How Hotels Can Work Alongside Google in the Post-Pandemic Era
For most hoteliers, more than 50% of their direct online room nights are a contribution of Google. That is in the form of direct organic referrals as well as performance marketing referrals such as SEO, SEM, Content marketing, and GDN (Google Display Network), among others. However, things have been a little tight for the hotel business during the pandemic.
But all thanks to Google, it has helped to not only maintain but also increase its search market share significantly. In fact, in August alone, Google has managed to control 87.3% of the market share in the US, 93.24% in Europe, and 91.5% in Asia. That said, in this article, we will look at how hotels can implement the Google strategy to survive in the post-crisis era.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the hotel business has been facing a lot of challenges. From low occupancies, catastrophic ADRs to staff operating on a skeleton-crew fashion. Therefore, during such challenging times, the idea of launching expensive and elaborate performance marketing campaigns to acquire a new customer base on Google Hotel Ads seems to be out of the question.
As we all try to survive during the post-pandemic crisis, the goal is to achieve maximum results with a minimum budget. Therefore, we will discuss some of the initiatives that will help the hotel business reach that hassle-free.
1. Content Marketing Strategies
Any digital hotel marketer already knows that content marketing is a crucial ingredient in making all the magic happen for hotel businesses. And as we all know; all segments of content marketing will cost some dollars. That is because there is so much work to it starting with content creation, management of the marketing campaigns, monitoring of the analytics, B2B marketing initiatives, among others.
And as much you need to put in a lot of work in content marketing when it’s done well, it tends to be a lot cheaper than performance marketing. That is because the content not only entices but also engages the travel consumer to dream and plan then book their dream spots.
2. Review and Update Your ‘Google My Business’
As we mentioned earlier, the goal is to get maximum results with a minimum budget. And the best way to do this is by fully optimizing your Google My Business listing. Also, make sure that your business is well optimized on other local search engines and leading data providers as well.
What do I mean? Update your amenity and service descriptions, hotel information, COVID-19 preparedness, Hotel images, and Videos as well as your business hours. Also, respond to Google reviews. Remember that Google My Business tends to influence travelers in their planning phase directly.
3. Launch a Small Budget Google Campaign via Google Ads
If you want to target your past guests, a small budget google campaign will do the trick. The good thing is that your past guests already know your hotel brand name, the services you offer, amenities, and all.
In this case, all you need to do is show them that your property is safe for them to stay. Also, show them that you offer some promotions and packages that cater to their current needs. The google ads campaign will work as the fair deal closer for you.
4. Launch a Retargeting Campaign on Google Display Network
If you want to communicate the value of your property to customers who have visited your property before, then the retargeting campaign will work in your favor.
This campaign focuses on customers who are already familiar with your location, product, and offerings. It helps to recover guests who seem to have abandoned your product. It only acts as a great reminder as such.
5. Use Marketing Creatives
If you want to stand out in this business, then you must take advantage of marketing creatives. In that, the hotel can offer certain offer perks or value ads. For instance, the hotel can offer a value ad saying that- You will Get Free Breakfast for booking direct.
The idea is to offer a form of exclusivity to the people who book directly. That will help to increase the perceived value of the proposed package in the eyes of the guest.
Even during such challenging times, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, hoteliers still cannot abandon their marketing presence on Google. That is because Google not only controls the more significant part of the market share but is also the most abundant source of direct bookings. Also, it is an integral part of the success of many hoteliers. It has helped many hotels achieve meaningful results from the complex and ever-evolving advertising formats of the Google Ecosystem.