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Digital Marketing: Why Does the Hospitality Sector Get It so Wrong?

Customer experience and interaction with your hospitality brand goes further and beyond the exterior of your establishment, or the exceptional food and service you offer. How about your customers digital experience with your brand?

You need to be offering your customers a communication service that integrates digital marketing, as dictated by the way customers expect to be able to interact with brands nowadays. 

A website is the most critical marketing and sales tool 

Yet why does the hospitality industry still get it so wrong?

Jon Ellard, Director at Urban Element has 10 years experience in the hospitality industry. From experience and current connections with the industry, Jon is aware that the perception most owner managers have towards embracing "digital" are that they have no time, trained or dedicated resources and they are complacent with the old ways of marketing: newspaper advertising, notice boards radio, etc. 

Search engines are effective tools in driving relevant traffic to your website

Are you aware that consumer research on local searches showed that restaurants and cafes are the most common local search? That means that search engines are the most effective tools in driving targeted traffic to your website. If you haven't considered  digital marketing, you are missing an opportunity to market your brand to a large amount of people with an interest in your service.

However, within the hospitality industry, hotels for ex+ample, more than 95% of traffic going to a hotel website leave without completing or making a purchase / booking / enquiry. Many factors contribute to visitors leaving after a few seconds:

  • Information not being readily available
  • No reviews
  • Poor user experience 
  • Uninspiring content 
  • Bad imagery
  • No opportunity for prospective customers to interact with your brand 

When it comes to engaging your visitor, everything on your website matters. It is therefore, vital that you focus on your search relevancy for customers to query; that your content is fresh, appealing and engaging, aligning with your brand 's identity; that you'v e integrated into your marketing strategy a social media presence . This combination will help you convert your relevant traffic into customers, and hopefully loyal and returning customers. 

Incorporate your brand into your website and marketing strategy

A marketing strategy is essential and one that you need to analyse and evaluate to make sure you are effectively marketing your company digitally, aiming to increase your conversion rate. At Urban Element we help our clients build a website strategy with an online marketing audit. This allows the client and ourselves to work together to develop goals.

The hospitality industry is hugely competitive and saturated, making brand differentiation challenging as generic features build within this sector. By focusing on your brand identity your story, what makes you unique, and combining this with a digital marketing communication strategy, you will become a firm competitor within your market.

If you are a small to medium hospitality business and don't have an in-house marketing department, the task of kick starting a digital marketing campaign doesn't need to be overwhelming. 

Watch out for Part 2 for important and useful tips

Part 2 will provide you with useful and important tips that are often overlooked. These tips are integral for you to maintain and drive revenue, keep connected with the ever-evolving consumer, and open your business up to opportunity through:

The benefits of embracing digital marketing go far beyond the initial engaging and responding to your consumers' developing relationship with technology. You will have the ability to collate information and gain customer insight allowing you to understand your consumers better. This information can be used to help customize your marketing efforts, offering and improving your customer service by enabling you to identify how your customers interact with your brand.

For part 2, please visit: Digital Marketing: Why Does the Hospitality Sector Get It so Wrong? Part 2

Contact us if you would like to discuss the effectiveness of your marketing strategy.



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