Preparing an annual digital marketing plan and budget is an essential task for all hotels at this time of year. It will help you come back after the Christmas break with a plan of action.
Assessing how your digital channels performed in 2017 will be key to improving and identifying future opportunities. For example, if content was a weakness due to resources, then focus on that and any fresh opportunities you haven’t looked at first.
Important questions to ask yourself include the following:
1. How did each of our channels perform in 2017? Where are the opportunities?
2. Where is there scope to expand revenue from these channels I.E. are you restricted by budgets or another element like creativity for designing graphics?
3. Look at the areas within your successful channels like PPC and see where the opportunities remain?
- Is your Display strategy on point? Consider all of the new targeting options like ‘Affinity Audiences’ and ‘In-Market Audiences’. Design effective image ads with messaging that really sells your hotel.
- Have you looked at Bing PPC – a very successful channel for lots of hotels which can be less competitive and sometimes cheaper than Google.
- Have you got a good spread of remarketing campaigns with good imagery?
4. If budgets are an issue have you considered the CPA (Cost Per Acquisition) model? This is a progressive way of managing your digital budgets. It applies a percentage of revenue generated, so each piece of business is capped at a 7-10% CPA for example. It stops the OTA’s dominating the PPC ads and Metasearch when your budgets have run out.
5. With well over 50% of traffic coming in on mobile are you making the most of this opportunity and is your site converting these bookers at a strong rate? Does your digital strategy maximise mobile bookings. Areas like mobile bid adjustments and mobile sitelinks all support this.
6. What new channels do we need to look at for next year? For example if you haven’t done any video advertising now is the time to get some great videos done that you can use for both Google and Facebook. It’s an area you can’t afford to ignore.
7. Have you got the right resources in place to develop your website in terms of content? With areas like voice search growing in popularity, having great content to meet the needs of this segment is so important. SEO traffic is still dominating as a source, so getting your content right is critical as you compete to convert lookers to bookers.
8. Are you capitalising on the Metasearch opportunity? Avvio’s Digital team is seeing huge growth in Metasearch revenue with an average CPA of 7.5% for our clients – so it’s an opportunity you can’t afford to ignore. Google in particular is leading the space, driving large revenue at the lowest CPA for hotels using it.
9. What are the goals for your different business segments? This can include weddings, conferences, golf and spa breaks – how can you make the most with effective targeting here? So many opportunities exist around social media and PPC, so ensure you are putting budget and resources into growing this part of your online business.
10. Plan your Book Direct and OTA Strategies now so you start 2018 with a fresh offering that can be implemented across all channels.
11. Create a plan with a timescale – aim to plan out the first 6 months of the year so you have action items for each month and a clear agenda to stick to.
12. Is my website still appealing? Websites usually have a maximum lifespan of 2-3 years, so ask yourself if your website is a good reflection of your property, or is it time for an overhaul? With the best digital strategy in the world, you won’t maximise direct bookings if your website is poor and behind the times. Don’t forget that Avvio’s Creative team can provide you with a best-in-class website.
To discuss any of this further please contact the Avvio Digital marketing team at firstname.lastname@example.org.