Accommodation providers stuck in traditional Media?

At the recent NO VACANCY Accommodation Industry Conference in Sydney on May 17, 2007 the trends were clear:

• Google holds 85% market share in the Australian search engine market
• 77% of people use the Internet to search for accommodation
• On average, people visit 5 websites before making a decision

What this means is that most people are searching for accommodation on Google and they are not searching beyond the first 10 results on the front page.

Misaligned media spends

With consumer trend data so readily available why is an online marketing strategy missing from the marketing plans of so many accommodation providers?

A common question is that of effectiveness: how will I know my online strategy is working? It is curious that this question has arisen – no one asks how many people will see the ad in the magazine. You look at the readership figures and feel satisfied that there will be success, yet 14 million users online do not convince you to allocate a percentage of your marketing budget to an online strategy.

A further advantage of online marketing over traditional media is its trackability and measurability. By being able to monitor your campaign and see exactly how effectively it is running you are able to continually refine your strategy and allocate a more targeted spend of your marketing budget.

With a consumer market that has a DIY mindset, 24/7 expectations and an attention span of 3-5 seconds, it is important to pitch a website that sells the story very quickly.

What you need is an engaging website which is easy to navigate, with rich content, high quality imagery and photographs to showcase the property and the location; a simple booking process and if you are going to reply to e-mail enquiries – do it in a 24 hour timeframe.

Tips for investing your finite marketing budget

  1. Have an effective and engaging website built by a firm that understands consumers in the accommodation industry
  2. Ensure that your website is optimized for the most popular local search terms
  3. Invest in a paid search campaign Research shows that when you invest in optimisation and pay per click advertising your results increase by about 50% because having your brand twice on a page means that consumers are more likely to click on it.

Contact our team for more information about how can help your business develop a successful online marketing strategy.

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