We live in a time where marketing technology is available to the masses, which means the days of paying high-priced marketing agencies a pretty penny to manage your hotel’s online presence are fading fast.
“Simply put, time matters. Time is the scarcest thing we have, and we must admit that we can’t do everything we need to get done. Once we realize this, companies and services such as Uber, Instacart, Amazon, and even Starbucks are catering to our needs with unique programs and clever ways of thinking like a customer.”
Digital marketing platforms are changing the way all kinds of businesses – large and small – manage their marketing, including hotels. Technology puts the control back in your hands.
But not all cloud-based digital marketing systems are created equal, so before you commit, make sure you know what to look for. Ultimately, you want the solution that is easy to use, lowers your costs and improves your performance.
Here are three must-haves:
- Easy to use
There are many cloud-based website building platforms that claim to be easy to use. But if you’ve ever tried creating a website using one of them, you probably learned very quickly that the reality doesn’t always align with the promise. Getting a website up and running can take hours of work and result in plenty of frustration. Plus, these platforms are not complete Digital Marketing Systems, and we know there’s more to marketing than just having a website.The best system makes all of your digital marketing easier and, in addition to intuitive desktop and mobile website creation and management features, it offers social media apps and digital brochures for travel websites. Basically, it gives you everything you need for a complete digital marketing strategy in one place, eliminating the frustration of managing digital marketing using disparate single-purpose systems.
- Saves you money
You don’t really need to spend a fortune on marketing anymore thanks to technology. When you move to a Digital Marketing System, you save money by eliminating the need for a webmaster or agency.Today, there are premium Digital Marketing Systems available for less than $150 per month. If you have an agency or webmaster managing your website right now, you know first-hand that $150 doesn’t go very far. In fact, a simple update to your website could easily run you 10x that. With a Digital Marketing System, you can make the same update with one click – quick, painless and a lot less expensive.
- Affordability and flexibility
There are Digital Marketing Systems and cloud-based website building platforms specialized to almost every industry imaginable, as well as one-size-fits-all options. Your best bet is to select a vendor with a solution that is designed for hotels so that you can count on crucial features that every hotel marketer needs to drive better marketing performance, including:
- Ability to publish content that consumers look for when shopping for hotel accommodations, like room types, offers and unique features, on your website, social media and third-party channels
- Visually compelling website with a clear path to booking on every type of screen and device consumers use during the hotel shopping journey
- Digital marketing content that is optimized to be indexed by search engines so that you’re found for the terms that matter to you and your target guests
Take a page from Percy’s book.
Percy Amaria is the Director of Operations of Percy Amaria Group who handles the online marketing for Scott’s Inn & Restaurant in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. The 52-room property is proud to be family-run for over 30 years in the heart of the adventure seeker’s wonderland. Like many small properties, the property didn’t have a large marketing budget to spend on reaching new travel shoppers and showing them everything they have to offer.
They were looking for a way to decrease the amount of money they were spending on online marketing while also seeing better results – namely, increased direct bookings on their website.
“We were spending a ton of money on marketing. We paid thousands to create our website and then every time I wanted to make a change, I had to pay an hourly fee plus hundreds in monthly maintenance fees. If I wanted to change a picture, I had to send an email to a third-party. It was such a headache. Plus, with competition so high these days, we wanted our properties to stand out more with a better website,” says Percy.
Percy subscribed to a multi-channel digital marketing system to create a new website, mobile websites, social media apps and digital brochures for third-party travel websites. One of the biggest differences Percy has noticed is improved search engine rankings. Currently, approximately 50% of his website traffic is organic, which has helped increase direct bookings – so much so that they’ve cut their online advertising costs by 37.5%. “We can spend less on PPC (pay-per-click advertising) now because the website is doing so much more for us,” he says.
Take a page from Percy’s book. Try your hand at a digital management system designed for hoteliers. Try Vizlly, our Multi-Channel Digital Marketing System, free for 30 days. No credit card. No strings. Just results.