With Online Travel Agent (OTA) commission structures typically ranging from 15%-25%, hoteliers need a way to decrease reservations booked on OTAs, and increase direct bookings to reduce customer acquisition costs and grow profits.
An effective hotel digital marketing plan can help you achieve this goal. Here are five techniques worth considering in your hotel's marketing mix.
Increase direct bookings by increasing qualified traffic to your website through Pay-Per-Click (PPC) or Cost-per-Click (CPC) advertising on metasearch sites like Kayak and Trivago, or through Google AdWords. This hotel digital marketing tactic works well because it targets users who are specifically searching for the particular terms and keywords associated with your property. And you only pay a commission when a user clicks on your ad.
Another cost-effective way to expand your hotel digital marketing efforts is by partnering with affiliates. These are businesses and organizations that advertise your hotel on their websites, and they only receive a commission when they deliver quality traffic to you. Affiliate marketing lets you expand into new markets you might not otherwise have access to. And bonus! Since search engines favor inbound links, links from well-trafficked affiliate websites help boost your rank on search engines as well.
Optimizing your website’s look and feel to appeal to your target audience will attract traffic and compel visitors to convert. And your site will show up higher in search results when you use search engine optimized (SEO) keywords, appropriate metatags, and dynamic videos. You’ll want to make sure your website is mobile optimized, too. According to Google research, 77% of searches at home or work happen on a mobile device, even when a PC is available.
Email marketing offers one of the best ROI for hoteliers, with an average return of $38 for every $1 you spend. Email marketing also drives customer acquisition and retention and has the highest conversion rate (66%) compared with social media, direct mail, and more. The key to a winning email marketing campaign is personalization. You’ll increase customer loyalty and direct bookings by targeting different audience segments with relevant offers. For example, promote a local festival to families and groups, while sending romance package offers to couples.
Online reviews matter. A lot. Recent research shows that 84% of people trust online reviews as much as friends, and 90% let online reviews influence their buying decisions. Reputation management is crucial for increasing hotel bookings. According to a Harvard study, a one-star increase on Yelp equates to a revenue increase of 5%-9%.
Want to learn which hotel digital marketing techniques will help your hotel rise above the competition?