Don’t let your hotel fall victim to the one thing costing the hotel industry billions of dollars
You’re bleeding money.
When you look at your profit and loss statement each year, how much money is lost to OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies)? $60,000, $70,000, $80,000+? Sorry, you’re not bleeding money, you’re hemorrhaging it.
Hotels around the world are losing a battle against OTA’s. The visibility, search ability, and ease of use for these websites and apps are capturing everyone from millennials to boomers.
If you could turn even 25% of OTA bookings into direct bookings, would you try?
Lets do the math. If you converted 10 rooms a night year round from OTA’s to direct bookings, what would it look like?
Average OTA commission: 20%
Average direct booking commission: 4%
10 rooms x 365 room nights = 3,650 room nights
Lets say your average nightly rate is $149/night.
3,650 room nights x $149/night = $543,850
Commission paid to OTA on 10 rooms a year: $108,770
Commission paid on direct bookings for 10 rooms a year: $21,754
Your marketing budget if you convert 10 rooms a year to direct bookings?
This is also how much money you lost in a year to OTA bookings.
Here’s how to start converting rooms to direct bookings:
Invest in your Website
Your website is key to driving direct bookings. A driving force in the use of OTA’s is their adaptation to mobile. Hotel’s and brands fell sharply behind once OTA’s developed mobile websites and apps, making it easy to book hotels last minute or on the go. Now, it’s time for hotels to update vanity sites to catch up. You need to invest in a website with high conversion rates, mobile responsive design, and analytics software to help you track what’s converting and what isn’t. Then you need to market your website.
Invest in Inbound Marketing
You may already have part of an inbound marketing strategy in the works for your hotel. Email, social media, newsletters, etc. are all part of an inbound strategy. When using these methods independently, they can produce moderate results. When you invest in a full inbound marketing strategy, these efforts can significantly help you succeed in reaching your goals of higher profits. Inbound marketing is about producing and distributing quality content hosted on your website to drive potential guests to your website in an effort to convert them into booking via your new website. Inbound marketing can also produce significantly more leads for departments like catering, events, weddings, and more.
Invest in PPC
To compete with OTA’s you’ll need to either run your own PPC campaigns, or hire someone to do it for you. PPC campaigns, done properly can produce great results, but in areas with a massive comp set can also be ineffective. With a proper inbound marketing investment you can begin to rely on this type of advertising less and less, especially as native advertising begins to convert more than banner ads and other traditional forms of digital advertising.
Invest in Meta-search
Investing in TripAdvisor, Trivago, and other meta-search sites may sound like a racket, but when OTA’s are stealing direct bookings from you by placing their links on these sites, you can bet some of your losses are generated through these links. Invest in meta-search to drive traffic to your new, highly converting and mobile responsive website.
Invest in Social Media
We’re not saying every social media site needs your presence, but when you’re active on websites like Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, you will see that search rankings will improve, and when combined with proper advertising on Facebook and Twitter, your network will grow. Offer your network something special while driving them to your new website, and you can watch your profits grow from direct bookings.
If you need information on any of these services, Lure Agency can help. As veterans of hotel marketing, we can can help you strategize and execute marketing campaigns to transform your hotel website into a direct booking engine! Contact us today.