Ah, it’s that time of year again in the hotel industry: budget season.
As a hotelier, it’s time to plan your spending and marketing strategies for the upcoming year. Creating a marketing strategy that works for your hotel marketing budget can be a daunting process, but it’s a necessary one to achieve your desired results.
It’s important to take a strategic approach when determining your annual budget, considering your goals for the year and allocating your budget to support those goals over time. This ensures that your budget is being utilized in a way that will yield the best results, both in the short-term and over the long-term.
Remember, a well-planned and executed marketing strategy can help set you apart from the competition and attract the right customers to your hotel. In this guide, we’ll help guide you through the best process for building out your digital marketing budget.
Challenges faced by Hotels in 2023
As the travel industry experiences a resurgence, competition to capture the attention of returning and first-time travelers is fierce.
If you’re an independent hotel, it’s crucial to ensure your marketing budgets are agile enough to compete. Large branded hotels can afford to invest in different tactics like search engine optimization, search engine marketing with Google hotel ads, social media advertising and other marketing tools. These can have a direct correlation on direct bookings which means more for your bottom line. Independent hotels will need to be smarter to remain competitive.
Getting off to a bad start with your hotel marketing budget could have you trying to play catch-up for the rest of the year.
Why Invest in Digital Marketing?
As a hotel owner or marketer, it’s important to have a fluid marketing budget that can adapt to changing consumer demands and communication methods. While only a small portion of a hotel’s revenue is traditionally allocated for marketing, how effectively that budget is used can make or break the hotel’s success.
In fact, over 68% of hotel bookings are now happening online, and mobile searches have surpassed desktop queries. This means that a hotel’s marketing efforts must now focus on the digital world in order to stand out in a cluttered and competitive marketplace.
To succeed in this environment, independent hotels must direct their resources towards digital marketing. This includes optimizing their website for search engines, developing engaging social media content, and creating targeted online advertising campaigns. By embracing the digital stratum, hotels can reach their ideal guests where they are spending the majority of their time – online.
How much of your hotel marketing budget should be digital?
When it comes to deciding the digital marketing budget for your hotel, there are a few factors to consider. One of the most important is the size of your establishment and the competition in your area. Generally, it’s a good idea to allocate around 75% of your marketing budget to digital marketing. This is because the hospitality industry relies heavily on word-of-mouth, which has become increasingly digital in recent years. Positive reviews and recommendations can generate new business and higher revenue margins.
Guest loyalty is important, but it’s crucial to prioritize the power of online reviews and recommendations. According to a study by TripAdvisor, 77% of travelers surveyed said they use reviews and recommendations from the website before booking a hotel room. By prioritizing your digital marketing efforts, you can increase your chances of being seen by potential guests and encourage positive reviews and word-of-mouth marketing.
Planning Your 2023 Hospitality Marketing Budget
We understand the importance of putting together a solid hotel marketing budget for digital media, now let’s break down the elements to include for the most successful digital marketing budgets.
Gather Reports and Analyze Trends
When it comes to keeping up with the latest trends and reports in the hotel industry, there are several reliable sources that are available to hoteliers and other professionals in the field.
These resources offer a wealth of information, ranging from daily and monthly reports on hotel performance and market share to trend analysis reports and news articles.
Among the best free sources of information on hotel reports and trends are:
By utilizing these resources, you can stay informed about industry trends and make informed decisions about the direction of your business.
Analyze your Hotel Booking Cycle
When it comes to hotel occupancy, different regions will experience fluctuations throughout the year, so it’s important to adjust your marketing budget accordingly. By starting your campaign early, you can ensure that travelers are considering your establishment before they even begin planning their trip.
Newer hotels may not have much historical data to work with, but there are still ways to gain insights. Consider acting as a potential guest and research your competitors to get a sense of when their busiest seasons are. Look at their booking cycles or reach out to them directly to gather information.
Many hotels will even share this information with travel agencies or tour organizers to help with planning, making them a potential source of data.
With these strategies in mind, you can make sure that you are prepared for any shifts in demand and stay ahead of the competition.
Ensure you Dedicate Adequate Resources
Effective execution is a crucial part of any plan. When creating your digital marketing budget, it’s important to consider not just the costs, but also the time and resources required to execute each campaign.
Determine how many staff members you’ll need to carry out the plan, and establish key performance indicators and metrics to track the success of each campaign.
While it’s important to be prepared to allocate additional resources to a campaign that has potential for greater success, don’t be afraid to cut your losses and abandon failing campaigns.
Continually evaluate the return on investment of each campaign and adjust your resource allocation accordingly. B
y taking a strategic approach to your digital marketing budget and execution plan, you can maximize the impact of your marketing departments and drive business success.
Basic Elements of Digital Marketing
As you plan your hotel marketing budget, it’s important to understand the different elements that make up your marketing campaigns. There are many ways to promote your hotel, but we’ll go over some of the key strategies to consider.
Remember, each of these elements can be customized to fit your budget and marketing goals. By carefully selecting the right mix of marketing tactics and tracking your results, you can maximize your hotel marketing efforts and drive more revenue for your hotel.
To attract guests to your hotel, it’s essential to create valuable and engaging content. This could be in the form of blog posts, videos, or social media content that showcases your property and highlights the unique experiences you offer.
Remember that you’re not just selling a room, but a unique experience that your guests will cherish. So, consider your primary customer base and create content that speaks to their interests and needs.
This will help you cater your marketing efforts to your target audience and create a more compelling message that resonates with them.
To reach a larger audience and drive more bookings, you’ll need to be running paid advertising campaigns such as display, search, and social media ads. By targeting potential guests based on their interests and behaviors, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaigns.
Hotel marketers should keep search engine optimization in mind during your advertising efforts, especially for independent hotels.
Paid search is a major driver of hospitality sales and your sales team should keep this in mind. The right Google research for your own website can have a significant impact on your direct bookings and overall revenue.
Social Media Advertising
Social media is a powerful tool for promoting your hotel through visually appealing content and targeting specific audiences with advertising tools. You can showcase your amenities, promote special offers, and drive bookings through social media ads.
Partnering with social media influencers can also be one of the more effective marketing tactics at your disposal. Their followers may number in the thousands and their opinions can directly influence purchasing decisions.
In today’s cluttered marketing environment, working with influencers can be the edge you need to stand out and reach your target audience.
Hotel Website Revenue Optimization Strategies
There is no shortage of ways to maximize your asset’s total revenue potential, and they’ll vary from place to place. There are however, some basic concepts that can be applied across the spectrum hotel industry that you can consider implementing:
- Implement dynamic pricing: Dynamic pricing is a revenue optimization strategy that allows you to adjust your room rates based on market demand and other factors. By using dynamic pricing, you can charge higher rates during peak seasons and events and lower rates during slower periods, which can help maximize revenue.
- Use upselling and cross-selling: Upselling and cross-selling are techniques that can help you increase revenue per guest by offering them additional services or upgrades. For example, you can offer guests the option to upgrade to a room with a better view or add-on services such as a spa treatment or a special package.
- Utilize retargeting and remarketing: Retargeting and remarketing techniques can help you re-engage visitors who have shown interest in your hotel but haven’t yet booked a room. You can use targeted ads and email campaigns to remind them of their interest in your property and offer special deals or promotions to encourage them to book.
- Optimize your booking process: A streamlined and user-friendly booking process is essential for maximizing revenue. Make sure your booking form is easy to navigate and includes only essential fields. Consider offering a guest checkout option and provide clear instructions on how to complete the booking process. Additionally, consider implementing a loyalty program to incentivize guests to return and book directly with your hotel.
Don’t Forget About Mobile Search queries!
This is one of the major digital marketing mistakes to avoid. The rise of mobile technology has transformed the way people browse the internet and book hotels.
In fact, smartphone searches have surpassed desktop queries for some time now. This includes hotel bookings!
This means that it’s essential to optimize your digital marketing campaigns for mobile devices. By doing so, you’ll be able to reach your target audience where they spend the most time and make it easy for them to book directly from their phone.
Remember, it’s important to meet consumer communications methods by speaking with them in a way that they prefer.
How to maximize your hotel marketing efforts with limited budgets
If you have a limited budget for hotel marketing, don’t worry! There are still plenty of strategies you can use to maximize your efforts. Here are a few ideas:
- Leverage social media: Use social media platforms to showcase your hotel’s unique features and engage with potential guests. Encourage guests to post about their stay and share user-generated content.
- Optimize your website: Make sure your website is easy to use, visually appealing, and optimized for search engines. Use relevant keywords and phrases and include high-quality photos and videos of your property. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly.
- Utilize email marketing: Collect email addresses from guests and use email marketing to keep them engaged with your hotel. Send newsletters, promotions, and other relevant information.
- Partner with local businesses: Collaborate with nearby businesses to create packages that promote your hotel and the surrounding area. This can help you reach a wider audience and attract new guests.
- Focus on guest experience: Provide excellent customer service and create a memorable guest experience. Encourage guests to leave reviews on travel review websites and share their experience on social media. Word-of-mouth marketing can be a powerful tool for attracting new guests to your hotel.
Remember, the key is to focus on strategies that will have the greatest impact on your target audience. By using a combination of these tactics, you can effectively market your hotel without breaking the bank.
Integrate digital marketing campaigns
When it comes to hotel marketing, integrating your digital marketing campaigns can be a game-changer.
Instead of treating your content, advertising, and social media as separate entities, think about how these marketing tactics can work together to support your overall strategy. By doing so, you can make the most of your limited budget and create a more effective marketing plan.
For example, you can create blog posts and social media content that showcases your hotel’s unique eco-friendly amenities or how you offer adventure that other hotels don’t. These posts can then be used to drive targeted traffic to your website, where you can offer exclusive discounts or special packages to these guests to book directly with you.
At the same time, your advertising can be used to promote these same offers and drive more of this targeted traffic to your website. By targeting guests with laser-focus based on their interests and behaviors, you can deliver more value to them and generate more bookings for your hotel.
Your social media marketing can be used to engage with this audience and showcase your hotel’s brand and personality. By leveraging social media influencers and user-generated content, you can create a buzz around your hotel and build a loyal following.
If your hotel offers a unique community experience to these guests then they’ll often choose you over the competition.
By integrating your digital marketing campaigns in this way, you can create a cohesive and effective marketing plan that maximizes your budget and delivers results.
Remain Competitive and Agile
As we come to the end of our guide on hotel digital marketing strategies, it’s important to remember that the hospitality industry is constantly evolving.
In order to stay competitive, hotels need to utilize a variety of marketing tactics that attract, engage, and retain guests.
From content marketing to social media advertising, each strategy plays an important role in driving bookings and revenue.
By implementing a comprehensive marketing plan that integrates different campaigns and focuses on delivering a unique guest experience, hotels can differentiate themselves from the competition and build long-term relationships with their guests.
Ultimately, whether your an independent hotel or a large association, the key to success in hotel marketing in today’s digital universe is to remain flexible, experiment with new ideas, and stay focused on the needs and preferences of your target audience.
If you’re looking for an agency to optimize your website marketing campaign, or just want to take the guesswork out of your digital marketing budget this year, get in touch with our skilled professionals.
We’ll give a full evaluation of your site and find ways to get you more direct bookings.
The post Building Your Hotel’s Digital Marketing Budget: Your Complete Crash Course appeared first on Placeworks.
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