How to Position Your Hotel Brand Ahead of Competitors with Branding, Content and Social Media
By Bronwyn White Chief Executive Officer & Founder, My Travel Research.com | February 21, 2016
When Google and other search engines changed their algorithms to be based on semantic search, branding, content marketing and social media took on a new role and a new level of importance. This integrated marketing mix can seriously catapult your hotel brand ahead of your competitors. I know, it always has - but even more so in the world of semantic search. Why does this matter? Well, the traveller uses online search and the Internet intensively during every stage of the traveller path to purchase.
Traditionally, and more broadly speaking, branding and social media have always been about the customer. But now you have a new customer - Google. Not only do you need to ensure your branding is tight, consistent and positioned well for your customers, but you also need to ensure you do so for the search engines.
Branding is now the cornerstone of all online activity. Beyond your customer, branding now affects how you are viewed in the eyes of the search engines or your SEO. Poor and inconsistent branding means poor web presence and that you are less likely to be presented in a search no matter how big or small you are. And it is not about your logo or font.
David Amerland, author of Semantic Search, tells us that authenticity and consistency in branding is more important than ever: "Marketing has changed, which means branding needs to follow suit and these days, both are also closely tied into search. You can't talk about what you do and why you do it (which is where marketing and branding come in) without also taking into account the impact all this has on search."
The world of semantic search has presented new and exciting opportunities for some and headaches for others. Branding has always been important, but in recent times your branding influences how (and if) you are presented in the search engines when a potential customer is searching for your destination, product or service. Google's philosophy focuses on the customer experience - and so should yours by the way. It wants to provide the very best pages and websites appropriate to the traveller sitting in their lounge room looking for travel ideas on YouTube or taking in a micro-moment at the bus stop.