A friend and foe, seasonality is a familiarity amongst many hoteliers who enjoy high occupancy, elevated ADRs, and a surge in revenue when in-season. As the seasons change, occupancy dips, market share becomes sparse, and hotels are left with elevated cost-per-acquisitions; their marketing efforts must become proactive, efficient, and creative to ensure their continued success.
Complete a search for hotels in a resort town: from South Lake Tahoe to Vail or Park City. What you will find is an abundance of properties offering discounted rates or outlandish specials to secure a large piece of a much smaller pie. Is this approach functional? Yes. Is it practical, efficient, or creative? Absolutely not!
Begin by evaluating your current marketing efforts, specifically paid search. Do your paid search efforts include foundational campaigns, such as name and market terms? Of course they do. Has your team researched local events and interests responsible for driving additional traffic during seasonal lulls? If your answer is no, keep reading.
Paid Search Marketing: Get Creative with Your Next Campaign!
Step 1: Identify Local Activities and Interests A dream destination for outdoor enthusiasts, Sedona, Arizona is home to the Sedona Rouge Hotel & Spa. Experiencing seasonal lulls during winter months, Sedona Rouge required creative and aggressive paid search marketing efforts to maintain its market share. Focusing on local outdoor activities and guides that increase in the late Winter months, we worked with Sedona Rouge to develop paid search campaigns surrounding Sedona Grand Canyon Tours.
Step 2: Determine Interest Surrounding Local Activities and Interests The Google Adwords Keyword Planner Tool will help you obtain a list of keywords, the average search volume per month, competition, projected cost-per-click (CPC), and search volume trends over time associated with each keyword. Cross-referencing this data with your preferred keyword strings will allow you to identify which keywords are most qualified for your property. Additionally, you must ask yourself which of these have the highest search volume? Which have the lowest relative CPC? Review these metrics to identify your focus when building out your list of PPC keywords. From there, you will build out ad groups based on the organization of your targeted keywords.
Step 3: Develop Beautifully-written, Engaging Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ads As PPC ads lack the potential for beautiful imagery or vibrant videos, you must rely on the written word to engage, entice, and convert your audience. Consider this step a moving piece of the puzzle. Begin by reviewing past ad performance in AdWords to identify what language, copy, and delivery resonate most with your target audience. Following the development of ads, an A/B test is highly recommended to ensure overall success for the campaign. As you see results over an identified period of time, begin to adjust your campaign strategy based on said results to target better performing ads within your ad groups. Review and adapt as necessary.
A Well-Performing Ad
An Under-Performing Ad
Step 4: Create an Informative Landing Page A successful landing page will feature vibrant imagery, thorough details about the advertised activity, and entice your audience, beautifully illustrating the experience that awaits in Sedona, Arizona. To increase conversion rates, ensure your call-to-action (CTA) is easily found and captures the attention of your audience.
Step 5: Launch Your Campaign! Your keyword research is done. Your ad groups are built. Your ads are beautifully written and ready for testing. Your landing page is thorough, engaging, and features a strong CTA. You are ready to launch your interest-based paid search marketing campaign! We highly recommend the use of custom Google Analytic urls and eCommerce tracking to track incoming data and your success.
Challenged with need periods resulting from seasonal transitions? Look to paid search marketing to execute interest-based marketing efforts by targeting local events and activities as a way to increase awareness, drive qualified traffic to your site, and capitalize on your new-found prospects. Questions? Concerns? Allow us to help launch your next campaign!