buuteeq recently returned from the Asian American Hotel Owner’s Association (AAHOA) in Las Vegas, Nevada. We met some amazing hoteliers! It was a privilege to spend two days chatting with such talented industry professionals.
We found that digital marketing was underrepresented at AAHOA–a role we are excited to fill! We were encouraged by the enthusiasm we found for buuteeq and online marketing in general. One of the major questions we encountered was:
Do I need a custom website for my hotel franchise?
Yes! Many hoteliers we met were franchise owners–Super 8, Country Inn & Suites, Holiday Inn Express, etc. Their corporate website already lists them in a directory, and it is possible for guests to book a stay directly from the corporate website. Franchise owners still need individual websites for each hotel franchise because a custom site will perform better in search rankings than simply being listed in a corporate directory.
If you Google “Memphis Country Inn”, for example, the first few results will be a slew of Google Place locations, listings on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs), and the corporate hotel directory: no unique, individual online presence for any one hotel. This is a digital marketing gap ready to be filled by the first Memphis Country Inn to invest in digital marketing.
How do guests make a reservation decision? Three ways:
- location and nearby points of interest,
- price, and
- perceived quality, told primarily by photos (and sometimes by video).
Only by having an individual website for your hotel can you achieve all three. Look at an individual franchise listing on a corporate directory. You will find maybe one photo, and it will usually be a wide shot of the hotel exterior–certainly no videos. There may be a map with a pinpoint location of the hotel (if you’re lucky) but there will not be any nearby points of interest. The franchise owner has no control over how to display rates. That is handled solely by the corporate website, giving you little control.
With your own buuteeq-powered website for your franchise hotel, you can upload as many photos as you want, including detailed photos of rooms, which guests find very important. You can create custom articles that tell your story, and embed as many videos and other media as you like. Your maps are large, clean and engaging, and you can create as many points of interest–museums, markets, nature, shopping–as you wish, while also including walking and driving directions to and from your hotel. Your rates are also prominently displayed on each room summary, detail and comparison page, customizable for each room and room type.
The benefits are obvious; you get more power to tell the unique story of your own hotel instead of relying on corporate to do it for you. You’ll own a little slice of the web set aside for your city, state and country combination, with the ability to compete better on search engines.
AAHOA was a great experience for buuteeq and we’re thrilled to be working with many of the friends we met there for years to come. If you missed us this year, we’ll see you next!