Hotel marketing should always start with good telephone tracking

Without the use of telephone tracking, you’re probably unaware just how many potential bookings you are missing, especially if your hotels typically serves a clientele of a more mature disposition!

When we work with a new client, the first thing we do is to set up telephone tracking. We do this to find out two things

  1. How many calls (and sales) are being missed?
  2. What is making the phone ring?

The first point is pretty obvious – miss too many calls, you need to fix that.

The second point, however, provides the real insight, especially when you’re running marketing campaigns and you’d like to know how effective it has been.

Well, telephone tracking costs £1 per month and helps you to answer both of those questions.

It’s best used when you have a different, local number across all your marketing channels. Namely:

Your website

Emails

Google Knowledge Panel

Social Media

Etc

Now the point is all these numbers are redirecting to the same, central number, often sat on reception, or to a reservations team. But they’re all different numbers so you can clearly see which is making the phone ring most!

More often than not, your website will be performing best, but let’s say you decide to have a go some local press advertising, or local radio advertising. In order to be able to identify whether these forms of advertising were worth the money, you really ought to know whether they made the phone ring!

Now, of course, telephone tracking shouldn’t be used as the only metric for success, but it will give you a helpful idea as to whether it’s worth your investment again.

Not only that, you’ll want to know how many of those calls were missed as the lines were engaged or everyone was too busy to answer the phone. Telephone tracking gives you real-time reports of who called, and why they couldn’t get through.

For all you know, that was a wedding enquiry worth over £10,000 to the hotel!

The company we use for our telephone tracking is Invoco – local UK numbers cost £1 per month to rent and the setup is instantaneous.

More details here: https://www.invoco.net/

Let’s beat those OTAs together

Adam

 

(Still) the most underused and cheapest form of advertising for hotels

Google remarketing has been around for well over a decade. We see it every day when we browse the internet.

When booking dot com ads seem to ‘follow’ you around the internet, this is Google Remarketing.

For most independent hotels, monthly advertising costs should never need to exceed £25 per month and for that investment, you’d be likely to see approx. 30,000 impressions.

Those impressions, by the way, are ONLY potential customers who’ve been on your website in the last few weeks or month so they are super targeted.

Simply put, Google Remarketing is a MUST for every independent hotel because it is the most targeted, cheapest, biggest bang-for-your-buck marketing you can. Bar none.

Perhaps though, the most important aspect of it is the fact that your hotel will almost never be the only option. Your prospective customers are looking at your competitors nearby and perhaps even similar hotels on the other side of the country.

Getting people to your website and into their consideration is just the start. You’ve got to ensure your hotel stays front of mind so that when that customer is ready to press the ‘book now’ button, they’re pressing it on your website, and not a competitor’s website.

And with less than 1% of all hotels in the country utilising this cost-effective form of advertising, getting Google Remarketing up and running for your hotel will give you a distinct advantage.

Aside from your competition, there’s the indisputable fact that all the OTAs use this form of advertising – and let’s face it, booking dot com are the experts at selling hotel rooms – if they’re doing, so should you.

Remember of course, that most customers will tend to visit your website first before making their booking. Google Remarketing gives you the ability to communicate the all-important message you want to convey to every customer: BOOK DIRECT!

If in 2018 you wish to maximise direct bookings, your absolute first port of call must be to have Google Remarketing set up, without it, you’re fighting a losing battle.

Want a free competitor checker? We’ll tell you if your competitors are running Remarketing ads – just email me direct at adam@directhotelmarketing.co.uk

Why most hotels waste money on Google AdWords

If you use a marketing company to manage your pay-per-click campaigns, ask them this important question:

“Can you send me the list of negative keywords from my account?”

If they can’t, or give you some babble about not being able to – they are wasting your money.

Negative keywords, in short, are terms you have actively chosen not to bid on, deeming those terms or words irrelevant to your product.

An example: a luxury hotel in Surrey may be looking to target people looking for wedding venues in their local area. They would be bidding on terms such as ‘wedding venue Surrey’ and all manner of suitable equivalents.

Being at the luxury end of the market, however, they would probably seek to not bid on the word ‘cheap’ before any of their desired keywords.

Put simply, they would want their ad to appear when ‘wedding venue Surrey’ is typed into Google, but would not want their ad to appear when ‘cheap wedding venue Surrey’ is typed into Google.

Alas, ‘Cheap’ is a negative keyword.

The oversimplified example above seems obvious, but it’s astounding how many hotels are using Google AdWords to grow their businesses without even knowing about Negative Keywords, thus keeping their wastage at an all-time high.

Back in November 2017, when our team was awarded Google’s Global Award for Growing Businesses Online, our use of negative keyword management was a small but significant reason for that award going to us.

When we set a Google AdWords campaign live for a hotel, that’s when the work really starts. Our job is to analyse which terms are being clicked on that we need to prune out of the campaign to minimise any wasted clicks.

If you’re not doing this, or worse, the company you pay to manage your campaigns aren’t doing this, the campaigns will keep wasting your money and won’t improve a great deal.

At DHM, we offer a free PPC assessment to all hotels so if you think there could be room for improvement from your campaign, email us direct – adam@directhotelmarketing.co.uk – we’ll be happy to look into it for you.