Creating a global hotel digital marketing strategy is becoming increasingly challenging. Hotel digital marketing is no longer about booking engines and galleries with great pictures. The pictures and detailed information about a hotel’s services, room descriptions, availability, and pricing are not enough to truly compete for your potential guests’ attention in the global digital space. In order to thrive and be noticed in digital, you will always need to expand your marketing efforts and follow your guests into new channels and emerging digital networks.
To prepare for future digital marketing demands and global expansion, global digital marketing strategies for hotels need the right plan, resources and tools to provide a consistent multi-channel and multilingual experience for hotel guests.
This blog provides tips hotel marketers should consider when building a global hotel digital marketing strategy.
Optimize your Hotel Digital Marketing Strategy for Global Guests
Social Media Marketing for Hotels
The majority of travelers turn first to social media for information. Therefore it is critical to manage your social media channels effectively. Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube top the list for influential social media platforms. The best advice here is to study each social network and the benefit of each for your business before you start devoting your social media marketing efforts.
Social Media is not typically the same in every region or marketplace and in order to reach your potential guests you need to speak their language. This requires global marketers to localize channels, promotions, packages, menus and graphics for each market. You will also need to define which local network is effective. For instance in China, WeChat is the most popular social network and many others are blocked.
For a successful global social media strategy you will need to create and distribute content that addresses the following key attributes:
- The most popular local social media networks (varies from country to country).
- The languages used on the local social networks. It is important to appropriately localize content in a manner that makes it compelling and culturally appropriate.
- The modern languages and dialects used for communication on the local network (Arabic and Spanish regions have many spoken conversational dialects.)
- The trending topics in each country: what are the local market segments talking about.
- The target culture is extremely important and you will always need localization professionals to localize your communication and to provide advice about the content you are posting or sharing.
Global Search Engine Marketing for Hotels
Being indexed and found by search engines is very important for a hotel’s website and online content marketing efforts. Search engines are one of the most successful tools for online marketing.
Global search engine optimization should be a part of your website localization process. Most hotels have multilingual websites in several languages and in order to ensure success globally your multilingual websites should be optimized.
To localize your keywords effectively you need native search engine professionals to conduct market research and to research your keywords in order to provide the most effective keywords for each language and market. Keyword localization can critically impact your search results. To explain this, let me provide you with an example of keyword localization. In the UK, people usually search for “Holidays” using the keyword “Hols” which means when you are optimizing your website for the UK market, you need to consider the top keywords use in the local market such as “Hols”. However, this term is meaningless to the US market so people would not be using it to search and you would not need to optimize your web content for that keyword if targeting potential US visitors to your website.
Here is another example of the importance of culturally customized keyword search engine optimization. “Hospitality” is a common keyword in English referring to the hotel and travel business, however, when you translate it properly into Arabic the accurate translation would be”ضيافة” or “فندقة”. Although the translation is accurate these two keywords would not help your SEO or PPC campaign if you work in the hospitality industry and are looking for opportunities in the Arabic region. In the Arabic region, the most common word would be “فندق” which means “hotels” in English while the translation of the word “hospitality” would refer to “generosity” in Arabic culture.
Mobile Marketing for Hotels
Mobile is the fastest growing category in creating a hotel digital marketing strategy. Surprisingly, most recent reports show that mobile devices have become a traveler’s best friend.
The increasing growth in internet mobile users has had a major impact on the digital marketplace. Without mobile access, your website will not generate high visitor hit rates. Hotels should adjust their websites addressing the major mobile considerations including:
- Optimizing your website for mobile display and usability including different screen resolutions and Mobile browsers.
- Booking engines should be fully functional on mobile browsers with support of mobile operating systems.
- Optimize your website for mobile search engine.
- Hotel searching and booking activities are expanding on mobile applications and many travelers make decisions through mobile applications.
To create a hotel digital marketing strategy for global guests you need the right plan, resources and tools to reach your audiences. Creating multilingual content, establishing your brand on the top social media platforms, optimizing your content for mobile searches and localizing each step of your strategy will help your hotel be found by your global audiences.