Hilton Digital Marketing Opportunities
By Sonya Taylor, Director of Operations and Marketing at Cogwheel Marketing
Over the last few years, Hilton has worked especially hard to combat OTA marketing funds and come up with programs to increase direct bookings for your individual hotel. Some are mandatory and others are optional/additional marketing opportunities that will support your digital exposure.
Hilton Advance is Hilton's digital paid media program covering Paid Search, MetaSearch, Paid Social, Display, Affiliate Media, and more. You may remember "Edge;" Hilton Advance replaced EDGE as a way to combat the ever-increasing marketing spend of OTA's. Instead of a flat fee for your hotel's digital presence, Hilton Advance creates a flexible budget to ensure strategies to capture the best digital media opportunities. This is not an optional program for your hotel, you are automatically opted in and cannot opt-out. If you want to explore additional paid opportunities, see Hilton's Amplify information below.
Amplify is a platform powered by Koddi that "compliments" Hilton Advance by allowing hotels to fund additional opportunities to increase their online presence. This can be used to target new customers, or even showcase a unique offering. In order to take advantage of Amplify, there are minimum spend requirements for each type of "media package" you want to initiate for your hotel.
- Ancillary Paid Search: Increase Awareness of Amenities - $1K/month
- Generic Paid Search: Improve Awareness (Branding) and Placement - $5K/month
- Display: Increase Awareness - $10K/month
- Metasearch: Drive Incremental Opportunity via mobile - $250/month
- Paid Social Prospecting: Reach Users with In-Market Intent - $1K/month (*Coming Q4 2020)
- Sponsored Listing: Increase visibility in Destination Level Searches - $250/month
Hilton Elevate is a platform that allows hotels the ability to fully manage your property's Expedia Travel Ads, within the Koddi platform, including spend, performance, engagement, and ad copy. When opting into Hilton Elevate, your hotel automatically opts in for Hilton Elevate's Travel Ad campaign optimization that uses algorithms and machine learning to improve efficiencies. This is a great opportunity for hotels that don't have active Revenue Managers or a marketing team to fully optimize your ad spend based on your market.
You may be asking "Why should I run my travel ads through Hilton Elevate rather than through the Expedia Travel Ads platform?" Running your ads through Koddi's Hilton Elevate program allows you to be eligible for potential funding matches that Expedia and Hilton have agreed on ever so often. For example, when the program first rolled out, Hilton was offering a 25% match on all funds loaded. Why not take advantage of FREE Money?!?!
Expedia Accelerator allows hotels to opt into paying a higher commission for a higher placement on Expedia. If a room is booked through your higher listing, you will pay the higher commission decided upon.
Accelerator really should not be your first plan of action when wanting to increase your OTA exposure. Before opting into this, take a look at maximizing your organic listing first.
- Content and Photos: Ensure major OTAs like Expedia & Booking have 100% optimization score
- Reviews: Have you responded to all of your guest reviews? Are you engaging with real-time feedback?
- Rate Parity- Are your rates in parity? We know this has been an issue for not only Hilton, but all branded hotels the last few years when they rolled out their member-only rates, but get your rates in as much parity as possible.
If you are missing one of these things, fix this first to help your organic listing. If you still find yourself towards the bottom or not as high on the first page, then you should consider using Accelerator. If you are on the 2nd page, we highly recommend you do not opt into accelerator and use your funds on Travel Ads i.e Hilton Elevate.
COVID-19 may have affected some or all of these offerings. We recommend checking The Hilton Lobby for further information on each program.
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