The internet has made the real world feel a lot smaller, but with that comes an online world that’s never been more cluttered. How can your property truly stand out from competitors and thrive as an online business? We explain how a strong online presence and brand identity comes from trying different kinds of digital marketing.
Following our recent blog post on establishing your online presence with a property website, we thought we’d take a look at the next logical step: extending your online reach and appeal via digital marketing. This may sound daunting if you haven’t been active in this area previously, but all of the channels we list below are easily accessible for first-time marketers.
4 ways to boost your online brand and increase bookings
1. Social media
Social media marketing is a cheap and effective way of boosting your online presence. All of the main players offer something a little different, so it’s important to spend some time researching each before deciding which medium works best for promoting your brand identity.
Instagram’s great for sharing inspiring photos that make your audience dream of their next trip. Twitter’s useful for quick interactions, witty one-liners, and keeping tabs on trends or real-time events that might affect your business. Facebook blends both written and visual communication – with video increasingly important. Facebook Ads offers an easy first step into digital marketing, letting you target existing followers or new audiences also interested in travel.
Whichever social media channels you choose to spread your message on, be sure to link your posts to your property website and share other peoples’ related content, too. That way you’ll broaden your network and attract new followers – think of it like a domino effect. There are also a number of useful tools that can help you schedule your social media posts, helping you plan your strategy and save time in the long run.
2. Email marketing
Although social media is viewed as the fun new plaything in marketing these days, not all of your guests will be media-savvy millennials (or even Generation X-ers). Email marketing can still be a very effective channel for engaging, retaining and attracting all kinds of guests.
First, you’ll need a contact list. You could ask guests for their email details during check-in, place an eye-catching sign-up list in reception, or offer a small freebie as an incentive. Then, you could experiment with e-newsletter marketing to promote special deals and upcoming events, request guest reviews or send guests an inspirational reminder of their happy stay.
And to close the loop, how about an “add me” request to follow your property on your chosen social media channel(s)?
3. Content marketing
The term ‘content marketing’ has become a bit of a buzzword in recent years. All it really means is using various kinds of online content – articles, images, blogs, vlogs (video blogs), podcasts – to engage a particular audience. So rather than directly selling, you’re building a relationship with potential guests by sharing content that complements your brand identity. In the long run, if your audience finds this interesting and relevant, you’ll be in their thoughts when it comes to making a booking.
Starting a blog offers the simplest route into content marketing – you can even turn one of your website pages into a blog and take it from there. Start small and post once a week, sharing something unique about yourself, your property or your location. You could also collaborate with another local business, utilise their services and expertise, or invite them to guest blog on your site.
The important thing is to try different kinds of content, have fun with it, and see what works for your property and audience. If you’re not doing it, someone else will – pulling in potential guests and direct bookings that could have been yours in the process. With the above-mentioned tips offering a solid basis for developing your own strategy, you should be more than ready to strengthen your brand identity and online presence.
Why not start today with a blog post on your website? No website? No problem.
Take the simple first step in building your online presence – with a website in minutes
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