Back to Basics: Five Tips for Cyber Monday Success
Over the years, Cyber Monday has become a huge opportunity for hotels to drive bookings. What started as a one-day online shopping holiday that followed Black Friday has now extended to weeks before Thanksgiving, with some sales even lasting the entire month of November. As a result, consumers aren't just searching for deals earlier — they're making more purchases over a longer period of time. In 2018, Cyber Monday sales hit $7.9 billion, a 19.3% increase from the previous year (Adobe). While businesses are making more, consumers are also planning to spend more: This year, the average consumer plans to spend $431 on Cyber Monday.
1. Run your campaign for a minimum of two weeks.
As more brands and retailers shift their budgets towards digital channels to promote deals earlier, a one-day sale is simply not enough to generate substantial returns. By launching a two-week sale (beginning before Cyber Monday), you can remain competitive during the period when the largest number of people are searching for hotel deals.
To build the most traction and revenue, create a clear marketing plan with timed initiatives throughout the campaign. For example, you may launch emailers and promoted social media posts before the campaign begins to keep your brand top-of-mind. Consider the fact that the average traveler takes about 17 days and visits an average of 18 sites before making a booking (Google Research). In order to capture potential guests who may be in the early stages of the travel planning journey, it's important to give them ample time to move from discovery to planning and finally into the booking phase.
2. Promote an enticing discount of at least 30%.
With many promotions saturating the marketplace during Cyber Monday, it's crucial to provide a strong special offer of at least 30% off. Hoteliers can also include value-adds to make the offer even more enticing, such as a complimentary dining or spa credit.
Travelers are searching 30 or more days in advance. The top cities for Q1/Q2 travel are New York City, Miami, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Chicago. If your hotel is located in one of those destinations, you can see even more success with a strong sale.
Consider targeting shoppers in cities with the top spend. The biggest Cyber Monday shoppers are in Denver, San Francisco, New York, Portland, and Seattle. Overall, the nationwide average of spending is up 6.1%, showing that consumers are more comfortable spending more online (Adobe).
3. Make your offer stand out with interactive content.
Another way to make your offer stand out is by launching an interactive application or mini-site. Serving as the hub for your campaign, this destination landing page should match the look and feel of your website and feature dynamic content with a clear call-to-action. To engage users and create a sense of urgency, you can consider featuring a live countdown clock to highlight the exclusivity and limited-time nature of your special offer.
In addition to the campaign landing page, you should also incorporate interactive content throughout your supporting marketing initiatives. Making all of your marketing pieces have a cohesive look and feel is important. It helps users recognize your brand more easily when they come across your advertisements, and the message is more likely to stick in their minds. Consider incorporating Instagram Story ads into your marketing mix that feature stunning video footage of your destination and a direct link to your special offer.
4. Double your core marketing budget.
To ensure a successful Cyber Monday campaign, we advise hoteliers to double their existing core marketing budget during this period. Due to high competition, the cost of initiatives such as Google paid search (SEM), display advertising, and social media advertising are likely to increase. If brands do not increase their budgets, they can expect to see lower impressions and share of voice, which could lead to lost bookings.
As with any campaign, it's essential to take a multi-channel approach, utilizing a holistic marketing mix that reaches consumers throughout the travel planning journey and across all devices. By serving people with the right content at the right place and at the right time, brands can guide even more potential guests into the booking funnel.
5. Extend the sale for two weeks, with a lower discount.
To monopolize attention and help drive revenue, the sale should start one month before Cyber Monday and then extend for two weeks afterward. Drop your discount in the following weeks to 15-25% off. Many retailers utilize this strategy, which is an effective way to capture potential guests who were still considering your hotel when the sale ended. By extending the sale, you can also drive bookings by targeting travelers who are searching for last-minute hotel deals for Christmas and New Year's.
Despite the high competition surrounding Cyber Monday, hoteliers can still take advantage of this online shopping holiday to build brand awareness, increase website traffic, and drive bookings. By planning now, hoteliers can create strategic multi-channel campaign strategies that will reach potential guests throughout the travel planning journey and guarantee success.
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NextGuest Digital uses the latest in digital marketing technology to assist hotel brands in crafting their digital presence. Through the agency's smartCMS®, Content Personalization Engine, Smart Data Marketing, and other innovative initiatives, hoteliers see a drastic boost in direct bookings, as well as lower distribution costs and an increase the lifetime value of guests. NextGuest Digital is part of NextGuest, an all-encompassing partner that helps hoteliers acquire, engage, and retain their next guest. Based in New York City, the company is comprised of NextGuest Digital, CRM, Labs, and Consulting. www.nextguest.com | (800) 649-5076 | [email protected]
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