Another year is nearing its end. What will we be looking for in the next year? How will this coming year affect our industry and our work in the field of hospitality? By closely observing market trends and consumer preferences, Panadvert continually develops the technology of its products granting them new dimensions. This includes not only already existing products but upcoming ones too. 2015 was the year Panadvert created a Data Analysis department, which will in itself, constitute the very core of its marketing production and implementation strategy in the years to follow.
It so appears that the three core areas of investment in marketing for 2016 are likely to be Mobile and Social Media, Live Streaming and Social Advertising in the Hotel Industry. The need for reliable bandwidth becomes all the more demanding since every mobile device becomes a broadcasting station via which all the experiences of the client during their hotel stay can be uploaded as instant feeding. This alone creates tremendous needs for reliable and fast bandwidth. The hotels will have to double the speed and the bandwidth with their ISP providers and those hotels with the most reliable and speediest connections will maintain an advantage regarding Online Marketing in the coming years. It won’t be long before every high end resort will require an Optical Fiber Internet connection.
What are the major trends in digital marketing for the year ahead?
In reference to the scientific approaches and studies that we conduct regularly, at Panadvert we’ve studied all the digital developments that have taken place so far and we proudly present to you the new trends that will unfold within 2016. Every modern hotel should be aware of the following issues and should begin working towards achieving the next big thing in Hospitality digital marketing.
THE YEAR OF LIVE STREAMING
A leading Online Marketing Trend for 2016 is for companies or guests to increase the use of Live Streaming Video Platforms such as Blab/Meerkat, Periscope. This is aimed at providing a more personalized customer experience and at using the material through the social media platforms. Thus, the conservative field of MICE will have to adapt to the changes with the hotels facilitating Online Broadcasting of the events taking place within their premises when the client requires them to do so. This will boost tremendously an alternative approach from the part of the hotels as their official websites will become television channels broadcasting public events. This way, they will bring in more visitors to their websites and will grant their clients with new possibilities by opening their events to society and the world. Every MICE hotel will become an internationally broadcasting channel. Events organized by pharmaceutical companies, such as presentations of new drugs fighting cancer, etc. will be able to bring in hundreds of thousands of visitors to the hotel’s website www.myhotel.com/TV adding an extra dimension to the hotel’s brand name.
PURCHASED MEDIA AND TRAVEL BLOGS
Hotels will be accommodating travel bloggers, building this way, a partners’ network, facilitating Online PR and leveraging influencer outreach. Thus, the Brand Identity of every hotel or group of hotels will be successfully promoted, allowing bloggers to become the marketers of the hotel’s brand.
GOOD BYE SEO
The power of SEO will be gradually reduced and will be replaced by Search Marketing (Adwords, Yahoo/Bing, Yandex, Baidu, etc.). By googling “SEO Dead” you will find yourself coming across numerous articles proving that SEO may no longer be the answer to your traffic-related prayers. This is because Google’s algorithms steadily move away from rewarding SEO principles and shift towards Search Marketing Principles such as Google Adwords, featuring sites with the best content. In the article titled “Priceline.com CEO on the Death of Search Engine Optimization” http://bit.ly/1QjuUO9 the CEO of Booking.com analyzes why Booking.com clearly drops the SEO approach and decides to focus on investing in online advertising. He specifically mentions “search engine optimization had a great run but we are way past it now.”
THE SOCIAL ADVERTISING YEAR
With the abundance of advertising options supported by Twitter advertising, Instagram advertising and Facebook advertising, the hotel will be able to successfully convey its message reaching its target audience with more accuracy and detail.
THE YEAR OF REVIEWERS’ CONVERSATIONS
The internet users who have written a review of your hotel will be able to communicate through the Social Media platforms and to exchange information for the hotel itself and the destination. Both the dos and the don’ts lists are given a new dimension as the guest becomes the ambassador of the hotel’s brand. Private messaging is by no means new, but social review sites such as TripAdvisor are now overdue to fully seize its valuable potential for customer interaction.
Advertising makes its way to our personal space. Google via the GSP advertising approach uses the information found in the email section of the GMAIL platform and allows the advertiser to interpose by promoting a certain product that is related to the settings and characteristics of a particular conversation. It is as if the postman opens your correspondence, goes through the interaction and depending on its characteristics and points, they attach to the letter a leaflet relevant to your communication.
THE YEAR OF DATA ANALYSIS
Big Data includes market and customer insight and predictive analytics such as Demand Analysis. Correct analysis of the data using the correct tools will help you predict and fix issues regarding the right pricing and the appropriate promotion at the right time for the correct market. Big Data analysis grants the hotels with the opportunity to personalize their services to suit each guest, to build relationships and to create special, customer-specific price rates, unique promotions and distinctive online experiences. The WebHotelier booking engine offers an array of qualitative data analysis tools such as real time demand analysis, per country and per day, giving you the chance to change your room pricing strategy over room demand analysis. See more here: http://bit.ly/1krTwlM
THE YEAR OF HAPPENING NOW IN SOCIAL MEDIA
Hotels will gradually encourage and invite their guests to submit real-time social media entries. By featuring guests’ real stories that are “happening now” hotels will exert a bigger influence online and will trigger a more successful interactivity. This will be far more impressive and massive than the influence achieved so far by uploading the typical, non-spontaneous, professional photographs and videos. Consumers will be encouraged by the hotel to upload their real-time videos highlighting some of the selling points of the specific hotel, thus sharing their experiences not only with their friends and followers. In 2015 Panadvert shifted its strategy and began using all the available users’ photographs that were uploaded on Instagram and every Social Media platform. Social Media Marketing is the first major channel for brands to monitor and engage in real-time conversations, based on a real-time marketing strategy as it has a “dynamic, personalized content delivered across media channels.”
PERSONALIZATION AND SEGMENTATION
Similarly to the principles that apply to the GSP trend, Online Advertising will be targeted around the individuality of the user. Since every individual differs greatly with different needs, interests and goals, their online searches differ too. Panadvert has been working hard to keep this in mind, thus, in collaboration with WebHotelier, will launch in 2016 a brand new, revolutionary product in which every user will be able to come across different price rates based on their user behaviour on the site and on the Booking Engine.A� A number of different price rates will be available for each user estimated according to Dynamic Pricing.A� These rates will be distributed accordingly to the potential clients based on cookie collected information or on the advertising banner the users clicked on. For example, after 10 days from their first search for a room, a remarketing user will have the opportunity to find the room they had been looking for initially at a better price. This will be an individual, customized price that will be available and accessible only to that specific user.
ADVANCED AND SOPHISTICATED PHOTOGRAPHY
With the use of drones and an array of technological means, we can improve the image of the product. Nowadays, the accommodation industry is not focused on Real Estate alone, if anything it focuses primarily on the experience. In order to better illustrate this experience and convey it to the users, a hotel needs the knowledge and expertise of specialized photographers; these in close cooperation with the models, will vividly convey online the experience that the guests will enjoy both while staying at the specific hotel and while making the most of the destination. Read a Panadvert’s case study of a Storytelling Photography for “The Queens Gate Hotel” in London – Kensington, of Grecian Hotels Group HERE>>>
Make your hotel’s website secure. Large worldwide organizations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation have created HTTPS everywhere. This is a global trend among large Internet organizations in collaboration with Web Browsers indicating the necessity for all websites to become Secure by default (https) within the next few years. Google already places great emphasis on HTTPS so that users of Search, Gmail and Drive have automatically a secure connection to Google. At the annual event “Google I/O” it invited users to convert their websites into Secure ones and it announced via its official blog that it intends to give a SEO Bonus to all sites that have https. Both the two major browsers, Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, have announced their intention to set a date in the near future when browsing the internet will be in an https secure environment and the user will be alerted when the visited page is a non-secure one.
SMART TVs IN ROOMS
The Smart hotel is the future of accommodation. With a Smart TV and a wireless keyboard the “Smart Hotel” will offer a service advantage. Guests will make the most of the internet services available to them in the comfort of their hotel “smart”rooms, using a larger screen monitor and without needing their laptops.
The video techniques already in use in the industry are anything but new. However, low cost equipment availability and the fact that the means of production has been commoditized, have made it possible for everyone to use them more frequently. In 2016 the demand for video uploading will be insatiable. Hotels will produce more and more videos, shorter and using various techniques such as Slow motion, Time lapse, Sliders, Drone aerial footage, Color grading and of course, using Ultra HD 4K. Video production for hotels will escape the typical corporate thinking that focuses on a presentation of the accommodation and the facilities. It will take it a step further, toward a presentation based on on-camera testimonials, capturing and narrating the true experiences of the guests and making online marketing even more real. Have a look at the Shangi-La’s Youtube Channel HERE>>
HOTEL WEBSITE THE NEW MEDIA PLATFORM
The new and rising needs of hotel websites demand more than a simple presentation of the products. Hotel websites call for new media platforms on which guests will engage and interact by communicating their experiences. The material of the hotel and of the users will be posted on special internal pages. On those pages, experiences will be presented publicly, live and there will be real-time material posted by the users making use of specific #hashtags.
Metasearch sites such as Trivago, Kayak and TripAdvisor are traditionally used to show hotel prices and then direct consumers to the online travel agency websites to complete their bookings. However with the assistance of major booking engines, third party platforms such as Myhotelshop.de or Wihp’s META I/O will be gradually bypassed. This way the user will be informed of room prices and their availability directly from the hotels themselves through their online booking system. The same applies to Google, which has long offered hotel Meta-search through its Search and Maps products, but has always handed off users to hotel websites and online travel agencies to complete the transactions. Now those users can book a hotel room without ever leaving the search giant’s familiar desktop interface. 2016 will find the direct connections between Meta-search and hotels booming, thus reducing the power ofA� such traditional giant OTA’s as Booking.com.
Gradually more and more local organizations and tourism councils will engage in reaching out to potential new visitors so as to influence their preferences and promote certain destinations, luring them into wanting to visit the specific destination. Destination Marketing will play a pivotal part in promoting communication based on the unique selling points of local products and the competitive advantage of every destination.