Online Marketing Skills That We Can Learn From The Hospitality Industry
The hospitality industry is a competitive one. So, you have to rethink your online marketing strategies to stay ahead. Mobile-first customer technologies are rapidly growing in every industry, including hospitality. The growth of an e-commerce market and the Internet as a global marketplace has seen the rise of online hospitality bookings. Consider that mobile saw an increase of 1700 percent accounting of 18 percent of revenue online between 2011 and 2015 for the hospitality and travel industry. Deloitte predicts that as more hospitality companies make mobile the go-to choice for booking and transacting, mobile devices will become the prime mode of interacting in the hospitality business.
Customers and Customisation
When it concerns marketing, the best way to capture customer attention is to leverage data for personalising experiences. With hospitality bookings and online marketing analytics to help companies along the way, hotels have captured and leveraged social network data. By using social logins, personalised relevant marketing messages and automating email messages, information can be known about customers in terms of their preferences, check-in information, booking date and more to optimise onsite experience. More uniqueness in the customer experience translates into greater marketing success.
Video is King
Online marketing skills that form the cornerstone of the hospitality industry involve using video marketing. Consider the following statistics. KPCB holds that online video is about 74% of the total traffic and YouTube has over 1 billion users. Additionally, according to Pathwwway Gambling research, 52% of marketers hold that video has the best ROI and open rates rise when marketing emails contain videos.
Moment Marketing: Carpe Diem
A vast number of hospitality companies set aside their digital marketing budgets for moment marketing. The hospitality industry benefits from moment marketing because when people show up to a location, on time and all is known about their schedule in advance. This, in turn, creates a strong presence across devices and channels and in physical locations where catering to the guest’s needs and preferences are of paramount importance. This opportunity strengthens the marketing strategy and helps to connect in real time with customers upselling products and services and cross selling them for repeat business.
Dynamic Emails That Power Customer Journey
Online marketing is more than a generic email blast to subscribers. Customers within the hospitality industry seek personalised experiences and hotels and restaurants are cashing in on this. Email offers a vast amount of personalisation and is one of the top marketing tools to accomplish this. Research shows that personalising the email generates 2.5 times more click through and 6 times more sales.
From addressing guests by name to sending a personalised subject line and swapping images to suit customer preferences, dynamic content enables display of content based on custom fields set up in the subscriber lists. With dynamic content, messages can be customised to suit demographics such as gender, age and more. This hones in on customers and ensures the right message is delivered to the right subscribers.
Booking Retargeting is Impactful
One of the biggest challenges in the hospitality industry is driving direct bookings. Reports show upping of the numbers of booking abandonments to nearly 80%. So hotels and restaurants are concerned with working through their booking funnels to ensure customer retargeting. When the customer abandons the booking funnel, it does not lead to a loss, if retargeting mechanisms are in place, This includes redirecting the attention of the customers on to web marketing platforms such as paid search ads, on screen promptings and much more.
Targeting a Niche Audience
Whether its millennials or Gen-X or Gen-Y generations, hospitality companies are investing in demographic appropriate digital marketing. Once the consumer finds a brand that they like, they show their loyalty and want to participate. Loyalty programs are the perfect way to reward millennials and baby boomers alike and hospitality companies know that.
Use of Hi-Tech Targeting
With more and more consumers worldwide using mobile technologies or tablets for looking up menus, reading reviews, order takeouts or deliveries straight from the website or focusing on rewards or deals, a ready market for digital/web marketing exists. Through cost effective digital marketing and linking with customers, email campaigns and spot-on content marketing, there is increasing adoption.
Capitalising on technology helps to boost productivity. Owners of hotels and restaurants have used mainstream technology to give their companies a competitive edge. Mobile payment systems are also being integrated. Mobile pay transactions are estimated to reach trillion dollars within just a few years. Clearly, the hospitality sector cannot afford to ignore this.
Selling the Big Picture
The hospitality industry is also heavily influenced by visual content. Visual content is a key part of the hospitality digital marketing initiative. Consider that content that is visual is 40x times more likely to be liked an/or shared on social media channels than other content. Asking customers for their viewpoint and influencers for their voice by sharing photos is the key here. Fans can share visual content focussed around a business vision or mission.
A vast majority of online hospitality marketing initiatives are making it to social media. Hotels and restaurants are increasingly adopting a social media strategies to interact with customer network rather than posting information blindly. Social media provides engagement, exposure and advocacy. It leads to increased positive sentiments regarding the brand too. With new and exciting social media channels like Instagram which offer 400 million plus users, this social network sees engagement rates 58x times greater than FB and 120x times Twitter. Social-media platforms such as Snapchat offer a potential for exclusivity and Pathwwway Gambling considers this the best outlet for fans and customers.
Decide on employing social media to attract fresh fans or engage current ones. Creating content consistently drives bookings and enables hotels and restaurants to study their competition. As brands become familiar to targeted audiences, accurate information on sites leads to plenty of engagement in customers.
Engaging Audiences Worldwide
Influencer-marketing ensures an influential and powerful source of buyer motivation. As hospitality companies expand, they use influencers to create authentic brand content, drive engagement around a brand or drive traffic to website or landing pages. Additionally, influencers tend to be busy people. Creating social media profiles that are unique, value loaded and offers free promotion makes it easy for influencers to share data and exert a positive impact on the target market.