Hotels Need to Think Like a Media Company

Hotels Producing Content

A hotel’s strategy for producing content should be inspired by media companies
and influenced by their ideal customer and what is unique about their property.

Hotels are not simply hospitality and travel companies, they and every business in the world today are media companies. Hoteliers must view their brand, property and business this way and produce content accordingly, because, after all, content is king. It always has been and always will be.

The difference now, in 2015 and beyond, is what is defined as content. This is of particular interest to hoteliers as they allocate valuable time and resources to try to reach potential guests and maintain the attention of past guests.

What do travelers, Millennials, mobile users and followers consider content?

Content, for today’s consumer, is about making connections. It is about connecting with a brand, a lifestyle, a persona even. It is about aligning interests and philosophies with businesses that fit the view of what consumers want in life — from experiences and products, to convenience and useful information. Content inspires consumers to elevate their way of life and consider what they want their world to look and feel like. Content is always available so that the consumer can access it how and when they choose.

Every piece of content produced today is an opportunity to connect — both with a broader reach and on a more personal level with each individual consumer than ever before.

Travel and hospitality companies are expanding their way of thinking and their brand’s strategies to capitalize on the impact and appeal content can create. Airbnb is doing so in the form of a print magazine, Pineapple and Marriott International has made news with their Content Studio, which encompasses feature films, SnapChat campaigns, long form publishing and blogging. And just last week, Hilton used Periscope and Meerkat to livestream a Nick Jonas concert to fans and followers.

How can hotels produce content like a media company?

Consider the potential connections good, fresh, consistent content can make, then it is also easily realized that content does not need to be elaborate, extensive or expensive. It can be done on a property-level, it just needs to be authentic.

  • Create back of house videos for an up close look utilizing mobile devices
  • Livestream live music or entertainment using Periscope or Meerkat
  • Show a “day in the life”, sharing what makes each department unique
  • Interview the executive chef and share tips or even a signature recipe or cocktail
  • Post snapshots on Instagram that aren’t captured on a website’s photo gallery.
  • Share employee spotlights of popular staff so audiences can get to know them
  • Ask what followers want to know, but be sure to deliver the content they request.

Do not just offer a glimpse inside a property or behind the scenes, become the go-to resource for travelers planning trips to the area by posting always current lists of upcoming events, must-see area attractions, date night ideas, travel tips, planning guides and other nearby offerings. This not only provides authentic, fresh content that search engines love, but it paints the picture of what awaits guests.

Convey the experience at any given destination, whether it is the relaxing oasis at a property’s spa or the highlights of the city, through helpful information, quality visuals and answers to frequently asked or commonly misunderstood questions.

Think outside the box and get creative. Content as simple as helpful weather information, road closures, and other dynamic details are where opportunities exist to connect with people as they plan a trip as well as before during and after their stay.

Content is connections. Connections are bookings. Bookings mean loyalty.

“Positioning a hotel as a media company online enriches a brand’s reputation and builds connections vital to a property’s revenue,” says DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. “People want information, they want to be ‘in the know’ and they want to engage with brands that embody the things that are important to them. Hotels can easily provide the content consumers are out their searching for and cultivate connections and relationships from there. Hoteliers have the foundation in place. Fresh, authentic content can be shared on a vanity site, blog, social channels and email.”

Lodging Interactive has been creating content, making connections and generating increased revenue and loyalty for management companies, major hotel brands as well as independent and boutique hotels. The digital marketing and social engagement firm’s approach is about people and that provides clients with a truly unique, customized strategy that fits their specific needs and goals.

Contact us today for more ways to produce content that forges connections, or to partner with Lodging Interactive.

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April 21, 2015: Google Mobile Ranking Affects Hotels

Google Mobile Ranking Algorithm takes effect today.

You have heard it called “Mobilegeddon” and the “Mobile Ranking Showdown” and even “SEO-Pocalypse”.

Everywhere, the sky is falling as the “Chicken Little of SEO” appears in Google’s latest Mobile Ranking update.

What does it mean for your hotel website?

Why will this affect your hotel search engine rankings?

It should come as no surprise (to anyone with a website) that Google would eventually penalize website owners who are not up to date with the latest technologies, and here’s why:

  • Google’s mantra “Do No Evil” means they are looking out for the site visitor’s best interest. Is it in your best interest to find a website that you cannot see with your Mobile device? Of course not!
  • If you do not have a mobile website or are not in the process of designing one, you are missing out on more than one fourth of the global population (2 Billion Consumers Worldwide) according to eMarketer:

emarketer_MJBlog

  • If you look at the Global Digital Snapshot, there’s more to mobile rankings than just your website. Social media plays a huge part in driving site traffic. If your website is not responsive or designed for mobile, you are losing your chances to increase direct bookings, keep your current market base as well as gain overall market share.

was_MJBlog

What should you do if your hotel website is not mobile?

  • Create a responsive or mobile website. While there is no guarantee that it will help your Search Engine Rankings, you have to update your website to include the larger audience or you will be left in the dust.  This is no longer an option, but a MUST HAVE in the digital world of today.
  • Include social media marketing in your current strategy. Gone are the days when Social Media was an option.  Your guests want to hear from you and they want to be able to get instant responses (or as close to it as possible).
  • Remember that SEO is paramount. After all, you don’t forget how you found this article. SEO is essential to the implementation of your new mobile website design and higher search engine rankings.

While no one can guarantee you high search engine rankings, you will be guaranteeing that your competitors with mobile-friendly website will have the upper hand in at least one way. Don’t fall behind the standard when it can be prevented. Follow the above steps and contact us today. Lodging Interactive will help you stay in touch with your current guests and help you garner new ones as the digital marketing landscape changes.

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Lodging Interactive Wins Multiple Industry Awards for Website Design

The hospitality industry’s innovative digital marketing and social engagement agency
earned numerous awards for website design excellence from prestigious organizations.

2015-ima-square-badge-all-levels-1-small     2015-silver1

We are proud to announce that Lodging Interactive, the award-winning digital marketing and social media engagement firm exclusively serving top properties in the hospitality industry, has received multiple awards this month for outstanding website design from Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association and Interactive Media Council, Inc.

The New Jersey based agency, which has provided personalized website design, reputation management and social media marketing services to over 750 properties in 45 countries, was selected as a Horizon Interactive Awards Silver Award winner in the Websites – Travel & Tourism category for their design of the Marriott Hotel Pleasanton website.

This award, which recognizes excellence in website design as well as print media, mobile applications and video among others, “has become one of the most prestigious awards in the field of interactive and creative media,” according to the Horizon Interactive Awards website.

In addition to the Horizon Interactive Award, Lodging Interactive also earned a 2015 Internet Advertising Competition Outstanding Website Award for the design of the Green Mountain Inn website. This award is presented by the Web Marketing Association to “honor excellence in online advertising, recognize the individuals and organizations responsible for creating work, and showcasing the award winning Internet advertising,” as mentioned on their site.

The Marriott Pleasanton and Green Mountain Inn websites, along with the website for DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia – Valley Forge, also took home 2015 Interactive Media Awards™ (IMA) for Outstanding Achievement from the Interactive Media Council, Inc. Earned by Lodging Interactive in 2012, 2013 and 2014, the IMA awards “recognize the highest standards of excellence in website design and development and honor individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievement.”

A full list of recently announced awards include: 

2014 Horizon Interactive Awards – Silver Award Winner

Marriott Pleasanton

2015 Internet Advertising Competition Outstanding Website Award Winner

Green Mountain Inn

2015 Interactive Media Outstanding Achievement Award Winners

DoubleTree by Hilton Philadelphia – Valley Forge

Green Mountain Inn

Marriott Pleasanton

“We are honored to receive recognition from Horizon Interactive Awards, the Web Marketing Association and Interactive Media Council, Inc., and proudly add these awards to the industry acknowledgements Lodging Interactive websites have earned,” said DJ Vallauri, Founder and President of Lodging Interactive. “These accolades showcase our ongoing commitment to providing the best in innovative website design to the hotel industry. This is a win for our talented in-house team and the clients that have put their trust and confidence in Lodging Interactive to build eye-catching, responsive websites that reflect their exceptional properties.”

Contact us for more on our award-winning web design services available exclusively to the hospitality industry. Learn how Lodging Interactive can bring your property to life online.

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#AskDJV – Episode 22: Domain Name Registration

Thanks for watching this week’s episode! Today, I’m addressing a question we often receive from prospects:

“I’ve purchased domain names that I’d like to set up to drive more traffic to my website, how do I do that?”

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Until next week!

 
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#AskDJV – Episode 21: Real-Time Marketing: How Does it Affect the Hotel Industry?

On this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I’m talking about real-time marketing and how it affects the hotel industry.

 

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

 

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Catch DJ Vallauri Livestreaming on Meerkat & Periscope!

You know DJ is on Twitter and on YouTube where he answers your questions each week on the #AskDJV Show, but did you know you can catch DJ livestreaming his adventures on Meerkat & Periscope?

Follow Lodging Interactive’s Founder & President on Meerkat by simply clicking the button below.

DJ Vallauri on Meerkat

 

Search @DJVallauri in Periscope to follow him there!

Oh, and while you are at it, follow Lodging Interactive on Twitter too!

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Mobile Website Essentials

Having a mobile website is essential for your hotel, but what are the essentials of a mobile website?

With the continuous increase of mobile users, it’s important that your website be mobile-friendly. We’re seeing more and more customers who try to access a site that isn’t mobile friendly, getting frustrated with the lack of ease in searching the site, so they leave. This effects the site’s traffic numbers and increases the bounce rate.

If you’re going to keep up with the trend of mobile users increasing, then you need to make sure you have a responsive website. Studies show that the majority of users that encounter a mobile friendly site are more likely to make a purchase, while the majority who encounter a website that is not mobile-friendly are more likely to leave. So, as a business owner, you could be losing customers to the competition.

The benefit to having a mobile-friendly website is that it is easily viewed on smaller screens without compromising any of the website’s important information. Thus, making it easy for your customers to navigate their way through the site as if they were viewing it on a desktop or laptop computer. A customer who comes across a website that is not mobile-friendly is also apt to not do business with the company at all because the lack of a mobile-friendly website might lead one to believe that a business owner is not concerned with the ease of their customers’ experience.

Now that we’ve established why it’s important to adapt to the increase in mobile usage, let’s explore what the mobile website essentials are — what you need to make the most out of your customer’s mobile experience. First and foremost, your site needs to load quickly, meaning 5 seconds or less. Customers do not want to waste time waiting for a site to load. Typically customers will view websites on a mobile device because they are on the go, so the need for speed is critical for this audience. You should have mobile-friendly features, including, large buttons, visible navigation, and limited scrolling and pinching required. Make sure the booking widget or Book Now button is clearly visible as soon as the site opens so that there is no question in the customer’s mind as to how they need to complete a transaction.

Additionally, it is important to know that whether or not you have a mobile-friendly website will soon begin to impact your Google rankings. As business owners need to adapt to usage patterns of their customers, Google too must adjust their algorithms as well. Beginning in April, Google will be expanding their use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking factor. In simple terms, those sites that are mobile-friendly will move up in the ranking while those that aren’t will begin to lose their ranking status. Google’s purpose in doing this is to help provide higher quality search results for its users that are optimized for modern devices.

With each passing year the number of users on mobile devices will continue to increase. We have seen a clear pattern thus far. If you want to keep your current customers happy and attract new ones, then you need to be sure you’re doing what is necessary to have a mobile-friendly website.

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FREE AUDIT: Is Your Hotel Website Ready for the Upcoming Mobile SEO-Pocalypse?

Lodging Interactive offers free mobile readiness audit and recommendations for your hotel website.

Hotel Responsive Web DesignIf you’ve kept up with Google, you know that the SEO-Pocalypse is coming! April 21, 2015 is the day of reckoning, the day Google will roll out changes to its mobile search results algorithm.  Starting April 21st, Google will expand the use of mobile-friendliness as a ranking signal. This change will affect mobile searches in all languages worldwide and will have a significant impact on search results.

Bottom line: Your hotel website needs to be mobile ready. If it’s not, your website’s organic search engine rankings will be negatively impacted.

For a limited time Lodging Interactive is providing hoteliers with a free Mobile Readiness Website Audit.  Visit the audit link to submit your website and Lodging Interactive’s Search Engine Marketing team will provide your readiness website audit and recommendations within 24 hours.

Mobile Readiness Audit – Submit Your Website

“For the last two years we have been advising properties to budget for responsive website development. Unfortunately, properties who have not budgeted for this day, will now be forced to reallocate funds towards making their websites fully mobile enabled, it is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ it’s a must-have,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive Founder and President.  “It’s not too late to move forward, however the clock is ticking as we approach Google’s deadline of April 21st”.

To learn more about our responsive website designs for hotels, visit the our website or call 877-291-4411.

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#AskDJV – Episode 19: How to Get Twitter Followers in 5 Easy Steps

In this week’s episode of the #AskDJV Show, I’m talking about some of the best and most effective ways to grow your Twitter followers.

Want more #AskDJV? Visit our website to view all of the episodes we’ve posted.

You can also check back here each Friday for the latest episode.

Do you have a question for me?

Tweet me @DJVallauri using the hashtag #AskDJV, and your question could be featured on the show!

Thanks for watching!

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