Key changes in hotel digital marketing 2018

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For all its virtues, the very nature of digital marketing makes it hard to keep up with. Technology is constantly developing, forcing software and algorithms to be in a constant state of change. This means every few months your hotel needs to stop and take stock. If you’re incorporating digital marketing in your business strategy, any update needs to be evaluated in case it affects your plans or budget.

In 2018 there are already some significant news in this area. Here are the changes that are already happening in 2018 which may affect your hotel’s digital marketing strategy:

1. Google My Business Update

In 2016 Google dropped a feature allowing owners and managers to add a property description that will appear in Google’s Local Knowledge Panel. This year, the function will return, allowing you to once again highlight key accommodation, amenities and what sets your hotel apart, to enhance your listing in local panel search results. You’ll have a 750 character limit and won’t be able to include URLs or HTML code.

2. Google search engine marketing

In 2018, Google is announcing formal reporting capabilities for this messaging service, capturing three key metrics:

  • Chat rate – Which will track impressions vs. actual messaging interactions
  • Start time – Revealing when users tend to interact with you via messaging
  • Number of messages within a single session – Google uses this metric to evaluate which ad creatives are driving the most engagement

This helps you to understand what ads to run and when, allowing for a more diverse strategy and higher conversions.

3. Facebook function to reach travellers earlier

Facebook has announced Trip Consideration, a new ad optimiser specifically targeting people who are in the early stages of planning a vacation. With Facebook reporting that 68% of millennials found ideas for their most recent trip on Facebook, and 60% found ideas on Instagram, Trip Consideration will reach people based on behaviour they exhibit on either platform.

This could be a great opportunity for hotels to make an early impression on travellers and convert bookings before competitors even get the chance.

4. Personal interactions

Generic advertising is quickly going the way of the dinosaurs. Impersonal email blasts are increasingly unlikely to yield results. Today, customers expect to be hyper-targeted and receive personal interactions along every step of their purchasing journey. If you can provide this, it is easier for you to convert a sale, and gain return business.

When running campaigns try to customise things like landing pages as much as possible to suit specific groups of people.

Read more: Landing pages: How to drive direct bookings on your paid traffic?