These Tips Will Help Your Digital Platform Rise Above Your Competitors
The digital age hasn’t just arrived. It’s here to stay, and if you aren’t leveraging the power of the digital arena, it’s time to take advantage of all it has to offer your hotel.
Building a digital marketing strategy helps you build brand awareness for your property, drive traffic and increase your bookings. (tweet this)
Yet, it’s not enough to just throw your content out there and hope someone takes notice. You want to target specific audiences and use the right digital tools to reach, engage and interact with your customers.
To help you, we’ve put together these tips to help your digital platform rise above your competitors. First, we define your digital footprint or platform.
What is a Digital Platform?
Broadly speaking, your digital platform encompasses all the online tools you use to grab the attention of your customers and interact with them.
For example, your website, social media pages, email marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click ads all make up your digital platform, or the footprint you leave online.
To fine tune the definition of your digital platform, let’s put it in terms of what it can do for your hotel property:
- It allows you to interact with current and potential customers, developing relationships.
- The platform provides you and your customers with something of value.
- It creates loyalty between your hotel and the customer.
- Your digital platform generates trust between you and your visitor.
- It can reach thousands of people at once.
- The digital arena allows you to respond quickly and revise campaigns as needed.
- It helps you generate revenue.
Create a Digital Strategy
Now that you understand the definition of a digital platform, you can put it to work for your hotel.
One of the first things you want to do to use your digital platform to rise above the competition is to create a strategy.
Creating your digital strategy and deciding how you’ll utilize the digital platform takes research and planning.
To create your strategy, you first want to do an audit of your current digital pieces and how they’re working for you.
For example, take a look at your website. Analyze your site visits, your bounce rate and your conversion rate. Try to look at your website objectively – does it provide the best user experience?
Then, explore your different social media platforms. Assess your current analytics and decide which platforms need a little work.
Use Google Analytics, social media insights, email data and more to analyze your status.
Next, research the competition. See how far their digital reach extends. Some questions to ask include:
- Are they on social media platforms you aren’t?
- Are their users more engaged?
- How often do they send emails?
- Does their website provide a better user experience?
- Search for properties in your area. Does their site show higher on results pages?
- What opportunities are available for your property? For example, what is the competition not doing that you could?
- Does looking at the competition give you any ideas?
Once you’ve analyzed all your data, you can then begin to create your strategy.
Have you heard of S.M.A.R.T. goals?
These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and timely.
When creating your digital strategy, you want to make sure you set goals that are specific, realistic, have a time limit, are ultimately achievable and that you can measure.
Once you have goals in hand and your strategy written down, you want to look at your digital roadmap. This is where you decide how, when and where you’ll launch your strategy.
Consider the following:
- Improvements to your website
- Social media platforms and posting schedule
- A content plan for your website, email marketing and social media
- Promotions plan and schedule including Google AdWords and social media paid ads
- Budget resources
Fine Tune Your Website
Your hotel website is pivotal to your success. Think of it as the main point for all your digital communications and strategy. Everything points back to it.
When you consider that potential guests spend nearly 30 minutes on your hotel website before booking, you can see how important it is to your overall success.
Your website is your chance to engage your website visitor and encourage them to book your property. Make sure your site is user-friendly, easy to navigate, complete with descriptions, beautiful, professional photos, and intriguing video.
Ensure that your booking engine is top notch, fast and easily navigable.
You also want to look at your SEO (search engine optimization) to make sure your property has good placement on search engine results pages.
Work on Your Content
Content matters when you want to use your digital platform to rise above the competition.
Great content is shareable and engaging. It’s content you can use on your social media pages, in your email marketing and on your website.
To step above the competition, review your current content funnel. Know what you have that’s working and what’s not.
Then, define your audience and create a content plan that reaches them by meeting their needs. Use video, blogging, photography and more to create top notch content.
Push your content out through your social media channels, email newsletters and your website.
Engage on Social Media
Be present on social media. You picked your platforms when you created your digital strategy. Now it’s time to be active on these platforms.
You want to have a content strategy that allows for the creation of engaging content that not only helps you gain new customers but create relationships with current ones.
Use paid advertising to increase your reach.
Today’s consumers often have many choices when it comes to choosing a place to stay. In order for your hotel to rise above your competitors, you have to utilize your digital platform in an active, engaged manner.
Your successful digital marketing strategy includes many digital arenas where you can interact with your customers.
The best plan is multi-faceted. Consider the website visitor who then sees your ad on social media. Then, several days later, when browsing a news site, they see another ad for your property. A week later, they get an email from you, click through and book a room.
By using a multi-channel experience and constantly testing and revising your digital strategy, you position your hotel to overtake the competition and increase your revenue stream.
Use your digital tools as pieces in your overall digital strategy, with your website as the pinnacle, for the best success.
At Hotel Propeller, we build functional, beautiful websites that utilize your star ratings to help you stand out in the crowd. You’ll find everything you need to attract guests to your website and compel visitors to make a reservation. Take a look at our showcase and contact us today.
Free Hotel Website Checklist
5 Essential tips for using your website to book more guests! Plus, a Free email course, Winning Web Strategies For Innkeepers.