10 Easy Tips to Increase Digital Bookings

By Ryan Bifulco Founder & CEO, Travel Spike | July 14, 2013

You don't have to be a digital rocket scientist to pick up some extra online bookings. I have outlined 10 easy ways that you can get started at your own property. Of course you can tackle these ideas on your own to save some money, but I would advise you to also pick the items that you know the least about and call in the professionals. Things have become so competitive these days when it comes to search engine marketing and social media. In some ways it reminds me of the early days of The Olympics when some countries allowed professionals while Team USA continued to send our best younger players from college. Finally we called in our professionals who were able to match the experience and physical play of the rest of the world. If you try to do all of these things on your own, you will be outmatched just like our Olympic teams.

10. Mobile

Optimize your site and email newsletters for mobile since most emails these days are actually opened and viewed on mobile devices. So you might think your email looks amazing only to learn later on when it's too late that many people did not properly see your message on their mobile phone. You can also capture some of the late bookers who book on the road from their mobile phone or iPad. Work with mobile apps like HotelTonight to snag last minute bookings before your rooms go unsold.

9. Google +

Get rolling with Google + as it is now the number two most popular social network with over 300 million active users. The real plus here is whatever you do also helps your cause with search engine optimization since after all we are talking about a social network launched by the search engine kings themselves. The best thing about Google + is the circles feature so that you can share certain content with your closest friends and still ensure that your work colleagues or other circles are not able to view those crazy photos.

8. Socialize Your Lobby

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.