integrated marketing agency lure agency

7 Reasons an Integrated Marketing Agency Will Help You Crush Your Goals

The Secret Sauce to Digital Success Should Include a Valued Partner

In a world where everything is changing, the days of one-way communication are over. Today's successful business owners have to be creative and create deep connections with their customers if they want any chance in today’s marketplace. So what then? You might ask yourself... Enter the integrated marketing agency!

You may want to consider hiring an integrated marketing agency because they can use their cutting-edge technology and creativity in order to provide you with a well-thought-out, cohesive campaign for your business. This will make it easier for you so that all the hard work of converting leads into clients is done by professionals who have perfected this art form. It's the secret sauce of Science + Soul Marketing, just like we do here at Lure Agency.

Hiring an integrated marketing agency is the best way to get your brand the attention it deserves; because you're busy working in your business, your agency partner can get you new business with a marketing strategy and then execute it.

We will discuss seven reasons why you should choose such an agency for ultimate success, plus explore a few questions to ask and examples of other brands who have used them with successful results in this blog post.

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influencer marketing for hotels | lure agency

Influencer Marketing Can Boost Your Hospitality Business – How to Do It Effectively

What do you think of when you hear the term “influencer?” What about a “travel influencer?” 

There’s a lot of fuss surrounding this new career, as well as the worth of influencer marketing for hotels and the tourism industry. The question is, should your hotel be working with influencers – or is this just a passing advertising trend that doesn’t hold real value?

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How Creating Content Builds Relationships and ROI in the Hospitality Industry

We know what you’re thinking: haven’t we already talked about how important content is in hotel content marketing strategies? We all know that content is “king” when it comes to marketing your brand. Most companies are churning out some kind of content to increase their audience and revenue.

However, what many people don’t talk about is the network of connections that are formed by strong content. When done properly, a content marketing strategy extends your brand’s reach beyond the borders of your own website or social media account. 

Being a part of a “content community” grants your hospitality business access to a bigger audience and powerful partners. The more you expand your network with excellent content, the better your return on investment will be in the long run.

Today on the LURE blog, let’s talk about hotel marketing content that reaches a connected, thriving community rather than disjointed, one-off customers.

Hotel Marketing: Build Relationships for Maximum ROI

How does creating the right kind of content grow relationships and ROI for your hospitality brand?

Let’s talk about it.

Find Collaboration Opportunities

When you create influential content, you form relationships with other brands, content creators, and customers to further promote your message. Let us explain.

A “content relationship” is a mutually beneficial connection formed with other content creators or brands. 

Guest posting and link sharing are also elements of content collaborations. With a guest post, you expand your own content creation capabilities while also promoting the benefits of your content partner. It’s a valuable form of content production - one that should benefit you as much as your audience.

hotel marketing

Image Source: Travel Update

Sometimes, a guest post is simply “sponsored” by another brand, such as the example above in which Travel Update included paid-for links from relevant hotels. In other cases, a representative from a different brand will actually play the role of a “guest” on another website, creating unique content on behalf of their partner.

Beyond guest posts, there’s also an opportunity to form public partnerships. Take a look at the popular relationship between Starbucks and Spotify - two very different brands with a powerful connection.

Image Source: Spotify

Starbucks is known for its premium coffee shop hospitality - it’s a part of their brand image, including the music they use to craft the perfect ambience in its shops. As a music streaming platform, Spotify saw the opportunity to forge an innovative co-branding partnership. Starbucks fans were drawn to Spotify’s platform, and Spotify users got in touch with the musical element of Starbucks branding.

Finding content collaborations is a huge step in maximizing your hospitality marketing ROI. Your brand benefits from reaching a wider audience, whether it’s through a guest post or a co-branding partnership. Additionally, such partnerships help you build relevant links across the web - something Google loves to see when it comes to hotel SEO.

Being Part of a Bigger Community Builds Trust

Another reason to create content for the sake of relationships? You need connections to be reputable. 

Who has more credibility - the lone wolf that no one seems to support or willingly work with? Or the company that’s a part of something bigger? 

According to the Edelman Trust Barometer Special Report (2020), trust in a brand is second only to a product’s price. If you want a strong return on your investment with hospitality marketing, you 100 percent need to ensure that people are learning to trust your company based on the content you’re producing.

This is especially true in the hospitality industry. COVID-19 has left us all on edge - are people going to trust your travel-related business after a pandemic with global shutdowns?

Strong content sets you up as an authority within your niche. Google and real consumers want to see that you’re connected in your field of expertise. They want to know they can trust your content, as well as the products and services you are selling.

A great way to build credibility is to pull in other experts from across the web. For instance, if Travel Awaits wants to seem like a credible source for trip planning information, they need to work with real travel experts - such as the travel experts they pulled in for this blog post. Even the title encourages people to think, “Hey, this website seems to know what it’s talking about.

Image Source: Travel Awaits

If you are able to form relationships and create content that earns your audience’s trust, bingo. That’s where the hospitality sales come in.

Get to Know Your Customers Better 

Content works to create relationships with your actual buyers. When you craft content that targets the right people and gets them talking, that’s when your ROI goes up. 

Customers are always in the process of moving through a “buying journey.” They start with simple awareness about your product, and with your help, they’ll make their way to the final stage: actually purchasing your product or service.

To really play into this buying journey, you need to understand what your customers want/need, then create content that fits the bill in a meaningful, authentic way.

Image Source: HubSpot Instagram

Now, more than ever, you need to know what’s guiding your customer’s purchasing decisions.

-          What are the problems they’re encountering?

-          What do they want to know?

-          How can your brand provide the solutions they seek? 

If you don’t know the answers to questions like these, just ask! 

Use content as a platform for learning about and engaging with your customers, as well as other patrons. Trust us: that’s where the real revenue comes into play.

Remember that content doesn’t just play a role in the digital realm. It can also serve as a tool for engaging in the real world and with local communities.

Image Source: Tribal Village

If you have volunteer opportunities to engage nearby travelers, write about them. If you’re hosting a fundraiser, event, or big meeting, let people know. The more traction you can gain with your local community via content, the better. The influence of your content shouldn’t stop at the borders of digital devices. 

Research shows that over 50 percent of your brand’s reputation comes from online sociability. The more leads you can generate by working with real customers, companies, and bloggers, the more your brand’s reputation will translate to a high ROI. 

Purpose, Purpose, Purpose 

Creating content does build relationships - but only when the content has a real purpose.

A “partnership” with no core goal or shared objective won’t last long. You need to find content partnerships that actually push your brand toward a better future - and that means creating purposeful content that patrons and other brands can really get behind. 

Image Source: 1 Hotels

For instance, look at the 1 Hotels brand. They’re all about sustainability in travel - which means they are very picky about their hotel marketing partnerships and the type of content they produce. That might limit them when it comes to some revenue opportunities, but as a whole, it’s a powerful way to imbue purpose into their content and products.

Customers are proud to say they “partner” with Hotel 1 when there’s such a great purpose to support. They want to partner with a brand that has meaning behind its name, and this brand ensures that all of their partners are working toward a bigger, better purpose than just turning a profit. 

Ask yourself: what is your hospitality brand’s purpose? We’re not talking about your sales goals or products - we’re talking about the big picture objective behind it all. If you can’t nail that concept down and convey it in your hotel content marketing strategies, you’ll struggle to form powerful relationships with others.

Draw More Eyes to Your Brand 

Lastly, we want to share an obvious but important idea: more attention = a higher return on investment in almost any case.

At the end of the day, does a piece of content that’s never seen make a sound? 

Does it really help your return on investment?

Probably not. That’s where partnerships for the sake of attention come into play.

Think about partnering with social media influencers. You don’t do it because you’re just dying to work with the popular Instagrammer or YouTuber. You do it because they have a wide audience, and a partnership with them puts you in the line of sight of very valuable buyers.

Image Source: The Blonde Abroad Instagram

Additionally, influencer partnerships can be big time savers. You’re essentially outsourcing the content creation to a powerful partner with a wide reach. They create the blog post, image, video, or email - you simply reap the rewards for a price. 

Of course, influencer partnerships aren’t the only content relationships that get more eyes on your hospitality products and services. You’ll also want to form relationships that encourage people to share your content more.

Image Source: Beat of Hawaii

For instance, look at this blog post from Beat of Hawaii. They “partnered” with Hawaiian Airlines to offer their readers a relevant, desirable reward for participating in their content. This gets their readers to not only share their post with others but also to engage more publicly with their brand.

The bottom line? More eyes are always a good thing for your hotel or any other business. Creating the right kind of content partnerships will help you achieve that goal.

Content might be king, but its queen is the network that surrounds it. Your highest returns on investment will appear when you strategically create content to build relationships with brands, websites, and customers. 

Not sure where to begin on your own hospitality online marketing journey? Reach out to our team at LURE Agency. We're all about building relationships and maximizing your revenue with smart hotel marketing.

lure agency linkedin sales tips

Linkedin is Hosting Your Biggest Networking Event

Is your FOMO (Fear Of Missing Opportunities) kicking in? Traditional networking has come to a screeching halt in 2020 and maybe on ice for the unforeseeable future.

Like many of you, I love rubbing elbows with some of the industry’s best and brightest at events such as HSMAI and HTEC. 

I can’t believe my last experience was nearly a year ago at The Hotel Revenue Conference in Seattle, right before all hell broke loose.

Dang, I REALLY miss going to events like that.

If there’s a silver lining from last year, it is the reassurance nothing can replace or replicate in-person events. No way. No how. Thanks, Zoom 

It’s crystal clear there are certain aspects of our lives that technology will make obsolete, but levering the right strategies can elevate your networking game to a whole new level.

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hospitality group sales | lure agency

The Evolution of Group Sales

Change is no longer optional, but success is.

Let’s be honest, the last decade was good for us all. Maybe a bit too good?  

The typical salesperson enjoyed the luxury of a steady stream of inbound leads. Who had the time, much less the motivation to prospect for new opportunities?

If it ain’t broke, why fix it, right?

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hotel marketing strategy

Content or Paid: Which is a Better Hotel Marketing Strategy?

When you’re evaluating your hotel marketing strategy and budgets, you’re likely facing a big decision: do you dedicate more funds to content creation or paid ads? Is there a right or wrong decision? Which serves hospitality businesses better?

Unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer to any of those questions. Deciding where to allot money for marketing is a personal decision based on your hotel brand identity and needs.

Although we can’t give you a black and white response, we can help you understand more about each type of marketing. Let’s talk about the differences between content marketing and paid advertising, then dive deeper into each one. 

Hopefully, this piece will help you understand what your hospitality business truly needs more - and where your spending should go when it comes to digital marketing for hotels. Read more

What are you Grateful for in 2020?

Are you having a hard time being thankful this season? 2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. With shutdowns and depressing headlines hitting us left and right, it can be easy to get caught up in the doom and gloom of our times. On the other hand, there have been some positive things that have come from our current state of affairs, too. From family connections to creative solutions to new challenges, there's one thing that's for sure; when faced with adversity we humans have more grit and determination than we give ourselves credit for!

This season, expressing gratitude is more essential than ever. While it can be easy to focus on the difficulties we're facing (and, heaven knows we all have hard things)  finding appreciation for what we do have is key to staying lifted up. What if we all took time to be grateful for the new world we have discovered as a part of our changing landscape?  What if we paused to appreciate the re-established old traditions, the opportunities that have arisen, and the gift of time to spend with our family?

That is just what we're doing here at Lure Agency.

We recently asked our team what they are grateful for this year. Here's what they had to say.

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b2b hospitality sales

E-Commerce Isn’t Just a Luxury for B2B Hospitality Sales - Here’s Why

When you hear the word “e-commerce,” you likely think of online retail sites, right? Stores like Amazon, who offer products of all kinds with exemplary delivery services?  

Stop right there - if you’re in the hospitality industry, and you’re still thinking of e-commerce solely in these terms, think again. E-commerce can work wonders for B2B hospitality.

Whether you’re a restaurant, hotel, or tourist attraction, your website must have e-commerce capabilities, especially for group bookings and business offerings. That’s why, as a B2B hotel or company, it’s time for you to start viewing e-commerce marketing tactics as essentials. 

The manner in which people book group travel and business events has changed dramatically. Roughly 68 percent of the B2B buying cycle is completely anonymous - before you have the chance to speak to the prospect. With more and more hotel marketing being done online, it’s time to learn to drive direct bookings to your website.

In this article, we’ll dive into why e-commerce is not just a luxury for businesses like yours. At the same time, we’ll provide you with some guidance for taking your B2B hotel marketing ideas to the next level.

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hotel group sales

How to Increase Hotel Group Sales with Expert Timing

Ever heard the saying “strike while the iron is hot?” The old cliché couldn’t be truer when it comes to hotel group sales.

Booking more than a couple of rooms at once isn’t just a matter of luck - it’s a matter of precise sales timing. Hotel occupancy rates have already declined by more than 42 percent due to the coronavirus, which means expert timing and strategic marketing tactics are essential right now.

 To increase your hotel group sales, you need to think about when to ramp up your marketing - and when to hold back. Going full throttle all of the time wastes your resources, but choosing select months to increase group advertising is smart.

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social selling with LinkedIn | lure agency

10 Quick & Dirty Skills You Need to Succeed with Social Selling

In this ongoing series on social selling, we cover topics designed to help you grow revenue through authentic connections, specifically using LinkedIn as your social platform.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about the importance of serving, understanding the concept of social selling, and how to grow your LinkedIn into a profit-generating machine. We took a deep dive into LinkedIn “Dos” and explored some LinkedIn Don'ts.

Today, we’re going to get to the point with some quick and actionable skills you'll want to succeed at social selling - best of all, and they're skills you already have! Score. Check them out!

Social Selling Tips Using LinkedIn

While our LinkedIn Do's & Don'ts covered a lot of essential information, there are some fundamental skills you likely learned in grade school that will keep your profile a lead-generating machine.

1. Use Your Manners - Just Like Mom Taught You!

Common sense and good manners will get you a long way. Show gratitude, say please and thank you, acknowledge folks who engage with your posts. In the era of online everything, it can be easy to forget that one fundamental rule. Remember, you want to treat people how you would in real life.

2. Step Slightly Out Of Your Comfort Zone

If you were at a work networking event, you'd likely be sure to connect with at least one person you don't know. You'll want to do the same on LinkedIn because communication is KEY to relationship-building. It's ok - and encouraged! - to send personalized messages and connection requests to potential clients.

3. It's Ok to Make Mistakes 

Have you let your profile sit dormant because you're scared of making a mistake in a post, messaging, or otherwise? Don't let fear hold you back from being active! If you make a mistake, learn the lesson and move on, but you'll never know unless you post, test, engage, repeat.

4. Request Connection Requests

In other words, ask for help. Is there a connection you'd like to make and noticed they're in your extended network? It's OK to request a connection.

5. Be Respectful

LinkedIn is not the place to get into a heated debate on a sensitive topic. If you do find yourself in such a situation, it's best to be professional, polite, and respectful and move on.

6. Have a "Collaborative" Mentality

A powerful business-building strategy is collaborating with folks with complementary products and services. Be mindful of potential collaborative opportunities and open to ways to work with the people in your network.

7. Be Helpful

Nothing makes a stronger and more genuine impression on somebody than when you give selflessly, generously, and (most importantly) without expecting anything in return. This can be as simple as sharing a great piece of content produced by someone in your network.

8. Ask Questions and Express Curiosity

Be curious. Be interested. Asking questions or commenting on the posts and comments of your connections is vital to starting a conversation. This is where real relationship-building begins.

9. Share Ideas

LinkedIn Publisher is a fantastic way to establish your authority and expand your reach on LinkedIn. The ability to share information in a way that is easily understood or relatable is crucial when creating content on LinkedIn Publisher.

When you write, you need to make sure that you write your post from the point of view and at your audience's technical level (and potential customers).

10. Tell Stories

While it might not be appropriate to share a lot of personal information on LinkedIn, it is an excellent place to share professional or work-related stories and experiences.

Engaging storytelling makes people more interested and emotionally invested in what you are sharing. So, draw your readers in (if appropriate) with a funny, poignant, or thoughtful post that humanizes you and makes you more relatable and likable.

This list of LinkedIn best practices will provide you with a solid foundation and increase trust throughout your social selling activities.

Need help with your social selling strategies? Reach out!