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A solid marketing strategy is critical when attracting new customers, loyalty, and branding for any industry. The hospitality industry is no exception. Desketing knows it is important to keep up with the latest digital marketing trends to help drive results by using clever design and strategic marketing tactics so we’ve decided to give you some trends in hospitality marketing.


Trend 1 – Social Media

A top trend that you can find in hospitality marketing is the effective use of social media. When used efficiently social media can be a great tool to gain insight from consumers whilst also allowing you to target specific people. In recent research, it has been shown that 97% of millennials share travel pictures and videos on social media and that 89% plan travel activities based on the content shared (The Drum, 2018).  It has been suggested that people are inspired by the opinions of others, with 70% of Americans say they look at reviews before making a purchase (The Drum, 2018). It is important that the hospitality industry uses this to their advantage. An example would be by sharing user-generated content, monitoring comments and hashtags and pinpointing locations through user check-ins. The information gathered can help gain insights on what customers want to see and the experience they want. This also creates brand awareness as well as connects the consumer to the content.

Trend 2 – Videos

If you haven’t already guessed, content is key. Content must be relevant, interesting and relatable. In recent times, it has become apparent that photo content is decreasing and short video interactions are increasing, it has been estimated that 80% of internet traffic will be video content in 2019 (thatagency.com, 2018). This, however, is an amazing opportunity as videos can be an effective way to interact with customers whilst. 52% of marketers say video develop and push brand awareness (Campaignmonitor.com, 2018).

Trend 3 – SEO Driven

As technology is changing, so is the way that consumers are searching for things. It is important to have an appropriate approach to the content that is being released. A current trend is to include long tail keywords or phrases (3 or more words) in your SEO strategy (Net Affinity, 2018). This is a cost-effective way to direct quality traffic to your website. SEO should also have voice search capabilities where possible. Voice search is becoming popular with 40% of adults now using this feature at least once a day (Net Affinity, 2018).

Trend 4 – Mobile Is A Must

Having a mobile-friendly website is a must for any industry, not just the hospitality industry. With society always on the run, it is important to have information at your disposal whenever you need it. Research shows that mobiles contributed 94% of year on year growth in e-commerce traffic in 2017(thatagency.com, 2018). The hospitality industry has such a potential when it comes to mobile-friendly use. Some of these include booking online, check in and itinerary updates which could also be developed into a loyalty app.

Trend 5 – Websites

When in the Hospitality Industry, it is vital to have a strong website and booking systems available. Ideally, a website with a booking agent that is easy to navigate contains correct information and is regularly updated is essential. Direct traffic is a result of a working system, however, correct hospitality marketing and promotions must be completed to drive direct traffic to your website.

Trend 6 – Personalisation

Personalisation is a key trend found in hospitality marketing. Simple things such as Personalising emails or geo-targeting allowing the business to send relevant offers based on location can make a huge impact.  Personalisation does not need to be obvious and can remain valuable even when the consumer is unaware of its presence (Econsultancy, 2018). It is important to remain true to your brand. There’s nothing worse than blending in with the competition. Guests appreciate when a company is authentic and often this reels the guests in by the experiences you offer.

We hope you have enjoyed our insights on trends that are happening in the hospitality marketing.  If you would know to know more, Desketing offers a range of Hospitality marketing. We can help you combat online booking agencies and discover how to attract more visitors and increase direct bookings for your hotel or restaurant through clever design and strategic marketing tactics. Contact us now!

You can speak to a Desketing design and marketing specialist by
calling 07 3220 3962 or request a callback.


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References
Blog.thatagency.com. (2018). 8 Hotel Marketing Trends for 2018. [online] Available at: https://blog.thatagency.com/hotel-marketing-trends-2018 [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Campaignmonitor.com. (2018). 7 Travel & Hospitality Marketing Trends You Need to Know. [online] Available at: https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2017/07/7-travel-hospitality-marketing-trends-you-need-to-know/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Econsultancy. (2018). How six travel & hospitality brands use personalisation to enhance the customer experience. [online] Available at: https://econsultancy.com/blog/69207-how-six-travel-hospitality-brands-use-personalisation-to-enhance-the-customer-experience [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

Net Affinity Blog. (2018). 18 Hotel Marketing Trends For 2018 – Net Affinity Blog. [online] Available at: https://blog.netaffinity.com/infographic-18-hotel-marketing-trends-2018/ [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

The Drum. (2018). Why social media matters more than ever to hospitality marketing. [online] Available at: http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2017/08/04/why-social-media-matters-more-ever-hospitality-marketing [Accessed 27 Apr. 2018].

One of the best ways to drive direct bookings is by growing and nurturing your loyalty database. Loyal customers have the biggest retention rate, spend more than the average buyer and essentially are a cheerleader for your brand.

Cultivating Brand Advocates should be an important component of your business strategy as it boosts your brand awareness, drives repeat bookings and creates highly influential word of mouth marketing.

Growing your loyalty database of Brand Advocates is a powerful and simple marketing strategy that keeps your hotel or restaurant customers coming back.

1. Create an amazing consumer journey

Create an amazing consumer journey by providing customers with the most comfortable dining or accommodation experience. Hotels and restaurants can demonstrate reliability, create a bond and show expertise and competency.

The growth of booking and comparison websites has changed the scene for how customers discover and book in the hospitality industry. However, this doesn’t mean that hotels and restaurants can’t take control of the situation and turn these customers into loyal advocates.

Easy ways to improve the consumer journey:

  1. Train sales staff to communicate politely throughout the process
  2. Recognize regular customers and call them by their names
  3. Teach staff everything they need to know about the brand, products and services
  4. Help staff to communicate more smoothly with potential customers

2. Multi-Channel Engagement

Keeping your business relevant and top of mind for your customers means that as a brand, your business needs to be available and present.

Stay connected and build that relationship with customers by interacting with them through all channels, whether it’s face-to-face, website, email, mobile app, social platforms or through the phone.

Keep the doors of communication open and flexible as there will be some customers that prefer more traditional and personal communication and others that request modern communication platforms.

3. Social Media Management

Transform your social media platforms and make them an effective part of communication strategy.

Get a clear understanding of who your customers are and which social media platforms they are using. Have a clear purpose of how you want to use social media and what you want to communicate and the objective of the post. Are you educating your customers? Is it promotional? Are you building trust? What value are you offering to your customers?

Reacting to Positive Feedback

Getting positive feedback on your social media platforms is a great example of brand advocacy working its magic. It’s also the best time to step in and to create an open dialogue to encourage them to tell you more about their experience.

Negative Statements

Address the issue promptly, carefully, show understanding and promise a quick solution. And always keep your promises.

4. Solve Problems

We’re Human. We all make mistakes.

Deep down, your customers are aware of this. Be prepared to understand their remarks and provide a solution to their problem. Identify what went wrong, how you can solve the problem and how you can improve the service. Think of it as an opportunity to solve issues and prove brand reliability.

5. Educate Your Customers

Give your customers the insider tips.

Finding out that the upside-down pineapple cake being served to you is a secret family recipe from the chef’s great grandmother not only makes for a great story, but also serves as part of your brand story.

Make your customers feel like they’re part of our inner circle by taking the time to explain a few brand details, future plans, new services and or new menus.

Don’t force it otherwise it will sound insincere. Train your staff well and it will help them to educate your customers and turn them into genuine brand advocates.

6. Testimonials

Customer testimonials are the best type of brand advocacy.

A Nielsen survey suggested more than 80% of people consider personal recommendations the most trustworthy information about the brand. Make it part of your strategy to encourage customers to express their appreciation for your Hotel or Restaurant.

Public validation from your customers is valuable and no doubt will contribute to the growth of your brand and profits.

If you’d like to hear more about how Desketing can get you more direct bookings, click here to check out Hotel and Restaurant Marketing Packages.


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