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New York, NY, United States, 2009/05/12 - In June 2008, HeBS presented an article titled ‘Getting Back to the Basics: The Hotelier’s Internet Marketing Action Plan for a Difficult Economy.’ A year later, we would like to revisit the recommendations we made back in 2008.
Market researchers provide various projections for the growth of the online travel channel in 2009 and 2010, from a small decline as projected recently by a travel research company, to growth rates as high as 10.5% per eMarketer. eMarketer’s optimistic projections are supported by another leading research company, Forrester Research, which forecasts that overall U.S. online sales will increase by 11% in 2009 and a further 9% in 2010.
HeBS believes that online travel, having always been the most dynamic and fastest-growing segment of the overall online marketplace, will experience similar growth rates. Whatever the case might be, the online travel channel, and especially the direct online channel, provides hoteliers with the only viable option for any growth during this recession.
Last year, HeBS released the article: ‘Getting Back to the Basics: The Hotelier‘s Internet Marketing Action Plan for a Difficult Economy.’ This year, with the economic environment still on the forefront of every hotelier‘s mind, we wanted to revisit our recommendations and provide case studies and best practices from the ‘Hotel Internet Marketing Trenches.’ Case studies in our new article – based on HeBS' experiences with the initiatives from the Hotelier‘s Action Plan we recommended a year ago - include:
• Auditing the Internet Marketing Budget / Plan: read about how a boutique hotel in California kept the same Internet marketing budget this year from last, and experienced an increase in revenues in Q1 2009.
• Web 2.0 / Social Media: TripAdvisor CPC has been working very well for a HeBS client in North Seattle. HeBS launched a CPC (cost-per-click) campaign on TripAdvisor for this client that enjoys reviews in the 4-5 star range. Over the past 12 months, ROAS has risen consistently over 9 times. Also read about how a client on the Northern California coast has attracted over 853 followers who love to retweet about events at the hotel.
• Website Redesign: One month after re-launch, a hotel in San Antonio experienced a significant increase in online revenues. The re-design paid for itself within 3 months.
• Website Optimization: Since 60-80% of traffic to your website comes directly from the search engines, website optimization (including SEO) is the quickest way to boost your website in the search engine results. Read about a client in the Florida Keys who now benefits from more free, organic traffic to their site.
• Paid Search: Even in a saturated market, a hotel client near DisneyWorld is experiencing over 1200% ROAS on their paid search campaigns. Find out what tweaks you can do to increase PPC revenues.
• Email Marketing to the Opt-in List: One of the most cost-effective Internet marketing initiatives, email marketing to the opt-in list consistently brings positive results. Read how a hotel in Seattle had over $7K in bookings from a newsletter that cost $250.
• Online Display Advertising: Display advertising works even in this economy, although you should stick to proven display advertising. For one major brand, we ran banner ads on important mapping services used during the travel planning process. In Q1 2009 their ROAS was 16.3 times.
Please read the rest of the case studies in our latest article: ‘Getting Back to the Basics Part II: Case Studies & Best Practices from the 'Hotel Internet Marketing Trenches’ on our Website.
About the Authors and HeBS
Max Starkov is Chief eBusiness Strategist and Mariana Mechoso is Director, eMarketing Services at Hospitality eBusiness Strategies (HeBS). HeBS (hospitalityebusiness.com) is an award-winning, full-service Internet marketing and Direct Online Channel Strategy firm, strictly dedicated to the hospitality and travel verticals. Having pioneered many of the "best practices" in hotel Internet marketing and direct online distribution, HeBS specializes in helping hoteliers profit from the direct online channel and transform their websites into the hotel’s chief and most-effective distribution channel, establish interactive relationships with their customers, and significantly increase direct online bookings and ROIs. Visit us online at on our website.
A diverse client portfolio of over 500 top tier major hotel brands, luxury and boutique hotel brands, resorts and casinos, hotel management companies, franchisees, independents, and CVBs has sought and successfully taken advantage of HeBS’ hospitality Internet marketing expertise.