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  16 Nov 2020
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The Hotel Digital Marketing Complete Beginner’s Guide


It is no news that business organizations of all forms and sizes see competitions every day, so they must follow the trends to keep up with the pace. One of the trends is adopting the latest technologies to take the business brand to a greater height. 

As challenging as the hotel industry is, there are even tons of right blueprints patterns that can make your industry realize more direct online reservations while driving down the cost of distributing the hotel’s inventory. 

One of the biggest and lucrative ways of getting your hospitality business the much-needed publicity and popularity is through well-planned digital marketing, which is undoubtedly the talk of the town in today’s market.

We are in a modern world that sees technological advancements every day. Many people now use smartphones and are connected to the internet. Therefore, this tells you why taking your business digital will only boost your customer base and ultimately fetch you more revenue more than you can ever envision by merely engaging with your customers both online and offline, using some electronic devices.

In this article, we will run you by what hotel digital marketing means, types, and the complete beginner’s guide in 2024.

Hotel Digital Marketing

In self-explanatory and straightforward terms, hotel digital marketing, that is also known as hospitality marketing, is referred to as the online and offline promotion of hotel services by using digital channels, such as emails, social media, web applications, websites, search engines, or with the use of electronic devices.

Hospitality marketing has seen a remarkable rise in demand in recent times, owing to its high return. Hotel digital marketing employs Social Media Marketing (SMM), which encapsulates social media marketing sites and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

SEO is one of SMM’s key ingredients, making your company’s website appear on Google’s search engine for potential customers to make an online reservation. More so, it makes SMM perfectly fit for promoting your hotel business, with an assurance of getting the needed return, if done right. 

Types of Hotel Digital Marketing

There are basically two types of hospitality marketing, and each of these types has categories that offer loads of benefits to any hotel establishment. These types and their categories are mentioned as follows:

  1. Online Hotel Digital Marketing

- Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

- Social Media Marketing (SMM)

- Email marketing

- Affiliate marketing

- Content marketing

- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)

- Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

  1. Offline Hotel Digital Marketing 

- Enhanced digital marketing: This is an entirely offline hospitality marketing that is enhanced by electronic devices. For instance, if your hotel uses iPads, an offline experience like say “book with us” can be improved with the electronic device. 

- Radio marketing

- Television marketing

- Phone marketing

Embracing Personalization:

In the age of big data and machine learning, personalization has become the cornerstone of effective hotel marketing strategies. 

By harnessing guest data and leveraging advanced analytics, hotels can tailor their marketing efforts to individual preferences and behaviors. 

From personalized email campaigns to targeted advertising and customized guest experiences, personalization allows hotels to enhance guest satisfaction and foster loyalty in 2024.

Optimizing Distribution Channels:

A diverse distribution strategy is essential for maximizing visibility and driving bookings in 2024. 

While online travel agencies (OTAs) remain valuable partners for reaching a broad audience, hotels should also prioritize direct bookings through their website and mobile app. 

The rise of metasearch engines and the advent of blockchain technology present new opportunities for hotels to streamline distribution and reduce reliance on intermediaries.

Engaging with Influencers:

Influencer marketing continues to be a powerful tool for hotels to reach and engage with highly targeted audiences. 

In 2024, hotels should focus on building genuine relationships with influencers who align with their brand values and target demographics. 

Collaborating with influencers on sponsored content, social media takeovers, and experiential activations can generate buzz, drive engagement, and ultimately increase bookings.

Measuring Success and Iterating:

Effective digital marketing is a dynamic process that requires continuous monitoring, analysis, and optimization. 

Hotels should leverage a variety of key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their marketing efforts, including website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, and guest satisfaction scores. 

By identifying areas for improvement and iterating on their strategies accordingly, hotels can stay ahead of the curve in 2024.

Detailed Guide For Beginners On Hotel Digital Marketing 

Building a hotel marketing strategy when you start from scratch, reforming your hotel business enterprise(s), or expanding your existing customer base is a daunting task and involves exploring many options. Here is a complete guide that will enable you to exceed your aims and objective as a hotel industry owner.

1. Understanding the Digital Landscape

Before delving into specific tactics, it's crucial to understand the digital landscape in which hotels operate. 

In today's hyper-connected world, consumers rely heavily on online channels to research, plan, and book their travel accommodations. 

Mobile devices play a significant role, with travelers often using smartphones and tablets to browse websites, read reviews, and make reservations on the go. 

Social media platforms also wield considerable influence, shaping travel decisions through user-generated content and targeted advertising.

  1. Build a website

Building a responsive website that is mobile-friendly and introduces the business organization to the global audience is one of the typical ways to build an online presence. Hotel website serves more than just being a calling card; it also works in a remarkable way to improves sales and revenue.

When building a responsive company’s website for a target audience, some details must be packed to make it a success and a worthy marketing plan. These details are as follows:

- A hotel website must tell the target audience about all the hotel industry’s services, ranging from amenities to accommodation. A potential guest would want to be sure of the services he would get for booking a reservation with your hotel. Therefore, genuine attention must be paid to this part.

- Including enough pictures of your hotel industry, rooms, pools, parking lot, etc. on your hotel website is a perfect way of appealing to the potential guests’ visual sense. They must be convinced that they are making the right choice of booking with your hotel.

- Your hotel website must feature a simplified hotel booking engine to make a booking feel like a breeze to potential guests. This simplified booking gets you the customers and makes them return for more services, for as long as booking a reservation with your hotel is comfortable and swift.

- Most of the websites making waves in today’s modern market are mobile-friendly, which is because more people move around quickly with their smartphone, rather than iPads, PCs, and other big-screen electronic devices. 

  1. Create an independent hotel marketing plan 

Building a hotel marketing strategy when you start from scratch, reforming your hotel business enterprise, or expanding your existing customer base is a daunting task and involves exploring many options. 

Compose a distinctive brand message depending on the type of guest you wish to receive in your hotel industry. This is a crucial step that must be given a professional touch. If you can get this right, then there are higher chances of your hotel business thriving. 

4. Creating Compelling Content

Content is king in the world of digital marketing, and hotels must invest in creating high-quality, engaging content that resonates with their target audience. This includes not only written content such as blog posts and articles but also visual content such as photos and videos. 

Consider creating virtual tours of your property, showcasing guest testimonials, and highlighting local attractions and events. 

User-generated content can also be a powerful tool for building trust and authenticity, so encourage guests to share their experiences on social media and review sites.

5. Implementing SEO Best Practices

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your website to improve its visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). By implementing SEO best practices, you can increase your hotel's organic traffic and attract more qualified leads. 

This includes optimizing your website's meta tags, headers, and content with relevant keywords, improving site speed and mobile-friendliness, and earning high-quality backlinks from reputable websites. 

Regularly updating your content and monitoring your website's performance with tools like Google Analytics are also essential for ongoing SEO success.

6. Utilizing Paid Advertising

While organic traffic is valuable, paid advertising can help hotels reach a broader audience and drive immediate results. 

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising platforms like Google Ads and social media advertising on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram allow hotels to target specific demographics, interests, and behaviors with highly relevant ads. 

Whether you're promoting special offers, highlighting seasonal packages, or simply increasing brand awareness, paid advertising can be a cost-effective way to boost visibility and drive bookings.

7. Engaging with Guests on Social Media

Social media platforms provide hotels with a unique opportunity to engage directly with their guests in real-time. 

By actively posting updates, responding to comments and messages, and sharing user-generated content, hotels can foster a sense of community and build loyalty among their followers. 

Consider running contests and giveaways, hosting live Q&A sessions, and collaborating with influencers to amplify your social media presence and reach new audiences. 

Remember to monitor your social media channels regularly and respond promptly to both positive and negative feedback to maintain a positive reputation online.

8. Leveraging Email Marketing

Email marketing remains one of the most effective channels for driving direct bookings and nurturing guest relationships. 

Hotels can use email marketing to send personalized offers and promotions, announce upcoming events and specials, and solicit feedback from recent guests. Segmenting your email list based on demographics, booking history, and engagement level allows you to tailor your messaging and increase the relevance and effectiveness of your campaigns. 

Just be sure to comply with GDPR and other regulations governing email communications to avoid running afoul of privacy laws.

Measuring Success and Iterating

No hotel digital marketing strategy is complete without robust measurement and analysis. 

By tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) such as website traffic, conversion rates, social media engagement, and revenue generated from digital channels, hotels can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. 

Use tools like Google Analytics, social media analytics dashboards, and email marketing platforms to monitor your metrics and identify areas for improvement. Then, use this data to iterate on your strategy, testing new tactics and optimizing existing ones to achieve better results over time.

How Can A Property Management System (PMS) Help With Digital Marketing? 

A hotel property management system (PMS) can help with digital marketing in several ways:

  • Online Booking Integration: A PMS can integrate with online booking platforms, making it easier for potential guests to find and book properties. This increases visibility and accessibility, contributing to digital marketing efforts.
  • Data Analytics: PMS collects valuable data about guest preferences, booking patterns, and demographics. This data can be analyzed to identify target markets, optimize marketing strategies, and personalize promotional efforts.
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): PMS often includes CRM functionalities to manage guest interactions and feedback. By maintaining a database of guest information and communication history, digital marketing campaigns can be tailored to specific customer segments, enhancing engagement and loyalty.
  • Channel Management: PMS facilitates managing listings across various online channels such as OTAs (Online Travel Agencies), social media platforms, and direct booking websites. This centralized control ensures consistent branding and messaging, amplifying the effectiveness of digital marketing campaigns.
  • Reviews and Reputation Management: PMS can automate the process of collecting guest reviews and managing online reputation. Positive reviews act as social proof, influencing potential guests' booking decisions and boosting digital marketing efforts.
  • Integration with Marketing Tools: Many PMS platforms offer integration with marketing automation tools, email marketing platforms, and CRM systems. This streamlines marketing operations and allows for targeted campaigns based on guest behavior and preferences.

Conclusion

Yes, online is now the most effective way to market your hotel business digitally, but other explorable options are shown in this article. Therefore, using offline digital marketing options would prevent you from putting all eggs in one basket. 

Technology changes as each day pass, so keep your ears open and eyes peeled to learn and adopt the new methods. This hotel digital marketing guide for beginners is a perfect ticket to your success. So, digest and ask us questions for a quick reply. 

To learn more about how our property management system can help your business, schedule a call with us right now!

It's free and packed with solutions.

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