Everyone is ‘re-setting’ for 2021 and hotels are particularly keen on getting it right after a very difficult year of minimal travel. Since the world has been steam-rolling towards more of a digital approach to all aspects of life due to the need for social-distancing as well as technological capabilities (in general), many of the big players in the digital space have new features in play to help hotels in terms of exposure, social media, search, strategy, and awareness. Here are our top 5 things you must know in hotel digital marketing.

#1  Exposure—You Need an Amazing Website

Desk with laptop screen and desktop screen showing websites

Believe it or not, many people still go directly to the hotel website after researching prices on a large search platform like Booking.com to see if there is a better price/deal directly through the hotel. Therefore, having an attractive and user-friendly website is key to get the best results and, ideally, final point of sale. Additionally, having an amazing website will benefit the hotel by location—better explain how a traveler can arrive at your hotel, voice—opportunity to speak directly to the customer and portray the hotel in the way you prefer, features—highlight aspects of the hotel which are in your best interest, and SEO—search engine optimization allows the hotel website to improve keywords and social media links to booking search rankings and, over time, reduce the hotel’s dependency on large search engines. 

#2  Social Media—Instagram Expands New Guides Features to All Users

In the foreground is a person's hand showing their iphone with the Instagram app open with the background of large buildings in Times Square, New York City

Instagram recently launched a new feature called ‘Guides’, which allows creators to share resources, content, and other tips in a dedicated tab on their user profiles. This feature is used for many focuses but one major area is travel, via ‘Travel Guides’, where visitors can share their own stories and direct messages to a larger audience. Hotel brands can leverage the new ‘Guides’ feature to highlight itineraries and travel guides geared towards key customer segments.

#3  Search—‘Destination Insights with Google’

Screenshot of Google's Destination Insights

In order to help hotels measure travel demand, Google launched ‘Destination Insights with Google’. It is initially geared towards the Asia-Pacific region, where travel recovery is showing some improvement, and will roll out to other regions as travel demands increase. It helps destinations and hotels identify their top sources of demand and local attractions that travelers are most interested in visiting. This is a great source to give hotels a more holistic view of travel demand to specific destinations based on search trends.

#4  Strategy—Meta-Search Marketing

Person at a desk with a cup of coffee on their laptop searching for information

Meta-search marketing filters the availability and rates from hotels and shows the results in one platform. Using a meta-search strategy for hotel digital marketing can drastically reduce the need for online travel agencies (OTA) and allow the hotel to create a more powerful sales funnel. Why is this so important? That is because more than 70% of hotel bookings come from OTAs like Expedia, Booking, or Kayak.

#5  Awareness—’Brand Lift’ Study

Screenshot of an example of a YouTube 'Brand Lift'

A ‘Brand Lift’ study is a way to measure the direct impact your hotel YouTube ads are having on perceptions and behaviors throughout the customer journey and is especially important when it comes to introducing a new hotel to market or rebranding an existing hotel. ‘Brand Lift’ gives the hotel insights into how its ads are impacting the metrics that matter and it can easily optimize the campaigns, even during the process, in order to gain valuable insight into brand recognition and recall. 

For more insights and trends, we encourage you to visit HotelsCurated and email us regarding a potential partnership, view our hotel reviews, and access our most recent trends report.