As more and more conventional customers get onboarded to the digital platform, investing in digital marketing is no longer a choice for the hotel industry, but more of a compulsion. As the entire hotel industry is embracing digitisation, hotel owners across India are now joining the digital bandwagon, en masse. Digital marketing is, in itself, an umbrella term that includes a wide range of activities that help hotel owners enhance their brand image across the online platform. Starting with a presence in the social media and on the web, a hotel can engage in digital marketing activities like advertising on metasearch engines, engaging in social media and follow other latest trends in the digital sphere. And of course, hotel owners must maintain their online reputation intact if they want to increase the number of customers to their hotel.
Making a presence
The first step for a brick and mortar hotel establishment would be to set up an “online shop” as well. It could include social media presence, enlisting in travel and tourism-related portals, creating a website etc. Having an account in popular social media portals like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn etc. enables you to reach out to end-users and be reachable to them. Similarly, with a presence in booking and review sites, people are able to find out your tariffs, availability, facilities, customer reviews, photos, and so on. Your hotel’s website, another digital marketing instrument, also serves the same purpose
Your hotel’s online presence can be enhanced only with regular and quality content in various interesting forms. You can actually increase the number of customers by engaging more and more people in your online profiles through appealing content. It can be photos, videos, articles, reviews and social media posts that are not necessarily promoting your business directly. Content marketing is a subtle way of reminding the online population about your existence and keeping you relevant in the face of competition. It keeps your visibility higher and helps with brand recall.
Search Engine Optimisation
The next step with which hotel owners can benefit from digital marketing is by conducting search engine optimisation. The good thing about SEO is that through it, you are likely to pop up in relevant online search results. Most online customers rely on search results to select a hotel and generally, it is the hotels that make to the first page of the search result that stand the most chance of being clicked. SEO is that strategy that helps you to feature towards the top of a relevant search result.
Enlisting in metasearch engines
Appearing in the search results of influential metasearch engines like Google Hotel Ads, Tripadvisor, Trivago and Booking help you increase the brand value of your hotel. Appearance in these search results helps you to increase the number of customers who get to know about you and also go for direct booking. With a prolonged presence in these portals, you accumulate customer reviews which add to the credibility of your brand. However, at this stage, digital marketing can be a double-edged sword as negative reviews can be detrimental to the reputation of the hotel. And this brings us to another important aspect of digital marketing.
Showing up, as Woody Allen said, is half the battle. The same goes for you showing up in the digital space. That’s why showing off the new wing constructed in your hotel complex by posting a social media video is a good idea. Similarly, hotel owners should try to rope in guest testimonials and positive reviews regularly to enhance their brand value. Improving user experience is another way in which digital marketing help hotel owners leverage their online presence to increase the number of customers. If the customers like the ease of use when it comes to finding out information or booking a stay through your website, you are more likely to get a repeat customer, positive review and good word of mouth publicity as well.
In this era, everyone is willing to share their travel experiences and opinions across the online platform. So with a proactive approach towards digital marketing, your brand can have a commendable presence in the online platform. Be it for your digital marketing budget or any other business requirement, Indifi opens up various funding opportunities for promising business entities with a robust risk profile. Indifi provides the option of multiple lending partners to facilitate business funding, something that you as hotel owners can consider for boosting your digital marketing budget.