As we are halfway through 2015, digital marketing for hotels continues to play a big part with the development of new digital marketing techniques in a constantly changing environment. From the impact of new mobile technologies to social media for hotels, 2015 will continue to provide a new platform for creative engagement and improved customer journeys. Here, we have listed the top 15 digital marketing trends that will surely create milestones for the hotel industry.
- Personalization: Hotels need to improve their social presence and online content for their target markets. Hotels using data in a more sophisticated manner and optimize content of their website, will make their online presence attractive and user friendly.
- Mobile Isn’t a Trend: Mobile should not be considered as a trend, but a reality. Currently 1 out of 4 hotel bookings are done through mobile devices, contributing to about 25% of the total online travel market. As more people continue to increase usage of mobile devices, online bookings will continue to increase as well.
- Booking Abandonment: Did you know that 98% of online visitors abandon the booking sales funnel before completion? Majority of the visitors abandon because they are price shopping to compare rates or the booking engine is hard for them to navigate. Greater transparency of rates during the booking process, up-to-date booking engine design and rates comparable to competitors can improve the booking abandonment rate.
- Meta Search: In 2015, we will see Meta Search channels deliver bookings at a profitable CPA.
- Mobile Payment: As mobile bookings have increased, another prominent trend in digital marketing for hotels in 2015 is the mobile payment method. By providing different alternative payment methods like Pay Pal or having a mobile booking engine, it will ensure that 1 out of 4 booking payments are done through mobile.
- Owning your real estate: Travelers search for hotels on various sites and touch points. It is important that you create a strong online impact via websites, blog, social media, and etc. Investing in an independent website that properly communicates the personality of your hotel is a successful trend in digital marketing for hotels.
- Pay to Play Social Media: Social media’s free ride is over. If you want your content to be visible among the plethora of shared content then invest in your social media platform advertising programs.
- Persona Driven Content: Hotels should become customer-centric and understand their expectations. Then, they can create online marketing strategies to provide customers with a wonderful experience.
- New SEO: 2015 has also been the year of new SEO for online marketing for hotels. Hotels’ websites and their other online marketing channels are now focused on the overall customer experience instead of traditional SEO tactics.
- Programmatic Marketing: Currently only 35% of the hotel advertising is based on programmatic marketing, which should be improved at a high pace.
- Audio-Visual Content: Images are essential in telling your hotel’s story and to drive online bookings. Social media for hotels are using audio and visual content to connect and engage users. Promote your hotel and its surrounding area using strong imagery and videos via Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest.
- Experience Driven Strategies: Creatively promote the charm, services and personality of your hotel to your target market to help drive bookings. Research the guests’ needs and wants to enhance their stay and travel experience. Customers will not only enjoy their stay but will continue to come back.
- Proximity Technology: Mobile devices play an important role in driving last minute research and hotel bookings. Utilize this technology by creating rich media, permission-based or promotional messages that can be sent based on the location of the phone.
- Baby Boomers: With the majority of digital marketing focusing on targeting and winning over Millennials, hotels must not forget about Baby Boomers when creating their digital marketing strategy. This generation has disposable income for travel and is also becoming increasingly tech-savvy.
- Holistic Approach to Revenue Management: When creating rates to increase online bookings, involve the sales and marketing teams in the decision-making process.
We are sure that when it comes to digital marketing for hotels, these trends will continue to feature prominently in 2015. What are some other hotel online marketing trends that you have noticed in 2015?