Friday, September 21, 2018

Hit the OTAs with a rebound: Five direct booking strategies for hotels

Love them or hate them, the online travel agencies are here to stay.

Smart hotels know they must take control of their data and deploy smart marketing strategies to lure guests to book direct, which provides the lowest cost per acquisition and builds customer loyalty.

Maintain your (paid search) brand share

Since search engine advertising space is now at the half-fold mark, consumers must scroll half a page to see organic results. Ads take up half the page and in case you weren’t aware, the Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) are bidding on your hotel’s brand terms.

So, how do you deal? Maximise your paid search brand impression share to sit at 90 percent or higher.

Bid for your own key terms, especially exact match, so your ads show up first.

If you have $100 to spend, bid on your own brand terms vs. non-brand terms. Your money goes further, aided by the Google quality score, which recognises what a consumer is searching for and the most direct route to finding it, e.g your accommodation website.

Remarket to hotel researchers

For most travellers, hotel research spans about two weeks, with consumers browsing a plethora of sites in search of the best deals and travel experiences.

To stay top of mind and finish strong, awareness and re-engagement campaigns are critical.

The point is to influence various parts of a traveller’s research process throughout the buying journey.

This is done through display advertising and, ironically, enough purchasing data sourced by the OTAs to build audiences with travellers searching for hotels like yours.

Custom targeting can be created piecing together relevant data segments and behaviours, including income and travel intent details.

About Casey Munck

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