Key Trends Uncovered in the Sojern 2019 Report on Hotel Advertising

USA, SAN FRANCISCO, California. June 13, 2019

In our 2019 Report on Travel Advertising for Hotel Marketers, we surveyed more than 300 hotel marketers around the world to better understand the challenges and successes they face in navigating the complex, and ever-changing, travel advertising landscape.

Here are some of the key trends we observed:

Trend #1: Facebook and Instagram for Brand Awareness and Direct Response

Social media is the most effective digital channel across all hotel segments for establishing brand presence and keeping a brand top of mind for potential guests.

This social-media-first branding strategy was reflected in all hotel segments, from international luxury hotel chains (79%) to hotel groups (73%) to independent hotels (52%). The percentage of marketers identifying Facebook and Instagram specifically as strong brand drivers was almost identical, ranging from 75% for international luxury chains to 52% for independents.

When asked about the effectiveness of digital advertising for direct response, the rankings differed slightly.

Facebook and Instagram were the top social channels identified for direct response, but notably, independent properties expressed almost equal enthusiasm for paid search (36%) as for Facebook and Instagram (38%). Enthusiasm for paid search was in fact almost equal across all hotel segments (ranging from 34% to 39%), with the sole exception of homeshares, which saw less traction with paid search at 21%.

Trend #2: Digital Video Ads Stay Steady

International luxury hotel chains in particular are utilizing Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and mobile video ads in large numbers (a whopping 71% in this sector utilize YouTube). International mid-tier chains and hotel groups also place video ads across most major social video outlets. Among smaller advertisers, video usage is less prevalent, perhaps because of the increased cost of high-quality video production. Only 29% of homeshares reported using Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or other sites and networks to place video ads. Across the board, the lowest overall usage was seen in connected television (CTV). Video ads took up only 8% of overall hotel marketing budgets in 2018, however, video usage should increase in the coming years, especially as less expensive, higher-quality equipment continues to become more available.

Trend #3: Data-Driven Strategies Are Key for Success

Using travel data and technology to deliver the right message at the right time, regardless of channel or device, is top of mind for travel marketers. Hotel marketers can understand today's travelers and utilize the best channels for connecting through the use of data.

The top three reasons travel marketers leverage and activate data include:

  • The ability to target travelers based on intent and/or where they are in the path to purchase
  • Better visibility into traveler behavior across websites and apps
  • Understanding where travelers are won or lost across the path to purchase

"The most successful travel brands today are grounding their digital marketing strategy in the world of data, technology, and data-driven insights. Taking this approach has a wide variety of benefits, including a deeper understanding of their customers, smarter media allocation, better campaign targeting, retargeting, and optimization, better overall performance on campaigns, and more efficient use of digital advertising budgets." - Kurt Weinsheimer, Chief Solutions Officer, Sojern

Data has the ability to offer very effective insights into traveler behavior, path to purchase friction, and methods for making the hotel booking experience convenient, optimally-timed, and informative.

Looking for more detail on the key challenges hotel marketers face, how they're allocating advertising budget across channels, where they are finding success, and what technologies may impact the future of marketing?

Download our full 2019 Report on Travel Advertising for Hotel Marketers today.

Sojern's 2019 Report on Hotel Advertising
Tags: hotel marketing, digital marketing, advertising, social media, revenue management

About Sojern

Media Contact:

Scott Thornburg
Senior Public Relations Manager
T: 415-816-8844
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Coming up in November 2019...

Architecture & Design: Biophilic Design

The hospitality industry is constantly evolving to meet and exceed guest expectations. As a result, hotels are always on the lookout for new ways to improve the guest experience, and architecture and design is an essential part of this equation. Bold design is often the most effective way to make an exceptional first impression - an impression guests use to distinguish between brands. One design trend that is being embraced worldwide has become known as “Biophilic Design.” Biophilic design is based on the concept of biophilia, which is the theory that human beings have an innate tendency to seek out nature, natural elements, and natural forms. Biophilic design is more than hotels simply adding a surplus of plants; it involves incorporating specific design elements into a hotel in order to imbue it with a sense of wellness and well-being. Some of those elements include exposure to natural lighting; views of nature and rooms with a view; natural architectural patterns; salvaged or reclaimed woods of all types; reclaimed metals; sustainably sourced stone; living green walls and vertical gardens; and direct and indirect exposure to nature. Hotels that have incorporated biophilic design into their properties are reaping the benefits associated with this trend including reduced stress responses, better air quality, lower energy costs, and more positive guest reviews. Biophilic design has also been shown to improve guest moods and to satisfy consumer demand for environmental responsibility. Savvy hotel owners and managers are aware that nature-inspired elements enhance their guests' comfort and well-being, which is why this trend is becoming so prevalent. Biophilic design is just one topic in the fields of hotel architecture and design that will be examined in the November issue of the Hotel Business Review.