Browsing Tag

marketing mistakes

Friday Freebie: Make Your Hotel Website More Meeting Planner Friendly

July 7, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Make it easier for meeting planners to consider and choose your venue by providing the tools and data they expect. Meeting planners are constantly on-the-go and juggling several projects at any given moment. Make their jobs easier (and make it easier for them to see your venue’s potential) by providing the valuable tools they need to select a site. According to our recent meeting planner survey, these are the mandatory tools that meeting planners expect to access directly from your hotel website:
  • Capacity charts
  • Floor diagrams
  • Room measurements
  • Virtual/video venue tours
  • Photos of actual events
Get More: What Do Meeting Planners Actually Want? Here’s the Suprising Results

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

5 Things Hotel Marketers Are Celebrating This July 4th

July 3, 2017 • By
Hotel sales and marketing pros have a lot to be happy about this year. image1 This Independence Day, hoteliers are not only celebrating a long weekend bustling with holiday travelers, but all the other indicators that prove there are more sunny skies ahead for the industry: 1) A Winning Trifecta: Thriving Group Business, Stable Economy & A Positive Hotel Market  The hotel industry’s up cycle has exceeded expectations. Occupancy rose 1.5 percent, driven by an increase in demand of 3.4 percent. ADR increased 2 percent and RevPAR rose by 3.6 percent – making May 2017 the 87th month of consecutive RevPAR growth. Even after two months with a declining pipeline of new rooms, the number of new room construction reached 192,000. This is a small increase (April 2017’s count was 189,000) and shows that the pipeline of new construction is flourishing, but at a slower pace. Most of the new construction focuses on select-service hotels without substantial meeting space, which is a boon for hoteliers overseeing full-service properties who continue to see an uptick in their booking pace as large groups compete to lock in venues.  image2 2) Owners’ Investment in a Remarkable Product You can be out-of-this-world creative. You can have the wittiest, most clever and memorable hotel marketing concept. You can even have a generous hotel marketing budget to pay for massive exposure in front of all the right audiences. Yet, all of that means nothing without a truly differentiated hotel product. If your property is providing a lackluster experience with frayed edges, outdated décor, and musty smells, no amount of brilliant marketing can save you from the downward spiral of lost revenue. New hotels with bold concepts and fresh guest experiences are springing up in all directions, so hotel owners need to invest in their properties to keep up with modern expectations. Thankfully, more and more hotel owners are realizing that the best hotel marketing investment they can make is in enhancing their property, the experience and the service. 3) The Lowest Summer Gas Prices in Years The start of summer is not normally a time for low gas prices, since so many people are taking to the road and creating demand. However, with the recent drop in oil costs, travelers are elated to find some of the lowest summer prices at the pumps for the first time in 12 years. In fact, this holiday weekend’s prices could be the lowest 4th of July gas prices since 2005. According to AAA, gas prices have been falling every day since June 2nd and are expected to keep dropping. Consider us pumped for all the road travelers ahead. 4) Expanding Awareness of Book Direct Benefits Fueled by affordable digital marketing tools and increasing comfort in deploying them, hotel marketers are feeling more confident and emboldened to push for direct bookings instead of relying on OTAs to fill their rooms. In April, Hyatt Hotels became the latest brand to offer a discount to guests who book directly from the Hyatt website, following similar programs by Marriott International, Hilton Worldwide and Starwood Hotels & Resorts. These moves by the major chains are heightening public recognition of the benefits of booking direct and are chipping away at the myth that OTAs save money. With the stage set by industry titans and all the advanced marketing tools and metrics available to hoteliers, we expect this momentum to continue to swell. 5) Social Media Evangelists Hotels now have small, private armies of unpaid marketing staff: guests who Instagram, Snap, Facebook and Tweet while eating breakfast in bed, lounging by the pool, and watching the sunset from their balconies. Each post boosts awareness for your hotel and bolsters your hotel’s reach… all without your staff lifting a finger or spending a dime. And, even after checking out, guests continue to post photo albums and videos of their vacations. When guests gush about their travels, they’re creating content that is hotel marketing gold. You can even easily discover and collect Instagram photos posted by your guests using a tool like our new Tout.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Briefcases to Suitcases, Compel Business Travelers to Stretch Their Stays

June 30, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Compel corporate guests to extend their stay by creating a targeted ‘bleisure’ offer. Out of a hotel’s three primary market segments, corporate clients often produce the steadiest stream of room nights AND add-on revenue throughout the year. And better yet…. free-spending corporate travelers alo tend to spend more on dining and other ancillary products (since they are reimbursed by their companies). Amplify your revenue opportunities with corporate travelers by compelling them to add on leisure days to their stay. Here’s One Way to Encourage Them to Stay Longer: Create an exclusive offer only for corporate guests that extends the corporate rate a few days pre- and post-reservation. Add perks during those extra days, such as complimentary bike rentals, late check-out, discounted passes to a family-friendly attraction, free parking or complimentary breakfast. Include a link to a calendar of fun local events happening before, during, and after their original stay. Share this offer with corporate guests a few times leading up to their stay. Include it in the pre-stay email, at check-in… or leave a note during their stay. Get More: Turning Business Into Pleasure

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Are Siri and Alexa Interrupting Hotel Search Marketing?

June 27, 2017 • By
Hotel search engine marketing is changing… are you ready?  image1 Key Takeaways:
  • Voice search and voice assistants are gaining popularity with no signs of slowing down.
  • This fundamental shift in search behavior impacts your current SEO strategy and will influence conversions and content discovery.
  • People using voice search tend to ask questions using long-tail keyword phrases, driving the need for relevant content addressing those questions.
“Siri, what is the biggest marketing trend that impacts my hotel’s search rankings?” Just within the past few years, voice-driven search and virtual assistants (also referred to as ‘digital assistants’) have experienced a meteoric rise as more and more people turn to Apple’s Siri, Google Now, Google Home or Amazon’s Echo to research information. In fact, the Echo and the Echo Dot were Amazon’s best selling products in 2016. Now, with Apple’s recently announced Apple HomePod (to be released December 2017), virtual assistants will be making their way into more homes and into our daily lives, routines and reality. According to Google, 20% percent of searches are completed by voice. With 11 billion daily searches being conducted on Google, that equates to 2.75 million Google voice searches each day.  And, that number is expected to rise exponentially over the next few years. Virtual assistants and voice searches are actively shaping the future of hotel SEO and changing how hotel marketers view their keywords and content. Plus, they are already poised to play a bigger role in driving conversions. Voice Search Strategies to Implement Now  This increasingly vocal world and continual evolution of search engine results will present challenges for hotels and will force hotel marketers to rewrite their content and SEO playbook. Fortunately, changes have been gradual and we’re not seeing a full-blown disruption just yet. This buys hoteliers more time to prepare for changes in hotel search that are on the horizon. Here’s what hotels can do right now to address this fundamental shift in how consumers are conducting hotel searches:
  1. Study Your Hotel’s Keyword Trends The fundamental rules of SEO still apply: hotels must understand how guests are finding them via voice search and the type of phrases they use. The clearest trend driven by voice search is the rise of long-tail keyword phrases. Unlike a typed Google search, people tend to ask virtual assistants questions (“What’s a good business hotel in the Gold Coast in Chicago?” vs “gold coast business hotel”). What are guests asking about hotels in your area and your hotel specifically? What are guests asking about travel to your destination? Optimize for these long-tail keyword phrases.
  2. Create a FAQ Page Addressing These Long-Tail Questions Hotels should set up FAQ pages on their websites that match the voice queries people use to find them online. Address these voice queries with mobile-friendly property and destination guides that give guests the information they are asking for. Hotel brands that address the ‘who, what, when, where and how’ questions and provide relevant answers will outrank their compset. image2
  3. Extend FAQ Strategy to Other Content Build valuable content around your audience’s voice search keywords and build in answers to those phrases and questions in your hotel’s web pages, social media posts, and blog posts.
  4. Stay on Top of Evolving Search Trends Monitor and stay up-to-date on your hotel’s real-time search insights. Which search phrases are being asked more or less often? What is happening in your destination or hotel that impacts what people are asking? Frequent monitoring allows you to be nimble and often gives you an edge.
  5. Write Conversationally Not only will your guests enjoy your brand more with a natural voice, but this is the language spoken by voice search. Content won’t rate with Google Now or Siri if it's not written in a natural voice. People are likely to ask Siri, ‘What hotel offers a free shuttle to the Miami airport?’ versus ‘free shuttle airport Miami.’ Google has been trying to minimize the relevance of keywords in search, with so many marketers over-optimizing and stuffing in keywords anywhere and everywhere they can. Voice search offers an opportunity to focus more on the language and tone we use naturally.
  6. Brace for Future Google Algorithm Updates Google has a history of driving SEO professionals crazy by constantly changing the set of rules that prioritize search rankings. While Google hasn’t announced any penalties for hotel websites that don’t cater to voice searches, there is always the possibility of that changing in the near future.
  7. Don’t Dismiss Traditional Search Consider voice search as a vital supplement to your SEO strategy, not a replacement. For now, despite the rise of voice assistants, the majority of search is conducted through typed queries on a mobile device or desktop. Both text searches and voice searches have a place in hotel marketing, so cater to talkers and typers alike.
Also see: The Painful Truth About Hotel SEO 

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Do This to Improve Organic Results

June 23, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one free impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Improve organic search results by positioning your hotel as the epicenter of your destination.  Today’s travelers are investing in authentic, intimate experiences that immerse them in the local life and culture. They’re hungry for insider secrets and seeing parts of a city that travelers usually don’t get to see, not just the big-ticket attractions.  And, they’re looking for a hotel that will give them front-row seats to all of that. When they start researching hotel options online, they don’t start with ‘your hotel name.’ Instead, they’ll use search terms such as: “hotels near Santa Monica beach” “Santa Monica pier hotels” “hotels on third street promenade Santa Monica” In short, travelers prioritize the destination first, and hotels second. One smart way to capture more online views and come up in more search results is to boost the destination content on your website. Here are some tips:
  • Don’t simply use your destination pages as a directory of major local attractions. Include lesser-known must-see local spots and write short relevant descriptions for each.
  • Share insider tips for exploring the city.
  • Target long tail search queries by including content that answers common travel questions. A hotel site is more likely to rank for long tail search terms that have less competition and will see a rise in user engagement.
  • Include distances from your hotel.
  • Showcase loved-by-local coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants located in your neighborhood.
  • Include seasonal suggestions, including ‘Holiday activities in Boston’ or ‘Summer activities in Breckenridge.’
  • Keep up a destination calendar of fun neighborhood events that can offer visitors a taste of local life.
Get More: Want More Hotel Revenue? Start Selling Your Destination

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Why 70% of Hotel Marketing is Out of Control

June 20, 2017 • By
Flagged properties have surrendered control of their marketing. What happens if results are poor? image1 Key Takeaways:
  • 7 out of 10 hotels in the US are flagged, but the brand's national marketing team can’t reach specific target markets on a TIMELY basis, convey unique property experiences or synthesize authentic local culture.
  • Most flagged hotels are still relying on their brand’s standard marketing program, which is duplicated for every other sister hotel in the region.
  • Hotels need to augment their brand’s core program with timely campaigns and custom direct “vanity” websites that help fill periods of need.
Pop quiz… Imagine three hotel properties: A beachfront resort in Santa Monica. An urban high-rise in Atlanta steps from the convention center. A historic, mountain lodge in Vail. Would you: A. Market and drive bookings to these hotels using identical hotel websites, booking engines, marketing campaigns and marketing promotions? B. Or, custom tailor hotel marketing strategies based on each hotel’s unique target markets, amenities, travel seasons and destination? If you selected B, congratulations! You’re already making wiser decisions than thousands of flagged hotels who rely on the standardized, generic marketing (created by a remote marketing department) to drive ALL their business. Relying exclusively on your brand to completely market your unique property limits your ability to achieve the financial goals set forth by the owner/asset manager. Here’s Why:  You Are Not Differentiated Your brand’s marketing team is servicing hundreds of hotels (often several in the same city) and providing the same tools to all of you. Think about that–every hotel in the brand family is getting the same marketing and sales templates, the same loyalty database, the same hotel website design and hotel booking engine. You all receive the same assets, regardless of your amenities, your destination, or your target audience. A convention hotel in downtown Denver presents the same marketing material as their sister property in South Beach, Miami. Worse yet, when a visitor to your listing on brand.com enters the brand.com booking environment, they are often shown nearby properties flying the same flag… essentially making brand.com an OTA sending business to your co-branded regional neighbors!  image2 You’re Still Accountable If your property falls short of its revenue goals, do you think your brand’s marketing team will go to bat and be held accountable for missing the mark? Probably not. This is why it’s important to take marketing into your own hands and augment your brand’s core marketing assets with your own to  aggressively pursue direct bookings. When you rely on your brand’s marketing team, you relinquish control over vital revenue-drivers like:
  • Filling sudden periods of need.
  • Attracting regional groups and events.
  • Creating timely packages or special.
  • Posting and marketing special events.
  • Publishing user-generated social media content.
  • Creating retargeting ads to bring people back to your site.
Normally, this would require you to fill out a request form with your brand’s marketing team and wait days or weeks for ‘your turn,’ losing potential bookings in the meantime. Your remote brand team is simply unable to deploy effective campaigns capturing your hotel’s unique essence in a reasonable amount of time Your Direct Hotel Website is Generic Flagged hotels don’t actually have robust websites… they have listings on brand.com. When your hotel is simply plugged into a brand’s basic template website, there is nothing – besides photos and snippets of copy – that distinguishes your hotel’s individual story, destination, or personality. You cannot customize every element that conveys your hotel’s unique experience, F&B outlets, meeting and event space, surrounding neighborhood, local culture, etc. Imagine if the largest event in your destination is the Outdoor Summer Concert Series, which draws in thousands of visitors. Your brand.com’s basic website will not mention the concert series, nor convey how close you are to the event… leaving you to miss out on hundreds of potential room nights. When you manage your own hotel vanity site, you can showcase relevant events, speak directly to the right audiences and capture business with targeted campaigns. Your SEO Stinks Leaving hotel marketing to your brand will also place limits on your SEO and traffic generation campaigns. While your brand may conduct search engine marketing campaigns on your hotel’s behalf, they only scratch the surface. For instance, your brand’s efforts may help you rank for “Hyatts in Seattle.” But, it’s unlikely they are optimizing your page for more targeted search terms that would generate the highest return, such as “hotels near Capitol Hill” or “Space Needle hotels.” You’re Not Authentic Today, people are investing their travel dollars in authentic experiences that immerse them in the local culture and lifestyle. They’re hungry for local secrets, bold adventures and seeing parts of the city that most tourists don’t see. When your brand has control of your online marketing, they won’t be able to connect with your visitors or convey that local mindset. First off, because they’re not even there. They don’t know what makes your destination so special. They don’t understand the culture, the awesome mom-and-pop stores and restaurants that give your neighborhood character, or know the local secrets. Only you and your local marketing staff can tell a compelling story that will actually drive bookings.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Use FOMO to Create Urgency in the Booking Process

June 16, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Create a sense of urgency and “fear of missing out” (FOMO) to nudge people to book faster.  People feel more compelled to buy if they believe they are about to miss out on a limited-time offer or a good deal. This type of urgency is about creating “scarcity value,” a concept that OTAs have mastered and implemented systematically on their OTA websites to stimulate purchase behavior. One of the easiest ways to create a sense of urgency and make guests want to make quicker booking decisions is to program scarcity values into your hotel website and booking engine. Ask your hotel booking engine provider if they can tag certain room categories with urgency and FOMO messages when inventory reaches predefined levels. Use copy that creates perceived immediacy and stimulates guests to act now:
  • Only 2 days left
  • Only available to the first 50 reservations
  • 35 people viewing this room now
  • Only 7 rooms remain for this date
  • Or, incorporate a countdown clock to an expiration date
Get More: The Surprising Psychology Behind Successful Hotel Websites

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Father Knows Best: Three Hotel Marketing Lessons From Dad

June 13, 2017 • By
Hotel marketing lessons from dear old dad… image1 While Mom gets a lot of the credit for imparting life lessons, it’s time for fathers to be acknowledged for their own wise insights. In honor of Father’s Day, every year we celebrate our favorite ‘dadisms.’ And, we found that pops has some serious hotel marketing wisdom! Here are hidden hotel marketing messages behind some of your father’s repeated quotes: 1. “Will You Kids Please Shut Up?” Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: When marketing your hotel, resist the urge to drone on and on about your property’s physical features. Modern travelers are driven to book based on what lies outside your hotel walls, not just what’s inside. They want to experience your destination like a true local and crave front-row access to cool discoveries and remarkable experiences unlike anything they can find at home. So, your hotel website should not only focus on your property; It should share the spotlight with your destination. Your hotel website should position your property as the epicenter of your destination.  image2  2. “Hold Your Head Up...” Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: Toughen up, kid. Sometimes you get dreadful guests. Sometimes you’re hit with awful reviews. Sometimes your creative marketing ideas fail miserably. Instead of crying over spilled milk, remember that the most successful and brilliant hotel marketers are those who take risks and try new ideas. If you’re not making any mistakes, that probably means you are simply repeating the same things year after year. Not taking risks or finding new ways to reach your guests will make your marketing stale and crummy. And, that’s something to cry about. 3. “Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees!”  Hidden Hotel Marketing Advice: Think carefully about how you spend the marketing dollars entrusted to you by ownership. And by all means… ask for the resources you need to accomplish the revenue goals assigned to you! If you need more marketing staff or outsourced vendors to help you achieve your hotel’s revenue goals, then ask for them. If your hotel is in dire need of upgrades and updates in order to effectively compete with newer properties and win market share, then ask for them. If you depend on another department’s performance to help you reach your targets, then ask to oversee them. Here’s an example of what that request could look like: “For me to achieve the revenue targets set forth by ownership… I need $_______ in funding, specific hotel upgrades to be made, and _______ new staff (contractors). Plus, I would like ________ department to report to me.” The road to achieving your property’s revenue goals begins with your ability to ask for what you need. Show your management team that without these items, you won’t be able to deliver the results they’re looking for.

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Start Tracking Phone Calls to Optimize Your Marketing

June 9, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie: Start using simple phone tracking tech to optimize your campaigns and reservation/call center performance.  We all know how important it is to monitor data from digital marketing campaigns. However, usually those analytics only track online activity and engagement. One of the best ways to bridge the gap between your online and offline marketing activities is by tracking inbound phone calls using simple new digital tracking technology. Travelers often want to know more about the experience they’re about to embark on. And, they want to interact with someone on your hotel staff or reservation center to get the answers. This is especially true at resorts or destination properties, where it is extremely common for guests to call and want to speak with someone personally before pulling out a credit card to make a long range reservation. Most phone tracking tools now enable management to “listen in” to recordings of any/all calls. What makes this feature so impactful is that you are hearing from the guest firsthand, using their own voice and words to express their concerns and wants. Also, by “listening-in” to recorded phone calls, you can see how well your guest service team deals with guests and whether their “pitch” needs improvement. How is your guest services team handling simple and complex inquiries? How are they conveying your hotel’s unique experience over the phone? Are they up-selling properly and easing the guest along towards booking a reservation? If you’re only measuring your digital results, you’re missing a significant KPI of success: start tracking phone calls to get a complete picture!

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com

Friday Freebie: Market Specifically to This Affluent Niche: LGBT Travelers

June 2, 2017 • By
FridayFreebie-Tambourine-600x600 Welcome to the Friday Freebie! Each week we share one impactful hotel marketing tactic that you can implement immediately to drive more conversions and more revenue. This Week’s Freebie (in honor of LGBT Pride Month): Attract LGBT travelers, a lucrative market segment, with specific hotel marketing tactics.  Over the past few years, LGBT travelers have entered the mainstream for progressive hotel marketers everywhere. According to a survey by Community Marketing, Inc., which researches LGBT travelers and helps travel brands understand and reach out to this market, having a LGBT-friendly reputation is one of the top three factors gay or lesbian travelers consider when choosing a hotel. Marketing to a gay and lesbian audience doesn’t require a separate micro-site or obnoxiously proclaiming “We’re gay friendly! Book here!” Instead, the key is to be sophisticated and subtle. Include this market seamlessly into current marketing campaigns with these easy moves:
  • Include relevant images of same-sex couples in marketing materials.
  • Include same-sex couples images in your wedding section.
  • Include social proof: relevant testimonials or awards from relevant publications.
  • Create packages incorporating experiences from your destination’s LGBT neighborhoods like Seattle’s Capitol Hill, New York’s Chelsea, Miami’s South Beach, and San Diego’s Hillcrest.
  • Create June packages for LGBT Pride Month.
  • Partner with gay-friendly bars, restaurants and other establishments.
Get more: Hotels Rolling Out the Rainbow Carpet for LGBT Travelers

About Tambourine

Tambourine uses technology and creativity to increase revenue for hotels and destinations worldwide. The firm, now in its 33rd year, is located in New York City and Fort Lauderdale. Please visit: www.Tambourine.com