2018 Digital Marketing Trends for Hospitality Industry

A warm hello to everyone! It’s that time of the year again – when you look back at the successes of the year that’s about to end, and plan for the upcoming one. 2017 has been a very exciting year for me, with the release of my first book with my two daughters, aged 7 and 11 as co-authors. As I look forward to welcoming 2018, I want to continue helping hotels embrace hospitality digital marketing trends.

Most aspects of human society now incorporate digital in some way or another, so hotels that haven’t yet made the digital transformation already risk falling behind. I’ve a habit of iterating that if you invest time and money in digital marketing, then you’ve the opportunity sitting in your room to connect with audiences all over the world. If you’re not ready to invest, it’s time to pack up.

Here are the digital marketing trends for 2018 which will transform your hotel –

  • Big data gets huge

Big data gets huge Companies that change the world and the face of business are tapping into Big Data, but one industry has been reluctant to grab hold of the craze – and that’s the hospitality industry. It’s more valuable than you imagine, and can even revolutionize the industry. It’s the most important digital marketing trend for hospitality industry.

A guest checks in to your hotel and posts a review on Facebook.  This is valuable feedback, but mining for each and every review is impossible. But Big Data will help you see the Big Picture, and have an honest look into the kind of experience you offer your guests. What did you do right? What did you do wrong? Now you don’t need to be afraid of a mistake getting viral on social media before you nip it in the bud!

That’s not all. The future has spoiled us – we want instant service, that too perfectly tailored and before we even know we want it. Big data lets you gather information on our tastes, habits, and shopping trends to paint a more accurate picture of what we’re looking for. Imagine walking into a hotel room where your favourite TV shows, air temperature and other preferences are already in place. Smartphones are past; Big Data will help you welcome smart rooms!

• The real power of virtual reality

The real power of virtual reality I’ve written about this before, but I can’t tell you enough how awesome Virtual Reality is. Don’t believe this? Consider this –

Sight and smell can dramatically alter a dining experience. This study even showed that visual displays even affected the taste of whisky – https://goo.gl/o2vxu1

It may not be very long before guests are transported via a VR headset to an all-encompassing environment with all the associated smells and aromas.

For hotels, the limits are endless. You can display your hotel’s features like never before. Silver Chef, a specialist hospitality equipment funder, introduced a VR setup enables customers to walk into a real life restaurant or café and view a selection of equipment tailored to their start-up.

Use events on your property to immerse users in an entertainment experience that adds excitement, by watching 360 degree immersive video.

The digital marketing trends for hospitality industry are incomplete without VR. Make it a reality today!

• You’ll miss out if you don’t do this in 2018

You’ll miss out if you don’t do this in 2018 Say goodbye to big budget, showy video productions. These will be replaced by immersive storytelling style videos. Here’s an example – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0VIjaYcbrY

I’m thrilled to see that the trend has already started. Create soft, clean promotional videos which revolve around your property. Video marketing has been around for a while, but the dynamics are constantly changing. Here are some statistics to shape hotel digital marketing for 2018 –

  • Facebook generates 8 billion video views on average per day
  • YouTube reports that mobile video consumption increases by 100% year-on-year
  • Snapchat users watch 10 billion videos per day
  • Including a video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80%

I’ve a few ideas for you to create engaging, social video.

  • Show customer stories and testimonials
  • Broadcast live video of events.
  • Share user generated videos
  • Create short “Thank you” videos from your team to new guests or guests that you upsell.

• Rise of Google Rich Answers

I’ve always said that the aim of your website’s blog post is to rank No.1. But with Google Rich Answers, you can rank even higher than number one. Rich answers are those snippets at the top of the Google search page, which provide direct answers to queries.

But they are constantly evolving from answering quick queries and definitions to descriptive solutions. Hotel digital marketing for 2018 will revolve around ranking higher on Google, and the rise of Rich Answers will help you achieve that. Try to find questions that travellers are asking, like “How to plan a trip to Goa” or “What places to see in Santorini”.

I recommend forming the question, query, or key phrase in the blog title, then answering within the first couple of paragraphs before sprinkling keyword or search question variations throughout the content.

The results will be absolutely amazing.

• Google Questions and Answers for local businesses

A few days back I was using Google Maps, and noticed a new feature – it allows users to ask questions to a business directly from the search results page. This gives hoteliers the opportunity to interact with their guests, like Facebook’s direct messages feature. All you need to do is ensure you have a Google My Business location setup and verified. Then download the Google Maps for Android app and link it to the Google account used to manage your business listing. Your hotel can then set up the app to receive notifications when a user asks a question. After that you just need to make sure you reply on time!

While the feature is still in a test phase, I’m certain it’ll gain prominence come 2018. Prepare in time and stay ahead of the race.

These are the top 5 digital marketing trends for 2018 which will influence the industry in a huge way. Follow the #AskAviArya show, and stay ahead of the curve always! Subscribe here – https://goo.gl/g5wTEZ

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