Making personalized messaging throughout the marketing funnel a key ingredient of your hotel marketing strategy is paramount in connecting with travelers, and it has a substantial impact on your bottom line. In fact, 89% of US marketers report that personalization on their site drove more revenue. Here, we explain how hoteliers can personalize messaging throughout the marketing funnel to create an effective hotel marketing strategy.
In the dream and discover phase of travelers’ path to purchase, they are first starting to explore destinations, activities, and brands, and it’s important your personalization efforts begin here.
Social media is extremely powerful for inspiring travelers as they begin dreaming of and planning their next trip.
In fact, over 50% of travel companies claim more bookings due to their Facebook presence, and 1 in 3 travelers reference social media as a main source of travel ideas and inspiration. Consider trying Facebook Collection ads which can help you drive more mobile bookings by combining your video and photo assets. It’s an engaging ad format that can be used to drive users to your website.
Social media is also an easy place to offer a personal experience by engaging directly with potential guests as they send in questions, comments, or concerns. Be sure you are active with your social media presence by monitoring all your social channels daily, responding to comments, and addressing any negative comments or reviews.
Having a strong social media presence also gives you more insight into your audience—Twitter for example has an Audience tab that allows you to know more about your followers. You can use that information to create more custom, personalized ads or offerings, targeting users based on their location or interests, for example.
Re-engage as Travelers Shop and Compare
When a traveler moves to the planning and research phase of the funnel, they are deciding which hotel is the best fit for them. Now is your chance to prove your hotel is the best fit to create the perfect travel experience for them. With 47% of travelers saying personalized ads save them time and effort, now is the time to get in front of them with personalized messaging.
In order to offer a personalized experience farther down in the funnel, consider running Facebook Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT). DAT reaches travelers who have visited your hotel’s site but never booked and allows you to retarget them with real-time pricing and availability. Since they have visited your site, this is a great way to message to them in a personalized way, nurturing them through the full path to purchase and ultimately persuading them to return to your site to book.
Stay Top-of-Mind When It’s Time to Book
Once the traveler has moved into this bottom part of the funnel, they are ready to book. Stay top-of-mind throughout the entire booking and upsell your products and services post-conversion.
Since your guest will be receiving a confirmation email after their booking, consider trying a more personal approach with an email tailored specifically to them with a special offer. For example, if you know it is a family booking their stay, include an offer in the email for the waterpark or any other family-friendly amenity or service you may have. If it’s a couple booking your hotel for a leisure trip, send them an offer to your spa or restaurant.
But, be sure to include their name or some sort of personalization in the subject line—emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.
Now, not only are you helping your bottom line by upselling, but you are also personalizing and improving the guest experience.
Create Loyal, Repeat Guests
Although many marketing strategies end after the guest has completed the stay, hoteliers miss out on the chance to create loyal, repeat guests who could turn into advocates for the hotel. 76% of social media users post their vacation photos to social networks, and among guests who posted something about their stay, 75% of the posts were positive.
Take advantage of this user-generated content. For example, monitor hashtags that go with your hotel—or even better, create a hashtag for your hotel, and encourage guests to use it. When they post their photos after their vacation, it helps boost your marketing with little effort needed. This is also a great way to engage with guests who are currently staying with you or who have completed their stay, and can help you reach new guests.
Another way to create loyal, repeat guests is by influencing them to book direct. This is the only way to ensure you own the guest experience from start to finish, enabling you to create the best experience possible. Then, you are able to stay in touch with the guest, send them personalized offers, and keep them coming back for more.
By embracing a full circle approach that closes the gap in the marketing funnel and traveler’s journey, you will be able to reach the right guests with the right marketing initiatives at the right time throughout each touchpoint. Want to learn more about how to deliver a great guest experience?
Download Sojern’s eBook: Managing Guest Expectations in the Digital Age.
By: Marissa Rasmussen – Sojern