COMPETING IN THE MARKETPLACE
NetRev Hotels uses all the tools at its disposal to ensure that your Hotel competes successfully in the marketplace. Each Hotel has different attributes and qualities and therefore requires a unique blend of tools to be deployed for each hotel.
Please see below a selection of the tools we use to drive your Net Revenues forward.
Google AdWords and Social Media (PPC)
NetRev is accredited by Google as an AdWords specialist and we will run Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns for your hotel. These PPC adverts will bring your hotel website to the attention of potential customers who have searched terms (Keywords) that are relevant to your website e.g. “Galway Hotels” or “Luxury Hotel Dublin”. You only pay when a potential customer clicks on your ad, and when they do we can then use Google Analytics to see if they actually made a booking. This information then populates our reports and we adjust and amend our spend depending on the data.
Social Media advertising is another effective platform on which to spend advertising. Your ads can appear in front of a very targeted demographic and once again useful reports on the ROAS can be generated.
There is an argument that a business like a hotel must ‘know its place’ on Social Media platforms i.e. an advertising business rather than ‘pretending’ to be a personality or ‘friend’ of real people on the site. Clarifying your place or role will help decide how you approach these platforms and how you will target the potential customers on the site.
Meta Search Engines and Google Hotel Ads
Meta Search Engines (Meta) such as Trivago and Kayak have a very important role to play for individual hotels. These are advertising platforms rather than commission based platforms like OTAs. As advertising platforms, a hotel can advertise directly on them and compete directly against the OTAs by offering a direct booking option. You only pay if your ad is clicked (PPC) but you must have a direct booking button that can be clicked and NetRev can arrange this for you.
Google has started to compete as a Meta Engine in the form of Google Hotel Ads and has disrupted the Meta Engine marketplace. If you search for a hotel on Google, a section appears above or next to the organic results, showing the hotels available and usually a list of the OTAs and their prices. Individual hotels can advertise a direct booking option on this results section to compete with the OTAs.
Google Hotel Ads also has a map detailing the location of the hotels and the rates available which can also be very useful. In addition to a PPC option, it is possible for a hotel to specify a Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) budget to Google who will then try to optimise your ads to achieve this CPA target. This is where the lines blur between the Meta model and the OTA model.
Reputation Management (online)
When searching for a hotel, the majority of customers also check reviews online to inform their decision. This is an important step in the customer journey and therefore an important consideration for hotels also. TripAdvisor has made a business out of these reviews. All the OTAs and Meta platforms have filters that customers use to identify hotels with high review ratings.
These reviews fundamentally stem from the customer’s experience of your hotel and having a system in place to quickly address any of the issues that are giving rise to negative reviews will, over time, result in an improved rating.
There are, however, other steps that can be taken. There is review software available that can help hotels manage their reputation online. This software can provide useful metrics and tools to help hoteliers shine a light on their reputation issues and systemise responses to negative reviews. This software can operate across OTA and Meta platforms and include competitor analysis as a useful benchmark. This information helps hotels adopt a professional approach to its online reputation that will have a real affect on its ability to convert traffic on both its own website and the various OTA and Meta platforms.
We have briefly touched on some of the different platforms, tools and strategies a hotel can use when promoting its website online. Each platform has its own technical and analytical strengths and weaknesses and they are updating and changing their offerings all the time. The trick is how to co-ordinate everything efficiently to ensure you get the best return on your advertising investment.