So, the tinsel is down, your cards have been recycled and the tree has been packed away for another year. Christmas is well and truly over. In fact, it’s almost two weeks into 2016 already. But that doesn’t mean it’s too late to start thinking about your marketing goals for this year, and the changes you need to make to get you there.
These 5 resolutions will help set you apart from your competition, reduce reliance on Online Travel Agencies and drive more direct bookings.
1. Bring Your Hotel’s Story to Life
If you haven’t already established your property’s story, make it your priority this year to do so. One of the best ways to show off your hotel’s unique selling points is by investing in premium quality, high resolution photography. What better way to showcase your expansive tropical gardens and inviting outdoor pool than with large, eye catching photos and a video tour? Your guests want to imagine what their holidays would be like at your property. Help them out using a winning combination of text, photo and video to create a compelling narrative they can’t resist.
2. Get Serious About Video Marketing
The rise and rise in the popularity of video has been one of the biggest marketing stories of the last few years and it’s a trend that is only set to continue in 2016. If you want to stay relevant, it’s time to start working on a video marketing campaign that will inspire your guests and get them excited to book. To get started, analyse the topics your fans are talking about the most on your social media channels – if you can create short, high quality and engaging videos addressing the most popular questions and topics you know you’re onto a winner.
3. Adopt Social Search Best Practices
You’re probably aware that there is a strong correlation between your social media activity and your resort’s overall search ranking. But if you still think simply posting lots of updates to your social media accounts on a regular basis is enough to shoot you up the search rankings, think again.
Keep pace with Google’s ever changing algorithm and get discovered by more of your guests by implementing a Social Search strategy. This should include optimising your hotel’s social profiles with relevant keywords, tagging every photo you post, and including relevant hashtags, all the while taking time to ensure that the content you post is interesting enough to provoke conversation.
4. Develop a Mobile Strategy (Right Now)
The point where having a mobile-friendly website went from ‘optional extra’ to crucial must-have has long past. Last year, Google started rewarding mobile sites with higher search rankings and pushing those which are not optimised for mobile users down the SERPs. 2015 also saw the number of mobile searches overtake desktop searches for the first time.
Has your hotel invested in a mobile marketing strategy yet? If not, it’s time to overhaul your website, social accounts and emails for mobile-users, or get left behind.
5. Blog Consistently
Blogging is just like exercise or learning to play an instrument: if you want results, you’ve got to establish a routine and stick to it. You can’t just publish a post to your hotel’s website every few months and expect to see your traffic levels, email list sign ups and booking rates shoot up.
Make a commitment to blogging consistently in 2016. Pick a frequency you know you can accomplish – once every two weeks is enough- and deliver it, even when your schedule’s packed. Maintaining a regular blog is another powerful way to wrestle power away from the OTA’s and drive more direct bookings made through your website in the months ahead.
Has your hotel made any marketing resolutions for 2016? Let us know in the comments below!