other internal promotions to increase your database. Your community manager also does SEO & SEM as well as adword campaigns to increase your visibility in google keyword searches. You feel you are doing everything to maximise your sales and online conversions. Sound Familiar?
The majority of hotels in the UK & Europe are doing all of the above and are increasing slowly their online conversions, However this has been the industry standard for the last few years, even though technology has moved on since then. Today a hotel can make it even easier to connect with more potential clients and not rely on your operational staff.
Technology can automate a lot of processes that hotels do manually. To demonstrate this, below is a list of marketing actions that you can do today:-
- Obtain a email address of all the occupants in a guest room
- Obtain a email address of a non resident
- Obtain a email address of a visitor to your web
- Obtain a email address of participants that enter a competition on Social media
- Increase your Facebook fans daily without any promotions or new content
Are you doing all or any of the above? Are you increasing daily your marketing database?
All the above can be put in place quickly and without major investment. Another key benefit is that it does not involve your staff, so they can concentrate on providing great service for your guests.
In hotels that we have installed this technology, we have seen over 400% increase in their marketing database. By increasing the amount of clients contact details to your database, you are increasing your visibility and therefore increasing your conversions.
This is a great first step for your hotel, you also need to ensure you have a responsive web and booking engine that can work to ensure clients book with you, not the OTA´s or your competitors.
With the recent changes to the way Hotels price themselves online, it is imperative that you are capturing as much data as you can, which will enable you to maximize your direct bookings. Relying on the OTA´s in the long term is not a winning strategy, creating a powerful marketing database that can be used to drive direct bookings should be a key part of your long term digital marketing objectives.