Close

Cart

Total $0.00

Checkout

In part 1, we shared with you two digital marketing strategies that you can implement immediately that will drive higher direct revenue and shift market share from OTAs and other third parties.  Here are two more effective strategies that are most successful in driving direct business:

1. Omni-channel marketing must evolve with the customer journey to stay ahead of OTAs

Mobile phones have significantly altered the customer journey to multiple devices and multiple channels. It has become critical for a hotel to be present across all devices and all channels.  OTAs do a fantastic job of ensuring their presence across devices, the web, social media, and advertising channels while providing relevant content that pushes the customer down the purchase funnel.  Hotels must perform a thorough d

  • Local maps, Internet Yellow Pages, and data aggregators

These channels distribute your business information to consumers through end-points like Uber, in-car navigation systems, iPhones, etc. It’s critical to have a consistent presence in local data aggregators and on local map channels. Having data in these channels is only the start; maintaining data integrity and cleanliness on these channels is also critical.  This is one area where hotels have an advantage over the third-party sites as search engines give higher credibility and website link to the data provided by the owner of the business.  Leads and reservations through your local search and SEO efforts have the lowest cost basis and provide your highest ROI.  The Milestone Local platform is at the core of maintaining a complete and clean presence on this channel.
 

  • Digital Media Advertising

This segment is where the financial strength of OTAs translates into more visibility.  Hotels can compete with OTAs by being strategic in their spend.  It is important for hotels to be present in the three major categories of media channels: PPC (Google, Bing, and Yahoo), Display (Adara, Sojern, Google Remarketing, Google Display), and meta-search channels. (TripAdvisor, Kayak and Trivago).  Not advertising on these channels simply gives OTAs a further advantage.  A key tip is to ensure that you are saturating the share of voice for your brand name across these channels before bidding on un-branded terms.  Hotels should trademark their name so OTAs cannot use hotel names in advertising.  Hotels should also negotiate the rights to use of the hotel name in contracts with OTAs.  In general, brand name keywords are lower cost and very high return.  Focus your relationships with OTAs to drive business for competitive, destination specific keywords.  It’s still important to monitor and maintain rate parity across the digital media advertising channels.  We find increasing instances of rate parity issues because of the proliferation of third party sites. 
 

  • Social Media Channels

Ensure presence and engagement across key social media channels – especially Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Flickr or a similar photo sharing channel.  Hotels have a huge opportunity to create brand loyalists by engaging consumers with captivating content related to local events, sightseeing opportunities, trip itineraries, and dining and entertainment options. While OTAs are doing a great job of delivering destination specific content, hotels are the real experts in the destination and can gain a significant edge by highlighting that knowledge. 
 

  • Email marketing

OTAs are very diligent with consistent messaging through emails and retargeting any visitors to their websites through email campaigns.  Hotels can use a simple CRM system to segment their customer base and consistently send out messaging to potential guests and any website visitors who didn’t book. 
 

2. Your hotel’s unfair advantage - relationship with guests while they are on-property

One major advantage that the hotel has over any third party is their direct experience and relationship with the guest, which is an enviable position to be in.  Hotels should take advantage of that relationship and in-person presence.  Make sure to collect guests’ email addresses during check-in or check-out so that you can market to them directly in the future.  Find out who is staying more than 3 or 4 days and give them incentives to book direct next time by offering rewards or upgrades.  Several brands are offering incentives for booking direct and any independent hotel has the same opportunity to convert travelers to book direct. 

This series provides insights into some of the top strategies deployed by Milestone to increase direct bookings for our customers.  To get more details and deeper insights, please contact us at 1-866-615-2516 so that we can make the same shift happen on your properties.  

About Milestone

Milestone is a leading provider of digital marketing software and services for hospitality, retail and finance. We provide a full range of solutions including website and mobile design, content creation, SEO, analytics and competitive intelligence. Our state-of-the-art technology and solutions drive revenue and ROI for clients across the globe. Over 2,000 companies world-wide do business with Milestone, including leading hotel chains, major retailers and financial services companies. Milestone has garnered over 300 awards and a reputation for blending outstanding design with advanced technological capabilities. Milestone is one of Silicon Valley Business Journal’s fastest growing companies and is an Inc. 5000 company. 

Contact: Angela Lyons

angela.l@milestoneinternet.com / 408.200.7918

Related News

Milestone Announces Speakers, Agenda for 4th Annual Digital Marketing Conference, July 17-18

If You Missed It: Google Webinar on Monetizing the Customer Journey Now Available On Demand

Google Launches Local Events Search, Milestone is Right There with Them

Don't Miss Milestone and Google Webinar on Monetizing the Customer Journey by Optimizing Marketing Spend

Milestone Wins Multiple Platinum and Gold Hermes Creative Awards for Exceptional Web Design

ADA Conformity: It’s More Than Just Lawsuits

Save the Date: Milestone and Google to Host Webinar on Customer Journey, May 17 at 11:00am

New Milestone CMS Feature Returns $20 for Every $1 Spent

Hotel Increases Conversion Rate by 68% and Booked Revenue by 52% After Launching Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) Website

Social Media Strategy: How Much to Spend and Where

Milestone Analytics Solves the Customer Journey Puzzle

Rank Higher Every Day with a Smart SEO Strategy

4 Key Strategies to Shift Bookings from OTA to Direct - Part 1

Milestone CMS Delivers Record 30% Average Revenue Growth and 300% Average Group Booking Increases for Its Customers, Powered by a Unique Mix of Technology, Design and Strategy

Milestone's Galexi™ CMS can now Power ADA Conforming Sites

Milestone's Galexi™ is the First CMS in Hospitality to Launch Google's AMP Website

Solmar's New Website Drives Higher Room Bookings, Group Leads, and Customer Engagement

Google to Roll Out Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to Main Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

Search and Hospitality Veterans to Deliver Strategies for Maximizing ROI in the Evolving Digital Marketing Landscape

Milestone Digital Marketing Suite for Hotels and Businesses Wins Best in Class Software at IMA Awards

All News »

Please login or register to post a comment.