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One of the main challenges our clients in the hospitality sector face is standing out amongst vast online competition.

There has been a growth in users booking accommodation online due to a rise in popularity of mobile apps such as Airbnb, which allow for consumers to not only find the best rates, but filter their search to find a personalised stay or experience.

A research report from Barclays found that different age groups prefer certain types of accommodation: 18-24 year olds prefer independent, Air BnB style services; 25-54 year olds would choose self-catered accommodation such as holiday cottages; those aged 55 and older prefer a mid-market hotel at the top of their priority list.

This doesn’t mean that the hotel industry should not directly market to the younger generation, it just means certain effective marketing tactics should be implemented in order to target this market. The good news for the industry is that three in 10 domestic holidaymakers plan to spend more holiday time in the UK in 2019/20 than they did in previous years. The main reason for the drive in demand is millennials (aged 25-34) choosing a staycation as their main holiday.

Here are just a few of the top line tactics businesses within the hotel sector can adopt to optimise their success online and outshine the competition:

Most travellers search online for hotels/restaurants/experiences and if your webpage doesn’t appear on the first page of Google, then you pretty much aren’t guaranteed a look in.

An optimised and easy to navigate website, keyword strategy, PPC (Pay Per Click advertising) and copy fit for SEO, are a few of the key marketing tactics businesses need in order to maximise their chances of ranking highest and giving customers an easy and enjoyable booking experience.

It should come as no surprise that supply and demand is not a constant throughout the year, therefore planning and utilising the marketing budget is essential. Offers and competitions are great incentives for seasonal times of the year or when used to coincide with annual regional events.

Remarketing (targeting potential customers who have previously viewed your website but didn’t perform a valuable action such as making a booking) is a great tactic to re-engage and remind people about hotel offerings. Consumers may search several hotel sites before making a booking so remarketing could be the trigger they need to make an enquiry or a booking.

Having profiles on several social media sites allows hotels to connect on a personal level with their customers. It provides a platform to form and create relationships, build brand awareness and promote services and value.

Influencer marketing (engaging with popular people/accounts who have a high level of engaging online followers to promote a product/service to their audience) is great for hotels especially through Instagram as its visual nature makes it the perfect platform to share travel image content.

In turn this broadened reach and activity online plus on social media platforms helps your organic search outcomes, as key words and hashtags count towards improving your searchability and rankings.

Investing in digital technology is a no brainer for businesses in order to attract a younger audience. Free services including smartphone check-in, payment via wearable technology, or location-specific notifications about offers and discounts are a few offerings which will appeal to a tech-savvy audience.

At Narrative our ethos is simple; we don’t just work for our clients, we work with them. We have previously partnered with Hotel Indigo Durham for the successful launch of their new boutique hotel in the iconic city. Read more here.

 

We know that marketing should be measurable, valuable and above all, aligned with business objectives to ensure effectiveness. To find out more about our work or if we can help you with your marketing, please call us on 0191 543 6550 or email hello@narrativecommunications.co.uk

This post was created on 18th December 2019
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