online marketing

How Online Reviews Can Make Or Brake Your Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

How Online Reviews Can Make Or Brake Your Business [INFOGRAPHIC]

Nowadays, what people say and write about your business on social media, discussion groups, industry forums or review sites has much more impact and influence than what brands convey in their owned media and advertising efforts.

The folks at Websitebuilder recently came up with a brilliant infographic that does a stellar job at summarizing some of the key elements and stats regarding how these reviews can make or break some businesses. We all know this in the travel and hospitality realm, with the likes of TripAdvisor, Google, Yelp and OTA sites such as or, for example. But interestingly enough, and showing we are not alone in this mainstream phenomenon, you will see there are various other industries that must now deal with online reputation management.

Boost Your Bookings from Instagram

Boost Your Bookings from Instagram

Instagram’s focus on visuals gives you plenty of opportunities to show off your hotel, wow potential guests and drive bookings– ready to get your Instagram game up to scratch? We’ve created a quick checklist to help you out.

Instagram is, in many ways, the ideal social platform for hotel marketing. Instagram is a place where visuals rule and distractions are kept to a minimal. Instagram is less cluttered than Facebook, giving you the chance to shine, and it’s more permanent than Snapchat.

5 Best Practice Tips to Increase Direct Bookings

According to BLLA, hoteliers at boutique hotels spend more than half their time on sales and marketing activities.

That’s a LOT of effort, but are you seeing results? And, more specifically, is your hotel website (your most important sales & marketing asset) driving direct bookings? This is a challenge, not only for the boutique sector, but for hotels of all sizes and star ratings.

In this webinar, we discuss 5 best practices for your website to help drive more direct bookings, reduce your dependence on OTAs, and ultimately generate more revenue.

Topics Covered:

  • Hotel Website Fundamentals: The 5 differentiators your hotel website needs to drive bookings
  • Visual Storytelling: What images and types of stories turn “lookers” into “bookers”
  • The Path to Conversion: How to optimize your booking path to decrease abandonment rates
  • Real-Life Examples: How other properties like yours are using our best practices to drive results


Uploaded by Leonardo on 2016-09-22.

5 Signs You Should Invest In Online Reputation Management

5 Signs You Should Invest In Online Reputation Management (Infographic).

Author Alexandre Coussy, source

Many marketers fail to understand how big of a damage poor reputation can do to a company and when it comes to running a business, whether small or large, utilizing a good online reputation management is no longer an option. Rather, it has become a complete necessity.

No one should underestimate a negative reputation. Even if your business is not online, your reputation (regardless if it’s good or bad) will always be plastered on the web, especially in this day and age where digital technology and internet connectivity is almost unavoidable.

Before the Internet came into picture, the reputation of a business was built, not managed. Today, the Internet opened a whole new dimension for reputation management, and the world wide web served as a magnifier that intensifies every mistake, imperfections, and perceived insult.

Many small firms attempt to utilize the Internet themselves to broadcast their goods and services online. While there may be a few who will succeed, most businesses will not. It is not a matter of how much effort they put into it, though. Frequently, failing simply means they need a little push from online reputation management experts.

ORM professionals know that the most ideal way to attract prospects is to rank high for search terms that are related to the business. If you had experienced one or several of the following situations, it might be time to consider investing in online reputation management


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Guest Post: The Biggest Mistake B&B Innkeepers Make

Guest Post: The Biggest Mistake B&B Innkeepers Make

By Darlene Rondeau, source

Guest Author: Yvonne Halling, Founder,

If there was one big mistake that I see B&B innkeepers making, it’s not putting themselves into their marketing.

Guests choose us because they want some interaction. They want to hear our stories and share theirs, so where are you hiding out?

Here are three main places I see B&B Innkeepers hiding:

On Their Website

They are nowhere to be seen, no pictures, no stories, no “About us” page, no blog about their life – just hiding out behind the “storefront” hoping that the rooms, the beautiful view, the comfy beds, the delicious breakfast will do it for them.

The Cedars of Williamsburg B&B does a terrific job of showcasing their personality to travel shoppers by featuring unique recipes

You can get rooms, beautiful views, comfy beds and delicious breakfasts anywhere, but there is only one of YOU. And don’t get me started on the “customer satisfaction is our highest priority” – as if that makes you special. It doesn’t – everyone is doing their best to satisfy their guests’ expectations. You’re not standing out with that old line.

You can get rooms, beautiful views & comfy beds anywhere, but there is only one YOU

On Social Media.

Many B&B innkeepers are not revealing themselves online. Let’s start with profiles. How many friends do you have on Facebook? Are you adding people and making connections regularly? Do they even know about your business page? Is it properly listed in your profile, so when I visit you on Facebook, I can see immediately that you run a hospitality business?

I run a couple of groups for B&B owners, guest house owners and innkeepers on LinkedIn and we get between 30 and 50 requests to join each week. I am often shocked that almost 50% of those requesting to join don’t even have a photo of themselves, let alone a proper profile so I can see who they are. Don’t let this be you.

Online presence matters, whether we like it or not. It’s the nature of the world today.  Over three billion people are online – your prospects, your future guests, your connections, your next project.

Take a look at your online presence and ask yourself – would I trust this person?

Take a look at your online presence and ask yourself – would I trust this person?

Are You Sharing Your Knowledge & Expertise?

The third place I see people hiding out is not sharing their knowledge and expertise in a way that both guests and prospective guests can benefit from it. What do I mean by that? Your free guide is your online calling card.

I know that you’re sharing your expertise and knowledge with your guests at your place, but what about those who haven’t booked yet?

Looking for things to do around Wilkes-Barre, PA? Hillard House Inn provides potential bookers with expertise of the area.

Having a proper online strategy to get that knowledge into the hands of those looking for a place in your area will massively increase your bookings but also your perceived value in the eyes of those people and perceived value is everything – but that’s for another time.


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How Blogging can Positively affect Direct Bookings.

How Blogging can Positively affect Direct Bookings.

By Nigel J. Rodgers, source

There are numerous digital marketing tools available for hoteliers to effectively promote their properties, one of these useful tools is the hotel blog.

There a few reasons why blogs are important. Blogging helps the hotel connect with their audience on a personal level by providing a message that can directly target the customer.

Blogs are also effective social media content and, when scheduled regularly, can help your hotel appear connected and up-to-date. Google is partial to newer content, so posting blogs with strong copy on a regular basis can help your hotel website rank higher in searches.

Greater engagement with your customer can be facilitated through blogs because they allow readers to directly comment on your posts. A blog will get your website greater visibility which in turn will positively affect your direct bookings. That’s the ultimate goal, right?

Blogging is more than just coming up with an article about a current event. There are steps that can be taken to ensure that your blog is effective. It starts with the title: use an exciting and interesting title that captures the attention of the audience.

Something like “Come see Our Newly Remodeled Rooms” gets the point across, but it isn’t enticing. You want a title that makes your want to read more. Speak to the emotions of the reader with a title like, “Kick back and Relax in our Newly Remodeled Rooms with New Features!”

Adding keywords to your blog will also make your site more likely to rank higher in search results. Use keywords that flow seamlessly into the copy of your blog. In addition, too many keywords will make your copy seem disjointed and clunky, so use them moderately.

Another way to get better results is to add a picture to your blog. When you post your blog on social media, it is more likely receive engagement if there is a picture accompanying the post.

When selecting topics for blogs, choose ones that will interest your target audience. Here are a few topics that have been proven to receive high engagement:

  • Special Events like festivals, concerts, and conferences.
  • Popular restaurants, bars, nightclubs, and theatres.
  • Local attractions, city tours, theme parks, and landmarks.
  • Hotel Updates- New services, remodels, customer interviews and reviews, events at the hotel.

Once you select a topic, create well-written content with strong keywords, and post your blog on social media. You will be well on your way to increasing traffic to your hotel’s website!


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The Five Senses of Hotel Marketing

The Five Senses of Hotel Marketing

July 27, 2015 • By tambo, source:

People have keen senses.

Taste, smell, touch, sight and sound evoke powerful emotions and memories, and that’s good news for hoteliers.

Contrary to what most hoteliers would believe, travel decisions aren’t simply rational and logic-based. People make buying decisions – or any decision for that matter – based on their emotions.

Sensory marketing has been a secret weapon used by some of the world’s biggest brands for decades. Just think of the iconic and refreshing sound of a Coca-Cola can being opened, and the drink poured over a glass of ice cubes as it begins to crack the ice, fizzle and pop. Studies shows that 35 percent of Fortune 500 companies have adopted some form of sensory branding into their marketing philosophy.

In a time when the entire hospitality industry is talking about the guest experience, the focus is on creating an emotional connection between your hotel and potential guests. Sensory marketing appeals to all of the human senses, therefore, engaging emotions and influencing buying behavior.

Here’s how you can hit all five senses to draw people completely into your experience and make them more likely to book:

1. Sight

People will make automatic assumptions about the quality of your hotel experience based on the quality of your marketing materials. According to a recent study by professors at Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, old and outdated marketing images gave their research subjects the impression that a hotel was not just dated, but also ugly and dirty – even without them ever having visited the property before! That’s why clean and modern aesthetics on your hotel website design, brochures, sales kits, videos and photos are so vital to turning a profit.

While most hoteliers will read this and say, “Sure, that’s why we invested in new photography last year,” beware that a traveler’s sense of sight is impacted by more than just photos. This also relates to your fonts, color palette and overall design. Plus, don’t overlook your copy, which also “paints a picture.” Use words to bring out the color and vibrancy of your destination, such as, “be surrounded by our verdant green jungles and blazing blues of ocean and sky.” All of these sensory elements combine to create a visual experience to draw people in.

2. Smell

Recent research suggest that smell comes immediately after sight as the most important of the senses and most influential on a consumer’s emotional response to a company.

Intercontinental Hotels Group uses the sense of smell to entice brand loyalty. Each IHG brand caters to different target markets and therefore offers on-property scent options tailored to their specific guests’ expectations and desires. For Hotel Indigo locations, properties can choose from four signature scents each quarter to pipe throughout their hotel. For example, past winter scents included Cranberry Apple Marmalade (warming scent of tart cranberries and spiced apples) and Noel (Balsam fir mixed with warm spices and citrus top notes).

Holiday Inn Hotels have a universal scent that is used at all properties worldwide to create a consistent and common experience. Guests will smell a white tea and citrus blend, with subtle notes of woods, musk, herbs and perilla leaf.

3. Sound

Catchy marketing jingles can remain in people’s minds for decades. That’s why advertising music is written with the specific purpose of hooking the listener and nesting in the guest’s mind and decision-making. One hotel marketing slogan with massive longevity is Motel 6’s famous, “I’m Tom Bodett and we’ll leave the light on for you.” Ad-libbed by Bodett in 1986 and mixed in with uplifting fiddle music, it became the hotel’s signature sound piece that conveyed a down-home theme of clean, comfortable rooms at the lowest prices of any national hotel chain.

Truly, advertising often sneaks into the brain through audio. That’s why after your commute, you’re humming the last song you heard in the car. Or, you’re constantly thinking of that witty jingle by a national insurance company. Sound is powerful. Hard Rock Hotels asks VIPs to fill out a questionnaire before their stay, including what their favorite bands and songs are. They then have the guest’s preferred music playing in their guest room as they walk in, creating instant happiness and nostalgia.

4. Touch

Don’t overlook the textures, fabrics and materials that make up your property’s marketing materials and language. Hotels have a unique opportunity to convey the feeling of luxury or sumptuous comfort by accurately and animatedly piquing people’s sense of touch. Doing so can trick a guest’s mind to briefly experience your hotel, making them bond even more with your brand without ever having stepped foot onto the property. Look how much your sense of touch is activated just by adding materials and fabrics in these descriptions:

“Beautiful headboards vs Floor-to-ceiling velvet and leather headboard”

“Kitchenette with all appliances vs Kitchenette with sleek marble countertops and stainless steel appliances.”

“Comfortable bedding vs Plush, 1200-thread count Egyptian cotton sheets and silk duvets.”

5. Taste

It’s often been said that one way to win over someone’s heart is to appeal to their appetite. That’s the power of a person’s sense of taste. In the 1980s, Doubletree by Hilton defied the custom of reserving privileged perks solely for VIP guests by offering a warm, chocolate chip cookie to every guest upon check in.

The gesture suggested warmth and caring and now each DoubleTree by Hilton property follows the brand’s exact recipe and baking instructions to guarantee a consistently delicious experience no matter which property a guest is visiting. Is there a food that is synonymous with your destination? Perhaps offer sample sizes of your own version. Offer complimentary wine and appetizers during a guest happy hour. Or, offer glasses of champagne upon arrival.

How are you currently marketing to your guests’ five senses?


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