Hotels were hit hard by the coronavirus shutdowns. Many properties went from profitable to deep in the red. Once a room is empty for a night, that revenue is lost forever.
For many properties, the amount of money paid to referral websites is staggering. Imagine if you could shift a few hundred or even thousands of guests a year from booking through referral websites to booking directly on your website? How much would you save in referral fees by an even modest shift? It could be the difference between a disastrous year and profit. At the least, by making the shift, you could begin to catch up on lost profit.
The good news is, it is possible to take control of your destiny and get much more direct traffic bookings, but it requires three shifts in thinking about how a hotel is advertised and promoted.
Most properties won’t be able to make the shift. They are locked into thinking about advertising and promotion the same way they have for the last twenty years. They don’t deeply understand how search engines and the internet work, and they are afraid of failure. They cannot see the opportunity right in front of them, and it is a shame, because it is a relatively simple process that is proven to work.
The following three shifts in thinking are required to begin attracting internet traffic to your own website in order to book more guests directly.
Strategic Thinking Shift #1
Your website is not just a brochure of your property with a booking engine attached to it. It is a strategic asset that--if managed properly—can attract your ideal visitors in droves.
What most properties fail to do is think from the perspective of their visitor. Visitors are traveling to a destination for their own reasons. Maybe they are vacationing or are on a business trip. The hotel and accommodations are just a part of their trip. They may have thoughts of entertainment, sightseeing, eating out etc. If you can shift part of the focus of your website to being helpful to your audience, it can change everything for your property. The more valuable your website is to your audience the higher your brand’s reward will be. Visitors will mention you on social media and share your content with their friends. They will refer you to others and increase awareness of your brand within your target market. As your domain authority improves, the search engines will also reward you with increased organic traffic related to the content you created. It becomes a harmonic cycle. The more content you create, the more direct bookings you get and the greater your return on every marketing dollar.
Strategic Thinking Shift #2
Advertising and marketing dollars should be a long-term investment that produces revenue over the long term.
This may be the most difficult shift in thinking for most brands. They are used to running one-time Ad buys in magazines, television spots, or even as part of ongoing campaigns, and they fail to realize that spending money on developing content creates re-useable assets. Professionally created content often continues to produce results for years after it is first developed. It becomes an asset of the brand that increases profitability. It is one of the biggest differentiators between old school advertising and content marketing.
Strategic Thinking Shift #3
Sporadic, random acts of marketing are futile; in order to get the desired result, you must have a long-term strategy with a weekly and monthly execution plan.
Creating strategic content will not just manifest itself. It requires deliberate planning, market understanding, and expert execution. You must develop a wholistic process that helps you create content on a monthly basis that produces the results you need. Most companies wait until bookings are down to focus on marketing and then they are primarily focused on creating another one-time campaign. Content marketing is a much different idea. You want to produce a constant stream of new content that your target market and the search engines love. Don’t make the mistake of trying to game the search engines or to write for them. You are creating in order to be helpful to real people. The more helpful your content, the more you will be rewarded by the search engines and social media.
Primal Storytelling™ is a strategic business process that helps brands create uniquely human brand content that connects.
If you would like to learn more about how Primal Storytelling™ might help your brand tell its story, contact firstname.lastname@example.org