Trends come and go; not only in the world of fashion, but certainly also in the world of hospitality. Working with content marketing for hotels, I witness digital trends and new marketing tools come and go on a regular basis, and I understand how overwhelming it can be for hotels and marketing managers to keep track! If you’re still in the process of choosing which marketing tools to work with this year – or if you’re simply curious on what’s currently going on in the world of digital marketing in relation to hospitality, this post is for you.
Chances are, you’ve already settled your marketing plan for the year – at least if you’re working for a larger hotel (chain). However, it’s never too late to adjust and take a look at what other properties are doing. There are lots of exciting marketing trends emerging and developing at the moment, but if I have to sum it up, it would sound something like this; less broadcasting and more interaction….which brings me to the first trends:
1. Engage and converse
A few years back, digital marketing was (also) about being visible in as many places as possible. In terms of social media, that meant spreading a brand’s message and identity across several different platforms and create NOISE. Yes, the more noise, the better. I was never a fan of this rather “aggressive” method, so the “focus and engage-trend” is sweet music in my ears. And it usually converts a lot better! It’s quite simple, really: share where your audience is listening. Find out where they engage and get into conversations with them. This doesn’t only apply to social media, but also to messaging apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. Twitter is an oldie, but still works – and of course, there’s the Chinese version of WhatsApp, WeChat, which is growing so rapidly, that it’s no longer possible to ignore. At least not if you’re also catering to the Chinese market. As of today, WeChat has almost reached a billion (!) daily users.
2. Pick your network (not just any network!)
As I mentioned above, hotels (especially boutique- and smaller hotels) will need to focus on fewer social media platforms and networks in order to tell their story and reach higher engagement. Find out which network works best for your specific hotel and excel there! It’s kind of like picking a niche.
I assume you already know the 3 largest networks by now: Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.
Facebook is great for live videos, targeted ads and deep integration of the messenger function. Instagram is the winner when it comes to aesthetic beauty – and apart from it being my personal favorite – the ‘stories’ function is an incredible tool for smaller hotels. In other words; Instagram is a solid tool when it comes to storytelling. Last, we have Twitter. In my opinion; the larger the hotel, the better results with Twitter. It’s still an important player in some industries. If this is interesting for you, take a closer look at their paid advertisement opportunities.
3. Be ready to go live
You’ve probably heard it before, but in 2019 it’s crucial for hotels: go live! Show yourself and tell your story – not only through photos, but also through video.
There are many different ways on how to go around video. One of them is short clips where you show bits and pieces of video content on e.g. Facebook and Instagram. Make use of the live videos on these platforms as well, as they’re worth gold in terms of storytelling and connecting with your audience.
“Live video is a leading social media trend for hotels in 2019”
4. Paid content beats organic
Like in any other industry, paid ads will (continue) to be one of the key digital media trends this year. If you choose Facebook as one of your marketing platforms, it’ll be obvious to look into paid social ads. Think about it for a second. The users of Facebook aren’t there to engage with brands – at least not in the same way they tend to do it on e.g. Instagram – so paying for ads is one of the only ways to get their attention. But this obviously demands that you know your target audience well. Again, Facebook and Instagram are the front runners when it comes to paid advertisement for hotels.
Over to you: how do you plan to engage with your audience this year? What’s your opinion about the current trends in hospitality marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments and let’s connect! 🙂