Online Travel Agencies
Having online travel agencies (OTAs) as part of your hotel marketing strategy is still a necessity. OTAs provide you with an additional channel to get customers but they severely affect the hotel’s bottom line by up to a whopping 20%. Since hotels have very little control over this marketing channel, some smart hotels are finding other substitutes that can provide them with full control over their bookings and in turn reduce reliance on OTA commissions.
How to get direct traffic and reduce OTA commissions
This is best done with an understanding of your customer’s purchase journey so you can provide ways to introduce your services at different touch points of this journey. Hotels need to equip themselves with better online visibility. They should strategically tweak their offering to appeal to various markets showing cultural intelligence. Here are some tips to consider:
Create an impressionable website along with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
This is one area where hotels have full control. What you put on your website forms an impression. The images, descriptions and features all require special attention in terms of quality content. Make sure the website reflects your unique value proposition. In addition, hotels can highlight certain key features customers view on OTA websites. OTA websites have a rich source of information such as add ons, reviews, ratings and insight regarding your customers as well as your competitors. Once your website contains key information and compelling content, the chances of direct bookings improves massively. This also helps if you’re using Swayy to convert potential customers into direct hotel bookings because Influencers drive prospective customers to your website.
Another important technological aspect any smart company must consider when improving their website is search optimisation – your website needs to be search optimised. Luckily enough there are various ways to increase one’s SEO ranking organically. By using search engines to your advantage you are ensuring more traffic through your website. To get a better grip on this, find out more in ‘Search Engine Optimisation for Hotels’ (coming soon).
Before jumping on to improving rates, hotels need to remove any unfriendly barriers to booking directly with the hotel. To test your direct hotel booking try being a customer and compare the booking experience on your website to other popular OTAs. For example, customer experience can be improved if the hotel booking software can save details of a new customer once they have provided them in order to identify a repeat customer. It can be an annoying experience if the consumer has to re-enter information. Secondly, be sure not to be at a pricing disadvantage on your own site. Just as OTAs can entice customers with proactive prices, a hotel website that showcases attractive offers and promotions can delight customers and tip the scale in your favour.
Starting a blog with insightful and relevant content can be a great way to drive traffic to your website. Search engines favour posts relating to your value proposition or the experiences of your customers. Blogs can be a great way to drive engagement and get people to stay on your website for longer. Keep it fresh and exciting and you can even grow a dedicated following of readers! If you’re looking for inspiration, check ours out here!
Latest Tech Trends
Are you an innovator who often picks up on the latest trends or are you a late adopter? In order to hold a first mover advantage it’s best to keep a lookout for trends that will ease the booking process or delight your ideal customer. Some trends such as mobile friendly websites or booking apps are a must have, given the enormous usage of smartphones. More recent trends such as using a Chatbot as a virtual assistant on your website or on other popular channels such as Instagram can be a smart move to capture your customer’s interest and therefore increase your chances at gaining direct bookings. To learn more about top trends check out our blog: 10 social trends Swayy thinks you need to know.
Social Media Presence
This is the most significant way to enhance your hotel’s online visibility. It provides an opportunity to engage with customers in real time and also gives new consumers a positive impression. Now that so many businesses have increased their presence on social media, it is imperative to publish quality content. Emphasising this over quantity will make sure that your brand appeals to your target audiences. Social media is a great way to make sure you keep up with the competition.
Moreover, utilising the social channel that has the most engaged audiences with respect to travel will increase direct hotel traffic and reduce your OTA commissions. It’s safe to say Instagram is trending in this context. Popular Instagram users and their followers who are passionate about travel are influencing different demographics on Instagram. Who are these Influencers and where can you find them to advertise your leisure business?
Where can Swayy help with this?
Swayy is the world’s first Instagram Influencer marketing platform for hotels. It allows hotels to collaborate with Influencers (SwayyStars) who are passionate about their interests and create compelling content for their followers. Our goal is to get your value proposition to reach their followers at a fraction of the cost and reduce your OTA commissions in a smart manner.
Swayy can empower hotels irrespective of their size and type to work alongside Influencers in a transparent, simple and hassle-free process. We have eliminated as many pain points that come with working with independent Influencers to allow hotels to make more informed decisions and take back control.
To get in touch with our influencers sign up and check out our various packages. If you prefer to contact us for more information, you can do so at +442038088385.