December 2, 2014 • By Dave Spector
Every day you learn about new software, emerging social media channels and burgeoning review sites, and every day you wonder how you will ever manage it all. Fortunately, new hotel marketing tools also inspire other tools to make utilization simpler. Many of these tools cost big bucks and need to be worked into next year’s budget. But some are free-- which means you can start using them today. Look down the list. Pick a few out to try today. Then, bookmark this list for easy reference later.
Get the Facts: SEO, Market Research, and Analytics
- Quicksprout: Quicksprout grades your website for SEO factors and load time. Gives you advice on improving your scores for speed and load.
- Google Alerts: Set alerts for your comp set, your neighborhood and local attractions. Google will send updates to your inbox.
- Google Analytics: Meet your website’s audience. Google analytics shows you the origin, keyword usage and behavioral profile (meeting planners vs. leisure tourists?) of all website visitors. It can segment out who visits your website and books. You can also set conversion goals.
- U.S. Department of Transportation: The more you know about who comes to your city the more precise you can target your marketing. Find out definitive information about which markets feed your region on the USDOT site.
- BuzzSumo: Analyze what articles get the most social media attention in your region or category. Go to the website and enter your city name+travel. You’ll see what people really want to read about when their researching a visit to your city.
- Track Maven:Track Maven provides a simpler way of keeping up with your comp set. The site follows up to ten competitors across content and social media channels. Then, it will email you the results.
- OpenCalais:OpenCalais searches content for relationships between persons, places and things. It can help you recognize untapped keywords in your content to empower your SEO efforts. Likewise, if a competing hotel’s content gets more attention than yours, copy and paste a few of their articles into OpenCalais to find which keywords they’re using.
- RevPar Calculator: Figure out your RevPar on your smartphone with RevPar Guru’s free app.
- Email campaign ROI calculator: Find the estimated ROI of your email or direct marketing campaign’s with Marketing Today’s ROI calculator.
Create Quality Content
- Hemingway app: While no online editor catches every error, the Hemingway app will make you see your copy differently. Hemingway points out grammar mistakes, long sentences and awkward phrases.
- The Content Idea Generator: Can’t think of anything to write about for your hotel blog? Feed a word into the Content Idea Generator and you’ll get a headline for your next post. I tested it out and this is what I got: Vacation: 14 Things Spock Would Say About Vacation Resorts: Doing Resorts the Right Way Meeting Planners: The Dummies Guide to Meeting Planners Of course, these ideas are just starters. You might want to change the last one to The Dummies Guide to Planning Awesome Meetings
- Tweriod: Tweriod analyzes your Twitter feed to tell you when most of your followers are online. So you receive maximum exposure for every Tweet.
- Twitter Analytics:Twitter Analytics breaks down link clicks, engagement rate, retweets, and favorites. Use it often and patterns will emerge.
Send Effective Emails:
- Lyris Content: The worst thing that can happen to your outgoing emails is they end up in your guests’ spam folders. The Lyris Content Checker scans your emails for words and phrases that often trigger email spam alerts.
- Send Forensics Email Deliverability Test: Compare your emails deliverability against local and industry benchmarks with Send Forensics. You can also set alerts to protect your reputation as someone who sends valuable emails.
- Contactually’s Email View: Nothing sells your hotel like a pretty picture. Ever wondered if the pictures you email load correctly across various servers? Find out. Simply enter your outgoing email’s HTML code and Contactually will show you how it will look in Yahoo!, Gmail, AOL, and Hotmail.
- Litmus Subject Line Checker: After you’ve ensured your emails avoid spam folders, your next task is to get travelers to open the email. Your subject line is key. This Litmus tool shows you how your subject line appears in different email servers.