Hospitality Digital Marketing Agency

8 Reasons Hospitality Businesses Should Hire a Digital Marketing Agency

Travel begins online. It begins with internet searches about hotel room rates, things to do at a tourist spot, best restaurant deals, and more. Digital marketing thus becomes ever more important in influencing these online decision-making touchpoints. A well-crafted digital marketing strategy can bring you more customers, elevate your hospitality brands, and increase your revenue.

The hospitality industry crosses many different types of businesses. Whether you are an event planning business, a hotel, a theme park, or a restaurant chain, having an online presence is imperative if you want to grow your business. And a good digital marketing agency can be your trusted partner that acts as a springboard for your growth.

Let’s begin by understanding what new variables and paradigms are affecting marketing teams in the hospitality industry as a whole:

Increasing cost of talent and reduced budgets

Costs have increased across the board in this new economy. Talented and professional digital marketers are now a lot more expensive than before. Complement this with a shrinking budget and you have a difficult situation to navigate. You need to do more with less.

Skill gaps on the internal team

Your in-house marketing teams are always balancing competing priorities, juggling between strategic objectives and tactical demands. At the same time, they have to play catch up with the rapidly changing digital marketing landscape. This leads to a skillset that is not necessarily 100% optimized for digital marketing.

Outdated marketing techniques and an inside-out perspective

As mentioned earlier, digital marketing is rapidly evolving and you need a team that is keeping pace with these changes. Gone are the days of relying only on a billboard and local TV ads to drive business. You need to have a more holistic strategy with digital marketing at the centre of it.

All of this needs to be backed by an outside-in perspective of your customer. Build buyer personas, understand customer pain points, and have sales and marketing teams talk to them to build a more well-rounded picture of your customer behaviour.

There’s obviously a lot more that has changed in the last few years, what we’ve shared above are just the highlights. Let’s look at how you can navigate this new paradigm and achieve your marketing goals with the help of a digital marketing agency.

Why Should Hospitality Businesses Hire A Digital Marketing Agency?

We just explored the factors that influence marketing in the hospitality industry and the importance of digital marketing in helping address some of these new challenges. 

It’s also important to understand how a digital marketing agency can free up time and resources for your internal team, allowing them to focus on strategic business objectives while letting the agency partner bring in the ideas and focus on execution excellence. 

Let’s take a look at how a good digital marketing agency can help you build a framework that allows for more efficient marketing operations and an ROI-driven campaign strategy.

1. Overcoming the Rise and Influence of Online Travel Agencies (OTA)

OTAs started off as a supplement to the hotel booking industry, existing in harmony and helping to add to the hotel’s bottom line. However, they’ve gradually come to replace a lot of the customer journeys that were previously the domain of hospitality businesses.

The commission rates for hotels booked via OTAs have steadily risen, severely impacting the hotels’ bottom lines. OTAs by their very nature are aggregators and they’re not able to create the same experience that a hotel would if a booking is done directly from the hotel. What this means is that OTAs have a greater influence over the decision-making process of potential customers. 

While an agency can help you optimize OTA as a channel (via optimized and conversion-focused listings), OTAs also take away web traffic from your owned channels (like your website and blog).

A smart approach would be to consider OTA as another marketing channel and optimize for it as well, while strategically ensuring that the purchase journeys you created on your own web properties do not take a hit.

An experienced hospitality marketing agency will understand these nuances and should be able to offer you a plan that helps make the most of OTAs for your business.

2. Managing the skill gap and labour costs

Your internal team is resource-limited and always navigating competing priorities. In such scenarios, completely relying on your internal marketing team strips you of the opportunity and expertise that an experienced agency can provide.

Marketing is also a rapidly changing field. Modern-day hospitality marketers need to evolve and adapt to fill the skills gap. 

There is also a labour shortage and ever-increasing costs of hiring a full-time marketing employee. Hospitality companies need to find the right balance between an in-house team and procuring the help of an experienced digital marketing agency. This is even more important if you’re a small to mid-sized business or a multi-location hotel.

An expert digital marketing agency will provide you with a wealth of experience and diverse perspectives that can act as a springboard to help you bring your business into a phase of hyper-growth.

3. Connect With Work-from-home Professionals

Most businesses have embraced the remote work culture, allowing employees to work from home and other remote locations. 

Almost everyone working from home would be more than happy to work from a cozy resort or a mountain cabin. So how would you reach out to them? Find them where they spend most of their time, which is on the internet.

Retargeting your audience using the right digital marketing strategy lets you reduce costs by targeting a very specific subset of the audience, which can later be targeted based on user behaviour.

Digital marketing agencies can help you capture and analyze this data using advanced tracking and analytics, building a segmented profile of users based on their level of interest.

4. Result-oriented Campaigns

One of the key advantages of hiring the right hospitality digital marketing agency is that your campaigns can be fine-tuned around a very specific goal. So, if you wish to generate leads for your remote work packages, you sure can. This can be accomplished through the remaining benefits and marketing services that a digital marketing company can provide.

5. Focus less on traditional marketing strategies 

Traditional marketing is outdated. You cannot expect people to step out of their homes and look at billboards to feel convinced that you’re the right hotel for their next vacation.

Digital technologies are evolving faster than many businesses can keep pace with. Businesses need to evaluate how to fortify their digital marketing strategies with the right tools, to surpass their competitors. Research has revealed that there is a gap in analytics and content marketing across seniority levels and industries, so that’s a good place to start. 

All your digital channels are creating a wealth of data. Prioritize analyzing this data and deriving insights using the right tools. 

6. Local SEO (Search Engine Optimization)

If you are a proud owner of a beach resort located around Long Beach, imagine the amount of business you can generate if you rank on the first page of search results for the term ‘Long Beach Lodge resort’.

That’s the power of local SEO, and as a matter of fact, right now over two thousand people are looking up this very search term on Google. We can help you drive more of that traffic straight to your website.

7. Social Media Management

People are now spending more time on social media than ever before and that’s likely to continue in the near future. Marketing teams must work towards strengthening your digital presence with social media marketing, including regular posts, relevant hashtags, and stories.

By using visual modes of communication and having your guests share their experiences, you can leverage this medium of communication like none other. You can use it to convince potential customers that despite the odds, they can still have a good time.

With the right social media strategy, you can not only generate more business but even reduce your advertising costs by building your following and actively posting content.

8. Reviews and ratings

Your Google, Yelp, and all other ratings and reviews deeply influence the average customer’s buying decision. So, if you are serious about brand building, consider hiring a digital marketing company that is willing to go that extra mile to fix it for you.

Closing Thoughts

The value-add of hiring a digital marketing agency for your hospitality business is immeasurable. Right from bringing in a wealth of diverse experience across clients and industries to acting as your centre for operational excellence, good agencies can help make your digital marketing strategies more innovative.

You can begin by hiring a hospitality digital marketing agency in Toronto that understands your unique business and can help you meet your business objectives.