Over the course of a year, trends come and go, especially within the digital travel advertising landscape. Nevertheless, here we highlight 5 key trends that will lead to a successful marketing strategy for hoteliers in the new year.
1. Use social media as a source of inspiration
It’s no secret that social media is slowly taking over the digital atmosphere, making it even harder for brands to be seen in an already crowded online space. Facebook alone sees 1.37 billion users per day on average, and Instagram has over 700 million users per month. Crazy, right?
With nearly 55% of travelers turning to social media pages they’ve liked as they are trip planning, indulging travelers in their wanderlust will not only encourage them to travel. It also keeps your brand top of mind throughout their path to purchase. Posting content that inspires and engaging with your followers will eliminate FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) for guests looking to visit, as well as for your brand in the social media world.
2. Video can (and should) be used to capture what images can’t
How many times have you been browsing online and see a video showcasing a warm destination in the midst of winter and thought “I wish that was me?” As travelers are moving away from travel agents and towards online inspiration as they plan a trip, video is an essential ad placement to bring your hotel to life and tell your story.
On any given day, approximately 75 million people are watching videos online. The use of video advertising with a strategic message and optimized placements can be the driving force behind engaging with new guests and increasing bookings.
3. A mobile friendly experience is a must-have
Can you think of the last time that you saw no one on their phone? On average, people look at their mobile phones 46 times a day, and based on a study by Skift, approximately 23% of US travelers who booked a hotel last year used their mobile device.
Having a mobile-friendly website, as well as a seamless online booking experience, is your golden ticket to driving more direct bookings.
4. Get personal with your audience
While a traveler is moving along their path to purchase, the desire to feel a personal connection to a destination is now a necessity. With 71% of users craving personalized advertisements, not only does this create a unique user experience, but can also lead to positive online reviews and an increased ROI.
Through the use of personalized content and online interactions with your guests, adding special touches will help make your brand stand out inside a cluttered online environment.
5. “Bleisure” travelers are on the rise
Picture this: You are going on a business trip to the beaches of Mexico, but only for three days. So, instead of finding another time to visit you decide to extend your trip for another couple of days.
43% of travelers are extending their business trips for leisure activities. Therefore, a hotelier should highlight what types of events and attractions are happening around your location. Since the path to purchase for these trips are shorter than most, creating a sense of urgency to stay at your hotel to experience the local culture is essential. By showcasing how your locations are near various attractions, it creates a sense of desire for your travelers as they are planning their business trip, and ultimately gives them a reason to stay longer.
At the end of the day, your guests are looking for unique qualities and offerings that your brand can offer that sets you apart from the competition. And, one trend that never goes out of style for hoteliers is exceeding expectations.
Looking to engage with new travelers and drive more direct bookings this year? Contact one of our travel marketing experts today.
About Hannah Fuller
Hannah is Sojern’s Content Marketing Associate. Originally from Pennsylvania, she enjoys the change of pace in the Midwest, but misses an authentic Philly Cheesesteak.