Gone are the days of promoting your hotel through magazines, directories and flyers. Today, the first place a tourist goes prior to making hotel bookings is the internet. Having grown more than 73% over the last 5 years, internet booking is riding the high wave these days. Recent reports suggest that travel forms the largest e-commerce category today, closely followed by airline ticket sales, the online travel industry having reaped in $700 billion in 2012. The number is growing exponentially with services of traditional travel agencies swiftly being abandoned and aborted. Clearly, hotel marketing today is going the internet way.
Identifying the need to adopt innovative approaches in their marketing strategies that are designed to attract the attention of potential customers, hotels today, are resorting to hotel website promotion through internet marketing. It is imperative for a hotel website to be competent enough to convert the number of visitors into bookings. A website’s design, layout, structure, content etc have a major impact on the conversion rate. Rich SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) also forms a part of this and enables a hotel to stand out on the very first page of reliable booking engines. A hotel website today, allows customers to take a virtual tour of the hotel, read all available information, study guest reviews and ratings etc. Based on these factors, the consumer then chooses whether or not to make a booking.
It is, however, imperative that hotel marketing tools be innovative, less complicated and easily accessible. Visual storytelling is the future of digital. An pleasant and attractive website showcasing captivating images of the hotel and its surroundings certainly catches the guest’s attention and also offers a competitive advantage to the hotel. Dissemination of information is another tool for hotel marketing. Also, the hotel’s website should be able to weave a story that enlightens guests about the various amenities and services on offer. Special emphasis should be laid on the firm’s competitive edge over others with proper FAQ’s to reap in more customer satisfaction.
Recent reports suggest that if hotels do not market themselves on social networks, they are most likely to experience a 2% drop in traffic each month and those that do increase views by 12% per month. If we leave the stats aside, the reason a hotel’s internet marketing strategy would include effective social media is because of the simple reason that this is where all the guests are! Approx 1 in every 13 people on earth use Facebook today and half of them log in each day! A social hub, Facebook is where people connect, interact, and share views, opinions and reviews. This also includes a host of travel information. Ensuring that your hotel is active on the social scene is a vital tool for claiming new guests and retaining the old.