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Digital Marketing

Communicating your hotel offering to domestic travellers

26 May 2020

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In previous posts, we’ve talked about how to adjust your product, your audiences and your website in order to drive the maximum conversion focus. Now we would like to go into the final piece of the puzzle. Bringing all these elements together by guiding your perfect audiences to your well set-up site to find your optimised product. This will be done through a mix of different marketing channels.

We will take a look at email, Google Search Ads, Google Hotel Ads and social media as our four channels. We will focus on messaging, targeting and relative value of each channel to see which one can help you attract domestic travellers.

For some channels, other considerations will be budget and bidding. Important questions you should ask yourself are: How much do you want to spend on awareness and how much on conversion? How will you shift that budget from one to the other? And what do you want the pace of spend to be – a quick drive or a slow burn? If budget and bidding sound a bit overwhelming, let us know and we’ll be happy to guide you through the process.

Email Marketing

When is email marketing worth it?

Email marketing is a great investment if you have a solid list of email addresses available, which of course needs to be GDPR compliant. If done right, it’s a great tool to build loyalty which may ultimately result in conversions, as opposed to a purely conversion-focussed approach. If done wrong, you are quite likely to be throwing words into a void. 

How can I target email marketing?

Targeting starts with collecting data, so if you want to boost domestic travel, make sure you have your subscriber’s rough location. This can be collected at signup or populated automatically if your PMS is linked up to your CRM tool, such as MailChimp. However unfortunately, this data can usually not be collected retrospectively.

Further, we recommend targeting subscribers who have recently engaged with your business, and depending on other data you hold in your database, you want to seek out the repeat, high-value guests who will treat this as a holiday.

What message should I use for email marketing?

We generally encourage clients to create a healthy balance of editorial and promotional content. We recommend focussing on imagery, as text often gets lost in an email. Get someone interested with your best images and a compelling subject line. This doesn’t mean your newsletter can’t be wordy, but make sure you communicate the key message clearly and not hidden in a long paragraph. Your message should all be heavily influenced by the product you have created for this specific audience. If you are unsure about your audience, please read our previous blog post about creating buyer personas for domestic travel.

Google Search Ads

When are Google Search Ads  worth it?

This tactic works best when people are looking to convert again, i.e. when they are eventually ready to book. Therefore we wouldn’t encourage using Google Search Ads before lockdown is over and people are looking at last minute trips. However, once people are booking in larger numbers, this is a really key part of your strategy and is definitely worthwhile. We recommend working on your strategy now and using this time to prepare any setup work in the background – such as targeting, writing copy, sourcing images etc. This will ensure that you can hit the ground running post lockdown.

How can I target Google Search Ads?

If you know where people usually visit you from, you can specify these locations – right down to postcodes in some areas – so this is where you can get really specific. If you want to take it a step further, you can also use RLSA’s (remarketing lists for search ads) to show different ads to people who have recently interacted with your website. Find more about remarketing and dynamic remarketing here.

What message should I use for Google Search Ads?

The messaging to use on your Google Search Ads should give a clear indication of the term searched for and the purpose of your page, therefore you should have a large number of variations on a theme to account for the different keywords. 

Remember, your search ad will look similar to a Google search result, so you need the words to stand out and resonate with what the user is trying to achieve (e.g. book a romantic weekend to alleviate the stress from the past few months). If your search result looks like it might solve the user’s problem, they are much more likely to click through to your website.

Once the user has clicked through to the website, the main way you want your messaging to shine is on your landing page. This is the first page of your website the user will see when clicking on the ad. 

Landing pages should be:

Google Hotel Ads

When are Google Hotel Ads worth it?

For the most part, Google Hotel Ads are always worthwhile as the money you put into it is on a CPA (cost per acquisition) basis, so it will always give you a good return on investment. However, it will not drive sales until there is demand around so we would recommend setting this up and checking it to give an indication of demand increase.

We would love to chat about setting up your Google Hotel Ads – find out how we can help.

Social Media Ads

When are Social Media ads worth it?

This is worth getting set up as soon as possible as it is looking at driving aware customers into your other funnels as soon as their demand picks up.

How can I target Social Media ads?

As with Google ads, social media allows you to be very specific with interests. Using your domestic audiences and the tools that the Facebook/Instagram business manager gives you, you can create some very in-depth targeting strategies for your product. This can range from the user’s physical location to any demographic, interest- or behaviour-based information. For example, if you want to promote your ‘spa weekend for mothers’, you could use following targeting: Hertfordshire, female, 25-40, new parents, parents with toddlers etc

What message should I use for Social Media ads?

As with Google ads, the landing page will be key, however, the advert itself will be more crucial to the success of the campaign. As with everything on social media, this will only work with really engaging video or picture content. There are rules about putting limited text on the image so you need an image to draw attention and a short message that persuades users to follow the link to the landing page.

Get in touch with a marketing expert

Umi provide free 60 min consultations for any project!

We have a structured 60 minute session that explores all the areas of your inbound direct booking strategy for your hotel or travel business.