Scaling for different devices is key to success
What should hoteliers do to capture this growing market on mobile devices? As underlined by tech expert David Esseryk later in this section, the answer is clear. Hoteliers must deliver a customised, user-friendly experience on these devices by offering a desktop website, a mobile website and a tablet website. Content must be scaled down on a tablet site and even more so on a mobile site (not to mention tablets require highly visual content) – and the way users navigate websites on these devices must be considered (touchscreen on mobile, touchscreen and swiping on tablets).
MULTICHANNEL “MOBILE” WORLD (DESKTOP- MOBILE-TABLET)
Hoteliers must now create and manage content; store and distribute the hotel digital marketing assets; and circulate special offers and packages, events and happenings, all through several distinct channels: own “desktop” website, mobile website, tablet website, social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.
There is a good chance that the same traveller will try to access your hotel website via all three devices.
It can be difficult to update one website, let alone three websites. There is a growing need for centralised website content and digital marketing asset management technology. Hoteliers need more than just a simple website content management system (CMS) capable of adding and editing textual and visual content. They also need a CMS that acts as a centralised web content and digital marketing asset management system and can automatically push new specials and promotions to social media profiles and mobile websites, as well as present the digital content in the most appropriate format for each device via Responsive Design on Server Side (RESS).
MARKETING IN A SOLOMO (SOCIAL, LOCAL, MOBILE) WORLD
The convergence of social, local and mobile (SoLoMo) initiatives allows hotels to deliver more personalised, relevant content to existing guests, in real-time. Social speaks to how we share our travel experiences, mobile speaks to our “always on-the-go” nature, and local speaks to the need for information from our immediate environment.
One of the best examples of SoLoMo in 2016 was when Google “married” its local content listings (Google Places) with its social network (Google+) and made this content the default in its mobile search results. By converting more than 80 million Google Places listings to Google+ Local pages, Google achieved an unprecedented level of dynamic, social content vs. static directory content. For example, Google+ Local integrates reviews from those in your circles.
SoLoMo is changing the way consumers access information. Instead of researching attractions during a hotel stay, mobile applications can now detect a traveller’s location, what he or she is looking for, provide directions, push specials based on geo-location, and even allow guests to share their experiences in real-time.
Hoteliers need to consider how to best utilise SoLoMo to engage their guests and generate incremental revenues. In addition to offering a ‘location-aware’ mobile website, consider engaging your local customers via time- and location-relevant check-in promotions and rewards, launching social media promotions, contests, and post series via Facebook and Twitter, and blogging. These types of geo-social marketing initiatives allow hoteliers to integrate with consumers’ lifestyles and connect (and stay connected) with them in ways that were not previously possible (and are great for time and location-sensitive promotions).
THE RISE OF LOCATION-BASED MARKETING
Location based marketing allows hotels to reach their audience with a customised message dependent on where they are at the time. From encouraging check-ins to offering local mobile coupons and deals, brands will continue to incentivise social sharing and focus more on local engagement. Hoteliers can accomplish this in very affordable ways, such as adding a check-in special on Facebook and Foursquare, or sending customers a text message offering a discount to be used on-property. SMS marketing and geo-location offers should become key in how hoteliers target travellers not after but during their travel experience.
THE CONVERGENCE OF SOCIAL, LOCAL AND MOBILE (SOLOMO) INITIATIVES ALLOWS HOTELS TO DELIVER MORE PERSONALISED, RELEVANT CONTENT TO EXISTING GUESTS, IN REAL-TIME.
Before hoteliers even consider leveraging location based services, they need to make sure that all local content is accurate and optimised for the search engines–this is where mobile directories and mobile mapping services pull location information. Mobile search engines favour and predominantly serve local content; therefore, hoteliers need to optimise their local content and listings on the search engines (Google+Local, Yahoo Local, Bing Local), main data providers, local business directories, yellow pages, etc
Our thanks to David Esseryk for his input.