News for the Hospitality Executive
How to Prepare Your Hotel Online Marketing Budget for 2011
September 14, 2010 - As the fourth quarter is approaching and you’re mapping out your property’s online marketing budget for 2011, make sure you’re taking advantage of the marketing tools and strategies that generate the highest ROI.
Internet marketing for the hospitality industry continues to evolve, and today’s market leaders are those that have built solid Brands, are maintaining high rankings on the major search engines, and have added a mobile site to their online presence so they are reaching hotel guests with ease.
Your 2011 online marketing budget needs to include these core elements:
Attract more guests in your target market with optimized Brand.com pages. Brand.com pages continue to deliver the highest ROI and there are several things you can do to increase traffic and book more rooms each season. Updating your pages with high quality, recent photos of your property will pique site visitor’s interests. Adding unique specials to your Brand.com pages will encourage guests to come back regularly. 360-degree videos are another attractive feature that can set you apart from other hotels in your area and generate more interest in your property. All of these updates will increase your search engine rankings and ensure that your property is easily found when the viewer performs an online search.
Investing a portion of your 2011 marketing budget to update, develop or redesign an independent website will help you generate more traffic and help you book more rooms over the long-term. With some brands, an independent website will market your property better than the Brand.com site. Consider your site to be a sales brochure that is available 24/7 – it needs to represent the key benefits of your property, and showcase all the features, amenities and services available for all types of travelers. Your website is the ideal place to highlight how your property is well-suited for business travelers, leisure travelers, families and groups.
Research shows that over 50% of business travelers have smartphones. You can make it easy for guests to find you and book reservations by integrating a mobile website into your online presence. Mobile websites are designed to showcase all the key features and benefits of your property, photos, and allow guests to book, confirm and check their reservations with a touch of a button. Mobile websites are a very popular tool for getting directions to your hotel, and for contacting the property on-the-go. Keep in mind that there is an added SEO benefit of having a mobile site because these sites still get ranked on the major search engines.
Brand Reputation Management
Managing your online reputation has become more important than ever, so it’s essential that you have the tools and resources available to reach out to your ideal market regularly, keep track of both positive and negative reviews about the guest experience, and find ways to strengthen your hotel’s reputation so that more prospective guests book with you on a regular basis. Set aside a portion of your marketing budget for online reputation management services so that you can stay in control of how your brand is perceived by your guests.
Even though paid search (pay-per-click, or PPC) is becoming less effective for attracting guests who are ready to book, it can still generate good ROI during peak season. You should still include paid search in your core marketing strategy, but make sure it makes up a very small percentage of your efforts. Allocate most of your marketing dollars to other online marketing initiatives, and take advantage of paid search returns only during peak season to maximize your investment.eMax Hotel Internet Marketing, a leading Internet marketing company for the hospitality and travel industry, will help you develop a solid, effective marketing plan for 2011. Allow us to help you reach your 2011 revenue goals using some of these results-driven marketing strategies and tools.
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