The scope of marketing across the hospitality industry is changing rapidly. Advertising, particularly in print media, is no longer as effective as a decade ago. The rise of the internet and mobile use has now made digital marketing an essential tool to enhance your hotel’s overall branding while increasing sales and revenue.
Unfortunately, many hotels are still hesitant when it comes to implementing this new-age method of advertising. Digital marketing challenges faced by hotels often hinder the possibility of growth and long-term survival. If not embraced, the lack of a hotel marketing strategy can reduce direct bookings and result in losing customers to the competition.
The good news is that most of these so-called issues are easy to manage by investing a little of your time and budget in the right direction.
While we’ve discussed the many benefits of digital marketing earlier, the question arises, why are hotels still wary of implementing it?
To understand the hesitation from a business point of view, let us understand the main digital marketing challenges hotels face.
Unquestionably, hotel digital marketing is an extensive process that requires time. For many hotels, particularly family-run small businesses, taking time away from daily operations is problematic. As a result, marketing efforts take a back seat.
Nevertheless, there are several ways in which a hotel can initiate marketing without spending hours on it. The easiest is to hire a leading hotel marketing agency. With Adigital, we work within your budget and provide different marketing strategies based on what aspect you want to focus on, from branding to direct booking or lead generation.
To save time, hotels can also automate specific tasks. An AI Chatbot on the website to answer FAQs and even help customers with bookings is a classic example of automation.
Furthermore, a cloud-based Property Management Service is another option that can streamline several daily tasks, which saves money and allows you to focus on running the hotel.
One of the primary digital marketing challenges faced by hotels is budget. Many owners are under the wrong impression that hotel marketing is an expensive affair.
Admittedly, there is no end to the money you can spend on advertising your property. Moreover, larger hotels, especially those with multiple properties, have a much more substantial marketing budget and often an in-house team.
That is not to say digital marketing is out of bounds for smaller hotels or those with limited expenses.
The wonderful part about digital marketing being such a vast field is that you can quickly implement only a part of it as and when needed.
For instance, email marketing requires very little investment. At the same time, if you are even a little bit social media savvy, you don’t need anyone’s help to post videos and photos on social handles to reach new customers and strengthen your online brand.
Another factor that often restricts hotels from implementing digital marketing is knowledge. Building a website, running it, knowing what and how to showcase, managing social media, understanding the nuances of influencer marketing, SEO, and listings on OTAs; too many cogs need to work in tandem for a marketing strategy to be successful.
Hotel chains often hire several professionals to handle the various modalities of marketing. However, it is an expensive process that requires proper employee management.
Working with a hotel marketing agency is the best for smaller establishments and bed and breakfast owners. The agency acts as a one-stop shop for all your needs, be it social media management, website design, Google Ads, or email marketing.
For hotel digital marketing to have a long-term impact, you must be consistent across various marketing fields.
This includes updating your website regularly, creating and posting new content to share online and on social media, planning Metasearch ads, and so much more.
Competition analysis and decoding Big Data regularly will give you an edge and unlimited insight into how your customers behave and what they want.
If you run multiple properties, it is essential to have a theme for the brand that, in some form, reflects across all platforms. A unified branding strategy strengthens its presence online and in real life.
Considering the direction online social interactions work, eventually, people will review your hotel on the internet one way or another. Rather than ignoring it, it is advisable to cover all the multiple channels (Instagram, Facebook, TripAdvisor, OTAs) where you get feedback and use it to your advantage.
Consistency also includes being constantly aware of changing search engine algorithms, social media trends, and general rules.
We’ve listed the above not to scare you. Consistency is a leading digital marketing challenge faced by hotels. But, as mentioned above, you don’t have to do all these tasks simultaneously.
Of course, the more you implement, the better. But even if you put a few into motion, you’ll see positive results. The vital part is that whatever hotel marketing technique you use, keep it active and don’t forget about it.
Technology should make daily tasks simpler for us, right? In most cases, it does. So why is technology under digital marketing challenges faced by hotels?
The answer lies in many hotel owners having a more grounded or old-fashioned approach to marketing, service, and operations and thus not being tech-savvy.
For example, having a website for your hotel is the quintessential step toward having a robust marketing plan. But, to capture the attention of the modern traveler, you need the website to have VR, 360-degree videos, and chatbots.
Additionally, making your website mobile-first and possibly having an app for the hotel can be highly beneficial for direct bookings, upselling, and customer service.
Digital marketing challenges faced by hotels don’t necessarily have to hinder your business. Sadly, even the thought of these supposed issues makes many owners rely entirely on OTAs. Although listing your property on OTAs can help, it’s time to realize that digital advertising, especially when strategized by a professional hotel marketing agency, is a far better opportunity that results in increased direct bookings, sales, and revenue.