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January 14, 2014 / BSP Marketing

Digital Marketing Budgeting for 2015: Tips and Reminders for Hotels

At the end of the year, many hotels evaluate their bottom line, taking stock of where they are at monetarily and what they have to work with in the coming year. Forming the next year’s budget is an important task that can have a profound impact on the hotel’s operation and ultimate success. While there are many factors to consider, from the pace of inflation to changes in the local marketplace, one area to keep a close eye on in 2014 is digital marketing.

Digital Marketing Budgeting for 2014 -Hotel

Digital marketing is often overlooked or simply lumped into the rest of a marketing budget. However, digital marketing has become increasingly relevant as more customers use online and mobile platforms. To better guide your hotel’s digital marketing budget, reflect on the following areas.

1. Website. With the number of people who rely on the Internet for their travel planning, having a website is essential. However, it is not enough merely to have a website. People expect more, and they are quick to click out of a page that is slow, tacky or difficult to navigate. Therefore, if your hotel’s website has not had a major overhaul in recent years, it might be wise to put such measures in the budget for 2014. The website should be attractive, intuitive and informative. More than that, it should perform well on search engines with content primed with SEO measures and local optimization in mind. It is worth paying more to have a high quality result.

Online Marketing - Tips and Reminders for Hotels

2. Social media. The digital landscape has changed drastically in recent years. The vast majority of customers are now actively engaged in various social media outlets, including sites like Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. Smart hotels are now tapping into these channels, opening their own accounts to promote their facilities and engage with customers. However, a successful social media plan takes time and expertise, which is why it is smart to allot some of the budget to such measures. There are third-party contractors who can help operate such accounts, and some hotels will hire staff members specifically to deal with social media marketing.

3. Mobile strategies. Customers are not merely going digital, they are going mobile. More and more customers now rely on mobile devices such as phone or tablets to consider their travel plans. This makes website development even more complicated since websites that look great on a computer may not always load as well on a mobile device. Therefore, set aside some cash to update your hotel’s mobile strategy. There are also unique advertising campaigns geared toward mobile devices, which can be quite lucrative if used correctly.

Guest feedback 2014 travel websites

4. Pay per click. Relying on search engine optimization will yield some success, but that is not the only way to get new customers. The fact is that there are exciting paid search methods that can boost profits nicely. Most major search engines will have a pay-per-click option, which can be a great way to increase the hotel’s exposure. While pay-per-click and other paid search methods are sure to garner results, they also come with a price tag. Therefore, it is important to allocate enough funds for a successful pay-per-click campaign in 2014.

5. Guest feedback. Customers often use travel websites to make their plans. These sites provide a description of the hotel and include space for user ratings. In this, customers can leave comments about the hotel and provide subjective ratings for other users to see. This information can be absolutely critical to a hotel in terms of knowing what is working and what is not. However, trying to monitor all these reviews can be daunting. This is why more hotels are relying on software to do the monitoring for them. This software can offer streamlined reports about what guests are saying. This convenience comes with a cost. Be sure to set aside funds to accomplish this.

Not all hotels may need every service, and not all hotels may be able to afford these services. For budget constraints, prioritize the most pressing concerns and make smart decisions. Even small tweaks to a digital marketing budget can have a dramatic impact on 2014.

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