You know that direct bookings are important for your business. They help you own the guest experience, manage the relationship, and allow you to build brand loyalty and upsell. But earning that direct booking is becoming increasingly difficult. There are over 500 touchpoints a customer can have before completing a booking, and sometimes more. The modern traveler searches across several devices and channels, and to get the brand awareness and earn the direct booking, you need to be where they are.
Thus, the importance of a multichannel strategy. On average, Sojern customers that adopted three channels: display, Facebook, and SEM, saw their number of conversions double.
So, what do we mean by multichannel?
Your traveler is constantly browsing online, checking Facebook and Instagram, completing Google searches, and using metasearch sites like Kayak or Google Hotel Ads to find the right place to book.
While travelers are still in the discovery phase, engage them with video, as this stage is great for converting with visuals and storytelling. Have a gorgeous property on a golf course and several amenities? Operating an attraction with zip lines that give riders incredible views? Showcase your offerings through video and inspire travelers that are dreaming of a getaway to learn more.
Then, once you’ve inspired that traveler to learn more about your brand with a video, you can use programmatic display advertising to showcase your offerings as they browse the web. With programmatic display advertising, use several appealing ad formats, like banner ads, at every stage of the path to purchase, from desktop to mobile, to engage the right traveler at the right time. For ads that blend seamlessly into the content a potential traveler is viewing and drive brand awareness, native advertising is highly effective at guiding users through the path to purchase, especially in the upper and middle funnel.
With 5 million businesses advertising on Facebook each month and billions of monthly users to engage with, it’s a channel you can’t afford to not compete on. Advertising on Facebook provides another seamless experience for your potential traveler, as the ads served appear native to the platform. Travelers spend five times more time on Facebook than any travel-related touchpoint.
Why Multichannel is Important
A traveler has a loose idea that they’d like their next vacation to be on a beach, sipping mai tais. While watching their favorite influencer on YouTube, they see your ad showcasing your beach location, and begin dreaming of your destination and want to discover more.
But, it’s late, and they finally turn off the computer and go to bed. The next morning, as they’re browsing the web, they see your banner ad, which reminds them to do more research on your property.
They visit their favorite metasearch site to look at rates and availability. Now is the time to drive your direct booking message home, and thankfully, they visit your site, not only to book, but to add on an amenities package they saw advertised on Facebook.
This is only one traveler, for one trip, across four channels. Now imagine the infinite possibilities when you think of those 500 touchpoints, and that researching and booking a trip often occurs over months, not a few days. If you had only ran metasearch, for example, you could have missed that customer.
These channels are key in driving direct bookings and must work together to help you get in front of the right traveler at the right time. Sound complicated? Check out our webinar to learn how to put a multichannel strategy in place.
Sojern’s Digital 101 Webinar Series: Understanding Multichannel Marketing
In this five-part webinar series, Sojern provides an in-depth overview of the digital marketing landscape for travel marketers with practical tips, advice and real-world examples of how hotels, attractions, and destinations can use digital advertising to drive bookings.
In this webinar, Emily Dille, Director of Marketing Communications at Classic Hotels & Resorts, joined Kurt Weinsheimer, Sojern’s Chief Solutions Officer, to provide an overview of the multi-channel digital advertising landscape. They walk through all the major channels including metasearch, Facebook, Instagram, programmatic display, and search and explain where each channel fits into the traveler’s path to purchase.
Please download the slides here.
Valencia Hotel Group achieved a 9X ROI when they went multichannel.