Written by: Cristina García
The first goal of any hotel businessman is to get benefits. That is obvious, of course, but it is increasingly difficult due to behavior changes among travel consumers. Internet, in this case, is essential to your hotel. An efficient website with a worked booking engine is what would make a difference. To increase the number of sales while reducing costs. And is this possible? It is. Here we show you how to improve your hotel’s revenue with Inbound Marketing.
Build up your buyer personas.
Online marketing as we knew it, has evolved. First, it is increasingly difficult to attract users to your website, because of the amount of competitor in the hotel sector. Secondly, what you really need is converting your visitors into customers. Therefore, you don’t need any kind of visit to your site, but that one that would be more likely to book.
Surely you’ve segmented your audience. But you need to go further. You must select people who might be more interested in your product or services, the people who might be repeating and recommending what you offer. You need to develop buyer personas’ profiles in order to meet your potential guests’ needs.
Note that it’s not enough with data such as gender, geographical location, economic level... you must also know their interests, their goals, their search preferences and more. To do this, use at least online tools like Google Analitycs, Google Webmaster and investigate on social networks. In addition, apply offline techniques such as interviews and customers’ surveys to build up your profiles.
In the first Inbound Methodology’s phase, Attract, you must apply the best online marketing techniques to make sure you generate enough interest to keep visitors on your website.
Content is what fills the Internet: texts, images, videos. And yours has to identify your brand values, and at the same time, make your potential customers (your buyer personas) identify with it. To do this, differentiate yourself. Prove with your content that you are unique as a hotel, and also that you can meet your personas’ needs.
Add value, not only in your website’s copy, but also in images and videos that you use. Everything has to be consistent and easy to identify with your hotel. Do not complicate the website experience of your users. And remember that the added value is essential, because a traveler (adjusted to one of your buyer personas) could invest even more money on your products and services.
Be sure to optimize each page of your hotel’s website. investigate and apply the appropriate keywords strategy, based on the needs of your buyer personas. These keywords are the magnets that attract those visits willing to book their holidays, when they enter their queries on search engines.
In order to get to generate the right content, you need a section on your website where to publish. Value information and customized to your buyer personas should be highly interesting. A blog is not the place to talk about your products, but to provide information that your users are looking for in the search engines. Information related to all tourism activities and experiences that could happen in your area.
This is the stage where the Inbound Marketing magic happens. You have to keep applying the attraction techniques, but you have to go a step further.
The main objective of content is to satisfy. Obviously it must be attractive, but if it pleases, it would be more likely to retain the right users. To do this, you should think of the sales cycle, also known in the hotel sector as traveler’s journey. This cycle corresponds to the previous steps followed by your hotel’s final consumer, before booking. And to feed their interest you have to know what kind of content needs at all times.
Today travelers are not just using one screen, when planning their vacation. In fact, during the traveler’s journey, they can not commit to a full search due to lack of time. Google explains that users use micro-moments, short-length searches. Therefore, they move through different devices to complete their queries and tasks, so there are able to book a perfect holiday.
Keep this in mind when improving your website’s user experience and applying a responsive design. The last thing you need is your users leaving your hotel’s website or ignoring your content, because of the loading times are not fast enough or they have to expand the page manually when changing devices.
Call-to-action and landing pages are intended to encourage your potential customers to action. If you have worked the right content, at the right time you must include offers your buyer personas wouldn’t refuse. Using these tools, you can get your visits’ email or even incite the final purchase.
When you get emails from your visitors, they will be considered leads, ie, travel consumers you need to care the most. They are those users closer to purchase decision moment. For this reason, you cannot use your emails content as if they were spam. Add interesting content, based on what those users that left your email, already consumed. Include tips and offers of your products or services when these leads are one step close of booking.
On the one hand, you need to have your own profile on every social platform to follow your leads’ behavior. If you look at what they are searching and what they are interested about in networks, you can observe behaviors that will help you optimize your content.
On the other hand, you should encourage your guests to share their experience in your hotel through their social profiles. With reviews, photos, videos ... that way you will be including the user generated content you need to improve your online reputation.
As you can see, Inbound Marketing offers a range of strategies applied within a Methodology that has as main objective to increase your hotel’s website direct bookings. Remember that in order to make easier and shorter your work, you must include the automation of all the marketing strategies that you implement. That way, nothing will stop you to improve your hotel’s revenue.