There are over 27 million hotels in the world, which means that organizations interested in capturing the attention of customers will have to find a way to differentiate themselves from others in the industry, particularly those around their precise location. Not only does this require an intimate understanding of the target audience and what appeals to them about the hotel experience, but it also requires an understanding of the latest trends in marketing in the industry and where customers go to learn more about companies that can help solve their pain points and provide them with comfortable lodging when they travel.
Hotel brands want to better understand modern consumers and create a marketing strategy that will help them develop a competitive edge. They need to educate themselves on the value and strategies that e-marketing or digital marketing can provide. Grasping how these initiatives can help hotels bring in new customers can then help you create a strategy that will bring your organization into the digital age.
What is e-marketing?
E-marketing involves using the internet to promote your product and service. It requires understanding how customers use the web when planning hotel stays and trips they want to take. When it is done effectively, it can help searchers better understand how your brand in particular can solve their consumer questions and provide them with the optimum experience they seek.
What is the role of e-marketing in the hospitality industry?
The use of the internet in the searching and booking of hotels has been an asset to the hotel and travel industries. Rather than having to split profits with travel agents and other professionals who once directed travelers to business, hotels can now pass more savings on to their customers and thus provide customers a positive experience before they even step foot in the hotel.
E-marketing also empowers brands to get the word about their organizations out to prospective customers easier and more smoothly than previously. Now, thanks to word of mouth reviews and digital profiles, hotels have a means of reaching out to their target customers and demonstrating clearly how their accommodation can help them get the most out of their travels.
For hotels, the key lies in understanding the most important areas of e-marketing for the modern traveler and how they can leverage these platforms to create a strong brand presence.
What are the five e-actions hoteliers need to know?
1. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
When customers begin searching for hotels in a specific area, the internet provides them with a wealth of information at their fingertips. With SEM, hotels can enhance the digital presence of their organization so that they appear in the relevant searches for customers. This often entails combining both PPC ads, which run on search engine results pages applicable to the query the user made, and SEO, which uses optimization techniques to help the hotel website appear as high as possible in relevant searches.
2. Social Media Marketing
Social media marketing taps into the connections and information people have across social media. An estimated 3.6 billion people worldwide have at least one social media page, making this a reliable platform to reach potential customers. Social media marketing involves building a strong page with an engaged following where you can speak directly with existing and prospective customers. You can also use PPC on social media to create ads that appear to people in your target demographic.
3. Mobile Advertising
Mobile advertising needs to play a critical role in the promotional strategy of any hotel. Nearly 60 percent of searches now take place on mobile devices, as customers use their smartphones and tablets to engage with brands and find answers to their questions. To effectively use mobile advertising, make sure that your sites and ads display correctly to these users through responsive design. Study carefully the behavior of your customers and see which phases of the buyer’s journey they are more likely to complete on a mobile device. You can also incorporate mobile-specific promotions using features such as QR codes that allow customers to access special features or services during their stay.
4. Email Advertising
Effective email marketing can have an ROI of over 4000 percent, making it a highly productive way to reach customers. You can entice people to join your newsletters or otherwise hand over their contact information by creating appealing landing pages and offering helpful information. Segment your email lists based on the customer’s place in the buyer’s journey and the buyer’s persona, allowing you to promote your hotel with highly targeted emails.
5. Display Advertising
Display advertising reaches customers by creating attractive, engaging ads that can be displayed to customers in a variety of formats. You might use strategies such as text ads, which incorporate text-based hyperlinks that encourage people to click and learn more about your hotel and its offerings. You can also create a variety of banner ads, such as pop-up ads, that can be displayed on a number of different platforms to encourage finding out more about your business.
Understanding how to use these highly effective e-marketing strategies can prepare your brand to successfully engage online with your hotel customers.