It’s budgeting season, which means your hotel is probably ready to start planning how, when, and where you’ll be investing in 2020. As part of the “20/20 Strategy” series, we’ll offer expert tips to help you budget for key areas that could define how successful you are next year— including your hotel website. This is part 6 of the series.
Looking to boost the e-commerce performance of your hotel website? Our digital marketing & demand generation strategy checklist will help you boost conversions on your website with compelling content and optimization tools.
Here are our key recommendations for demand generation, including the important conversations to have with your Digital Marketing Manager.
Do you have a new special offer for the month or quarter? If you do, make sure your Digital Marketing Manager is aware and incorporates the messaging into ad copy or site links — maximizing exposure. Need specialist advice on this topic? Check out our post on driving direct bookings through rooms and special offers copy.
If an external agency is creating new banner ads, check that the ads are delivered with the correct pixel specification. And make sure they’re within the maximum file size limits to ensure timely upload and activation.
Do you have a separate remarketing offer for abandoned bookers? If so, make sure that it’s not accessible by website navigation menus — this will ensure your offer maintains its exclusivity and you’re not forced into unnecessary discounting.
If you don’t rely on remarketing offers, discuss the merits of creating one with your Digital Marketing Manager. Remember, remarketing deals don’t always need to offer the lowest possible discounts. Adding additional value, such as “hotel credit”, “free breakfast”, or “discount on spa treatments” can also be leveraged to incentivize direct bookings.
If you’re planning to use flash sales as a marketing strategy, give your Digital Marketing Manager at least 72 hours of advanced notification. This will give them time to build and implement campaigns to promote the event. Note, this recommendation specifically applies to metasearch, where it’s crucial to represent discounted rates.
Inform your Digital Marketing Manager if you’re sending out promotional e-blasts for your campaigns. They can then add this messaging/offer to the PPC ad copy or site links in rotation, as well as on Facebook and Instagram.
Have you discontinued any special offers or changed the URL of a landing page linked to a special offer? Notify your digital marketer — they may need to update links within the in-market advertisements. In addition, let them know about any name changes to existing rate plans.
Metasearch rate plans
Do you have a dedicated rate plan for metasearch? If not, metasearch may not display the lowest available rate. Consider creating a dedicated rate plan that’s a few dollars cheaper than the rate you supply to your OTAs for the same channel. Metasearch is a price comparison tactic, and your rate is the only major influencing factor. Find out how to make your hotel metasearch channel more profitable with more direct bookings and lower costs.
Metasearch platforms can’t currently support geo-targeted DPRs. So if you’re relying on this approach to make sure the rate is competitive, you need to find an alternative. Speak to your Digital Marketing Manager and client service manager to decide on the best way to achieve the same outcome.
If your monthly budget is exhausted before the end of the month, you may need to find creative solutions. For instance, use data-driven insights to make a case and request additional funds from your finance team. Alternatively, discuss our new Augmented Commission Model to help supplement your monthly budget.
Real-Time Ads (RTA)
If you’re subscribed to Travel Tripper’s premium banner asset service, ensure that a refresh of the offers/images takes place each quarter. This will maintain the freshness of messaging and avoid ‘banner blindness’.
When it comes to PPC (pay-per-click) campaigns, you may find there are weeks or months where demand and occupancy are both high. If that’s the case, your Digital Marketing Manager can create a list of users’ shopping for these dates and potentially limit visibility of ads to them.
Are there weeks or months where occupancy is lagging? Let your Digital Marketing Manager know so they can create an awareness strategy around these dates.
Search engine competition
The Auction Insights report in Google AdWords lets you identify how your brand’s ads compare to your competition. If you’ve seen an increased level of competition from OTAs in your search results, review your BrandVerity report with your Digital Marketing Manager.
The essential digital marketing & demand generation strategy checklist
If you want to engage more guests and drive more conversions, following our demand generation strategy checklist is a great place to start. In many cases, the key to success is about improving communication with your Digital Marketing Manager, and spotting opportunities to maximize the exposure and impact of your promotional activities.
While there’s a lot to consider, following just some of these recommendations could make a significant difference to overall performance.
Need help taking your hotel website to the next level?
Sign up for our upcoming webinar: The Art and Science of Converting Travelers on Your Hotel Website. Experts from Travel Tripper & Pegasus and LaaSie will show you the techniques and technology to influence your guest’s decision-making, forge deeper relationships, and drive more direct bookings. Sign up now to reserve your spot!