Like it or not, Christmas is approaching fast and if you want to maximise festive bookings, you need to start preparing right now.
Tempted to put it off a bit longer? Don’t be!
Take a look at our quick guide below and make the busiest time of year work for you this December.
This Year is Set to Be a Record Breaker
Google has recently revealed that online spending during the 2014 Christmas season totalled $21.6 billion, up 13% on 2013. This figure is expected to rocket further this year with an amplified marketing focus on key online spending dates such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day.
All this growth is bolstered by a huge surge in mobile searches during the season (predicted 42% growth); with mobile search set to match or even exceed searches made on desktop.
With online Christmas spending at an all time high, failing to prepare means missing out on a potentially massive lucrative market.
The time to act is right now. Searches related to Christmas breaks and accommodation start to ramp up in September, gathering volume in November, and as you would guess, continue all the way through to December.
So how can your hotel capitalise on these search trends?
Start building awareness, anticipation and a good base of organic search traffic for your Christmas offers now through dedicated content campaigns on your website, social media accounts and email campaigns.
And although you will probably be napping with a belly full of turkey on December 25th, don’t forget to schedule a special message or offer to publish on your hotel’s website or social media pages – 2014 saw a 25% increase in the number of transactions made online on Christmas day itself.
Mobile Matters (Of Course)
Although research shows that most consumers prefer to spend on desktop, a recent Google study revealed that as much as 28% prefer to research their purchases on mobile before parting with their cash.
Take a moment to study your 2014 Analytics data; can you identify an increase in mobile traffic in the weeks leading up to Christmas? Adapt your 2015 content accordingly- make it quick and easy to read across all devices by keeping text short and to the point, place key info at the top of the page and include prominent, easy to tap calls to action.
Christmas 2015 Marketing Tips
- Keep it Simple – Don’t confuse your guests at a time when they’re probably at their busiest. Simple accommodation packages are easier to evaluate and compare and often outperform more complicated deals.
- Be Original – Christmas is a time full of marketing clichés – ‘Christmas Cracker deals’ etc, etc. Avoid them, if you can, and opt for more unique ways to frame your festive offers. You’ll stand out from the crowd, and attract more attention and bookings as a result.
- Plan Follow Up Offers – if you’re running a limited offer, there are sure to be guests –perhaps many- that miss out on your best packages. Be ready for this eventuality by preparing a follow up offer at a slightly less attractive rate, to lure in those who are still eager to book.
- Show Your Thanks – This is the perfect time of year to thank your new and loyal guests for their custom. If your hotel runs a loyalty scheme, you might show your appreciation by rewarding members with a few bonus points. You could plan an extra special ‘Thank You’ offer for regular guests or simply post a message of thanks on Facebook. Better yet, do all three!
How is your hotel preparing for the 2015 festive season? Let us know in the comments below!