Hotel Marketing Strategies

Best Practice Mobile Strategies for your Business in 2014

imagesP15ULLV9

Mobile marketing has exploded in the hospitality industry over the last few years as most of its potential customers are browsing on-the-go, and hoteliers and travel suppliers have to respond adequately to this growing demand for mobile travel services.  With a 46% (Google Insights into Hotel Vertical In Irelands- Q4, 2013) increase in travel shoppers gravitating towards mobile browsing, marketers have no other option but to rethink their strategies,as it is poised to become the most conversion-centric marketing technique in a couple of years. Fifty percent of U.S. adults and 80% of business travelers already have smartphones. Twenty-four percent of leisure travelers and 36% of business travelers have already purchased travel via their mobile devices (PhoCusWright).

M-Commerce revolution

The travel and tourism industry is one of the most aggressive innovators and users of internet-centric technologies.  All sizes of brands are now plugged into the online world as they have realized the marketing potential of internet based visibility campaigns.

Ranging from M-reservations to M-inquiries, established hotel chains have already embraced the mobile browsing spectrum to the fullest.  M-commerce presents a great opportunity for utilizing the great pool of customers who are not only available 24×7, but also the largest conversion potential and for players of all sizes and interests in the hospitality segment.  The opportunities of ‘AAA’ marketing (Anywhere, Anytime, At-once) has taken the world of mobile marketing by storm.

Travelers are always on the move and the one apparatus that keeps them connected to the world is their mobile phone – it has become a hub of information, research, inquiry, commerce and other location-based services, with just a couple of touches.  Some of the top hotel chains who were the earliest proponents of M-commerce have reported a 70%-90% surge in their traffic.

How do you guarantee success for your business in 2014?

Below is a key essentials checklist that you should have in your business:

  1. Have a Mobile Website – it is no longer a luxury, but a necessity! Content quality is the biggest “must-have” for a mobile site. The Google Panda algorithm updates favour mobile websites with richer visual and textual content that is not only deep and relevant but also fresh, engaging and optimized for the search engines.
  2. Create Mobile Specific Rateplans – Mobile Bookings are poised to grow exponentially over the next few years and with this comes a need to have mobile specific rateplans. It is predicted that by 2015, 20% of all hotel bookings will be made via mobile devices.
  3. Upload Quality ImagesImage galleries receive the 2nd highest interaction on a mobile device.
  4. Develop a Mobile Marketing strategy – With exponential growth in mobile traffic and bookings, consider having a mobile marketing strategy to be found via paid and organic search results. Google Search Mobile queries grew by 46% in 2013, with 43% of all hotel search queries now made via a mobile device.
  5. Hold availability for last minute mobile bookings – Mobile bookings lead time is getting shorter; to grow your mobile revenue, try holding some last room availability where possible. Currently 31% of Mobile Hotel bookings are made for a stay within a 72hr period.
  6. Go Social with Mobile – 2015 is the year to leverage Social media via mobile, Ensure you are encouraging social media interaction via your mobile website. Mobile monthly active users on Facebook increased by over 45% YOY to 874m and Twitter increased by over 37% YOY to 184m.

What’s in store for the future?

Mobile bar-code hotel room activation – Mobile payments for on-site charges – Mobile valet service – Mobile airport pick-ups and much, much more!

 

 

Instagram for Photographers

How Photographers Can Market Themselves on Instagram

instagram-logo-transparent-png-i9

Instagram is a fast growing image sharing site that was established in 2010. It has grown from a fashionable iOS-only app to a huge Android social networking platform and with over 150 million users it shows no signs of slowing down.

National Geographic was one of the first major brands to realise Instagram’s full potential as they signed a brand partnership within  the fist week after its launch. They now have over 4million followers and professional photographer’s now take over NatGeo’s feed and post instant photos of their travels. As a result of this a number of well known photographers have taken to the site with their own accounts and have built a mass of dedicated followers.

insta-natgeo

Branding

With major brands such as Nike and Coca-Cola already benefiting from Instagram accounts, smaller companies are now starting to notice the publicity that an Instagram presence can generate. Instagram can be used by photographers in addition to their portfolio website to showcase their work and to show off behind-the-scenes action from shoots. By doing this, it can help to promote the personality of your brand. The content that you share can allow potential customers to take a sneak-peek into your life and convey the type a person and photographer you are. This kind of personalisation can indefinitely aid you in obtaining new business.

insta-nike

Build An Audience

The key to photography is to build an audience of people who have a relationship with what you’re doing. These people are the ones that may hire you, support you or buy your product. Instagram provides a mode of strengthening this relationship between you and your potential audience. However, posting a vast number of images from one session is a sure fire way to diminish your number of followers. Nobody wants their entire feed to be back-to-back photos from the same shoot.

Filter Friendly

When it first started off Instagram had a bad rap for the over use of filters on photos and feeds bursting with images of what people had for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. In recent times these trends have diminished as users seem to be taking it a little more seriously. There are of course still pages full of filtered selfies and food but with the additional of professional photographers to the mix the quality bar has been significantly raised. For those of you that are using Instagram for business, be sure to define your style from the very start, either use no filters whatsoever or stick one or two that are consistent with your professional portfolio.

Be Seen

If your Instagram bio reads “Jane Doe Photography, Fashion and Wedding Photography. Dublin based Photographer” but you have your page set to private it makes absolutely no sense. If your private Instagram is full of images of your work that you want to sell to the public but you’re afraid of people stealing your work then Instagram, or the Internet in general, is not the place for you and you’re going to miss out on a lot of potential clients. However, if you are going to keep your keep page private then at least link to your website in your bio.

insta-eg

Turn “Likes” into Business

If your photos are getting multiple “likes” but you’re not seeing any boost in your business and you’re still not showing up in search engine results then you need to properly brand yourself. Instead of primarily focusing on how much attention your images can get you need to target your ideal clients so they can find and book you.

You need to figure out who your target person is. Who are they following? What tags do they use in their day to day life? How can you target your photos and your hashtags to target and to engage them? Put yourself in their shoes and use Instagram for business and marketing. Getting your name out there is all well and good but not if it’s not targeted, not focused and not intentional.

Link

Finally, you need to link all your sites together. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ etc. should all link back to your website. Linking all these sites to each other means you’re captivating the widest possible audience from each individual site. Your brand will be promoted more extensively and your potential clients will have a much easier job of actually finding you.

social-media

So, what does Instagram mean for professional photographers? If utilized correctly, it can mean a new way to promote, advertise and sell their work, build relationships with other photographers, potential clients and budding camera-jockeys alike.