The Internet is everywhere. Customers can browse and buy, anytime and anywhere. There are approximately 13.4 billion Internet-connected devices in the world and roughly two Internet-connected devices for everyone on the planet. Context is important to the connectivity conversation. For instance, hotel marketers need to think about where their guests are when they access information, what is most important to guests within those contexts and how marketers can use that information to drive consumers to book. Think about how you can segment customers by context: observe, measure and learn your customers’ pain points in each context.
We’re all publishers now. We need to help our customers find the content they need in the contexts that matter to them. Great content can lead to: product differentiation; more inbound website links; websites that are “sticky” and convert at a higher rate; engaged customers and an increase in loyalty; and the ability to leverage social media channels. Marketers need to cut through the clutter and create content that is: snackable: simple text, easy to read and easily scanned; shareable: use imagery to convey your brand because images sell; and sharp: content should be large, bold, clear and should answer customers’ questions quickly.
Deep customer insights. Guests are leaving digital footprints. This data gives access to deep customer insights into what your customers really care about. Data can highlight customer behaviors, wants and desires; leads to product, promotion, placement and pricing decisions; and cannot be easily duplicated by the competition. Marketers should be willing to start small. “This isn’t about big data; it’s about big questions. What are the things that matter to your guests? What are the questions that they have? And how can you use the data that is created to help them answer those questions and help them make a booking decision?”
Storytelling. Storytelling should be kept top of mind when it comes to content marketing. If you are trying to tell your story and differentiate, your website needs to be more like a book, more like you’re telling a story and more engaging. This is going to make people want to come in and visit and learn a little bit more: a) Sell the experience with a consistent story. b) Make pictures easily viewable across different devices c) Incorporate video to engage customers (keep it short for mobile users) d) Use Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest to share photos e) Create a YouTube channel
Design for mobile. Hoteliers need to keep mobile in mind for marketing as travelers will often abandon non-mobile-optimized websites. When it comes to designing for mobile: a) Leverage unique capabilities (swipe, zoom and pinch features) b) Make the experience easy with features such as click-to-call and interactive maps c) A mobile-optimized booking engine is mandatory.