In our whitepaper, “Why travelers abandon the hotel booking process – and what you can do about it,” we take a look at various reasons why so many travelers begin the online booking process, but fail to complete it. It’s an all too common issue that hoteliers deal with daily, so we provided a few tips for capturing more of these reservations that are literally just a click away.
Continuing this conversation about converting traveler curiosity into bookings, below are additional tips and tactics for positioning independent hotels online to capture the attention of travelers and secure those highly desired, revenue-driving reservations:
Provide travelers with experience-driven photography and information
As we’ve discussed previously, traveler expectations have evolved well beyond casual sightseeing and snapping a few pictures for the family photo album. Today, consumers are taking destination-driven vacations with the purpose of immersing themselves into local communities and receiving truly unique (and shareable) experiences. To achieve this, travelers are utilizing multiple devices, visiting countless online sites and gathering information from friends and family in an effort to put together the perfect itinerary. With so many tools and resources at their disposal, independent hoteliers must figure out how “cut through the clutter” and appeal to their experience-driven tastes.
This evolution in consumer behavior presents an opportunity for independent hoteliers to leverage their online channels and weave themselves into the narrative of their local communities. By identifying what drives local tourism, operators can use eye-catching photography and attention-grabbing information to sell themselves to potential guests. For example, hotels situated in ski towns should include seasonal photos of the beautiful snow-topped landscape and images of people enjoying outdoor fun alongside their property photos across all of their digital channels. Paired with well-crafted descriptions that highlight the hotel and surrounding neighborhood, as well as helpful tips like what to wear and a weather outlook, properties can, at the very least, increase their odds of garnering serious interest from curious travelers. And, of course, those who go the extra mile, such as building partnerships with local businesses to enhance their room offerings, will further increase their chances of influencing travelers to click “Book Now.”
Provide opportunities to remain engaged via social media and email
Like the majority of business owners, independent hoteliers have more on their To Do List than they are able to complete. However, but there is one specific item that operators can no longer afford to ignore. Independent hotels must include links on their website that allow potential guests to find and follow them on social media and subscribe via email. If operators want to close the time gap between when travelers begin exploring lodging options and the moment when they eventually click “Book Now,” hotels must provide them with opportunities to remain engaged with their brand.
On many company websites, you will find linked icons that lead to their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and/or LinkedIn accounts, as well as an email subscription field. Their goal is to connect with as many consumers as possible, across various channels, and “cut through the clutter” by keeping their brand top of mind. With the competition for bookings so intense, hoteliers should view this simple digital strategy as a “no brainer” for their brand. It allows the hotel to share valuable content, like special offers and news, that travelers want to receive. And most importantly, it gives potential guests multiple ways to learn more about a hotel and feel more confident about their purchasing decision. For hoteliers, this small upgrade will quickly pay for itself with just a few of the increased bookings that are likely on the way.
Learn more about taking control of the online booking process in our whitepaper,
“Why travelers abandon the hotel booking process – and what you can do about it”