Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Hotels in 2021

The ROI from digital marketing for hotels is much more impactful than traditional lanes, and it cannot go ignored.
The millennial generation and onward are the new travellers, and hotels have already begun making the accommodations to attract the new customer. In an industry that is extremely human-centric and experience-driven, hotels are going to have to put themselves out there to find the next guest.
Is your hotel staying up to date with the digital marketing trends?
The digital marketing landscape has revolutionized all industries. And the hospitality industry is anything but an exception. Marketing budgets have become directed towards growing a business’s online presence. Rather than paying for slots on television or for an ad in the newspaper.
The point that we are trying to make here is that – as a hotelier, you also need to work on marketing strategies, mainly different types of digital marketing campaigns for hotels to promote your brand online so that travellers find you during their research phase.
What is digital marketing for hotel?
Digital marketing campaign for hotel refers to the promotion of a hotel’s brand, products and offerings via online platforms. Digital marketing plan for hotels includes several strategies like Social Media Marketing (SMM) for hotels and Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While SMM helps you get more out of your presence on social media platforms, SEO makes your hotel website to rank higher on Search Engine Results Page (SERP). You can also consider looking at video marketing as part of your digital marketing campaign for hotel.
Digital marketing for hotels and the hospitality industry, in general, isn’t easy. Constantly increasing competition, not just from new hotels, but also from online travel agencies (OTAs) provides challenges to hotel digital marketers who are striving for more direct bookings in 2021.

With over 5 years of hotel digital marketing experience, I felt it was only right to share some of the insights that have been successful for our clients during this time and through the period of Covid-19, a time that has drastically altered the industry. In addition, I have new tips and hacks that I believe will be a powerful weapon for hotels in 2021
Correct budget allocation is your key to success
The allocation of marketing budget for hotels is an ever-changing animal. Over the last decade, (most) hotels have made large shifts in budget from offline channels such as print and radio to more measurable online marketing channels. However, the vast number of hotel digital marketing options available now to marketers, presents a new challenge.
The challenge today for most hotel digital marketers is budget dilution across the digital channels, which unless your hotel has huge limitless budgets, is a real problem. Budget dilution can occur when a marketer attempts to use small amounts of budget across a wide number of channels rather than higher, more impactful budgets across carefully selected channels.
Typical Budget Allocations for Hotels in 2021

Digital Marketing strategies for Hotels – A few Tips & Tricks
#1 – Hotel Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Marketing
You need your target audience to visit your website. This is where Hotel SEO strategy will help you in your effort. Hotel SEO is all about the search engine optimization of your hotel website. Done with the right approach and strategy, Hotel SEO improves your hotel’s website rank (organic search) on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Bolstering a search engine optimized website has been a leading driver of organic traffic and discovery for most industries.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes down to incorporating good web development practices to get your website to rank higher on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP). In essence, it is an unpaid strategy to have the longest lasting and most relevant results.
How often do you go to the next page on Google when you search for something? Not many people do. And it is guaranteed that the handful of websites that appear on the first page are practicing good SEO. Take a look at the stats below that speak loudly about why your hotel website should rank on the first page of the search page –
• About 33% of people click on the first result of the first page
• Around 18% of people tend to click on the second result of the first page
• Neary 92% of people click on the links (at least once) that appear on the first page
• Only 5% of people go to the second page of results
Here are just a few of those SEO best practices:
• Add visuals and media to your website to engage your audience & improve bounce rates
• Make sure your relevant images have descriptive names and alt-text when you upload them, so search engines can read them
• Add links and functional navigation to other pages within your website
• Connect all of your social media pages to your website to add to your external link collection
• Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly (we will discuss why this is important for a variety of reasons)
• Stuffing keywords into your website is an old black-hat trick; practice good readability with a crisp text while exercising important keywords
A word on mobile-friendly sites: SEO is moving towards mobile-first rankings. And it’s a no-brainer why. Nearly 52% of all web traffic is from a mobile device. Not only that, but 43% of travellers use a smartphone when looking for accommodations.
SEO should be a top priority in digital marketing for hotels.
#2 – (SMM) Social Media Marketing for Hotels
Social media marketing of hotel is another important form of digital marketing. It is the process that helps your hotel gain visibility for your brand to attract more bookings for your hotel via social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and others. Today, in this age of digital travel, a large percentage of travellers turn to social media platforms to find hotels that match their expectations.
Below mentioned stats might help you understand the power of social media when it comes to attracting more guests –
• Around 87% of Millennials look at Facebook for travel inspiration
• Nearly 100% of all travellers under the age of 34 visit Facebook for inspiration before making the final reservation
#3 – Video Marketing for Hotels
For hoteliers, video as a platform has now become a popular marketing medium. You can use videos on your website and social media pages to promote your brand and services while efficiently engaging with your audience. Consider these stats –
• By 2022, nearly 80% of all internet traffic will be driven by video
• Adding a video to your website increases the likelihood of your website to appear on the first page of Google search by 53 times

Here too, like your website page content, you need to add a video description with the relevant keywords. This is called Video SEO, and this helps improve the ranking and visibility of your videos in video search engines like Youtube, Vimeo, Dailymotion, etc.
Remember that on Facebook, videos have 135% higher organic reach than images.
#4 – Email marketing can be an incredibly powerful too – if used correctly
Now, having all these mediums in place definitely seems promising for any hotel. But you can’t afford to ignore the ROI factor out of it. Can you?
Like any other industry, hotels do also have a limited marketing budget. That’s where the importance of email marketing comes into the picture. Research suggests “Email has an average ROI of $38 for each $1 spent.” Isn’t it a super-high ROI?
Here are a few scenarios where you can leverage the power of email campaigns:
• Give your hotel guests a warm welcome via email
• Communicate with your guests, pre and post their stay
• Share promo codes, discounts, offers, upcoming events and other valuable information
• Share their folios and stay details for future reference
• Ask for their reviews on your property and services
Conclusion # You are not done yet
Let’s assume that you have understood the importance of digital marketing for the hotel industry and have given your best towards your hotel’s digital marketing strategies. Your SEO, SEM, SMM and video marketing strategies are getting you an increasing number of visitors to your hotel website. But most of them are leaving your website very soon and you are yet to see substantial growth in your direct bookings.
Wondering why this might happen? Perhaps because your website is not user-friendly.
Don’t worry. With a little extra effort, you can handle this. Make sure that your website pages are loading quickly, and navigation speed is good. Let your potential customers know what benefit they will get if they book directly with you. Implement a web booking engine that would simplify the booking process for your audience.

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