To some degree, coordinating with online travel agencies may be a necessary promotional tactic for hotels in the digital age. Because people often book through OTAs, it helps when they recommend your hotel as one of their top picks.
That doesn’t mean your hotel digital marketing strategy should rely solely on OTAs. After all, they take a commission whenever guests book rooms. You’re better off allocating at least some of your budget to other channels.
The following are particularly worth keeping in mind. If you’re looking for ways to improve your marketing strategy and boost profits, consider:
Working with a Hotel Digital Marketing Agency
The way in which OTAs promote your hotel to potential guests doesn’t help you differentiate your brand from others. In general, they simply highlight your hotels and resorts when users search for places to stay in a given city or region. That limits your potential.
This is a good reason to coordinate with a marketing agency. Experts who understand both marketing and the hospitality industry can help you develop plans to reach guests in a wide range of unique and distinct ways. Instead of limiting your marketing efforts to generic mentions on an OTA’s site, you can implement an email marketing campaign, launch an engaging blog, optimize your social media presence, and much more. This is key to reaching as many potential guests as possible. It’s also key to standing out among the competition.
Partnering with an Influencer
Influencer marketing is another tactic worth considering. There are a few reasons this is the case. First, Instagram, a platform often used by social media influencers, boasts approximately one billion active monthly users. Hiring a popular Instagram personality to market your brand clearly gives you the opportunity to reach a large audience with a single campaign.
Additionally, research indicates consumers trust influencers. According to one study, 92% of consumers are more likely to trust an influencer’s recommendations over a celebrity endorsement or traditional advertisement.
It’s also worth noting that many people use social media to get ideas about destinations they would like to visit. It’s easy to understand why. When a trusted influencer posts photos of a gorgeous resort, their followers think, “I want to live that lifestyle.” As a result, they’ll be more inclined to consider that resort the next time they’re booking a vacation.
Optimizing Your Website
Don’t overlook the role a website can play in your hotel digital marketing strategy. Again, if your goal is to limit your reliance on OTAs in order to boost profits, you want people booking rooms through your site anyway.
That’s why it’s important to identify ways you can optimize your site. That includes reviewing your SEO strategy. You want to be sure your site appears high in relevant Google searches when potential guests are researching travel options.
It’s also crucial that your website loads quickly and is mobile-responsive. Now that people browse the Internet via mobile devices more often than desktop, having a fast, mobile-friendly site is essential.
Consider innovative ways your site can showcase your hotels and resorts as well. For instance, if you want to provide guests with a more dynamic perspective of one of your hotels, you might direct them (via your website) to a virtual reality experience. Immersing users in a new environment will help you make a much stronger impression.
Yes, your hotel digital marketing strategy may still involve working with OTAs, but that shouldn’t be your only strategy. You’re far more likely to boost your ROI if you implement other tactics as well.