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The Ultimate Digital Marketing Guide for Hotels - Part II

Cost-effective Digital solutions Most digital solutions available today provide hotels with an opportunity to become more cost-effective.

Working- Media by WiX
Working- Media by WiX

We focus on Value Innovation Alignment to optimize your hotel’s digital marketing strategy. This process supports differentiation and low cost. Many hotels today have already invested in digital marketing services and tools. But often they have not aligned this with the hotel’s business model. Many hotels simply don’t use their digital marketing to reach digital travelers. This is a digital transformation process that will help your hotel saving time and money.

Superior health protocols Data from J.D. Power shows that cleanliness is among the top drivers for customer satisfaction. Travelers today will require a superior health protocol that reassures safe stays and keeps hotels clean. Install superior health protocols and start to collaborate with local mental and physical health resources.

Communication The data from J.D. Power verifies the importance of introducing digital channels to communicate with travelers at all phases of their customer journey. What is unique today is that travelers are looking for a hotel to inform them about their specific cleaning and health protocols. Hotels today need to use all of their digital channels to communicate and showcase what type of actions they have put in place for new cleaning and health protocols.

And the hotel must be upfront about any limitations or specific restrictions. This is why it is more important than ever that hotels now collaborate with the local community. Hotels have to understand travelers are coming for a unique local experience. Travelers will expect that you are familiar with local limitations and restrictions.

Digital Native Advertising Paid advertising is an important component of digital marketing for hotels. We use relevant digital marketing channels such as Google, Bing, and Facebook. Online advertising has today for many Hotels become a complex challenge that they often outsource to individuals or advertising agencies. Often, we see Hotels’ primary focus is on the Click-through ratio (CTR) or Clicks through impressions.

These metrics only tell a very small fraction of the real process. Today’s smart Digital Marketers focus on creating advertising campaigns in context with value and relevance. Native advertising takes advantage of technology and a sophisticated algorithm that matches the look, feel, and function of the media format in which they appear.

Native ads are often found in the Google search or Facebook feeds on desktops, laptops, mobiles, and tablets, or as recommended content on a Hotel landing page. Unlike display ads or banner ads, native ads don’t look like ads. They look like part of the flow of search results or a social media feed. The key to native advertising is that it is non-disruptive. Native advertising is all about mastering great storytelling.

Email Marketing Email marketing is still a key component of your hotel’s digital marketing strategies. Emerging technologies affect the way that users and marketers alike interact with the internet and its many platforms. Adapting to the changing scenery is key to continued success across all digital marketing fields, including email. Successful adaptation is contingent on two fundamental principles. First is a solid understanding of the processes and metrics behind a healthy email campaign. The second is effectively analyzing and converting data-driven results into actionable steps to optimize – or even completely revamp – campaign strategies.

Content Marketing Content marketing is all about storytelling, and humans have told stories for as long as they could speak. Our attention will always go to those who tell great stories. While content marketing involves a variety of different types of content, the mark of great Hotel storytelling is putting the customer at the center of a journey, with your product or service as the solution that empowers them to succeed.

When you layout your hotel’s content market plan does this in context with the process of this digital marketing guide. Start with mapping the new customer journey in context with a focus on tapping into non-customers. The customer journey starts through awareness. This is when the customer acknowledges they have a problem they need to solve.

Once the customer acknowledges they have a problem they need to solve then the process of considering options starts. The key for hotels now is to engage with relevant, timely, and personalized content. With tapping into non-customers your hotel will move away from price and product as the deciding factors for booking. Your hotel’s digital experience offers is defined through value innovation alignment. The key is to build a community where you can create a new unique digital experience offer to customers, not just for them.

Privacy Privacy and security are essential today as we start to implement new innovative digital marketing strategies. In the U.S. most of this is controlled by the Federal Trade Commission – FTC. Digital marketing under the GDPR (whether postal, phone, e-mail, SMS, or any other form of marketing) is regulated exactly like any other data processing activity. Also, as a digital hotel marketer, you are concerned with making the most effective use of digital marketing tools or social media channels such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, WhatsApp, YouTube, or Instagram.

The last thing your hotel is likely to worry about is having your followers, friends, or connections actually providing you with consent to store or use their data. You will be pleased to hear that as far as consent and data use are concerned, there will be effectively covered by the terms and conditions and privacy notices of each of these social channels.

The privacy process is complex today for hotels. But your hotel must take control of this to protect guest privacy and security.

Reputation Management Reputation and humanness are important for a hotel’s success today. Humanness identifies a process where hotel brands implement a humanistic process, which inspires people’s confidence to own and drive the process for effective execution. Reputation management represents the business function concerned with influencing, often through diverse communication practices, stakeholders’ perceptions, and estimation of a hotel brand’s economic, social and digital marketing practices.

Reputation is frequently described and valued in terms of a hotel brand’s visibility and its capacity to be seen to be doing good through various digital media including corporate responsibility reports, speeches, and presentations, news media reports, social media, reviews, and ratings. The process comes down to the fundamentals of reverse engineering micro-moments that represent the total customer experience.

Let say a hotel guest report a concern through a Social Media channel about their room this trigger two primaries contextual strategy implementations:

  • Hotel context – what variables triggered the concern – immediate resolution – long-term solutions

  • Social Media context – Hotel guest anticipating an immediate response within the same social media channel.

Begin to build your hotel’s digital marketing strategy One specific, measurable S.M.A.R.T.E.R. goal, a defined new unique ideal customer, and compelling digital experience offer are all you need. The next step is to implement this in context with Value Innovation alignment. Through communication, flexibility, and your new digital service recovery you will embrace employee happiness and higher guest satisfaction. Kick-off your Hotels digital marketing strategy with these 5 steps:

  1. Get Started. Choose the right place to start and create a growth mindset team

  2. Understand where you are. Get clear about your Hotels current process

  3. Imagine where you could be. Uncover what limits the size of the Hotel industry and discover new segments of noncustomers you can unlock

  4. Find how to get there. Systematically reconstruct Hotel market boundaries and create new alternative growth opportunities.

  5. Make your move. Select your move, conduct rapid market tests and launch your Hotels growth mindset move.

Creating a cost-effect digital experience offer for non-customers Hotels have traditionally competed on essentially the same factors, just more or less of them. Value Innovation alignment requires your hotel to think outside the box. And we are not talking about changing colors on the wall or switch all your coffee pots with a Keurig coffee maker.

This is the change you make for the guest; remember we want to create change with the guests. Travelers today prefer convenience and simplicity. With a focus on defining new value innovation alignment for your hotel, we look for a new way to see the digital market strategy. Here we look at making the competition irrelevant by creating a leap in value for your buyers and your hotel, thereby opening up new and uncontested market space.

To achieve this, we first have to be clear about how new digital trends will affect the value of the hotel industry’s current digital experience offers. And then look at what future digital experience offers will need to take into account. Identifying new digital marketing trends

  1. Identify three or four trends that are seen as having a decisive impact on your hotel and new ideal customers.

  2. Communicate with your hotel team and customers to assess the relevance of these trends. Then narrow down to the trend(s) that are commonly seen to decisively impact your hotel and new ideal customers.

  3. Communicate and assess the extent to which each trend is irreversible.

  4. Communicate and assess whether each of the trends is evolving along a clear trajectory.

  5. List the implications of all the trends that are decisive, irreversible, and evolving in a clear direction for your hotel and ideal customer. Detail how each will change booking value and how that would impact your digital marketing strategy over time.

  6. Record all insight data.

Four-action Framework The most challenging aspect of identifying new digital marketing trends is getting clear about how a particular trend will affect the value of your hotel’s current digital experience offers, or what future experience offers will need to take into account. Therefore, when considering each trend we ask, “If this trend continues as it has begun, what current digital experience offer will no longer make sense and might even detract from buyer value, and therefore should be eliminated or reduced?”. And then “What within our digital experience offers will we need to create or raise to deliver a leap in value to customers?”

To do so we introduce the four-action framework that will enable your hotel to translate findings through collaboration and communication with your team and customers. This date will provide concrete, actionable, strategic options that will pursue differentiation and low cost.

Digital Community Successful digital brands have understood the value of building a unique community around people that has a relationship with the brand and communicate about their products and service offers. We often get hotels that want more likes, followers, friends, or connections for their social profiles. By itself, this is not a success factor that will help your hotel stand out in the digital landscape. I don’t know about many hotels that got the response ‘we booked this hotel because we saw it had 10,000 likes on Facebook.

The 10,000 likes will help trigger curiosity in a relevant context. This context is found in a digital community that serves a deeper purpose for your hotel. An effective community will assist your hotel with:

  • Service recovery

  • Support the direct booking process

  • Share ideas and input for new value innovation

  • Empower employees through a new unique collaboration

  • Educate

  • Communicate and inform about new or improved action point

  • Respond to new market trends

  • Promote your hotel experience offers

  • Improved metrics

  • Reputation Management

  • Increase customer retentions

Why hotels should build digital communities

Your hotel’s digital community will help you create a new future that supports current changes, short-term changes, and long-term changes for your new market segment. And your digital community will help ensure success for your hotels and customers’ digital experience. People today learn and get relevant information in communities.

It is also important for hotels to know that Google is now in a process of changing its algorithm towards page experience. Google will in the future focus on vitals that are aligned with real-world, user-centered metrics that are a reflection of the user experience.

A digital community will turn your hotel’s likes, followers, friends, or connections into raving brand ambassadors that drive traffic to the website, help with higher retention rates, and increase occupancy and revenue. A digital community will help your hotel with a deeper and more meaningful insight into your employees and customers.

About Writer

I am Are Morch. Your DigitalMarketing Coach and Customer Experience Expert specializes in creating effective digital customer experience offer for hotels while growing and scale customer acquisition and revenue.


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Wake up call to many hotels to continue their drive forward. Towards greater productivity with partnering technology.

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