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Digital marketing is a piece that cannot miss in any hotel marketing strategy. The online world has become the go-to destination for travellers seeking information, making reservations, and sharing their experiences; therefore, having a strong digital presence is crucial for hotels to thrive and grow.
Considering how the digital marketing landscape is constantly evolving and new trends and technologies emerging at breakneck speeds, keeping yourself updated might seem like a titanic task.
However, it doesn’t have to be.
In this article, we’ve compiled some of the main digital trends that hoteliers can leverage in order to reach their goals, deliver memorable guest experiences and stay ahead of the competition.
Evolving Digital Marketing Trends for Hotels
Shift towards personalised and targeted marketing campaigns
To resonate with potential guests, you as a hotel marketer must create personalised and targeted marketing campaigns that cater to individual preferences and needs. By leveraging data analytics and customer insights, you can craft compelling messages that speak directly to your target audience, increasing engagement and conversions.
Use of data-driven marketing: Your team can use data to segment the audience and target them with relevant messages. This can be done by collecting data on past guests, website visitors, and social media followers.
Use of automation: Automation can be used to personalise email marketing campaigns, send targeted push notifications, and optimise website content for individual users.
Use of AI and machine learning: AI and machine learning can be used to predict customer behaviour and create personalised experiences. For example, you can use AI to recommend rooms or amenities to guests based on their past preferences.
Influencer marketing and user-generated content for hotels
Influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) have become powerful tools for hotels to showcase their offerings and build trust among potential guests. As in any other industry, content created by common users is the best word of mouth as it helps to build real trust.
In addition, collaborating with influencers is also positive since it helps you to reach their followers, and if they trust your brand, in many cases so will they community.
Activities with influencers: Your brand can collaborate with influencers to promote their properties to their followers. This can be done through sponsored posts, product reviews, or event partnerships.
Promoting user-generated content: Encourage your guests to share their experiences on social media and promote this user-generated content (UGC) on your website or social media channels. This can help to build trust and credibility with potential guests.
Using UGC in marketing campaigns: By adding UGC to your campaigns you can also leverage it and generate more engagement. This can be done through video, photo, or text content.
Social media & customer service in hospitality
Social media has emerged as a key channel for hotels to connect with their audience, share updates, and foster a sense of community. However, it is also a channel consumers use to express complaints and ask for information.
Today’s customers, especially millennials and Gen-Z, don’t want to wait to have an answer. They value immediate interactions that reach them while they are still interested. Since every service is automatic and information reaches them quickly, they expect the same from a hotel.
If your hotel is in social media, make sure to monitor the channels thoroughly, providing accurate information in every interaction. At the same time, it is important to keep in mind that KPIs such as response rate will play a valuable role in this area. The quicker and more accurate the response is, the happier guests will be.
Video marketing and visual storytelling for hotels
Video marketing and visual storytelling are becoming increasingly important for hotels to capture attention and showcase their unique selling points.
From virtual tours to behind-the-scenes glimpses, videos can provide an immersive and engaging experience for potential guests, not to mention it appeals more to all senses than a single image.
According to Amra and Elma’s research, websites with videos are 53 times more likely to appear on the first page of Google search results than those without videos.
Your team can create video content to showcase the properties, amenities, and experiences but also use videos for paid media campaigns.
At the same time, a big part of leveraging this trend is optimising the videos for search engines, so they can be easily found and have a good SEO ranking. For example, this can be done by adding relevant keywords to the title, description, and tags.
Emerging Technologies in Hotel Digital Marketing
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning for personalised guest experiences
AI and machine learning are revolutionising hotel digital marketing by enabling highly personalised guest experiences. From tailored recommendations to predictive analytics, these technologies can help hotels better understand their guests and offer customised solutions.
Personalised recommendations: AI can be used to recommend rooms, amenities, and activities to guests based on their past preferences. For example, your hotel could use AI to recommend a room with a view of the ocean to a guest who has previously stayed in a room with a view of the mountains.
Predictive analytics: AI can be used to predict customer behaviour and personalise marketing campaigns accordingly. For example, you could use AI to predict which guests are likely to book a room in the near future and send them targeted marketing messages.
Virtual assistants: AI can be used to create virtual assistants that can answer guests' questions and provide customer service. For example, you can create a virtual assistant that can answer questions about your property, make reservations, and book transportation.
Chatbots powered by AI: Chatbots that use AI are becoming increasingly sophisticated, as not only they provide 24/7 customer service but now they can answer more questions using all the previous input to craft new answers. At the same time, they can also be used to collect data about guest preferences, which can be used to improve your marketing campaigns and automate your tasks.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in hotel marketing
VR and AR are transforming the way hotels showcase their offerings and engage with potential guests. By providing immersive virtual tours and interactive experiences, hotels can create memorable moments that entice travellers to book a stay.
Virtual tours: VR can be used to create virtual tours of your hotels that allow guests to preview the property before they book. This can be a great way to attract guests who are unable to travel to the property in person.
Augmented reality: AR can be used to overlay digital information in the real world. This can be used to provide guests with information about your hotel, such as the location of amenities or the availability of rooms.
Internet of Things (IoT) and smart devices for personalised experiences
IoT and smart devices can enable your hotel to tailor guest experiences like never before. From adjusting room temperature to offering personalised entertainment options, these technologies can help hotels create a truly unique guest experience.
Connected devices: IoT devices can be used to collect data about guests' preferences and behaviours. This data can be used to create a personal experience for your guest, such as by adjusting the temperature of the room or playing music that the guest enjoys.
Smart appliances: Smart appliances can be used to deliver a more customised and easy experience for each guest. For example, a smart coffee maker could be programmed to start brewing coffee at the guest's desired time.
Beacons: Beacons can be used to send guests personalised messages based on their location in the hotel. For example, a beacon could send a guest a message about a special offer when they enter the lobby.
Future Outlook and Conclusion
With the rapid advancement in technology, especially in artificial intelligence and IoT, you need to implement these emerging trends and technologies to stay ahead of your competitors and stand out from the crowd. Staying agile and relevant is the key to the growth of any business.
By preparing and staying updated with these digital marketing trends you can reach out to a bigger audience in a better way and optimise your resources to achieve better results.
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