In today’s day in age, being sustainable and eco-friendly is a growing trend. As hoteliers, we need to conform with these trends to ensure our customers feel comfortable in our hotels if they are expecting a sustainable accommodation.
According to Green Key, 68% of travelers are more likely to consider choosing an accommodation knowing that it was sustainable. However, sustainability can mean a variety of things. According to a study by Booking.com, “The top reasons travelers give for choosing these eco-friendly places to rest their heads are to help reduce environmental impact (28%), to have a locally relevant experience (25%) and wanting to feel good about an accommodation choice (26%).”
As a hotelier, we must take these top reasons into consideration to improve the broad definition of a sustainable hotel.
Impacting the environment with your hotel can actually lead to saving costs in the end since you are reducing the use of energy and water.
Reducing water pressure, asking guests to reuse items, installing dual-flush toilets, and other factors are all ways to improve the environmental impact of your hotel. Utilizing these steps will not only appeal to those who are already economically friendly, but will influence guests who are not so knowledgeable in sustainability to see the impact it can make on the environment. In the end, making your hotel become more eco-friendly is a great investment.
In fact, another statistic from GreenKey states that 79% of guests are happy with less frequent toiletry replacement and 75% of guests are happy to have linen and towel changes less frequently.
Within travelers, there has been an increase on doing what the locals do rather than the touristy activities. Whether it is trying local food, or avoiding the tourist traps, travelers are looking for a hotel that will allow them to embrace the local, authentic experience and to help improve the local environment.
The study from Booking.com also shows that tourists want to be more sustainable because of multiple factors, one being that 28% of them feel guilty about the impact their vacation has had on the environment.
Also, the study showed that 29% of tourists strive to go out of their way to find a local restaurant that uses local ingredients and 45% would buy locally made products instead of mass-produced souvenirs.
If your hotel can match these expectations, then it will be on the road to success as these trends continue to excel.
Overall, you want your guests to feel happy, safe, and have the urge to come back and stay at your hotel in the future. With 26% of tourists saying they just want to “feel good” about their accommodation choice, you must maintain strong customer service and show the passion to grow as a sustainable company.
You want guests to feel like they are taking part in improving the environment and helping the locals around them, just by having them stay at your hotel.
In order to allow your hotel to be known as a sustainable and eco-friendly, you must market your hotel to be recognized as that by consumers.
To help drive bookings, you can register your hotel with eco-travel sites or take part in industry awards so consumers can see how much your hotel takes pride in sustainability. Also, with more recognition and respect of being sustainable, it’ll allow you to gain a greater chance in taking on sustainable actions for your property.
As the days go on, trends change, and it is important that your hotel is aware of these trends to match consumer preferences. Recently, sustainability has been a huge factor when travelers are seeking accommodation. Influencing your hotel to grow more eco-friendly can greatly impact your bookings and even improve the environment in the long run.
To boost direct bookings, it is ideal to understand the behavior of the guests seeking your site. There are plenty of useful tools, such as Google Analytics, that allow you to track your guest’s behavior during the booking process.
Your hotel’s website is crucial when it comes to driving direct bookings. With an upward trend in mobile bookings, it is important to adapt your website to fit with the latest technology.
50% of website users are visiting from their mobile devices. However, plenty of users still use a desktop to purchase and complete actions, they use their mobile devices to check rates, photos, and view fast information while watching TV or waiting at a restaurant.
According to Triptease’s US Hotel Website Handbook, the key is to make your mobile website easy to navigate. The more simplified it is to buy a hotel room on a mobile device, the more likely you will have an increase in conversions.
Some appealing features are from having a live chat on a mobile device or live rate checks so users can compare your rate to other OTAs.
Mobile Key Providers are also an awesome way to enhance the digital aspect of your hotel. Guests can simply download an app and check-in to your hotel from anywhere, and can use the device as a key to get into their room. Learn more here or schedule a demo.
The moment a traveler approaches your site, your website typically has 8 seconds to capture the user’s attention. Therefore, it is a must to make your hotel appealing and engaging to the guest through their website experience.
Travelers look for three main things when visiting your site. That is: rates, rooms, and location. You must make it an easy process to locate that information or else they are going to leave your site. Add high quality photos of your hotel, ensure that the pages load quickly, and even add reviews so consumers can get a sense of “social proof” that your hotel is worth staying at.
Use Google Analytics or even social media platforms to get an idea of who your target market is and how they are navigating through your website. If you make your website look visually appealing to that type of consumer, then they will be more likely to stay on your site and book.
Also, by tracking how the consumer navigates around the site, you can take into consideration what buttons should be bigger or what pages you need to focus on for conversion.
Read more on the top things a traveler expects when navigating through your hotel website, here.
Depending on where your guests are coming from, international and domestic consumers have different booking behaviors. These booking behaviors even vary by State so it is crucial to know how the consumer’s location can affect whether they book your hotel.
A study by Triptease found that North American searchers are converting at the highest rate but book at the lowest value while those from other countries are converting less but have a higher booking value.
For those internationally, they are spending more on travel costs and tend to come to the United States for longer stays since they are coming from so far away, so they want a higher value out of a hotel.
Even with States, TripTease shows that New York has the lowest booking value but highest conversion rate while Texas has the highest booking value but lowest conversion rate.
This could be because New York is a famous destination, even internationally, so more people are going to book there in the US. But, those looking for a high-value stay spend more time looking at the website multiple times instead of immediately granting you a conversion.
As for Texas, people are booking there for a long time but aren’t booking for high value. Hotels there should target upsells or utilize longer stay offers to consumers.
Getting to know your guests and their demographics are extremely important if you are trying to increase conversions. By utilizing the three tips above, you will gain more conversions and keep your guests intrigued with their stay.
Learn more about correctly developing a website and learning about your guests with IBC Hospitality.
Hotel Digital marketing is an essential if you want travelers to hear about your hotel, especially since, in this day in age, travelers do most of their vacation research online. Developing a digital marketing plan can be tedious but it is an extremely cost-effective way to promote your hotel.
5 Steps to Develop your Hotel’s Digital Marketing Strategy:
According to a study by Hotel Executive, “93% of Americans expect the companies they do business with to have a social media presence.”
It is ideal to manage reviews made by guests on your hotel, interact with your customers on various social media platforms, and keep all platforms up to date in order for your hotel to have a strong presence.
Social media gives your company the ability to interact with guests in a way that you can’t do with traditional marketing efforts. By engaging at this deeper level, you can guide guests to your site and drive direct bookings.
As technology continues to grow, mobile devices are making a large impact on consumer behavior. In fact, according to Blue Corona, over 40% of online transactions are now done on smartphones and tablets.
When your hotel does not have a mobile-friendly website, you will have an increased amount of unsatisfied users. You want to be available for consumers on all occasions, such as on desktop, mobile, and social platforms.
If you are not sure if your mobile site is up and running successfully, Google provides an amazing tool called the Mobile-Friendly Test where you can check if your mobile website is correctly running.
Retargeting comes into play when a guest is all set to book your hotel but abandons their booking last minute. When consumers visit your website, a cookie (a data file that holds a small amount of information about the client) is placed in the browser. That way, you can re-engage with them and allow them to see ads on your hotel through various channels once more, which could lead into a direct booking.
Retargeting is a strong tool in digital marketing. IBC offers a wide array of retargeting services to ensure that your customers continue to see and hear about your hotel via ads. If you want to learn more, contact us at email@example.com.
In order to increase direct bookings, you must drive traffic to your website. Creating content by writing blogs, press releases, and more will allow consumers who are looking up other, additional information on hotels or vacation tips to be led to your site. If you generate posts with 1.890 words, then Google will put it on the first page of the search engine.
The goal is that once a traveler reaches your site, they don’t want to leave until they have made a booking. By updating and creating content for your website, you can increase organic (non-paid) traffic by 111%.
Discover other ways to increase traffic to your website here.
Metasearch Engines are websites that provide information on your hotel, or even travel products, then guide the consumer directly to your website. Metasearch websites include Google, Kayak, SkyScanner, Trivago, and TripAdvisor.
The perk of a Metasearch Engine is that it will increase your direct bookings and eliminates the commission charges that you would have to pay by utilizing an OTA.
If you need help getting your hotel listed on these metasearch engines, IBC provides short-term agreements and full guest information, and we cover the credit card fees. We have the ability to do this through an excellent team that closely monitors and handles the CPC, CPA fees, and ROI so your credit card isn’t unnecessarily charged thousands of dollars per month.
Digital marketing is immensely growing with technology and you want your hotel to have the competitive advantage of staying up to date with it. IBC Hospitality Technologies can help you up your game when it comes to digital marketing and increasing direct bookings by utilizing the steps above. Start a demo now or email firstname.lastname@example.org for immediate help.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major tool when increasing organic (non-paid) traffic to your site. According to ImpactBND, in 2017, Google accounted for over 79% of all global desktop search traffic.
When travelers begin their search, you want your hotel to appear at the top of their search engine, and SEO is the key to ensuring that happens.
Improve your hotel’s SEO by implementing these five tips:
Generating blogs, press releases, and other types of content on your website will attract those who are searching for additional information on either hotels or destinations. By creating this content, you will have an increased chance of being found by travelers.
When creating these blogs and other content, you can guide the reader to other aspects of your site. Exploring your site should motivate the customer to book with your hotel.
If you don’t implement words and short phrases that relate to your hotel or that a traveler would look up on a search engine, then it will be harder for you to appear as one of the first results. You must use key words and short phrases that relate to what your selling in order to be found.
Think of words that customers would look up when looking for a hotel like yours. Even a couple words put together can help your hotel be ranked towards the top of the search engine such as “affordable hotel in Los Angeles.” 50% of search queries are four words or longer so make sure that you include a couple longer tail-phrases.
There is a high chance that if your hotel is not the Marriott or Hilton, people aren’t directly looking up your brand name in a search engine. A meta title (the main title that comes up in a search engine) is put directly into Google. Therefore, if your metatile is your hotel name but the traveler looks up “A luxury hotel in Los Angeles,” then your hotel will not be found.
The key is to place your brand name second in the meta title, sometimes not at all, if you want to be at the top of the search engine’s results. For example, you can make the title “Luxury Hotel in Los Angeles, CA – IVH Travel.”
Learn more about Google Advertising here.
One of the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search is link building.The more that your link in mentioned in other sites and even on your site, the bigger chance it has of being one of the first results on Google.
The key to getting your link mentioned is reaching out to local bloggers to discuss their stay at your hotel, or putting a listing of your hotel on websites in the area. Another option could be a press release, you can reach out to a local news station and tell them you’d like them to announce major room makeovers, or a social responsibility event that your hotel achieved.
Just in the past year, Google “near me” searches have doubled, meaning that plenty of consumers now will look up “hotel near me” and you want yours to appear at the top. If you are a smaller hotel or in a low service area, then this is the key for you.
Due to an increase in local searches, the search engine result pages (SERPs) have made it so the results at the top are more local. Make sure your photos that are uploaded to Google are high quality and that all your information is up-to-date because you don’t want potential guests to be turned away.
You want your hotel to appear at the top when being looked up on a search engine. Search engine optimization makes a huge impact in increasing traffic to your website which eventually leads to more bookings. Learn more about increasing traffic to your website here!
According to a study from Comscore, 73% of consumers first search for planning a getaway is generic, meaning that they do not look for a specific brand or destination. They search for whatever will give them the best experience!
As a hotelier, it is ideal for your brand to engage and influence consumers in these early stages. Travelers are not just looking for a room, but they are looking for you to provide them the ultimate experience.
Even in today’s generation, millennials are known as the “Experience Pioneers.” 72% of millennials choose to have an unforgettable experience over luxury and material goods.
Not sure how to begin selling an experience from you hotel? Then, utilizing these three tips to selling experiences rather than rooms is a must:
If your hotel is near a popular spot in town or if you host amazing events, it is ideal to post videos and photos based on what is going on at and around your hotel. A study by TripAdvisor shows that hotels and B&Bs with at least one photo on their website compared to those with none, have an increased consumer engagement of 138%.
Bring your online consumers as close as they can to a real-life guest experience. This will allow your hotel to stand out which will increase your bookings.
Giving your guests amenities, sometimes more than free Wifi or cable TV, will enhance their experience and make your hotel stand out among others. Guests are looking to create memories that will last them a lifetime, and your hotel can easily be apart of that.
One idea could be to connect your hotel with the local area. For example, if you are located by a ski resort, give your guests complimentary hot chocolate and tea, or arrange for discounted ski lift tickets. Provide your guests something that will impress them and want them to come back!
There’s not many better validations than a guest who has stayed at your hotel them-self to rave about your hotel, the local area, and the experience that was possible thanks to your hotel.
Encourage past guests to post reviews and stories on your social media sites, then your hotel can place these stories on your website for future guests to see.
Another idea is to tell the story about the hotel on your website. For example, put up high quality photos and explain a day in the life at your hotel.
One example being: “After a long day exploring the city, relax and unwind at our well-known restaurant and bar to drink an icy cocktail while enjoying a view of the city” instead of just stating “come try our well-known restaurant and bar!” This will ideally trigger a traveler’s emotions and allow them to feel a connection with your hotel.
Price isn’t always the main factor in how a traveler will choose a destination and/or hotel. Plenty of their purchasing decisions come from an emotional connection and seeking an experience with a strong value. Sell more and stand out by offering not just a hotel room, but an experience of a lifetime.
It is crucial to grab as much attention as you can from those who are looking to book a hotel. What happens if a potential guest is all set to book, but ends up leaving your website before fully submitting their reservation?
Retargeting is a helpful strategy when it comes to interacting with those who have visited your site but may have abandoned their booking due to getting distracted or another external source.
Through retargeting, your hotel’s website places a cookie (a small file that is stored onto a user’s computer. This file holds a small amount of data specific to the client and the website they are visiting) into the customer’s browser so that you can reach out to your customer again through different channels, such as social media or search engines.
Therefore, when your customer visits different sites, they are reminded about your hotel through the ad, which can lead them to finish up their booking! Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert.
Retargeting is extremely helpful when gaining direct bookings, here are three reasons why:
Now that the customer has visited your site, you know that they are interested in searching for a hotel in your area. This makes it easier to target them rather than targeting a whole new audience.
You can even offer a deal for the viewer through this retargeted ad just so that they gain additional interest in your hotel, which will eventually lead to them back to your site to book.
For example, if a customer was looking at a All-Inclusive Package that your hotel offers, you can now show them an ad with an offer tailored to that package for just them to see.
Learn more about the travelers’ decision process here.
The more that customers see your logo or your hotel name, the more they will recognize it and will have increased interest to book your hotel in the future.
Even if the customer was not ready to book your hotel and that is why they left your site, they will begin to recognize your brand after seeing your ads. Therefore, when they are looking up hotels again in the future, they are more likely to book your hotel since they are familiarized with it.
Read more on building brand awareness for your hotel here.
When a viewer looks at your website once, abandons their booking, and then is never retargeted to, they most likely will forget about your hotel. The old phrase “out of sight, out of mind” is definitely applicable to this process. While this process won’t affect your hotel’s current bottom line, it will affect your future bottom line. You need to turn those clicks and impressions into bookings!
By creating these retargeted ads for the customer they are more likely to visit your site again when they are planning a trip in the future, and will hopefully book your hotel which spurs an increase in bookings.
Another good tactic that helps reach out to the customer is email retargeting. It is crucial to get the customer’s email as soon as you can so that you can target them via email offering deals or just simply reminding them about your company. This will allow customers to click on the link in the email, be directed to your site, and finish up their booking!
Retargeting can make a huge impact in generating direct bookings for your hotel. The more customers are aware of your company and its offers, the more likely you will turn those lookers into bookers!
Generating about 1.4 billion users a day, Facebook is one of the most major social media platforms, which provides the perfect place to market your business. Starting out as a personal platform to share statuses, photo updates, and connect with friends, Facebook has evolved into a very helpful and affordable tool for marketers to promote businesses via Business Profiles and Facebook Ads.
For hoteliers, Facebook provides plenty of features that allow you to interact with potential guests and promote your hotel’s values. According to WebPageFX, 55% of travelers “liked” Facebook pages specific to their vacation.
Here are five ways to utilize Facebook to effectively market your hotel:
Facebook reviews and check-ins are a huge opportunity to increase traffic for your Business profile and hotel website.
If guests who have stayed at your hotel give you a good review or check-in at your hotel on their personal Facebook page, your hotel’s Business profile will be shared to their entire network, which increases your audience.
Plenty of hotels even give their guests an incentive, such as free WIFI or a complimentary cocktail, if they post a review or even check-in on Facebook at their hotel. Reviews are a huge factor when travelers are deciding on a hotel, view 4 reasons reviews can make or break your hotel here.
Yes, putting together a Facebook Business Profile is 100% free. However, investing some money in Facebook ads is a successful, inexpensive way to immensely increase your audience.
When making an ad, you are provided with various amounts of formats such as video ads or promotion campaigns. You can even target your ad to those with the similar interests and demographics that your hotel looks for. Facebook also allows you to Split Test the ad, meaning you can generate various ads and have specific ads be shown to different audiences to understand which texts, photos, and syntax displayed on your ad are providing the most traffic.
Immediately after releasing an ad, you can track how many clicks, page visits, and other statistics the ad has provided for your hotel. Try to encourage users to comment and like on your ad in order to increase engagement. The more engagement on your ad, the more your audience increases, which leads to you spending less on costs and helps you increase bookings!
It is extremely important to understand who your hotel’s target market is and to capture data on your guests when it comes to their interests and demographics.
This makes Facebook your best tool in gaining data on who is viewing your business profile or interacting with your ads.
Facebook knows so much about its users from the constant stream of information users are posting to their profiles and sharing with their friends. Say your hotel wants to do a promotion for business travelers, Facebook will have the ability to promote your ad by utilizing users’ job titles and workplaces in order to properly target business workers.
Using this demographic data will help you provide the best guest experience possible throughout the entire booking process. Wow your guests with personalized promotions, guides, and more, and increase bookings and loyalty.
If you have computer coding knowledge, Facebook provides a feature where you can add your own tabs on the left of your Business profile. As shown in the photo below, the hotel added an “Events” and “Location” tab. This allows page visitors to learn more information about your hotel without having to transfer to your main site. Facebook also allows hotels to add a “Book Now” button on the top right of your page once you connect your booking system to your Facebook business profile. This way, guests can just click “Book Now” after viewing your Facebook page, and be directly led to your booking engine.
One of the biggest perks of Facebook is that it allows you to directly talk to your guests via Messenger. Instead of guests having to wait a couple business days to receive an email back, Messenger allows your hotel to reply immediately.
Unlike other review/rating platforms such as Yelp or Google, Facebook allows you to reply to both good and bad reviews. The more interactive you are with guests, the more the guests see your commitment towards customer service.
Facebook also has a feature where if your company has a response rate of 90% and an average response time of 15 minutes on Messenger, your profile will earn a “Very Responsive to Messages” badge which gives a positive first impression when potential customers visit your profile.
Learn more about the consumer research that reveals guest preferences and expectations for direct hotel communication here.
Facebook is an affordable, reliable marketing tool that can guide your hotel into an increase of RevPAR and direct bookings through all the features it has to offer. Making a business page for your hotel via Facebook will not only allow you to better recognize your audience, but will allow your audience to recognize and commit to you.-Nicole Guillotte
Did you know that it’s 50% easier to sell to existing customers than to prospective customers and that the probability of selling to a prospective customer is 5-20%, yet to an existing customer – 60-70%?
As a hotelier this means that your booking engine should, without a doubt, offer guests add-ons. If that isn’t enough to convince you, keep reading to find out why add-ons will result in a more profitable sale for you.
Add-ons are essential to any booking engine in order to obtain the most profitable sale possible.
This strategy is known as upselling and cross-selling. Upselling is a strategy in which you are showing the customer different upgrades that they might be interested in. An example of this within the hospitality industry would be showing room upgrades when the traveler is about to check out.
By doing this, you are exposing the traveler to options they may not have considered before. This is an easy way to make an upsell and obtain a more profitable sale. Cross-selling is a strategy in which you are selling products that are different but still related to the purchase.
In the hospitality industry you can do this by offering tours, spa treatments, dinner, car rentals, and other travel accommodations. It is important to only offer these add-ons once the traveller has already made a commitment to a reservation so you don’t distract them from booking.
When upselling and cross-selling is done right it builds a stronger relationship with your customers. When using these tactics make sure to emphasize why these upgrades would benefit your customer and show how they would profit from it.
If the traveler feels like the upsell is genuinely helping them and bringing them value, they will feel a deeper connection with your brand which will result in a higher customer retention rate.
The main thing to remember here is to make the traveler feel like they are winning.
When the customer wins, you win too. Overall, you should look at upselling and cross-selling as a way to make your customers happy rather than a sales tactic.
It’s a no brainer that it is easier to sell things to people we already have a relationship with. Therefore, you should take the opportunity to sell more to a traveler that is booking with you. It will help you gain momentum and grow faster while also lowering your cost of sale.
While a lot of business owners are concerned about acquiring new customers, don’t forget about what is untouched and right in front of you. Add-ons give you the chance to make travelers happy and accelerate your path to profitability.
Developing a successful and affordable distribution strategy is a huge factor in creating success for occupying the rooms in your hotel. The more opportunities you have to distribute your hotel, the more travelers will hear about it and end up potentially booking your hotel.
Among hoteliers, the distribution plan is constantly evolving and in order to keep up, hotels must continue to update how they distribute their hotel to potential guests.
Here are 4 tips on developing a successful distribution strategy for your hotel:
In order to capture a wide array of guests, it is crucial to utilize multiple platforms in order to engage with your audience. This includes approaching travelers online and offline.
Distributing your hotel online is extremely important due to an increasing amount of travelers who begin their search for accommodations on the internet.
Using a metasearch engine is an extremely helpful tool for distributing and managing your hotel’s ads. Metasearch engines use another search engine’s data to develop results for your hotel through the Internet. For example, using Google to advertise your hotel rooms via Google AdWords allows you to produce ads on Google then Google will track the data and how well your ads are performing. Tools such as our RevLogic Engine help develop these metasearch engines for your hotel.
The main goal of distributing your hotel should be to increase direct bookings via your hotel’s website and booking engine.
This will allow your hotel to drive as much RevPAR as possible. Some hotels even give their guests incentives to book directly through their booking engine such as rewarding them with Free Wifi or Discounted Room Service.
Get help developing a successful booking engine through this link.
While online distribution is important, is still crucial to distribute your hotel offline such as developing voice operators or working with wholesalers. This can attract those who aren’t on the internet such as the older population, and even locals who hear about your hotel just by living in the area.
Social media is also a major, growing distribution center when it comes to communicating with your audience and increasing bookings.
Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all have resources that allow you to target a certain audience and keep track of what demographics are attracted to your ads. This helps you gain better insights into who is booking your hotel.
After developing multiple channels, it is necessary to determine the different segments of your audience you are targeting through these channels.
All messages to your audience must be consistent. However, the syntax, images, and how these messages are distributed to different targets should be tailored specific to each segment.
For example, displaying your content differently to business travelers than to a traveling family will help you fill your hotel. The social media platform will develop a list of users who fit into each specific category.
Managing your various channels, bookings, and matching the pricing of your rooms can be difficult. Luckily, there are booking engines, channel managers, and property management technologies that will help you successfully distribute your hotel. These are a necessity when it comes to running your distribution channels and interpreting the results.
Learn more about the top features your booking engine needs here!
Without a distribution strategy, it is difficult for travelers to even hear about your hotel and the amenities it has to offer. Implementing a strong distribution approach will allow potential guests from all over the world to begin booking your hotel, causing your hotel to thrive.
The guest journey starts long before they check in at the hotel. In this technology-driven era, the first steps of the customer journey begin online.
Your hotel’s website is very important for this reason. Here are the top things that travelers expect from your hotel’s website: