News for the Hospitality Executive
Internet marketing gives you an advantage over the competition because it’s measurable and it delivers a better ROI than most offline marketing strategies.
The recession and unstable economic climate have many companies shifting their marketing budgets and reconsidering their marketing strategy. Where should you concentrate your efforts? What marketing channels are going to deliver the best ROI when you’re facing budget cuts?
The hotel and travel industry can benefit most from search engine optimization and several other online marketing channels. If your goal is to increase online reservation rates in 2010, attract new guests to your property, and establish a strong Internet presence, allocating your budget for online marketing initiatives is a winning strategy for getting consistent results – even in the midst of a recession.
Are You Making a Common Hotel Marketing Mistake?
Many companies are still spending a good portion of their marketing dollars offline, spending hundreds, even thousands of dollars for billboards, magazine ads and print materials. If you’re a branded hotel, offline marketing often does very little more than promoting the brand itself. This type of marketing rarely helps promote the location or services of your hotel. The major hotel brands – Marriott, Hilton, Embassy Suites and Sheraton – are already well-established and easily recognized by prospective guests.
The key to successful online marketing is to attract qualified traffic that is interested in your particular property, and not waste your marketing budget by promoting only the brand.
The Building Blocks of Internet Marketing for Hotels
In its simplest form, Internet marketing can be defined as the use of several web-based resources that generate reservations and revenue for the property at the lowest possible cost. Online marketing principles can be applied to almost any industry, and for the hotel and travel industry, this translates to the effective use of search engine optimization, the construction of independent websites, and pay-per-click advertising. It’s also important to actively manage the brand pages by an expert or company, because the property’s brand pages do tend to attract a significant number of visitors every single day.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO): This process involves researching relevant search terms (keywords) that prospective guests are using to find your, and your competitor’s websites. Once the keywords that are generating the highest amounts of traffic are identified, the website can be optimized to attract more of this qualified traffic. Search engine optimization strategies continue to be one of the most effective ways to attract more visitors to your website.
Construction of Independent Websites: In addition to the branded hotel pages, it is valuable for most properties to set up an independent web site that attracts groups and shoulder business. Setting this up helps squeeze out nearby competitors, and also helps build a stronger search engine presence for relevant keywords. In order to meet ROI goals, it’s important to review monthly traffic reports and continue to tweak the site so that it is optimized correctly.
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising: Pay-per-click advertising, or sponsored advertising on the search engines, is a proven method for generating highly-qualified traffic. This type of marketing allows you to narrow down the field of searchers to those who are ready to take action. Since the action you are looking for is making reservations at a specific hotel, you can create short ads that lead visitors directly to the reservations page or your property’s website. A 10x ROI is considered to be the benchmark for success with this type of campaign, and overall, is one of the most effective online marketing methods.
As you create your 2010 marketing budget,
revenue opportunities available with Internet marketing. From search
optimization to pay-per-click advertising, there are several effective,
and measurable ways to increase reservations next year and get
ROI with your marketing dollars.
article was produced by eMax Hotel Internet Marketing. For more
information visit www.emaxhotelmarketing.com