Marketing Strategies The Hospitality Industry Have To Focus On In 2014
The big players like TripAdvisor, Google, Twitter and Facebook at the beginning of 2014 advised the hotel marketers to shift most of their promotional budget to mobile marketing. They have also suggested using social networks to engage the guests before, during and after their trips.
In this fast interconnected multi-device world the hotel businesses have to be knowledgeable about the latest trends and find new ways to position their products or brands. This post can also apply to almost any type of business.
Using mobile marketing strategies
2013 has been the year of mobile and it does not appear that there will be a change in trends any time soon. As more and more people of this generation are glued to their mobiles, the marketers have to think of ways to promote their brands in the mobile media channel. Using mobile as a promotional medium is a relatively new concept. The marketers see success as mobile emerged as an effective medium to engage the customers and drive them towards a call-to-action. The hoteliers have to consider two tactics seriously-
- how to promote their hotel brand in mobile platform
- how to connect with smartphones’ and tablets’ traffic
#1. Create a responsive website
Hotel entrepreneurs interested in reaping the benefits from their mobile marketing strategies, first have to formulate a mobile friendly website. Websites meant for traditional computers or laptop will not automatically condense and fit into the small mobile screens. The Neilsen research found that 40% of the iPhone users access internet from their phone instead of using their desktop computers. The hoteliers, therefore, require a fully functional mobile website.
#2. Deliver marketing messages to your target group
Mobile phone is the new medium where you can put up the marketing messages. You can send short to the point messages to a wide audience. If you want to make the message interactive and interesting, use MMS instead of SMS. With MMS, you will have the freedom to embed videos or incorporate images.
Impact of social media
“The travel path to purchase is increasingly social,” said Rob Torres, Google’s managing director of travel.
Social media has changed the long accepted norms of marketing and sales across all industries and the hospitality sector is not an exception. With its advent, there is an explosion of public expressions. The businesses hardly have any other option but to participate in these online trends. However, the social media profiles are not the platform for selling your hotel rooms.
Companies, which experience a success in social media, focus on nurturing relationship, engagement and value sharing. How will you use your social outreach?
#1. Promote via social media
In order to create a killer social media campaign, you have to strike the right balance of timing, audience and message. You will hardly find anyone not addicted to Facebook or Twitter and the marketers need to come up with great campaigns to catch the eye of these masses. Invite guests to post reviews about your hotel on TripAdvisor or Yelp. Encourage them to post pictures of your hotel on their Facebook page. Interesting and funny videos work better than conventional approaches. In order to be a part of a conversation in the social profiles, link the local companies and attractions in your posts.
At present different big names in Timeshare businesses are also adopting innovative measures in social media and have found the strategy to be cost effective. This mode of promotion has come up with incredible results in increasing the growth of their community. However the organizations operating in this arena needs to be careful in observing the basic rules, as social media promotions can easily take a spammy look.
#2. Reach to your customers
Customer service is a significant part of the hospitality industry. Listen carefully to what the customers are trying to say about your brand in different social media platforms. If a guest complains about the services or is unhappy with any other issues, reach out and respond to them online. Listening to their grievances and then promising of better services, you will rarely lose a customer’s faith. However, try to work on your weaknesses and provide a better service as promised.
Don’t only approach your customers when they have a problem. If a group in their social network profiles is discussing some kind of offers or deals for your hotel try to address them with personalized messages.
Missing or ignoring a post in the social network will be the greatest mistake. In contrary to that, proactively monitor the mention of your brand in the different social network platforms. Diligently try to participate in that conversation and connect with your customer. Whatever the messages are, it will be your aim to turn it into a favorable incident.
#3. Paid social media campaigns
In 2014, the paid social media campaigns will be most effective. Do not jump into using the Facebook’s or Twitter’s paid tools though. You need to know how to use it effectively before implementing it for your business.
Are you using Facebook’s advanced audience tool? Do you exactly know its usages? This tool allows uploading an email database and sending specific messages to the focused audiences. Study the importance of a tool before purchasing one to promote your business.
Today, the connected travellers demand real time pricing, concise information and interesting promotions. The combination of mobile marketing and digital marketing will be the leading strategies in 2014 and if implemented properly it will open up a revenue source for the hotel industry.
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Kevin White is currently the Consumer Analyst, Manager of Customer Service, Compliance Officer and a Vice-President of Timeshares By Owner. He is also the host of the weekly radio show “Vacation Time Live” sponsored by Timeshares By Owner and airing weekly on News Radio 102.5 and 580 AM WFLA in Orlando and on iHeartRadio, and he shares his valuable experience on timeshare sales. Kevin began his career 12 years ago with Timeshares By Owner as a sales representative and moved into the Customer Service Department after two months.Read Full Bio