Give thanks for increased bookings this Black Friday weekend!

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Give thanks for increased bookings this Black Friday weekend!

Top tips for increasing online revenue this November

Black Friday has evolved. It is no longer an American phenomenon synonymous with rowdy shoppers and mile-long queues. The heightened buying behaviour seen over Thanksgiving weekend – 22 November – 26 November has been adapted worldwide and with a click of a button, millions of customers can now browse discounted products and offers from the comfort of their homes (say goodbye to 4am wake-ups!)

The lead-up to what we’ll affectionately term ‘Black Fiveday,’ provides a significant marketing opportunity for hotels and accommodation providers. The importance of knowing when searches are happening and the different touchpoints that a user makes, is crucial to the success of your online performance during this period.

So, why do you need to show up to the party?

The figures speak for themselves. According to the online retailers’ trade body IMRG:

‘A whopping *£1.39 billion was spent by consumers online in the UK on last year’s Black Friday alone!  39% of that spend was completed on a smartphone.’ tweet

Google announced at a recent talk that consumer purchasing trends are extending throughout the whole weekend and not just on Friday and Saturday; sales typically start on Thanksgiving Thursday and run through to Cyber Monday. This shows the importance of having a strong online presence in the lead up to and throughout the extended weekend.

Additionally, Bing’s 2017 vertical Insights reports show impressive statistics around online behaviour throughout Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In fact, **online spend over this seasonal period is almost on par with offline sales!

 

Customer intent during periods such as Cyber Monday and Black Friday is heightened, meaning we need to ensure our online presence is optimised and adapted for a different buying behaviour.

We reflect on what worked well for our customers in 2017, and look ahead at the strategies and best practices you should implement to ensure your hotel achieves the optimal performance during Q4.

What worked seasonally for Avvio customers in 2017?

Q4 2017 was one of our hotel customers most successful quarters for seasonal performance campaigns. From video to display advertising, to utilising the latest Avvio technologies –  we ensured a smooth end-to-end journey for both new and existing audiences.

Video was a key strategy for our online campaigns in 2017. Bumper Ads were crucial in 2017 and none more so, than for seasonal campaigns. Bumper Ads are displayed to a highly targeted audience and are a great way to create interest around upcoming offers. These 6 second non-skippable ads work well as teaser campaigns or when building up momentum to a sale such as Black Friday or Cyber Monday. We recommend using a strong call to action to lead the way.

Away from video and focusing on search campaigns, we found evidence which highlighted that features such as Google’s Countdown timer as well as Google’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday promo extensions aided click-through rate and conversion.

Online Gift Cards/Vouchers have grown in popularity over the years,  offering shoppers an easily accessible option ahead of the busy lead up to Christmas. These early purchase incentives work particularly well in November and could easily be implemented in the lead up to and throughout the Black Friday weekend. Don’t forget that the Avvio gift voucher booking engine allows you to promote strike-through pricing. E,g As part of a Black Friday offer you may wish to give £10 free for every £100 spent on a voucher.

What to remember when making seasonal updates to your website:

  • This goes without saying: be prepared and start planning now! Having tailored seasonal areas on your website is key to the success of your performance – not only from an SEO perspective, but also for user experience.
  • Remember to re-use old seasonal pages in order to keep any search ranking authority gained over previous years. Update the content and add any new images or relevant videos. If you don’t have previous pages, it’s important to create relevant landing pages. When creating these – and this might sound fairly fundamental – don’t forget that the name of the page must be relevant to the content of the page, for example: /black-Friday /discounted-deals-black-Friday. Once the page has been created, Avvio will optimise the Meta Data to ensure we target relevant, high search volume phrases.
  • Remember to always use lowercase letters in the page name and separate words with a hyphen.
  • Deep link to rates from the landing page.
  • Avoid duplication of content and pages.
  • Avoid using PDFs where possible as these can interrupt a user’s mobile experience.
  • Use emotive language to create a sense of urgency. Use phrases such as: ‘Limited Time Offer’, ‘48 Hours Only’ and reward loyal subscribers by offer them access to exclusive deals.
  • Audience Lists – Track your seasonal landing page so that you can use this data for next years campaigns.
  • Remarketing – Not everyone is going to buy on their first visit to the site which is where a strong remarketing campaign is recommended. Remarketing allows you to show an image or text ad to entice users back to the site to complete the transaction.
  • Build suspense and hype around your upcoming sale by posting about it in the run-up via email campaigns and social media posts. Explain what you want your customer to do by clearly outlining the call to action – click me, purchase/book now, view etc. As well as organic posts in Facebook, Paid Social Media Campaigns work well when there is a compelling offer in place. Such campaigns offer great targeting options with the overall objective of increasing conversions. We have found Facebook and Instagram to be the most successful channels from a conversion point of view.
  • Display can offer a great way to create awareness of your offers which can be shown on sites throughout the Google Display Network targeted through specific topics, interests or placements. Ensure your display image has details of the offer and a clear call to action to entice users to the website.
  • Assign sufficient budget to allow for the increase in demand. In the words of George Harrison: “But it’s going to take money, a whole lot of spending money”. Your E-Commerce Manager can provide you with our budget planning template where you can set budgets aside and maximise them during seasonal periods.

You can go your own way!

It’s important to remember that every audience is different and not every seasonal campaign will work for your property. Know your audience. Look at your historical data to show the buying and online behaviour, and onsite visitors from the previous year. Google Analytics has some fantastic information around your audience from their demographics to their geographics. If you are sending ezines, track their performance using UTM tracking so you can see where users clicked on your email for next year.  Also, remember to save down your ezine crm list! Your dedicated Avvio E-Commerce Manager can help you analyse this data to establish an effective promotional drive. Please email avvio.com for advice on implementing seasonal initiatives. Black Friday is just around the corner – don’t miss out on this opportunity to increase your hotel’s revenue before the festive season. Good luck from us all at Avvio!

*IMRG, Black Friday 2017 – online retail sales results, https://www.imrg.org/media-and-comment/press-releases/black-friday-2017-online-retail-sales-results/
**Bing UK Vertical Insights Report – Source: VoucherCodes.co.uk, CRR
By |2018-11-01T15:15:27+00:00October 31st, 2018|Booking Engine, Digital News|