A recent survey from TravelClick on online marketing spending showed that as many as 40 percent of hoteliers have not increased marketing spending on Facebook year over year, with a further 34 percent not advertising on Facebook at all. The survey stated that hotels may be missing out on an opportunity to reach travelers, especially in a venue such as social media, which has a low cost for promotion.
According to TravelClick, one quarter of hoteliers are not marketing on Metasearch sites, but nearly all of them believe in the strength of TripAdvisor for both bookings and maintaining an online reputation. John Hach, SVP, global product management of TravelClick, says hotels still see social media as a brand awareness tool as opposed to one that leads to direct bookings.
This attitude toward online marketing may be outdated, as proven last month by the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego. Hospitality Internet marketer Cendyn/ONE reported that it was able to generate an additional $3.3 million in revenue for the hotel over a period between January and June 2013., a 34 percent year-over-year revenue growth and a 46 percent year-over-year increase in room nights.
The digital marketing campaign was constructed around the hotel's 125th anniversary, and resulted in 3,300 bookings and 9,100 room nights at a time when San Diego was listed at the bottom of the top 25 U.S. markets for hotel performance, where average daily rate only increased 2.1 percent from 2012.
The Mountain View Grand Resort & Spa in Whitefield, N.H., experienced a similar situation. The hotel turned to Vizergy to manage its online marketing, and the company updated its website to be better displayed across desktops, tablets and mobile devices. With improved page themes, website copy, metasearch descriptions and link distribution, the hotel was able to rank itself first on Google and Bing for 73 keyword phrases, raising the hotel's ROI and earning Vizergy a bronze Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Award.