11.11.11 Is Good For Your Online Hotel Marketing

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Social Media Day: Free Makeover For Your Hotel

Leading social media blog Mashable started the worldwide ‘Social Media Day’ – an annual celebration of the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time. This is the second year and there are worldwide events planned on June 30, 2011.

At HotelMarketingClub.com, we provide training on social media marketing for hotel staff on implementing social media campaigns that result in direct bookings from hotel’s own website, Facebook, Twitter and other channels.

We thought of showing some social love for hotels on the occassion of Social Media Day. So, here’s a small contest with a great prize…

Free Social Media Makeover For Hotel’s Facebook & Twitter

We plan to offer a makeover for Facebook & Twitter of a lucky hotel at absolutely zero cost and no obligation to buy anything from us. To qualify your hotel has to do just one thing…

Answer this question in 140 characters from your twitter with hashtag #smdayhotel and send it to @hmarketingclub by 11.59pm on June 30, 2011…

Why should your hotel win this free social media makeover from @hmarketingclub ?

The lucky hotel would be announced on July 5th, 2011 at this blog, and winners would be contacted directly. There are no right or wrong answers, let your imagination run wild! Go over to your twitter and get going now…

PS: This contest is over, and the winner is @roerichhotels – congrats!

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Five Steps To Solve The In-house or Outsource Hotel Marketing Dilemma

One of the top discussions among hotel marketers today is about cutting costs and growing revenues in this tough market. Most now have a clear idea that online is where the growth is, and direct is where the profit comes from. The big confusion is whether to run their online marketing campaigns with in-house team or outsource it as many others do now.

“More than $24.7 billion of outsourced contracts were dished out in the fourth quarter last year – up 8% year over year.” – says TPI, a sourcing advisory firm.

So, how does a hotel plan it’s in-house or outsource strategy? Here’s a five-step plan:

#1: List the activities your team does currently
Create a list of all online marketing activities your hotel staff perform on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. This would be the base of your further plans. Evaluate these activities with the returns it generates. This would help you prioritise the activities better. Is your marketing staff more productive at offline deals? If yes, then let them do that more than the Facebook updates.

#2: Add other online channels that might help you grow faster
Any hotel planning to succeed beyond 2011 has to be ready with four major online channels:
a. Search engines: Google & Bing (Bing runs Yahoo Search too, did you know?)
b. Social Media: Facebook, Twitter, TripAdvisor, YouTube & Linkedin
c. Mobile: Mobile optimized website, mobile seo, short code & bulk text(sms)
d. Email: Newsletters, deals…
Ask yourself, where your hotel stands currently on each on these marketing channels. Are you just present there, or thriving with activity, conversations and engagement?

#3: Assess your team’s channel knowledge & proficiency
Once you know the major channels to grow futher, do a self-analysis of your current team. A team with half-baked knowledge and action-plan could do more harm than good. Tools (free or paid) could help your team handle most activities in a quicker, easier way. Ask these questions for a Yes/No…
- Does your team’s age & attitude go with the conversational skills needed for new-age channels?
- Is you team well-trained to handle the intricacies of all four major online channels?
- Is your team well-equipped with the right tools in place to run the campaigns effectively on each channel?

#4: Can someone perform better than our in-house team?
Management basics teach us to try and accomplish every goal at the lowest cost possible. Even if your team can handle most part of your campaign, check their efficiency and whether the effort leads to better results. To reach your ultimate goal in the most cost-efficient manner takes time and practice. Ask the right questions to firms which bid for running your online marketing campaign. Make a clear description of your goals and do not compromise on measuring them among deliverables. The professional ones would offer a plan which aligns with hotel’s goals.

#5: Track your staff’s cost efficiency
Ultimately, what matters is the running cost and efficiency in achieving your business goal – whether you outsource or not. In this tough economic scenario, every dollar saved is a gain on the bottomline. First, find the cost of running your campaigns in-house with your staff count, their salary, training, tool costs, and other expenses. Now find how many of your monthly or yearly bookings could be attributed directly to this expense.
Channel 1: Total revenue from Channel – Campaign Costs = Profits
Channel 2: Total revenue from Channel – Campaign Costs = Profits

Now, find the percentage profit for each channel in your total revenue, and sort these into ascending order. This would provide the most productive channel break up run by your team. Let these numbers help you decide your effort and budget for the next month or quarter.

The Conclusion
With your in-house cost to get bookings known, you can make an informed decision. More often than not, your in-house staff can run your online campaigns at the lowest cost – the trick is in empowering them with the right training and tools to do this efficiently.

Check out the outsourcing firms only when you have your in-house numbers clearly known. If the outsourcing firm specializes in your segment, aligns to your goals perfectly, and achieves them at a lower cost than yours’ – go ahead, and outsource.

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On 1.11.11 We Turned Online Hotel Marketing Model Upside Down

To the many great things happening on 1.11.11 – we added our bit for hotels. Our Beta Program for hotels is open now for a few chosen hotels, who want to redefine their online marketing by focusing on booking growth, and not just traffic or top search ranking.

All these years, hotels have been at the mercy of online marketers, who have been promising incredible traffic growth and top search ranking for hotel websites, which may not really result in booking growth.

Moreover, the contant change in channels like search (the No.2 search engine Yahoo died 4 months back – now powered by No.3 Bing – did you know), social media (Facebook overtook Google’s traffic numbers), and mobile(android didn’t exist 2 years back) make hotel staff’s effort to run campaigns in-house a very difficult task. In effect, hotels could neither run campaigns in-house efficiently, nor outsource due to high costs and no performance guarantees.

That was until now. Say hello to HotelMarketingClub!

We declare turning this model upside down, and bringing in a fresh wave of growth for you, which is backed by knowledge and performance like never before.

We’re opening our Beta Program for hotel memberships, which promises to change the way online hotel marketing is run at your hotel or elsewhere. Here are just a few major benefits which make it a no-brainer for hotels to join us…

Grow Your Direct Bookings – On Search, Social Media, Email & Mobile
Increasing the count of direct bookings can grow any hotel’s profitability multi-fold. At HotelMarketingClub.com, we help hotels to create a presence, manage & grow direct bookings on all major online channels – search engines, social media, email & mobile.

In-house or Outsource – We Help You Decide With No Obligation
Online marketing campaign in-house or outsource is a big confusion among hotels. The simple fact is – having an enthusiastic team is just not enough. We train your hotel staff in
online marketing and empower you to decide whether to in-house or outsource your campaign.

Pay Only On Growth We Bring – Stop Over-paying For Under-performance
Would you love the option to NOT pay for below par performance? We heard you! First, you can rest assured that our work is measured in terms of conversion growth – which directly adds to revenues. Second, in rare case we couldn’t grow your bookings, we don’t charge any fee.

We Measure Success In Booking Growth, Not Just Traffic or Top Rankings!
Aren’t you tired of traffic growth & top search ranking gimmicks? We are! We believe that growth in bookings should be the ultimate goal of your campaign. So, for a change, we measure success with bookings grown. We regret the inconvenience caused to other SEO firms.

100% P4P Guarantee on Booking Growth – We Perform Or Refund
We believe hotels should get a refund if we couldn’t help with their growth. So, we offer a never-before 100% pay for performance money-back Guarantee on booking growth. This feature ensures that we put complete efforts every single month to grow your hotel bookings, taking the risk element on us completely.

No Binding Long-term Contracts – Pay As You Go
Yes, we know hotels don’t want to be tied to a long term payment contract irrespective of performance. You can actually use our services on a monthly ‘Pay-as-you-go’ option. Terminate contract after three, or five, or even one month. And, you can always come back within the membership year, when you need us again.

Hotels may sign-up for details on Beta Program here.

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