We know that the behavior of the new generation of travelers has completely changed. It implied that, in an ultra-competitive environment, hotels have to face new challenges and adapt their marketing strategy. A long process is happening before turning the internet user into a potential client, this is why the hotel’s first mission is to be visible and to get known. In this article we will see how to develop the brand awareness but also how to retain and convert customers.
Before turning Internet users into potential clients, it is important that the hotel develops brand awareness. This visibility comes from marketing actions such as natural indexing (SEO), advertising campaigns, emailing campaigns and social medias. All of these generate brand enthusiasm. Of course, this awareness can be pricy, which is why it is important to monitor the campaign’s performance to get a satisfying return on investment (ROI).
Once the travelers’ attention is caught, the challenge is to turn them into customers. Although certain aspects of conversion are handled by hotels, others are much less controlled, such as opinions left by Internet users after their stay. E-reputation is particularly important for an establishment. Brand awareness is managed by community management.
Retaining Customers to Maintain Attractiveness
Once a customer is won over, the challenge is now to retain them. It is a difficult challenge when your travelers are netsurfers. In order to maintain contact with them, newsletters and social medias are levers that favor customer relations. Some hoteliers develop loyalty programs to value and reward their clients. The hospitality industry has shown an increasing interest in loyalty programs. More than 80% of all travelers belong to a loyalty program. They are mainly attracted by the program benefits, in other words, free overnight stays. Moreover, loyalty programs encourage travelers to book through a specific sign-in. Thanks to loyalty program, travelers give priority to direct contact with the hotelier. More than 86% of travelers prefer to receive news related to loyalty programs by email (source: Google Think Insights: ‘’The 2013 Traveller’s Road to Decision: Affluent Insights’’ / January 2014).
Optimize their Direct Bookings
The process in which a hotel is chosen and booked can be long and difficult. Being involved in every stage can be expensive: advertising campaigns, referencing in metasearch engines, commissions paid to intermediaries in the distribution chain (OTAs), and so on.
Beyond visibility and reputation management, the main strategy for a hotel is to provide direct bookings capability on its website. The trend towards multi-screen technology also helps hotels being more visible when the traveler looks for information.
In order to maximize direct bookings, a hotel should manage its channels better. Direct booking means cost control and knowledge of its clients. This gives them a chance to establish a close relationship with their clients. They have a chance to make them loyal and engaged by targeting theirs communications in order to ensure that they become ambassadors for the company.
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