The last two years have shown how rising business crises and changes can disrupt hospitality marketing trends. The industry witnessed significant changes in contactless service, digital hotel technology, and a complete shift in managing staff and guest safety in times of crisis.
Market shifts and challenges are a constant in the hospitality industry, and the industry usually meets them head-on with new marketing tools and services. Most hospitality industry changes are here to stay, and we’re anticipating the emergence of new and more robust ways to attract, engage, and retain customers.
Today, we will look at new yet effective marketing strategies that hospitality chains can leverage to boost brand awareness, foot traffic, and booking conversions.
Have a Strong Video Focus
Video marketing isn’t an emerging trend, but several surveys, industry data, and studies have shown that it’s currently the best tool and channel for hotel & tourism marketers going forward. Recent estimates predict that as much as 82 percent of all consumers’ online traffic will have a video focus this year.
The one trend that you should be paying attention to is short-form video content which is poised to deliver the most impactful video marketing results. With that in mind, you should create short, fun, and enticing videos, preferably 30 to 60 seconds long, and post them on appropriate platforms like TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook.
Actionable video marketing strategies for hospitality players:
- Create a section on your hospitality site for aspirational video content
- Sign up for a TikTok account and create an actionable marketing strategy for the platform. There are many other plausible reasons why your hospitality brand needs to embrace TikTok.
- Integrate video-driven marketing campaigns into other social media sites like Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter
- Produce and publish short videos that showcase must-see sights, activities, and attractions within the vicinity of your property. They should be short and sweet, preferably no more than a minute.
Hospitality brands see impressive success in using video content on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. To tap into younger demographics, they don’t ignore the new kid on the block, TikTok. Consistently deliver brand videos capable of moving the needle.
Use a Vanity URL for Your Website
A vanity URL (a custom short URL or a branded link) is a descriptive website URL that’s easy to memorize, pronounce, and share. Hospitality marketers can take advantage of vanity URLs to better capture the attention of potential customers and redirect them to their official websites. It’s a win-win for both the brand and the customer.
These short links usually comprise a domain name optimized with a relevant keyword and other branding elements. You can employ these tiny gems across multiple channels, including print publications, videos, emails, social media, content, and offline marketing materials.
By using a well-thought-out vanity URL, you can help drive online users to your hospitality business and encourage direct bookings, thus maximizing your conversions and revenue. And with the right SEO strategy, this new marketing strategy can elevate your hospitality brand’s online visibility and your website’s searchability.
One of the good things about vanity URLs and websites is that they’ll attract the attention of curious travelers, and you don’t have to spend additional dollars on expensive ads. Besides, you can use the short links to cross-promote your content and website on Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms. If used correctly, they can also help you promote new amenities, deals, and other happenings at your property, whether it’s a live event, renovation, or new suites.
Stay on Top of Global and Local SEO
Creating an attractive website for your hospitality business is only half the battle. The other half is ensuring that potential travelers can actually find and use it. Having a favorable ranking on Google and other search engines is a great way to pull search traffic to your website. And that boost in web traffic can translate into more bookings and revenue.
But how can you elevate the search ranking of your hospitality website? There are at least five fundamental ways you can dominate SEO as a hospitality business today:
- Create and optimize your My Google Business profile – It’s a free tool that can increase your website traffic and booking conversions if appropriately used.
- Leverage local SEO – Use high-quality, localized keywords to ensure that your hospitality business and products rank higher in local search.
- Ramp up your content marketing efforts – Content is still one of the most effective marketing strategies for hospitality chains, as noted by Digital Authority Partners. Please don’t use it as a tool for sales pitching. Instead, craft high-quality, relevant, and entertaining content that echoes your target audience’s interest, pain points, or needs.
- Acquire local, high-quality backlinks – Link building directly impacts your website’s Google ranking.
- Use social media – Share your content and build social signals for SEO purposes.
Use Social Media
Hospitality chains often think about social media marketing as an afterthought. But this marketing avenue can deliver significant and lasting success for many aspects of your hospitality business, from marketing to customer support and feedback gathering.
If you want to use social media as a marketing tool, keep the following in mind:
Set S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals for your brand and keep the conversation going with your customers on social media to create more brand awareness. In turn, you can use targeted messaging to convert users into hospitality guests.
- Understand the customer journey to create many touch-points for driving engagement, leads, and booking conversions.
- Track, measure and reevaluate everything to do with your social media marketing.
- Use the right content and method to engage, delight, and resonate with your social media followers. They can be webinars, white papers, photos, videos, or long-form content.
- Repurpose content – Creating new content is not only time-consuming but can also be resource-heavy. There’s no harm in reposting old videos, photos, articles, or user-generated content if it’s still relevant and accurate.
- Pay attention to your competition – If they’re doing great, check the things they’re doing right and improve on them. If your competitors are failing, learn from their mistakes.
Make Use of Technology
No matter the size or type of your hospitality chain, your potential visitors will be doing due diligence online before they decide to make a reservation or booking with your property. An increasing number of guests use their mobile phones to research and book their hotels, vacations, and more.
Because of that, one of the most effective strategies is to leverage hospitality technology to make the guest experience more pleasant from start to finish. Technology should play a significant role from when guests land on your website until they check out. A virtual tour of your hotel, resort, or rooms can provide an in-depth view so that the guests can get a better feel for what they can expect from your property in terms of quality and amenities.
That’s a ground-breaking marketing strategy for hospitality chains, and customers will be glad to get an insider look. This is especially important for Gen-Z and millennial travelers who do the most online investigations and digital booking.
Having a list of effective marketing strategies handy is crucial for hospitality chains that want to gain and maintain their market edge. Remember to review, refine, and evolve your marketing strategy based on customer feedback, industry best practices, and trends.