The global trend to travel keeps gaining momentum. When choosing a new location to visit, people are seeking for the best apartments or accommodation available, and most of them do this online. In the US, for instance, the number seeking online users exceeded 88%. Moreover, 79% of worldwide travellers book hotels via smartphones, according to the Travel Trends Report 2018.
This year, the revenue in the Online Travel Booking segment amounts to $238,142M. And the largest ‘Hotels’ segment has a market volume of $130,834M.
In this post, we would like to show you five effective approaches which could improve your marketing strategy, gain more bookings on your website, and what’s crucial – enhance your customer experience and let you stay a robust competitive player in this ‘oceanic’ market.
The Power Of Messengers
Messengers became the most convenient way not only for private routine chatting but also for B2C conversations. As developers implemented new business features in their apps, today, you can easily use these to communicate with your customers more efficiently and inform them of your best offers.
- The first messengers’ advantage is that people usually don’t turn off their notifications and check their inbox regularly; therefore the probability they notice your message is high.
- The second advantage lies in human psychology – when customers see that a company can answer them via a messenger, they become subconsciously sure that company managers are always online and can answer their questions immediately at any time.
- The third advantage is that your brand will stay within the customer messenger contacts until they remove it. So this will be easier for clients to find you and use your service again.
WhatsApp Business, which was launched in 2018, lets business owners add the information about their services, as well as the company address, email, and website into the information section.
In the app, they can also configure quick or automated replies to messages from customers, and organise customer contacts as well as chats with labels such as ‘New customers’, ‘Order complete’ and so on. WhatsApp developers added a messaging statistics to help businesses check how much of their messages were successfully sent and read.
Moreover, as on Instagram, on WhatsApp Business, you can post special or new offers in the stories section by attaching photos, images or videos. These ads will be available within 24 hours.
Viber and Telegram which are much sought after East and South European countries, as well as Central and South Asian countries, also have the efficient feature for businesses. This is the opportunity to communicate with customers via public channels by publishing all your news and offers lists there. Recently, this solution has become popular among travellers as this is a convenient way to check attractive options from different companies which they are subscribed to directly via one app. Moreover, there are many independent bloggers who are always seeking for hot offers and publishing these in their travel channels. They are always open for promotional offers and different ways to monetise their audience.
These posts can contain links to your website, prices, photos or even questionings. It doesn’t matter in what country or city your hotel is located – people travel all around the world, therefore among these audiences could also be your potential clients.
YouTube Still Sets The Pace
YouTube has become the second largest search engine after Google, this is why you can’t ignore it. Especially within the tourism and hospitality industry customers can create content for you for free (or for bonuses).
Besides ordering advertising in bloggers’ vlogs, which have the target audience similar to yours, we would strongly encourage you to configure short pre-roll video ads.
Here are a few reasons why you should do it:
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- Pre-roll ads are short. Just a few seconds, you can show users your intriguing benefits, and video production won’t be so expensive as an ad on TV (Besides the point, people who have smart TV’s prefer to watch YouTube on a TV screen via an app).
- Google gathers user data from Android, Google Maps, Google Play and other platforms, therefore targeted displaying of video ads on Youtube is improved.
- TrueView For Action YouTube Ads have call-to-actions directed to your website (or any other page you want to promote)
- TrueView For Action YouTube Ad conversions are 20-30% cheaper than conversions from ads within the search results
- You can create different ad campaigns for different audiences going by user online actions
Look Around: 360° Photo And Video
Virtual Reality is a trend which can bring your online booking service a huge advantage and distinguish you from the competitors. It’s not as expensive as you may think – on average, a VR camera costs about $200 and can easily connect to any smartphone. One more available option is to use the free app Google Street View. You can take panoramic photos of the hotel room, or even ask someone from your team to capture photos of rental suites in your town. Adding 360° photos or video from apartments to your website can significantly increase the customer experience on the stage of Discovery. And improve your local marketing if you upload these photos on your Google My Business account.
The Boomerang Effect Of Dynamic Remarketing Ads
Dynamic Adwords Remarketing is an efficient tool for any online booking services. By creating .csv, .tsv, .xls or .xlsx feeds with your products, the engine will determine and display those mix of options which are popular between users or those which they previously viewed on your website. With an opportunity to choose different ad layouts, you can attach to your banners, prices, discounts and, of course, CTAs. In such way, a user who is looking for apartments in a specific place for specific dates on your website will see an ad with your offers on other sites which are optionally not related to your industry.
Voice Search: Just Say It
Allow your clients to optimise their time by adding a voice search system to your website. First of all, this is convenient; secondly, this is trendy, thirdly, this is a strategic step for your company as answer engine optimisation is becoming crucial to your overall SEO strategy success.
Today, 55% of teenagers and 20% of adults use voice search regularly. By implementing this feature on your website, your clients will be able to find the best options by saying something like “The cheapest hotel in Vienna’ or ‘Lake View Apartment in Amsterdam’.
You may assume that implementing voice search into your website is an expensive step, but the truth is that this can be performed with one plugin only. What is more difficult is to optimise the whole of your website content for voice search queries. Anyway, in this way, you’ll kill two birds with one stone, because Google will quickly understand your keywords and key phrases and improve your ranking position.
Click here to find out more about AEO is and how you can improve your SEO strategy with its help.
Even though the Tourism and Hospitality industry is highly competitive, in 2018, the customer experience is crucial to ecommerce. Just a few attractive features can win over the consumers, help you improve brand awareness and increase conversations.
1. Use those messengers that your audience prefers, to communicate with your customers and inform them about your best options.
2. Cooperate with popular messenger bloggers who post hot offers in their public channels daily.
3. Order advertising on YouTube traveller vlogs by offering them discounts or free apartment opportunities.
4. Create short Youtube pre-roll ads and configure TrueView for action YouTube ads with CTAs as Google improves their displaying targeting.
5. Add panoramic photos and videos into your website and post these on your Facebook page – users adore the interaction.
6. Configure dynamic remarketing ads to show your customers the most tailored offers.
7. Optimise your website content for voice queries and add voice search into your website. This will be useful both for users and for Google as voice search usage is increasing rapidly.