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.
We entered the digital era years ago but the magnanimity of digital marketing was not realised by hospitality businesses until the last decade.
Come 2020, 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 hospitality digital marketing 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.
Let’s get on with the top hospitality digital marketing trends now.
To begin, here are some of the digital marketing trends that were hot in the past and are hotter in 2020.
Recently Google launched the mobile-first index feature which clearly provides an indication to all businesses to invest in mobile technologies and personalised experiences.
In the past years, we have seen a greater prominence of a lot of advanced digital marketing techniques. So, here’s in a nutshell what has been trending in the digital arena in general across industries.
- Marketing automation
- Structured data & semantics
- Live streaming, chatbots
- Artificial intelligence
- Personalised services
- Mobile-first strategy
- Greater use of analytics
- Big Data and the Internet of Things
A lot of these are trending in our hospitality world and are extremely relevant to the hospitality and travel industry.
Let’s now cover the top trends in digital marketing relevant to the hospitality industry in further details.
Content Marketing and SEO
Importance of digital marketing is immense for the success of any hospitality organisation. Digital marketing for hotels would hold the key to sustained competitive advantage in 2019 and beyond.
Global Hospitality Portal has been stressing on the importance of high-quality content to succeed in any business today, let alone the hospitality industry.
Content marketing is a key digital marketing strategy for the hotel industry.
As a business, you need to be present on the world wide web and that too in style. Content marketing, thus, is one of the key digital marketing trends in the hospitality industry.
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 key takeaways are the longer attention span, greater reach, organic growth and more. Digital marketing strategy for the hotel industry now relies a lot on carefully created content and its promotion.
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. No hotel digital marketing strategy is complete without a mobile-first strategy.
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. Speed of your website is crucial. If your website is built using CMS like WordPress, it is equally important to check website and server speed. You can check the mobile speed of your WordPress website and server speed on tools.pingdom, GT Metrix, Pagespeed developers tools on Google and more similar platforms.
Importance of digital marketing in the hospitality industry is huge and going mobile is the way forward for success.
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.
Digital marketing for the hotel industry must include automation as the hotel industry is always tight in terms of staffing.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning in hospitality
Digital marketing for hotels and all hospitality organisations must be reliant on advanced technology.
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 a 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 in terms of enhancing customer experience, digital personalisation, connecting the physical and digital world and more.
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. These are extremely relevant in 2020 as well.
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.