Mastering Hotel Online Marketing with Online Birds

Social media, website, SEO, SEA, Ads: When it comes to online marketing, there are several aspects for hotels to consider. In this article Philipp Ingenillem, CSO and partner of the marketing company Online Birds, lines out why hotel online marketing is nowadays extremely important to attract guests and explains what needs to be considered to ensure a successful web presence.

Why is Online Marketing crucial for today’s hotels?

Hotel online marketing is nowadays crucial as the customer journey starts in the digital space. If I want to reach a potential guest and generate his or her interest, it’s key for the hotel to have an online presence and to be present at the different customer touchpoints.

This starts with search engine optimization, here I need to successfully position myself in a niche to rank well further down the line. In addition to Google, I should also take other search engines, such as Bing, into account. Moreover, my web presence is a deciding factor when it comes to attracting guests. Additionally, Ads play a key role in hotel online marketing, be it Google Ads, TripAdvisor Ads or Meta Ads.

Ultimately, my social media presence is also of great importance. Especially TikTok is becoming more and more important for the hospitality industry, not only in terms of attracting guests, but also for recruiting. When it comes to Employer Branding, it’s now more important than ever that I, as the employer, don’t take myself too seriously and am from time to time open to perform a little dance on TikTok if this helps persuade potential job applicants to join my company.

Is investing in Online Marketing worthwhile for hotels of all sizes?

In principle, hotel online marketing is worth it for all businesses, no matter the size.

It’s important though that I, as the manager, ask myself some relevant questions regarding the positioning of the hotel before I make this investment: Which channels are relevant for me? Which goals am I pursuing? What guest profile do I want to attract?

Philipp Ingenillem CSO & partner Online Birds

For example: If I have a small hotel that disposes of ten outstanding rooms designed by a star architect and additionally an exquisite restaurant, these are the aspects that I should emphasize on. In this case, the target audience could be middle-aged academics living in the surrounding 50 kilometers. It’s unlikely that this target audience will find me whilst browsing through search engines, which is why Pull-Marketing via Social Ads is a good idea here. What I mean by this is: The right investment makes sense for all businesses. To work out a successful strategy, it’s certainly worth consulting with professionals.

In your opinion, what are the key components to be successful in Hotel Online Marketing?

In any case, the measurability of the goals that I want to achieve, in the form of KPIs, is of high importance. Equally important is the previously mentioned strategic approach: What do I want to achieve short, medium and long-term? To do this, I need a clear positioning: The more clearly a hotel is positioned, the more successfully it can be marketed. Moreover, a suitable and reliable partner is also an important factor. It should, however, be considered that the right agency might not necessarily be the most successful one.

Should hotels employ their own Marketing Experts that take care of Online Marketing?

It definitely makes sense for hotels – even small hotels – to have their own Social Media Manager on-site as an agency simply cannot provide content in the same way and of the same quality. In domains such as SEO, SEA, Ads and Webdesign it’s often more convenient to outsource. When it comes to bigger hotels, it’s important for us as hotel online marketing experts to work with a Marketing Manager on-site. This guarantees an optimal implementation of the marketing strategy.

How does Online Birds assist its clients with the implementation of digital marketing?

When a hotel asks us for a service in the field of online marketing, we start off by examining the initial situation. This way we can determine where there is room for improvement and in what areas the web presence is already working well. Thereupon we have a consultation of about one and a half hours with our customers, in which we explain in what areas we can assist them. In a strategy workshop with the managers, we elaborate how we want to proceed. At the end of the workshop, we have mapped out a schedule for the coming year: In the field of Social Media, this means, for example, that target groups, hashtags and a content plan have been defined, it has been determined what can be done with the hotel’s own staff, and in what areas online marketing experts should be consulted. Generally, our clients stay with us for several years and expand the range of services that they use little by little.

About Online Birds

As market leader for hotel online marketing in the German-speaking area, Online Birds has been assisting renowned hotels in the areas of Social Media Marketing, Search Engine Advertising, Search Engine Optimization, Email Marketing as well as Website & Conversion. The Hotel Digital Score is a tool that was developed by us and is the first of its kind; it automatically analyzes the online performance of hotels and is accessible to all hoteliers – free of charge. At our three locations in Munich, Berlin and Lisbon, 70 experts assist hoteliers in becoming more visible and competitive and above all reducing their dependency on OTAs.

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