SAN DIEGO—In today’s fast-moving digital age, unless you’re constantly reviewing journals and forums, online and social media trends can be hard to keep up with. It’s important that hospitality brands stay at the forefront of digital innovation to target audiences on the online platforms where they spend their time. Oster and Associates, a full-service marketing and branding firm, offers this overview of some of the top online marketing tactics that hospitality brands can take advantage of during 2016.
Capture your customers during micro-moments
Micro-moments are the times throughout the day when a consumer consults their smartphone to do something instantaneously, such as research a fact a friend just mentioned, shop for an item of clothing they just saw a stranger wearing, look up a nearby restaurant for lunch or check prices for upcoming weekend flights to Chicago. Because customers function in micro-moment tidbits of time, so should your brand. This means considering how your website is navigated. It should be mobile-friendly and intuitive to a customer’s needs, featuring a personalized experience through geo-targeting, demographic information and established behaviors. Consider how you can serve your customers the information they need before they even ask for it.
Videos should be a large portion of your social media content
Customers want to experience your brand as much as possible before choosing to spend their money at your establishment. Videos offer a chance to give them a bite-sized glimpse of your company. In addition to video-based social media platforms such as Periscope, most existing platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, have incorporated video capabilities. And, 360-degree video technology is changing the game. Hospitality and tourism brands can utilize videos to showcase their product with potential customers around the world.
Tailor email campaigns to your various audience groups
Email campaigns are effective channels to share your brand with consumers and create long-term relationships with existing customers. Compared to other industries, the hospitality industry experiences one of the highest open-rates for emails. Capitalize on your already-engaged audience and provide content specific for each group. For example, we know that families tend to plan their vacations months in advance, so if you are a family-oriented brand, create and schedule email campaigns that engage your target audience during their vacation-planning phase. Additionally, with the expected increase of business travelers, consider how to engage with the bleisure traveler – the one who tacks additional days on to a business trip in order to enjoy leisure time while in a different city. Try targeting this group using email campaigns that promote weeklong stays with leisure options, such as restaurants or tours, over the weekend.
“While the platforms and technology may change, one thing remains constant: customers want to feel valued,” said Karin Salas, Oster and Associates vice president. “Even in a technology-driven world, consumers want a personalized experience. Brands can use new online and social media tools to connect with potential customers, creating customized moments that engage them with your brand.”