Digital marketing has to be an indispensable part of the marketing strategy for any hotel business in the current technology era. In this article, we have compiled the top digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry in 2019 and beyond.
Digital marketing for hotels would hold the key to sustained competitive advantage in 2019 and beyond.
We entered the digital era years ago but the magnanimity of digital marketing was not realised by hospitality businesses until the last decade.
Come 2019, almost every hotel business is investing wisely in digital marketing to gain a competitive advantage over competitors.
Without any further ado let’s jump into the topic about digital marketing in the hospitality industry and the trends that are going to transform the hospitality industry in 2019 and beyond.
Our earlier article, we have covered some of the best tools and marketing strategies for the hotel industry.
Why Digital Marketing holds the key to success for the hospitality industry?
In this post, we also focus on Digital Marketing strategies for the hospitality industry. A focus only on digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry was long due.
Let’s first have a look at this image by Maven E-Commerce on the importance of digital marketing in 2018 and beyond.
This explains why digital marketing would be key to the success of the hotel industry and the hospitality and travel industry on the whole.
While the image depicts the trends for 2017 and beyond, it is a good start to understanding why digital marketing in the hotel industry is on a rise and is a needed more than ever for a competitive advantage.
Have a look.
As evident from the infographic, digital marketing would transform the hotel industry with the focus on augmented reality, blockchain and artificial intelligence.
The study reveals a few crucial things which we can relate to the hospitality and travel industry.
- Consider the fact that the behaviour of 1 billion people is going to be altered. Without a proper digital media strategy, a lot of hospitality businesses may find themselves struggling in a couple of years.
- Another fact reveals that 100 million people will shop in augmented reality by 2020 and the importance 7 digital media giants will play in consumer behaviour.
- Blockchain is set to gain in prominence and will dictate a lot of digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry and elsewhere.
If these numbers don’t get the hotel managers excited about pumping some fresh energy into their digital media strategy then what will?
Let’s get on with the top digital marketing trends now.
Top Digital Marketing Trends in the hospitality industry
Now let’s have a look at few of the top-rated digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry in 2019 and beyond.
Before we do so, here are some of the digital marketing trends that were hot in 2018 and are hotter in 2019.
Recently Google launched the mobile-first index feature which clearly provides an indication to all businesses to invest in mobile technologies and personalised experiences.
The below infographic provides in a nutshell what has appeared in the digital arena in 2018 which is going to gain prominence in 2019 and beyond. Have a look!
Image by – Insideout Today
Let’s now cover the top trends in digital marketing relevant to the hospitality industry in further details.
Content Marketing and SEO
Global Hospitality Portal has been stressing on the importance of high-quality content to succeed in any business today, let alone the hospitality industry.
As a business, you need to be present on the world wide web and that too in style.
Search engine strategy (SEO) is not a complete technical thing anymore. It’s more about doing things the right way to suit your target audience.
Here’s an infographic by Viralblog to stress the importance of Content marketing.
The hospitality industry is extremely competitive.
Every customer is vying for better deals for them.
It is thus important to engage with customers in a positive manner. Content marketing is one of the most important ways to engage with existing and new customers.
A lot of top hospitality companies use a mix of content, images and videos to leave a long term impact on existing and potential customers.
Well, what they do is backed by a lot of research.
Mobile websites have been important for many years now.
However, they are not a delight anymore for customers. Customers expect an extremely interactive and lightning-fast mobile website.
A great mobile website would definitely increase direct bookings of hospitality organisations dramatically.
A great mobile strategy would also do wonders to your profitability.
Do you know how a lot of websites loose on a slow and irrelevant mobile website?
According to research by ThinkwithGoogle, a slow website can deflect your potential customers to the competitor hospitality business.
How so? Check the increase in bounce or leaving rate of the customer with decreasing mobile website speed.
Moreover, the millennials are on mobile and so are most of the travellers.
Your mobile website is going to be your brand in the future.
Thus the mobile-first strategy is crucial to support your overall digital marketing strategy.
Automation of Marketing
Technology has made things simpler for hospitality organisations.
A lot of hotel management software now run most of your Hotel business. A hotel manager relies on technology right from reservations to check out and everything in between.
Apps and robots are being introduced to provide customer delight.
So, why not expose your marketing to various automation tools.
Here’s what you can achieve by automating some or most of your marketing activities.
Image Courtesy- Plug Talent
It is, however, crucial to understand that technology is not just to impress. It should definitely add value and thus regular monitoring and evaluation of the automated marketing activities are crucial.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in hospitality
Artificial Intelligence in the Hospitality industry will be a game-changer in the coming years for sure.
The use of AI certainly is one of the topmost digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry in 2018 and beyond.
The key to using AI is that it can understand the human context. The computer algorithm can enhance its capabilities as well as update and improve itself.
Machine learning is pretty much similar to AI which is the advanced version.
AI can dramatically change the game of digital marketing in the hospitality industry.
Well, the whole idea of marketing is to attract and retain customers. AI would help automated system target individuals.
The marketing efforts can be extremely personalised and dynamic with the use of AI. Can the hospitality industry ask for more?
Other trends using Big Data/Data Analytics and Internet of Things
The future is exciting for digital marketing for hospitality managers.
Big Data is making big strides in every digital media strategy. Digital marketing in hospitality is becoming more and more important. Big Data and Data analytics are going to help big time in winning customer through impacting customer touch points.
Think of the impact of data analytics in the hotel industry on the digital marketing strategy.
Data analytics can go hand in hand with AI to help understand the customers even better than the customer do themselves. The idea is to provide the service which the customer is about to think of.
Marketers aim to create delight by changing habits through advanced analytics and machine learning tools.
We have already moved to a digital age. Impact of IoT on Digital Marketing is going to be huge as well as displayed in the image below.
Top-Rated Digital Marketing Tool and Technique in 2019
So, let’s revisit the techniques that will be crucial for the digital marketing strategy of hospitality businesses.
These would continue to be the top digital marketing trends in 2018, 2019 and beyond. These tools would help hotels strengthen their digital marketing strategy that will help gain a competitive advantage in the coming years.
The below strategy and tools will add a lot of energy and pace to your existing strategy. Most of the hotel businesses now acknowledge the importance of these techniques.
However, these are grossly underutilized in the digital marketing perspective. Even more when we consider the usage of these digital marketing techniques in the hospitality and travel industry.
Image courtesy- Medium
Google Keyword planners and Google Trends are already quite popular tools to automate a lot of your digital marketing efforts.
You might already be using a lot of these tools involuntarily. The hospitality industry can use more of these highly-rated digital marketing tools in 2018 and beyond.
From Siri to Alexa to Facebook audience insights, there are a lot of digital marketing tools which you can benefit from at no or very low cost.
Check out more digital marketing tools in this article by Medium.
Here you go. Over to the hospitality superstars now to make your digital marketing strategy shine. Digital marketing is not only a buzzword today. Digital marketing is reshaping the hospitality industry by changing the dynamics of consumer behaviour, revenue management and profitability.
We mentioned a few of the top digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry in 2019 while quickly touching a few of the tools and techniques.
Your competitors are automating a lot of their digital marketing efforts already to focus on revenue generation and other meaningful tasks.
It’s time all hotel businesses embrace technology to raise their digital marketing efforts a notch higher.