As travelers increasingly take their transactions online, the direct online channel has grown into the most important avenue for hoteliers to utilize to achieve the highest ROIs. This push toward digital is continuing into 2013, as hoteliers plan to allocate a large portion of their budgets toward their website in 2013, according to a HeBS Digital Industry Pulse Poll performed last month.
According to the HeBS Digital Industry Pulse Poll results, hoteliers overwhelmingly chose the property website when asked which digital marketing initiatives they would most like to budget for in the coming year. Hoteliers also cast votes for initiatives such as SEM (paid search), SEO, Social Media, mobile marketing and others.
What are the top 3 digital marketing initiatives you would like to budget for in 2013?
Property Website + Website Design 91%
SEM (paid search) 3%
Social Media 3%
Mobile Marketing 2%
Other Initiatives** 5%
More than 91% of those surveyed indicated they would like to budget for the property website in 2013.
Why Hoteliers Need to Re-Evaluate Their Property Website in 2013
The explosion of the mobile and social media channels and the emergence of the new tablet channel present major challenges to hotel marketers: Creating and managing digital content throughout three distinct distribution and marketing channels, as well as publishing the hotel's latest special offers and promotions on the hotel's social media profiles.
Today's hotel website needs fresh content, rich media and current promotions. The hotel's special offers, promotions and packages need to be marketed across all channels, from the desktop website to the mobile site and social media channels.
Many hoteliers are mistakenly led to believe that not investing in the property's website re-design or optimization is actually saving money. Wrong! Not investing in your website is severely damaging to a hotel's bottom line.
Your old and tired 1-2 year old property website cannot possibly meet the latest best practices and most likely has dropped off the map, i.e. experienced deteriorating search rankings.
There is a growing need for centralized website content and digital marketing asset management technology as hotel marketers are challenged to create and manage content; store and distribute the hotel digital marketing assets; and circulate special offers and packages, events and happenings, all through several distinct channels:
Own "desktop" website
Social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+
Hi-res photos to the OTAs and GDSs (optional)
Obviously, hoteliers need more than just a simple website content management system (CMS) capable of adding and editing textual and visual content. HeBS Digital's proprietary CMS Premium offers all of the above capabilities and acts as a centralized web content and digital marketing asset management system and was specifically developed to accommodate the Google Panda and "Freshness" updates by allowing hotel marketers to maintain fresh content on the hotel website.
In addition to covering their property website costs, hoteliers said they intend on allocating resources toward a vast array of digital marketing services such as SEO, SEM, Mobile Marketing, Online Video, Tablet Website Design, Campaign Tracking and Email Marketing.