An astounding 9 in 10 internet experiences starts with a search engine, so a solid Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy is a necessity. But for independent hoteliers, this is often easier said than done. Running and optimizing SEM successfully takes a lot of time – something that many hotel teams don’t have enough of in the first place!
This is the situation in which the team at Eat.Drink.Sleep (EDS) found itself. Priding itself in the unexpected, EDS operates in what are traditionally considered ‘secondary’ or lesser-known destinations, and establish their properties as the premier hotels in market. The EDS team partnered with Sojern on a solution as forward-thinking as the brand, overcoming their SEM hurdles with minimum risk or hassle.
Search proves to be a thorn in the side
The EDS team knew SEM’s importance, but time and resource constraints meant that it was just not a core focus. Demands on hoteliers are high enough, without the added burden of running effective SEM. “SEM was really a thorn in my side,” said Stacy Warner, Director of Sales and Marketing at EDS. “I know it’s important, but we really didn’t have anyone dedicated to doing it.” Because of this, results were minimal. “We didn’t see a lot of bookings,” Warner continued, “Less than 20 bookings a month.” The team needed a way to make SEM work that didn’t take up any internal bandwidth.
An innovative brand gets an innovative solution
As a RevDirect™ client, Sojern approached the EDS team to pilot a performance-based search solution. In addition the targeted programmatic display campaigns Sojern ran on behalf of EDS through RevDirect™, this same pay-for-performance based pricing was extended to SEM.
Although EDS wasn’t “actively looking for an SEM provider,” explained Warner, Sojern’s search model allowed them to be more competitive in the search market and took the hassle of SEM off their plate, without any risk. As Warner describes, “the performance based model was just such an easy sell to us.”
Sojern ran SEM for three EDS properties: Tower23, The Padre Hotel, and the Lakehouse Hotel and Resort. The results were significant and almost immediate. Within the first five months of adding SEM to EDS’ RevDirect™ campaigns, Sojern drove 2X more direct bookings overall, and 301 additional direct bookings driven solely by search. This added an additional $118,828 to the EDS bottom-line, completely risk free.
“We are absolutely thrilled with the results of adding in SEM with RevDirect™, this has been a great fix for us,” Warner shares. Through managing EDS campaigns across search and display, Sojern ensured that EDS featured more often on the top-of-page search results, driving more direct bookings overall.
Are you ready for RevDirect™ to take care of your display and search efforts to drive more direct bookings, risk-free? Get in touch with one of our travel specialists now.