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Hotel Marketing

A Hotel Internet Marketing Strategy

There is no conversation about hotel marketing these days that doesn’t center on hotel Internet marketing. In fact, gone are the days of marketing your hotel through magazines, directories and flyers.

The first place guests go to book travel is the Internet. Travel booked online was a 700 billion dollar industry last year (that’s billion—with a capital “B”!), and that number is growing exponentially while traditional travel agencies are swiftly abandoned. Clearly, the only hotel marketing strategy is a hotel Internet marketing strategy.

There are three major facets to hotel Internet marketing: web marketing, in the form of websites and online advertising, mobile marketing and social marketing. We’ll dive into each topic in detail, but feel free to request a demo of our hotel marketing software. One of our team members will be happy to chat about your property’s specific hotel Internet marketing needs.

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Hotel Web Marketing

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Today, the first place guests go to make travel plans is the web, usually Google or Bing. It is therefore critical that your property has its own online web hotel marketing presence that is optimized with hotel seo.

Online travel agencies (OTAs) usually come up in the first few organic search results, but guests visit nine or more different websites when doing research for a trip—one of which is the website of the hotel where they will stay. They visit because they want to discover important information that they can’t get elsewhere, like property photos, updated amenities, deals and promotions, local points of interest, and more. Even if your property gains a substantial percentage of its bookings from third-party sources, it is still important to have a web presence that you own where you can control your property’s hotel marketing message. Simply put, your property need a modern, updated website designed to get you more guests. We cover this topic in greater detail on our page: Hotel Website Design.

Using Ads

Ads are still an effective tool that even the simplest hotel marketing budget can leverage to fill more rooms. Google’s AdSense is a great place to start. Bid for certain key phrases—such as Atlanta Hotel or New York Bed and Breakfast—and the highest bid wins the impression. Ads, especially search engine result ads, are a tried and true marketing strategy. We at buuteeq are happy to have a conversation about your online advertising needs, or you can learn more about Google’s AdSense on their website.

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Retargeting / Remarketing

Retargeting is a new hotel marketing strategy that encourages previous website visitors to visit again and book a room. The technology works by presenting previous website visitors advertisements on their favorite websites—from the New York Times to YouTube. buuteeq is proud to have a trend-setting retargeting service for hotel marketers, which we explain in detail on our Lead Generation Services page. Call one of our hotel success representatives to learn more.

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Mobile Hotel Marketing

Google recently completed a study about mobile internet use and concluded that more people will be visiting your website from a mobile device than from a desktop or laptop computer by as early as the beginning of 2013. This means that unless your hotel website is optimized for mobile, you will miss out on new online reservations.

75% of mobile Internet surfers say that if the website isn’t optimized for mobile, they are less likely to book a room—and 40% say they’re more likely to book with a competitor that is optimized. A whopping 50% say that if it isn’t optimized then they won’t return, and 57% say they won’t recommend the hotel to friends and family. Find more stats on our infographic: Mobile Hotel Website Checklist.

It’s evident that mobile hotel Internet marketing is not a fad but, like the web itself, is an essential part of hotel Internet marketing that is here to stay. That said, not all mobile hotel websites are built the same. There are a slew of things to consider when crafting web design for mobile devices, including the plethora of different mobile operating systems and screen resolutions. buuteeq has developed a mobile hotel marketing product that is built to work dynamically on every mobile device and screen resolution.

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Mobile Ads

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If you’ve browsed the web from your smartphone recently or downloaded an app, you’ve probably encountered a thin ad designed for mobile devices. Mobile ads are a new field, but there are already a number of services to choose from, including Google Mobile Ads. Google claims that mobile-only ads drive over 11% more clicks than traditional ad campaigns—and that click-to-call campaigns stack an additional 6-8% on top of that! Invest in mobile advertising for your property now while the market is percolating. Don’t know where to begin? Read more on our mobile hotel website page, or call a one of our hotel success professionals to learn more about our mobile hotel solution.

Social Hotel Marketing

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When used right, social media like Facebook and Twitter can be powerful tools to market your property.

As our infographic on hotel marketing demonstrates, hotels that don’t market themselves on social networks experience a 2% drop in traffic each month. Those that do and become social media hotels increase views on average by 12% each month.

Stats aside, the reason any good hotel Internet marketing strategy includes social is because that’s where your guests are. One in every 13 people on earth use Facebook. Half of them log in every day. Facebook is becoming a search engine in its own right where people go to connect with friends and find information relevant to them. This includes travel information. Ensuring that your property has an optimized Facebook presence is vital to claiming new social guests.

Sponsored Stories and Facebook Ads

As we argue above, bidding for ad space on Google search is an effective form of marketing because so many people use Google search. Purchasing ads and sponsored stories on Facebook are useful for the exact same reasons—plus, Facebook has the added social component that Google is just now developing with Google+. Simply, Facebook ads can gain you significant exposure to billions of travelers on Facebook—and to their friends, and their friend’s friends.

Facebook ads are your standard, paid advertisements that appear in the Facebook sidebar and follow a traditional pay per click or pay per impression format. Sponsored stories are a bit different. Post something interesting to your page’s timeline and then pay Facebook to give that post more prominence amongst your followers. We explain the process in more detail on our Facebook Hotels page.

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Facebook Insights

Facebook provides us with powerful insights into how well our social marketing is performing. Use these free metrics to decide the kinds of content your followers like best and the optimal times to share them.

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Hotel Marketing Analytics

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Measure your marketing performance by keeping an eye on your analytics to see which of your marketing tactics work best.

There are many tools you can use, including Google’s admirable Google Analytics. We at buuteeq have produced analytics software specifically for hotels that is included with our Cloud DMS product, which we call 360 Analytics. With 360 analytics, you see more hospitality-oriented information about how your marketing is performing, including the actual dollar amount each room generates, the cost of your keyword search campaigns and how much money each keyword drives to your business, and more. See our webinar on 360 Analytics for more details.

Hotel Internet marketing is a reborn, evolving beast of innovation and adaptation. It can be time consuming to stay on top of every new emerging marketing trend, which is why buuteeq exists—we do that for you. Our team of former Microsoft, Sony and Google engineers, marketers and researchers are constantly adapting our technology and our product so that you can market your hotel at maximum efficiency. Request a demo of our hotel marketing software to see what we can do for your property.

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