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Essential items hotel should include in their marketing budget

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The brand sets aside funds for branding but generally does not make its way down to promote specific hotels.

Note for branded hotels: be sure you understand what the brand does for you.

When thinking about what a hotel may or may not need, first look at historical data that is available.

Here are some high-level things most hotels will be able to access, whether branded or independent:

  • Channel Mix – What percentage revenue is the website driving against other channels? Is it trending up or down?
  • Traffic – Is Organic and Total website trending up or down year over year?
  • Paid Marketing – Look back and determine what worked and what did not

If you determine that your hotel has opportunities, determine where in the hotel booking cycle things are breaking down.

  • Is the problem exposure against your comp set?
  • If traffic is up, but revenue is down, do you have a conversion problem?
  • Does it make sense to invest more in content and imagery or look at your rate strategies?
  • How is communication with current and past guests to ensure they return again and again?
  • Do your reviews reflect overall positive guest experiences?

Ensure your plan is holistic and that you have to have all the foundational pieces in place before you can build upon it.

 Ensure all your online channels tell a consistent story that promotes your value proposition against the comp set. Check out your collateral and check if the same story is being told.

And that you have a fast, modern website that is easy to navigate. We won’t dive into website costs here.

But consider a website refresh your website design every 2 to 3 years.

Now, to the meat and potatoes of what areas to consider devoting funds.

Invest in your “digital quarterback” to ensure they have the tools to develop strategy, execute, and hold any vendors accountable for the digital presence.

Having strong content is the foundation of any good website or story. Read your entire website if you haven’t in a while.

If you have recently been through a renovation, it is a good time to refresh your static content.

For independent hotels, devote resources to a good blog to connect with new audiences via search engine optimization. Budget for a content writer if needed.

Ensure you have the images to support that storytelling that you created in your content and value proposition against your comp set.

Try to have at least 4 images per each room type. Focus on showcasing the full dimensions of the room and bathroom.

Examples are shuttle, fire pits, pet-friendly amenities, local demand generators, and more.

 This looks different at each hotel. If you are a select service branded hotel, you may not need to invest time in regular postings (unless it is a brand standard).

But, no matter the hotel, there are ways to leverage social media advertising to align your hotel with local demand generators and target markets as defined by sales or revenue management.

So, you may have to devote resources to both content marketing and paid social marketing.

Generally, full-service hotels or hotels with more meeting space and outlets will need higher budgets.

 There are different tactics to getting your hotel to rank on Google review.

Most people tend to gravitate to only focusing on what keywords are being used, and while relevant, this is just part of the efforts.

This is considered on-site optimization but considers other components. The operations team should focus on Google  Your website should be fast and good interlinking as a base.

You can hire companies that only do SEO or may be part of the services from your website developer or agency.

Consider SEM if you are not ranking well for your niche keywords. In some scenarios, a hotel’s physical address may prohibit them from competing in sister markets organically on Google.

Those buying non-branded terms, remember that these people are in the beginning stages of research. So consider this if you would otherwise not make it into their consideration set.

These are sites like TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Ads, Kayak, and Trivago. Participating in metasearch does not increase your placement on any of these sites.

But allows the transaction from these sites within your own listing to go direct to your website. Participate here if your channel mix has a high OTA reliance.

This is hard to do as a branded hotel, but a MUST for independent hotels.

If you don’t have a database, ensure your website collects them and that any other systems like your PMS and CRS can collect within GDPR rules.

Some partner sites may have databases aligned with your target market and getting in those should be part of your strategy.

Partner sites could be your CVB, Chamber, Cvent, bedrooms, wedding sites and pet-friendly sites to name a few.

Most brands and all independent hotels should be able to see traffic and production from these partner sites by looking at the referring domains to the website.

Each website has its own advertising options (sometimes free!) so reach out on an individual basis.

The hotel marketing plan and costs determination should be a joint effort between marketing, sales, operations, and revenue management.

  If you do the hotel marketing budget when you work on the marketing plan.

You can determine segments with opportunity and create a marketing plan broken down by month that includes events.

If you are searching for software to make your hotel website then consider QloApps. It will launch a beautiful website to manage your hotel.

If you want to know more about Qloapps contact us by QloApps Forum.

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