I recently saw a post from a friend on Instagram of a Bond-themed hotel room. Sure – it’s pretty easy to gain a social following with over-the-top insanity like that, but please hotelier universe – don’t do that if it’s not in your DNA.
So how do you stand out in a crowded market? According to a recent study from NetAffinity, a hotel engine provider, about one-third of the average hotel’s revenue comes from organic traffic and 21 percent of booking come from mobile devices.
Building great content and ensuring the right people see it is top on the list of how to differentiate yourself and build intrigue with your audience.
Use Content to Affect Search
Today, an average of 30-40% of a hotel’s revenue comes from organic search and having a consistently updated site is critical for search visibility.
Create a blog about your destination - tell the story of the people, the town, the culture, the events. Use a great blog as a tentpole of your marketing, understanding that many pieces of social media content can come from a single blog post.
Outsourcing tip: Find a local writer to assist in these efforts. If you can spend $500/month creating 5-10 blog stories, you can get a lot of leverage from that rich content.
While the bulk of travel bookings is still happening on desktop, increasingly there is a shift to booking on mobile. According to a recent study Google did on mobile’s role in the travel journey, conversion rates have grown 88% on mobile travel sites – fueled in large part to many micro-moments happening throughout the traveler’s experience.
If your site isn’t ready for mobile, and travel is one of those areas that majorly lags behind, it’s time to get there. This will be a deal-breakers for travelers.
Find Great UGC
Utilizing user-generated content in the travel space just makes sense. So much sense. Use tools like Tack to find photos from your destination and ask for permission to share them.
Don’t discount ratings and reviews – ever. Forrester travel says that even though 71% of people say seeing responses from travel companies on their reviews is important in the booking process, only 7% of teams are responding. SEVEN. This alone can be a huge differentiator.
You know that Amazon product that follows you around the web after you’ve looked at it on the site? That is retargeting.
Web site visitors who are retargeted with ads are 70% MORE likely to convert on your website. One recent ComScore study saw that retargeted ads led to a 1,046% increase in branded search – yes, you read that correctly.
You can scale retargeting based on budgets, but testing this tactic should definitely be part of your marketing plans.
Find and Involve Travel Influencers
Travel writing has evolved quite dramatically as traditional publications are losing circulation and niche influencers are leaping up the importance ladder.
The great thing about partnering with travel bloggers to share their experience is that instead of one long-write up, many times, several pieces of content will be created and distributed through multiple content. It’s created for the blogger’s tribe – it’s a trusting network that follow’s their lead.
Identifying the right-fit influencer can be tricky, but a well-researched influencer list can return leaps and bounds for your travel offering.