By Margaret Mastrogiacomo

As the holiday season swiftly approaches, it’s important to keep a pulse on the evolving digital landscape to keep your digital strategy ahead of the curve.

This month, Microsoft Ads expands LinkedIn targeting availability, Connected TV advertising continues to grow, and mixing realism with illustration is a design trend that arrives just in time for the holidays. From Search to Social Media and Design, here are the top 5 things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing.

1. Search: Microsoft Advertising expands LinkedIn profile targeting to more countries.

Microsoft first opened LinkedIn Profile data for targeting on Bing in 2018 and it was available in the US. Now, LinkedIn Profile targeting by job function, industry and/or company is available for Search and Audience campaigns in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, France, and Germany. This targeting feature allows hotel marketers to use campaign bid modifiers for the specific industries or job functions of target customers. The data encompasses more than 100 industries and 80,000 companies globally. For meeting and business travel campaigns, hotel marketers should consider targeting industries and companies that are growing to increase conversion rate.

2. CRM: Leverage sales and meetings customer data to increase business travel and meetings revenue in 2021.

While business travel and meetings are still projected to be down in 2021, historical CRM data surrounding meetings and business travel presents a low-cost opportunity to market to past business travelers and corporate meeting planners already familiar with your hotel and its services. Consider personalized one-to-one campaigns offering an exclusive credit and perks towards future business travel and meetings booked in 2021. If your hotel is interested in collecting information around when companies plan to resume business travel or corporate meetings, consider a brief 1-3 question survey asking when recipients plan to resume travel with a credit or perks towards a future meeting as a reward.soc

3. Social Media: Facebook launches paid online events.

When social distancing became commonplace, many businesses and creators brought their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones. People are also relying on live video and interactive experiences more when they can’t come together in-person. By combining marketing, payment, and live video, paid online events meet the full spectrum of needs for businesses.

Pages can host events on Facebook Live to reach broad audiences, and Facebook is testing paid events with Messenger Rooms for more personal and interactive gatherings. Now, Pages in the US and 19 other countries that meet Facebook’s partner monetization policies can start charging for online events on Facebook. To support small businesses and creators, Facebook will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year. Hotel marketers can consider hosting online fitness classes, cooking classes with the restaurant chef, cocktail classes, and more. Check here to see if your page qualifies to get access.

4. Display: Connected TV is a must for your holiday campaign strategy.

As hotel marketers gear up for Cyber Monday and planning for holiday campaigns, consider adding Connected TV to your holiday strategy. With total viewing time on Connected TV devices growing 81% year-over-year, millions of shoppers will be spending more time streaming television than ever before. Ad-supported Connected TV is getting a large percentage of viewership according to research from the IAB:

  • 73% of streaming viewers watch ad-supported CTV content.
  • 45% of streaming viewers watch ad-supported CTV the most.

With 66% of shoppers saying they plan to buy more online this holiday season, and 70% of people reporting they look for travel deals during the holiday season, Connected TV is a great way to get in front of online shoppers this holiday season, with cheerful and uplifting messaging.

5. Design: Mixing Illustration & Realism.

A new, playful design trend for brands to explore is mixing illustration with photography. While this design style might not be right for every brand, this trend is worth exploring to achieve a more playful and whimsical aesthetic for holiday campaigns.