The restrictions and mandates prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic created profound changes to the hospitality industry, and in turn, marketing trends. Expect even more changes in how hotels operate and marketing moving into 2022.
This blog post will look at the ongoing trends in the hospitality industry and the marketing trends we’ll see in 2022 and beyond.
Hotel Advertising Needs to Focus on Video
Video not only showcases the amenities of your hotel but can also give visitors a glimpse of the surrounding area. Hotel video ads also need to include the activities and attractions available near the location. If your hotel is minutes away from a beautiful beach, show it. If visitors can enjoy world-class museums and theater, let them know.
According to data collected by travel booking sites, more than 80% of all consumer online activity will focus on video. Other research has found that over 90% of businesses get new customers by sharing videos on social media. Furthermore, effective video marketing focuses on short, to the point, and fun videos between 30 to 60 seconds long.
Short videos are perfect for Tik-Tok, becoming increasingly popular, especially with younger travelers. Quick, fun video ads are also appropriate for the older demographic on Facebook.
If you’d like to post longer videos on YouTube, concentrate on showcasing your region, don’t focus solely on showing off the hotel. People are not necessarily searching YouTube for a hotel but to visualize an area. For example, if you have a hotel in Cedar City, Utah, make videos about Zion National Park, the Shakespeare Festival, Cedar Breaks National Monument, and other regional attractions. You can also partner with other local businesses such as adventure tours, restaurants, and other services to make videos.
Of course, also showcase your hotel, letting your viewers know that your hotel is clean, comfortable, and ready to welcome them. But, make your social media videos fun and informative. You want your channel to garner subscribers, not simply post ads.
Include your hotel’s address and contact information in all of your videos and descriptions. Visitors want to know about the fun things they can experience when staying at your hotel.
2022 is the Year to Build Your Digital Brand
A digital presence is not an option for hotels these days, primarily when located in a competitive market. Video marketing and an interactive website are essential to stand out from the competition.
Hoteliers should also put their efforts into mobile-friendly marketing. Over the coming year, the number of people in the US who go online from a mobile device could be more than 90%. This statistic is especially true of travelers, who could be searching for an available room while on the road.
In addition to long-form, text-based marketing content, incorporate mobile-friendly shorter text clips. You can also embed maps, language translators, chatbots, online booking, and other plugins and widgets.
Digital Authority Partners suggests creating an app for your hotel that includes options for guests to order room service, call the front desk, area maps, or make spa appointments. You incorporate partner businesses, such as adventure tours, on your app too. If you choose to create an app, think carefully about what is essential to your guests when they visit your area. Also, choose a reputable app developer who can update the app as needed; Google Play and the Apple Store constantly require updates to the apps on their stores.
Expect Shorter Booking Times
The most significant trend of 2021 was shorter booking lead-in times. Perhaps it was due to the on-and-off Covid-19 restrictions, but travelers often directly booked hotel stays at the last moment. Direct booking is a trend that will continue, as well as last-minute reservations. This trend could also be due to the uptick in road trips; more and more Americans are eschewing air travel for good, old-fashioned road trips.
Compared to Covid era air travel, road trips can be a more relaxing and freeing way to go. The spur-of-the-moment nature of a road trip means that road travelers are more likely to get on their cellphones to book a room on their next stop. People also search YouTube and other channels for regional attractions along their route, tying into having a broad, digital presence.
No matter how your guests arrive at your door, it’s likely they’ve booked a room with a shorter lead time. To accommodate this trend, make sure your website has an easy way to book a room quickly. Also, make sure your guests can book a stay from their mobile devices.
More Overseas Travelers and Remote Workers
With more Europeans accepting vaccination, they’re now free to leave their home countries and travel. In addition, many of these travelers have been working remotely with other freedom to travel to sunny, relaxing places with fewer restrictions. Likewise, Americans choose to escape to places like Mexico and the Caribbean.
Adding a language translator or German, French, and Spanish pages can help overseas travelers. Posting pages that are SEO optimized in those languages can help you to rank on foreign search engines. You can hire freelancers to translate your pages; it’s a good idea to find a translator who is also knowledgeable about SEO.
If you post foreign language pages, don’t just post information about the hotel. Also, post information about regional attractions. People traveling from overseas want to know about the fun things they can do once they arrive. It’s also a good idea to keep handheld, digital language translators at the front desk to help your overseas guests once they arrive.
To accommodate remote workers, your hotel needs robust, secure WiFi. This accommodation is significant for hotels in scenic, remote locations with weak cell service. Today’s travelers expect to stay connected at all times, whether or not they work remotely. So make sure your WiFi is available everywhere on your property, including poolside.
Many remote workers are well-paid and have saved up quite a bit of “fun money” during the lockdown. They’re ready to spend that money on travel to pleasant, relaxing, and fun places. As global restrictions continue to ease, the US travel industry could experience a boom.
Get Ready for 2022 by Updating Your Digital Hotel Marketing
Identify the trends that are likely to impact your region, think about how your digital marketing efforts can improve, and get going now. Incorporating the latest digital hotel marketing trends into your strategy could make 2022 your best year yet.