Maximizing Your Marketing Efforts by Multiplying Your Messages
By Cindy Woudenberg Founder, LuCorp Marketing | January 06, 2013
Attracting and converting visitors is paramount in the competitive hotel and travel environment. In order to see business growth, your hotel messaging needs to be pushed on a multitude of platforms with the sole purpose of driving traffic and conversions. In today's market climate customers have a tremendous amount of information at their fingertips through the web and social networks. In fact, because of this proliferation of information, buyers don't engage in a purchase until much later in the sales process than they did just a few short years ago. According to Sirius Decisions, Inc., "70% of the buying process is now completed by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales." It is also now rumored to be between 7 to 20 times for a marketing message to be seen before someone purchases! Understanding this puts a lot of pressure on your hotel's marketing department.
A good mode to be in is consistent engagement across multiple platforms. The role of your marketing department now includes engaging customers on multiple levels and through a variety of platforms. They should be using every strategy out there and determining what is most effective. The best practices here are to stimulate activity. Focus on developing messages that are shareable, have calls to action and engagement. Below are just a few of the options to stimulate multiplication of messages.
All content should be developed to highlight these key factors; uniqueness, what is in it for the customer, and credibility. If you say the hotel is quaint, do you publish pictures and testimonials that back this claim up? Do you have videos on YouTube or pictures on Pinterest that showcase your quaint hotel? Do you connect to Trip Advisor reviews or Google Reviews on your site and promote this in social media and email campaigns? If you talk up the community and area in which the hotel is located as a part of the uniqueness of the hotel, do you provide information on the surrounding area and link to supporting information on your site and other sites? Does your messaging support what is in it for the customer? The focus of all content is that it satisfies the customer and answers their questions. The trick to developing successful marketing messages is to give the impression that you are not marketing, but delivering valuable information that will be clicked on and responded to.
Determining marketing messaging starts with the basics of analyzing what customers are looking for by doing some trend analysis and market research. This research will help formulate a strategic roadmap for messaging. One great source of information is through Google's Keyword Tool, or better yet, Google Insights. Per Google, "Google Insights for Search can help you gauge interest in pertinent search terms. Insights can help you determine which messages resonate best. Insights can be used to determine seasonality. Insights can be useful in determining a new market." This is a great tool for marketers in comparing their own efforts and keywords, trends, and to help determine new words to utilize in campaigns.
Another effective tactic is to identify/brainstorm language that prospects are using relevant to your business. Don't forget to check out what the competition is doing! Still another source for content ideas is looking to the data from your own hotel's web analytics. Looking at what content customers are accessing, what they find compelling to stay on the site for will help determine behavior as well as help plan for future content.
Keyword usage should be implemented as part of a comprehensive marketing plan. Not only do you want to increase use of keywords in your web content, but it is crucial to develop branding and messaging that is consistent across all of your communications and promotional efforts. As your marketing strategy is developed and implemented, the results should be tracked and adjustments made to increase effectiveness. Do your research - RINSE….Test…..REPEAT! This is not static, it is ongoing. The goal is to engage, build the brand, monetize efforts, and to reposition on a continual basis. The research of keywords is not for the faint of heart and requires considerable effort, consistency, tenacity, vision, creativity, and adjustment.