Become a Marketing Mixmaster: How To Get The Most Out of Each Marketing Channel

Unlock the full potential of your marketing efforts with our guide on mastering the marketing mix.

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June 11, 2024

When promoting a property, hotel marketers use a mix of channels. You’ve likely used social media, display ads, or search engine marketing (SEM) to get your property in front of travelers. Deploying ads with the right messaging at the right time can be an incredibly effective way to encourage travelers to book. However, which channels you choose to use and when are equally important. As travelers move through the marketing funnel, where they gather information changes–and, if you show them relevant ads at the right moment, they’re more likely to book.

Here's our guide to the channels you should incorporate to boost direct bookings at every stage of the hotel marketing funnel.

The Full-Funnel: Discover–Plan–Book–Engage

The hotel marketing funnel spans four essential stages, beginning when a consumer starts dreaming of a trip and ending with the type of experience the guest has at your property. Each stage requires tailored marketing strategies to ensure a seamless and memorable journey for the traveler.

Each stage of the funnel presents an opportunity to engage with potential guests and inspire them to book with your property. Selecting the right channels and crafting the right messaging is crucial for guiding guests down the funnel.

Discover

In the Discover phase, travelers are initially considering a trip, still exploring various destinations and vacation ideas. They may be drawn to broader themes like tropical getaways or mountain adventures, seeking inspiration from content across social media and other visual platforms.

This is where your property can shine by leveraging captivating images and videos to showcase local attractions and experiences. By offering visually appealing content that highlights the beauty and allure of your destination, you can capture the attention of these dreamers and pique their interest.

 

  • Unbranded Search Engine Marketing (SEM) targets generic keywords unrelated to your hotel brand, engaging early-stage researchers and tapping into their initial interest in accommodations, amenities, and destinations.
  • Display Advertising Prospecting captivates potential hotel guests through compelling ads displayed on websites and apps, effectively boosting brand awareness and capturing attention for your property.
  • Video Advertising communicates brand messages using visuals and sound, creating dynamic, interactive narratives that resonate with viewers across platforms like websites, social media, and YouTube.
  • Facebook and Instagram Advertising offer a range of ad formats, including images, videos, and slideshows, to engage expansive user bases, enhancing brand visibility, traffic, engagement, and overall marketing success through compelling visuals.
  • Connected TV (CTV) enables precise ad targeting using viewer data, similar to digital ads, allowing you to deliver relevant ads to specific audiences on their streaming services, then enhancing the effectiveness of your hotel marketing campaigns.

Plan

During the Plan phase, travelers transition from dreaming to action, actively seeking to turn their travel aspirations into reality. They narrow down their top choices of destination, compare accommodation options, scrutinize activities, and weigh pricing considerations, gradually crafting their itinerary.

At this stage, travelers are on the hunt for properties that align with their preferences and budgets. Hoteliers can seize this opportunity to captivate them by showcasing not only competitive pricing but also enticing amenities or distinctive features that set their property apart. By engaging travelers during the planning phase, you can effectively convey why your property deserves a coveted spot on their shortlist, influencing their decision-making process.

  • Metasearch ensures your properties are well-represented during the planning phase. Optimize content and pricing to captivate travelers' initial interest and entice them to consider your offerings.
  • Native Advertising integrates informative content into travel-related websites. Guide users through the research phase, and aid in their booking decisions with valuable insights.
  • Display Prospecting and Retargeting attract potential travelers with compelling ads. Use retargeting strategies to reconnect with and convert users who have previously shown interest.
  • Branded SEM focuses on users already acquainted with your brand, reinforcing their awareness and loyalty. In contrast, Unbranded SEM targets individuals actively exploring destinations and accommodations, capturing their interest during the decision-making process.
  • Video Advertising uses captivating visual narratives to inspire and educate potential travelers. Showcase property highlights, amenities, and experiences to leave a lasting impression.

Book

As your traveler finalizes their itinerary, transitioning from dreamer to guest, they enter the crucial booking stage. At this point, they may be weighing options between different hotels. It's imperative to seize this opportunity by delivering tailored messaging or competitive pricing to secure the direct booking. By strategically positioning your property with compelling offers or incentives, you can effectively influence their decision-making process and ultimately drive conversions.

  • Metasearch ensures accurate pricing and availability details, promoting direct bookings, and actively managing your online reputation to attract potential guests.
  • Native Advertising uses persuasive content in relevant travel platforms, guiding prospective guests towards finalizing their reservations with your hotel brand.
  • Display Retargeting reconnects you with potential guests who have previously shown interest, encouraging them to complete their reservations and secure their bookings.
  • Branded SEM campaigns capture the attention of travelers actively seeking your specific hotel brand, facilitating direct bookings and optimizing your conversion rates.
  • Facebook and Instagram Advertising engages potential guests during the final stages of their decision-making process, leveraging compelling calls-to-action and streamlined digital experiences to drive conversions.

Engage

As you celebrate securing that coveted direct booking, it's time to shift focus to maximizing the guest experience. In the Engage phase, we'll explore how to foster lasting engagement with travelers after they've booked by orchestrating a range of personalized experiences. This journey begins with pre-arrival communication, where a warm welcome and helpful details set the stage for their stay. Once they arrive, customized amenities and attentive concierge services ensure guests feel genuinely cared for throughout their visit.

  • Real-Time Chat streamlines guest interactions and handles common queries and routine requests in real time. Use this channel to offer mid-stay upsells and inform guests about the diverse range of options available to them.
  • Reputation Management is used to monitor online reviews, respond to feedback, and implement improvements to enhance guest satisfaction, trust, and the overall hotel experience. Improving your reputation will also positively impact your insurance premiums, saving your property money in the long run.
  • Social Media is a fantastic platform to share daily local highlights, exclusive discounts, and interactive challenges. By incorporating user-generated content, you can further foster community engagement and enhance guests' enjoyment throughout their stay.
  • Email and SMS empower your upselling and cross-selling efforts, audience segmentation, and dynamic messaging.

Download our comprehensive ebook now, The Hotel Marketer’s Playbook: A Guide to Navigating the Marketing Funnel, to discover expert strategies and innovative tools that will elevate your service, boost guest satisfaction, and drive more revenue.

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