Online Marketing Campaigns Attract Direct Bookings
Online bookings make up more than 50% of all hotel bookings. What’s more, nearly 90% of your customers visit multiple hotel websites before making a reservation.
With these great numbers, you might wonder how you can leverage the power of online bookings while standing out from the competition.
The answer? Go digital.
In this article, we look at how online marketing campaigns attract direct bookings and what you can do to make it work for you.
Have a Completely Optimized Website
You probably know that your website should be mobile-friendly. And, you most likely have heard that your website must be speedy. Anything less than a quick page load will send visitors scrambling off.
But there are a few more things to consider when planning your optimized website.
First, you must optimize your website for conversions. This means making your website a user friendly as possible so your website visitors and quickly find what they need, use that information to make an informed decision, and book a reservation.
Your direct booking is the conversion.
When your potential customer lands on your website, you want to remove the possibility they’ll run into any friction. This means the following:
- Fast loading pages
- Mobile-friendly – many of your visitors are using their mobile phones, so make sure they can book with ease.
- Intuitive navigation
- White space
- Easily recognizable calls to action
- Appealing colors
- Easy to read fonts
- High quality images
- Reviews from popular sites such as Trip Advisor, Google, and Facebook.
- Interesting content
- Thorough information regarding your room types and rates
- Information about the area
Use Obvious Call to Action Buttons
You only get the conversion, aka direct booking, through your call to action buttons.
They are so important to your hotel website, but for many hoteliers, they are almost an afterthought.
When you place your call to action buttons strategically, and they are designed well (think the right verbiage and colors), you can exponentially increase your conversions.
Tie your call to actions in with your compelling content. They should make sense and encourage action.
These buttons should be big and obvious. They might be for bookings, to watch videos, to contact you, etc.
Maintain Your Online Reputation
To increase bookings, you need to have positive reviews online.
Today’s customer cares about what other people say about your customer service and your hotel. They want to know if your staff is exceptional, if your hotel is clean, and if you provide any amenities. (tweet this)
Guard your hotel’s online reputation very carefully. Always thank your customers for leaving positive feedback.
When it comes to negative feedback, never leave a bad review unanswered. Why? This is your chance to show future customers that you really care.
Respond to your negative reviews with empathy and caring. Use them as an opportunity for change and employee training.
Always do your best to show your customer that you care they didn’t have a good experience. Let them know what you’ll do in the future to change, and how you’ll make it up to them.
Above all, make sure you provide ongoing customer service training to your staff. While negative reviews are inevitable, if you have properly trained staff and an immaculate hotel, your online reputation will stay good.
Run Digital Ads
Organic reach on social media is down, so you will have to run online marketing campaigns on Facebook, Instagram, and others to reach more potential guests. The good news is these ads are relatively inexpensive.
You also want the extra Google exposure you’ll get by running Google Ads. Run ads on this platform to increase how far up you’ll show on search results pages.
Google Ads help you reach more searchers ready to book.
Don’t forget about remarketing ads as well. Utilize platforms like Google and Facebook to remarket to people who have already visited your website.
For example, the Smiths are thinking about their dream vacation, so they visited your website.
A month later, they see a remarketing ad from you on Facebook and remember they liked your hotel and your website, and they click to book a room.
Target the Right Audience
When it comes to your website, your social media platforms and ads, and your Google ads, you want to make sure you target the right demographic.
Know your brand and your guests. For example, if you are a luxury hotel with multiple bars and a hot night life, you probably aren’t going to market to families with young children.
In addition, marketing a local hotel for business travelers is much different than marketing a hotel in resort beach locations.
When running online marketing campaigns through ads, social media, or even email marketing, target the right rooms to the right people. Send targeted information out about your hotel, and you will increase bookings.
Leverage Social Media
Your future customers are on social media for hours each day.
This is why you want to maintain updated social media pages such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Make sure you are publishing engaging content on a daily basis. This can help you stay in front of your customers. You can also use some of your ad budget to push your daily posts out to more people.
Always use high quality photos and try to incorporate some video. Customer reviews are great as well.
Build a relationship with your customers by sharing things to do in your area. And always respond to customer comments on posts.
By enhancing your social media pages, you also increase your likelihood of direct bookings.
We live in a completely digital world. Very little is done these days without heading to the internet.
For your hotel, this means customers are searching for lodging in your area online before ever making a booking and landing on your doorstep.
With a well-thought out digital marketing strategy and online marketing campaigns you can attract digital bookings.
Use the tools here and concentrate first on creating a speedy, mobile-friendly, search engine optimized website and a business with lots of positive online reviews. This is the center point of your digital marketing campaigns.
Give your customers what they want on your website, and you’ll find you have more bookings and growth throughout the year.
We are your hotel’s digital advertising specialists. Whether it’s a new website, search engine marketing, social media marketing or website design, we are here to help. Contact us today to start a conversation about your hotel’s digital advertising needs.
Images: Marten Bjork and Annie Spratt on Unsplash
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