However many marketing goals you’ve made for 2015, chances are increasing the number of bookings made directly through your website, growing your online audience and increasing guest engagement are pretty near the top of the list.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important marketing tasks you should be focusing on to boost ROI in the months ahead.
Meta Search Marketing
Meta search marketing presents a valuable opportunity to shift profit shares away from Booking.com, Wotif.com, TripAdvisor and the other OTA’s and increase bookings made directly through your resort’s website.
Most OTAs (including Google Hotel Finder) offer a very reasonable cost-per-click system (they charge for the click of the user but take no further commission.)
More and more small hotels are now starting to push their way into these lucrative meta search channels and benefit from the same fantastic ROI’s that large chain hotels and popular travel research sites have enjoyed for years. With the right team behind you, your property can too.
With more than 1 billion active users worldwide, Facebook is most likely the social network your guests are using most. The platform offers a great opportunity to target specific audience segments with messages and offers, run and test campaigns, and reach a wider audience online. Perhaps more than any other social site, Facebook allows brands to get really targeted with their campaigns. For example, you might choose to target Valentine deals at couples within a 50 mile radius who are above a certain age and married.
If you aren’t already using email to communicate with your guests regularly, then start with the easily achievable goal of once a quarter. Plan your messages around public holidays and local events that may be of interest to your audience. Your email list should be about more than simply sending out promotions and special offers like posting flyers. Try to include genuinely useful and interesting information and exclusives that keep your guests engaged and happy to remain on your contact database, even if they are not immediately in the position to book. Keeping in touch with your previous and prospective guests is a great way to build rapport, establish trust and drive direct bookings.
Once you’ve mastered the email marketing basics, you can start using email list segmentation to deliver targeted messages at specific groups of people on your list.
Cart Recovery Campaigns
Although social media, email, advertising and other digital channels may successfully be driving lots of traffic to your resort’s website, getting users to jump the final hurdle and make a booking isn’t easy. For marketers, there are few things more frustrating than seeing a guest move through the booking process, only to stop short just before hitting the all important “Book” button. There are many reasons guests abandon their cart before parting with their cash, from simple interruptions to a need for more information or a desire to hunt down a cheaper price. Whatever the reason, sometimes all it takes to prevent the guest in question slipping through the net is a simple email prompt reminding them of their incomplete booking and urging them to complete it within a few clicks of the mouse.
What are you doing to improve your resort’s ROI’s in the year ahead? Let us know in the comments below!