Learn which data can help to make your marketing campaigns even more effective, even on a small budget.
Every hotelier is well aware of how necessary marketing is for gaining guests. But for many, this saying is all too real: “Half of my marketing is helpful - I just don't know which half.” Maybe it’s the same for you, too?
You can change that by using a strategic, data-driven approach. Nina Kölbl from Schweiz Toursismus explains why this is easier than it sounds, and how you can achieve it with a small budget in our second German livestream with Elisha Schoppig and Marco Baurdoux from Hotel-Spider.
You can find the most important points from the discussion in this article, so that from now on you only invest in the “right half” of your marketing.
What is data-driven hotel marketing?
As you can probably tell from the name, this is a type of hotel marketing whereby you use data to design your initiatives to be as effective as possible.
You need various types of information to do this. Firstly, it's important to know your target group and their interests. Then you need to know which channels they use, and how they react to different content formats. Finally, it helps to analyze your old content to see what achieved the best results for your house in the past. This all helps to create a solid basis for your data-driven hotel marketing strategy.
Nina explains this by the following example: “At Schweiz Tourismus, we obviously promote the entire property and culinary landscape in Switzerland. However, individual campaigns for our partners and various hotel categories vary drastically.”
“For example, when we are advertising Swiss Bike Hotels, we are targeting a younger, active target group that spends a lot of time on Instagram. When it comes to Swiss Historic Hotels, we are trying to reach a slightly older, more refined audience that prefers Facebook. Using analyzes of our older content, we can then see which topics and formats fit each target group, and then can create new corresponding posts.”
Different platforms, different goals
Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest are currently among the most important social networks in hotel marketing. Although all four are important for putting out content, they are very different from one another.
YouTube and Pinterest act as search engines for many users, where they can use targeted searches to learn about particular topics. These channels are often used to gather inspiration when planning travel. In marketing terms, they are well suited to expanding your reach and brand awareness.
Facebook and Instagram are good for later stages of research. They are perfect for advertising specific offers and generating clicks on your hotel website. In the best case, these site visits can lead to direct reservations, requests, or newsletter signups.
Nina explains more about this topic: “You need to understand these differences when creating content and following specific goals. Not all topics and formats will be equally well accepted on every channel. So I recommend trying out different things and evaluating them. It will quickly become clear what works best for individual target groups and platforms.”
How to properly address international target groups using data
In addition to their age and general interests, your target group’s home country also plays an important role in marketing. “When evaluating our campaigns, we noticed that the same content in different regions often performed very differently. But when we highlighted the same topic from a slightly different angle, our posts did much better. Now that we know how to best reach our target market, we can optimize our content specifically for each region.”
It can also be helpful for getting support from external sources. “If you want to properly reach target groups in other cultural circles, PR partners in those locations can offer valuable support. They know your market’s values, interests, and preferences. Use this knowledge to make sure your content comes across well and is convincing to your international guests,” Nina recommends.
Data-driven marketing, even on a small budget
It can quickly get both time and cost-intensive to constantly post content on all channels, regularly create adverts for various target groups, and evaluate all of your campaigns. It’s not always easy for smaller hotels to manage. However, every house can benefit from data-driven marketing, even if it’s within a smaller scope.
If you have a limited budget, it’s particularly important to be selective with the type of content and advertising you use. The following three questions should help you to make the right choice.
Where do the majority of your guests come from?
When you have a small budget, it’s particularly worthwhile to advertise in established markets. You’ll be working with certain success rates, and can be sure that your investment will come to fruition.
Which source markets have seen the strongest development in recent times?
If you’d like to be a bit more experimental, launching a campaign in a new source market or for a new target audience may be of interest. Take a look at your guests data to find out which nationality, age or interest groups have recently been booking with you more often. This shows where there is potential, and can help you to select the right formats and channels for your next campaign.
Which content worked well in the past?
Analyze your previous posts and adverts to see which generated the most reach, and the most clicks and reservations. This helps you to develop your next campaign because it allows you to create the right content for your goal.
If you’re broaching this topic for the first time, all of these points can seem a bit overwhelming. But once you start to work through them in more detail, you’ll find it easier to find the right approach for your hotel and your goals.
The most important thing is that you always make use of available software solutions and data, optimize processes and make the right decisions when creating content.