Stretching your marketing budget to stay ahead of the curve and yield high returns is not easy, especially if you are working on a limited budget. In this competitive digital age, it is crucial to know the latest online marketing tactics and channels to survive in the hospitality industry. A recent survey by HSMAI confirmed that 70% of hoteliers experience highest returns from online investments. Whether it is to market your hotel as the best cheap hotel in Seattle, Columbus, or anywhere in the United States, the good news is that there are cost-effective online strategies to use to grab the spotlight and attract more customers to your hotel. What are the best ways to promote your hotel on a limited budget?
Invest in an exceptional, user-friendly website experience
Hotel marketers should focus on optimizing each stage of their marketing strategies that involve design, including their website. Having a well-adapted website can create the first key impression for your hotel, and it can make or break your brand. Visual appeal is topmost important. When users were asked why they didn’t trust a website, one study revealed that 94% of the answers were related to the site’s design. A lot of companies tend to overlook this.
A compelling website is more than the trendy logos, colors, or images you choose. It’s also about intuitive navigation, content, faster loading speed, and the absence of technical issues. Research shows that up to 75% of online visitors will leave and look for other sites to avoid dealing with website delays.
Choose the right online advertising campaign for your hotel
One of the most popular forms of online marketing is outbound advertisements displayed on websites: banner advertisements and pay-per-click (PPC) advertisements. Banner advertising is embedded into a web page as a rectangular graphic display. Banner advertisements are paid upfront and posted on a website for a predetermined amount of time. This kind of advertising format accounts for $32.17 billion, the largest share of online spending, and is added to attract traffic to the advertiser’s website.
Similar to banner advertising, PPC advertising is also displayed on websites. Unlike banner advertisements, however, the model works on the premise that advertisers pay only when a user clicks on one of their online ads. Knowing whether your company needs a display advertising campaign, a PPC campaign, or a combination of both depends on your marketing goals. Using the wrong channel can potentially ruin the chances of reaching maximum success for your whole advertising campaign.
Recover reservations from visitors who abandon the reservation process
The average abandon rate for travel bookings is at 81.6%. This is no surprise, considering that the hospitality industry is a fiercely competitive market with customers having a lot of accesses to different channels. By not utilizing booking recovery tools, you’re simply letting revenue slip through your fingers.
Booking recovery tools were popularized more than a decade ago by digital marketers in the eCommerce space to recapture lost bookings. Nowadays, there are a few popular types of booking recovery tools: on-screen pop-ups, abandoned booking emails, and abandoned booking remarketing ads.
On-screen pop-ups are last-minute prompts designed to encourage guests to remain in the booking funnel when there is an attempt to leave the booking page. Several studies confirm that pop-ups can actually convert website visitors to subscribers and successful bookings.
Abandoned booking emails work by capturing email addresses at the earliest opportunity in the booking process and sending out a follow-up email to guests who do not complete the booking process. To the get the maximum ROI for this kind of recovery tool, research shows that the quicker you send the email to give a subtle nudge to visitors to complete their purchase, the better.
Remarketing ads use a variety of methods to remind users about your hotel. This method aims to keep the content fresh and engaging over many days.
Working with a limited marketing budget does not automatically mean limited returns. All your hotel needs is to invest in a user-friendly website and recovery tools to successfully increase direct bookings and boost profits.