The hotel marketing agency you hire will play a large role in the financial success of your business. With the proliferation of hotel marketing companies that has occurred in recent years, the market has become flooded with companies claiming results that they lack the expertise to deliver. How can you sort through the hype to find a marketing agency that will achieve the results you need? These 10 tips will help you to choose a hotel marketing agency with the experience and skill to get your desired results.
A sales pitch may be enticing, but it will not tell you some of the integral information you need to know before you hire a hotel marketing agency. The best way to discover who you are dealing with is to look through the agency’s portfolio, ask for references, and speak to the marketing agency’s clients; they can tell you if the agency is responsive, easy to work with, and able to consistently deliver the results they claim.
A local hotel marketing agency, with a highly trained hotel specialist who will come to your hotel, explore the property to determine your USP (Unique Selling Proposition), and participate in weekly meetings will get to know your hotel and local booking patterns in a way that an online agency cannot possibly match.
- Marketing Audit
Ask the hotel marketing agency you are considering for an audit of your current marketing activities. This comprehensive look at your online presence and your placement on all the major listings will give you a clear understanding of your digital footprint. The audit will provide you with a starting benchmark to measure against future marketing efforts, and a good agency will come back with a list of improvements they would implement, allowing you to assess their readiness to meet your marketing needs.
- Project Timeline
A good hotel marketing agency will give you a project timeline, with a specific 30, 60, 90-day marketing plan for your hotel. An ideal hotel marketing plan will follow these guidelines:
- 30-day plan – All your digital assets – website, Facebook, Twitter, etc. – should be set up and under your control. You have to be able to measure something if you want to manage it; a good marketing agency will set reporting tools in place and verify they are operational.
- 60-day plan – Marketing channels should be set up and working. This includes onsite content, such as a blog extolling local restaurants and activities, as well as offsite web content, with external websites, blogs, press releases, and forums driving traffic back to your website. Social media marketing should be accurately targeted and actively ongoing.
- 90-day plan – The marketing agency should have KPIs and ROI goals in place to maximize your hotel’s revenue, along with a set strategy for reaching those goals.
A top hotel marketing agency will provide thorough reporting, to show you exactly where you stand each month in terms of web traffic, marketing effort, and ROI. Look carefully at the reporting tools the marketing agency proposes using; the best hotel marketing agencies will provide you with industry standard tools, such as Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools, rather than their own custom reporting, which may leave out key attributes.
- OTA Marketing Strategies
OTA’s and their effect on hotel bookings cannot be ignored if your business is to succeed. An effective hotel marketing agency will have a multi-faceted plan in place to combat OTA strategies that includes maintaining price parity with the OTA’s, setting up promotions, and reservation forecasting.
- Local Search Marketing Strategies
Raising your hotel to a prominent place in local search results is an essential hotel marketing strategy. Look for a marketing agency that has focused strategies for improving your hotel’s placement on Google Local Business, Bing Local Maps, and local business citations.
- Social Media Marketing Strategies
A comprehensive social marketing media strategy targeting Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Yelp, and Google+, should be one of the cornerstones of your hotel marketing agency’s plan. Ask to see the results they have achieved for other clients.
- Email Marketing Strategies
Your hotel marketing agency should have a complete email marketing solution with strategies that include email design, creative, and landing page development, social media integration, and list management, along with reporting and analytics.
- Plan to Adapt
There is no room for auto-pilot when it comes to marketing. Online tools and technology are continually evolving, and you need a hotel marketing agency that will closely monitor ROI reports and guest feedback, adjust their strategies to stay current, and incorporate new avenues of marketing as they develop.
As a South Florida hotel owner, you cannot afford to trust your company’s financial future to an online marketing company that may be in a different state or even a different country. Blue Interactive Agency, a leading internet marketing and hotel web design agency in Fort Lauderdale, FL, is dedicated to helping both local and global businesses succeed through a process of designing, developing, and implementing interactive marketing solutions that include web design, social media marketing, search engine marketing, and search engine optimization services to help companies reach their goals.