There is little question that the pandemic affected the way the hospitality business, particularly hotels, operated. As we gradually return to a more “normal” way of life, these businesses will need to refocus their efforts and develop a new marketing strategy in 2022. Hotels will need to seek to leverage their efforts as technology advances in order to stay up with the continuous changes within the ever-evolving marketing industry, adjusting to new pressures and expectations. FLOCC provides an overview of our forecasts for the top hotel marketing trends to watch out for this year.
Increased focus on maximising direct bookings
It is indisputable that OTAs (online travel agencies) have had a substantial impact on how the travel industry operates. The argument between OTAs and direct bookings has existed for a long time, but it is evident that the former is here to stay and should be effectively utilized by hotels (despite the average commission charge of 15 per cent). The emphasis is now on increasing direct bookings through a range of marketing strategies, as well as ensuring that websites are optimised to the highest standards to guarantee consumers have a flawless experience when booking directly.
Short-form video content
In 2022, we will see a lot more short-form video content, particularly on prominent social media platforms like Tik Tok and Instagram. Video content is more fun and engaging, and it is typically one of the top reasons why people follow a brand. With its 15-60 second length clips frequently having a lasting impact on users, Tik Tok is clearly the platform to focus your efforts on in 2022; expect to see more and more brands experimenting with it this year.
Using social media influencers to promote products and services has become a vital aspect of any business’s marketing strategy in recent years. Due to its popularity and the fact that people trust the influencers they follow to promote the best companies in their niche, hotels should expect to embrace this strategy in 2022. Influencer marketing frequently delivers credibility, and with the increasing importance of rankings and reputation, hotels and businesses alike will rely on this technique in 2022.
Mobile use and data consumption have increased considerably in the last two years, and many individuals are booking their trips directly from their phone. If you aren’t optimising your hotel’s website for mobile, you should start now; after all, 80 per cent of the top-ranked websites are mobile-friendly.
An emphasis on storytelling
Storytelling is an important strategy to utilise in hotel marketing, and you’ll see that it’s becoming more popular this year. Guests want a unique and personalised experience, which storytelling provides. Remember that many people have gone several years without going on holiday, so they will be seeking a stay that offers a memorable experience.
Virtual Reality is on the rise
In 2022, more and more hotels will venture into the world of Virtual Reality, or VR. H hotels are promoting virtual ‘tours’ of their properties and suites. This allows guests to see what the hotel has to offer before making a reservation and gives them a tour of the room from the comfort of their own homes.
Focus on guest reviews
Now it’s no surprise that hotels will be focusing their efforts on reputation. In 2022 we’ll see them using guest reviews and testimonials to increase credibility and their chances of getting more people to book. This also means reposting user-generated content (UGC) onto their social media channels and incorporating reviews into landing pages as a way to achieve higher conversion rates.
You’ll notice many hotels will focus their marketing efforts on SEO, to make sure they are ranking higher on SERPs. To get people to choose to book with you, you’ll need to be easily discoverable on a search engine. In 2022, SEO will be a leading tactic in driving traffic to any business’s website, and hotels will take advantage of this through blog posts, written content, paid ads and even video.
Here at FLOCC, we know the competition is growing increasingly stronger and the marketing techniques we commonly see are always evolving. These aren’t the only trends you’ll see this year so if you’re after some more info get in touch with us, the experts on hotel marketing.