Top 10 Latest Hospitality Digital Marketing Trends in 2020

Jaidev Chatanat
Digital Marketing
19 February 2020
#Hospitality #DigitalMarketing #MarketingIntelligence

Creating the right marketing strategy for your hospitality business is about defining your brand's personality and building trust around that. Digital platforms have impacted every single sector, especially the hospitality industry which is at the cutting edge of technology. This is on account of how Internet users research, plan, and book their travel , hotel stays and share experiences of their travel online. By following the latest marketing trends in marketing & marketing intelligence, travel operators, resort managers and luxury hotel owners can optimise revenue & reach out to
the right audience.

What are the different techniques in Hospitality Marketing in 2020 ?

Hospitality marketing is centred on thinking about the business in terms of consumer and their
satisfaction. Hospitality marketing needs to take into account the various aspects of the services
delivered - Destinations, travel itinerary, accommodation food and drink.

What makes Hospitality Marketing so special ?

Positive customer experience is always tied to customer expectations, since hospitality is one of the very few products that completely has to be experienced to feel good, it always puts the brand under jeopardy if there are significant differences between the expectation and what they experience. It's a product that gets shared by the customers at every touch point on social media.

Not always is Hospitality marketing about right content and advertisements, it's about the right messaging that is intune with the actual experience that the hotel delivers.


Few ideas that will help hotels gain tremendous traction with less effort -

1. Generating Traveller content to grow more content & share

Customers are willing to share the right experiences when they see it, creating the right environment & forum to share the content is important. There's no better advertisement than referrals. The real question is how many customers are willing to share your brand with exciting vibes on their social pages ? Even small eateries get lots of shares provided the right experience is demonstrated.

2. Personalisation Marketing

Marketing Intelligence platforms such as SignOn Leadz allows companies to deliver personalised content to specific targeted customers through the use of AI, Machine learning & combine with technology and analytics. The goal of personalisation marketing is to engage potential customers by reaching out to them at an individual level. For travel operators, resorts & hotels what's most important is to personalise services for their guests through targeted emails & delivering the same while they visit the property.

  • Mapping the right customer behaviour and creating the right content to target customers who fall under that category via email, website landing pages, chat conversations etc.
  • Targeted emails can be sent to prospects whenever an upcoming event or discount
  • Targeted Facebook & Instagram ads to retarget customers who have already visited the property
  • Target campaigns for customers who have shown interest through any channel.
  • Chat conversions while browsing through the website can be completely personalised to the earlier browsing behaviour or historic transactions that are in the customer DB.
3. Be present on Search & Maps

As the next generation of Web users prefer searching for new content via Search or Maps, the hospitality brand has to be present on Maps, with pictures, reviews and content. This way your website will be a powerful magnet for followers. The content you produce must be present on

  1. Trip Advisor
  2. Google Maps
  3. Google My Business
  4. Wikipedia
  5. JustDial
  6. Yellow Pages etc.
4. Voice Search

Voice is fast becoming ubiquitous . Here are some relevant statistics to the dissertation why SEO for voice search will become most necessary in 2020 & beyond.

  • 21.4 million smart speakers in the US by 2020 (Source : Activate, 2017)
  • And worldwide, there will be over 1 billion voice assistant enabled devices by the end of 2018 (Source : Alpine.ai)
  • There are over 1 billion voice searches per month (Source : Alpine.ai, 2018)
  • One if five searches on mobile is voice search. (Source : KPCB, 2017)
  • 50% of searches will be voice-based by 2020 (Source : ComScore)
  • 30% of searches will be done without a screen by 2020 and voice interactions will eventually overtake typing a search query. (Source : Gartner, 2016).
  • Voice shopping market expected to grow from $2 billion today to $40 billion by 2022 (Source : Alpine.ai)

Conversational search has multiple ramifications for the technology & business community. By creating responses that are perceived as human Google is reaching toward the Turing principle which is a used idea in artificial intelligence that posits a system as meeting the Turing test by having the capacity to appear and even act human in different ways.”

Being conversational is the core of this discourse because it is at the essence of voice search optimization.

Conversational, natural language is the future of VoiceSEO. The digital system has to be enabled.

5. Customer Experience Marketing

Outside-In method of keeping the customers perspective as the highest priority in marketing is the key. This method ensures that the customer experience becomes the central piece in all marketing decisions. In order to achieve this , there has to be a cultural shift.

No business can rely on its employees to get behind its marketing messages and be brand culture ambassadors unless each employee does not fully believe in what the hospitality model is and what the brand stands for .

The foundation is exceptional employee engagement and techniques to drive meaningful change in your company culture from the top down. All of the business leaders should understand and express your values with a positive and supportive management style.

In order to achieve this , there has to be transparency and marketing messages communication cadence.

6. Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence is all about personalizing the experiences , AI has the ability to automate and streamline processes and generate CTAs from invaluable insights about the customers & their interests . Many online room seekers would use aggregator websites to book their accommodation while some may check the hotel’s homepage but leave without booking. In some cases, users speak with a hotel staff without divulging preferred dates and check-in details.

By using artificial intelligence automations , chatbots on your digital platforms, you can provide a personalised service and develop a robust system. With AI technology, you can present to customers of convenience and non-intrusive service ideas.

7. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing can be digital or word of mouth, but for the hospitality industry, it presents a huge opportunity. Organic influencer content helps to get your hospitality brand messages across to consumers better than ever. Consider reviews from influencers, for instance. 67% of marketers have found such content to be very effective in purchase decisions of peers and followers.

Creating an influencer network is key , they should be able to refer to your brand and that will allow you far greater reach than most of the other organic efforts. I've sighted a few examples that can be used

  1. The Chef along with the marketing team can create a forum of master chefs to promote a particular cuisine of restaurant which your hotel wishes to promote. Sharing recipe ideas , food sampling sessions are just a few ways to get this kicked off .
  2. Destination & Exeprience sharing by Vloggers, another great way to connect your property to the destination and would have a far reaching impact with the those customers who follow the vlogger.
  3. Arrange free dinner or stay for influencers in a particular geography or a segment. Get them to blog , share pictures and experiences

What is most important is keep the network alive by connecting with them regularly.

8. Virtual Reality & visual Content

Online users look for information on tours and hotels, they can make better decisions via videos and pictures rather than written content. If there's a virtual reality tour, it will have an impact on users’ experiences as they can virtually put themselves right there in the hotel room or resort to see whether it meets their needs or not. The hospitality industry can also use virtual reality to show their customers the local sightseeing attractions for destinations .

9. User Cocreated Content

User co-created content is made and shared by online end-users & hotels together . It can be Social Mentions , comments, testimonials, forums on webpage , blog posts, and social publications. When a prospective customer looks for your brand’s content online, he or she will normally read the customer reviews about your company on other websites or social media platforms. If you use user generated content correctly, you will be able to increase your brand awareness significantly as this is more authentic and genuine . The most effective way is to encourage guests to share their experience on social media & you could give such guests an appreciation of sorts.. To achieve this outcome , you can run contests, create hashtags, create photo opportunities at your hotel for the guests. This setting and user created content is the right way to share experiences.

10. Make Culture an Integral Part of Marketing

So, how can progressive marketing organizations truly share beliefs with customers? Clearly, you must continue doing everything you can to service customers, including being able to scale your marketing activities. But its most important to authentically communicate the company’s core beliefs through all marketing channels, organizational functions and customer interactions.

11. Video Marketing

Video Marketing using YouTube videos, Instagram, or Facebook Live gaining brand exposure and capturing the attention & engaging them instantly is the key .

Why not give them easily digestible videos about your hotel or resort? Example

  1. Show video of your best facilities in the property.
  2. Customer testimonials
  3. Live stream video activities
  4. Share experiences in culinary practices
  5. Destination videos linking them to your property.
12. Remarketing

There are fantastic marketing tools, with SignOn Leadz which can be used for remarketing to customers who have visited you on the website or may have stayed with you in the past. Keep in touch and that way when there is an occasion the customer would always come back if he has already experienced something great.

About the Author

Jaidev Chatanat is a thought leader in the space of marketing intelligence, customer service and digital transformation. He has been an advocate for applying the right digital transformative strategies and techniques for many decades for fortune 500 companies.

He is reachable for consultation on jaidev.c@signon.ai

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