Lodging Interactive Launches: Freedom For Hotels

Lodging Interactive Freedom For Hotels

 

PARSIPPANY, NJ – January 13, 2016   Lodging Interactive, a leading digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced its new  Freedom For HotelsTM program.  Freedom For Hotels eliminates long term, multi-year agency contracts and ensures the agency remains focused on generating positive ROI for its customers.

 

Freedom For Hotels is all about providing hotels with customer friendly business terms,” stated DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & President.  “Hotels shouldn’t have to commitment to agency contracts lasting 2 or even 3 years. With Freedom For Hotels, if we don’t deliver for our customers, they can simply leave and take their websites with them.”

 

Freedom For Hotels offers hotel clients:

 

  • NO long term contracts.

The initial term commitment is 6 months with a rolling 90 day renewal term.  No more having to commit to a digital marketing agency for 2-3 years.  Those days are gone forever.

 

  • NO proprietary content management system (CMS).

We offer open source WordPress CMS technologies, so hoteliers have complete control of their website and can easily move their site to another agency should they choose to. With over 50,000 new WordPress sites added to the web daily and over 20% market share, WordPress is the world’s largest CMS platform.

 

  • NO charge on unlimited website changes.

And for hotels who choose to have our professional webmasters manage their website changes, we will handle it all at no additional charge.

 

  • $5,000 credit every two years towards a new website.

It’s a best practice to update your website every 2 years, and we’re making it easier for hotels to do just that.  Customers will earn a $5,000 credit to be used towards a new website every 2 years.

 

“Most digital marketing agencies require 2 – 3 year contractual commitments and require hotels to use a proprietary Content Management System (CMS).  The world has changed, no one wants to be locked into long term agreements and to be forced to use a CMS that ONLY works with a particular agency,” added Mr. Vallauri.  “We’re changing model.  If we don’t deliver results, customers can end their agreement without penalty and move their website to another agency.  This speaks volumes in our ability to deliver results for customers.”

 

About Lodging Interactive:

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers Social Voices, the hospitality industry’s first 24/7/365 social customer care service as well as HotelSiteXPRESS, which designs affordable, responsive websites that properties own.

 

Lodging Interactive is a 2015 Adrian Award winner and the International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader.

 

Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and DJ Vallauri is the Social Media Director and on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter.  Lodging Interactive is also a preferred Vendor for Best Western International, and is a member of the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA). For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

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AskDJV Episode 41 Facebook Boosted Posts

Have you ever wondered why your Facebook posts don’t have the same organic reach as they used to?  Why aren’t you able to reach your audience like you used to?  The fact is that only a few, make that a very few, of your organic Facebook posts are being presented in your followers’ streams.  Why is that?  Watch Episode 41 of the #AskDJV show.

 

One major hotel company reported its organic Facebook reach had dwindled down to 1% in 2015, down from 4% in 2013.  Our own Facebook research confirmed that paid posts on Facebook had an average 53% greater reach than non-paid, organic posts.

 

Over the past 3 years hoteliers have worked extremely hard to build their Facebook fans and to provide value to create guest loyalty.  As a publicly traded company, Facebook has a fiduciary responsibility to drive revenue and shareholder value…it’s time for them to monetize their business.  Unfortunately it is at the hoteliers expense. Hoteliers must allocate reasonable budgets to boost their Facebook posts in order to reach their fans.  Watch Episode 41 of the #AskDJV show for more details.

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Hotel Booking Channel Attribution Tidbits From Expedia Report

Millward Brown Digital conducted a study for Expedia Inc. to uncover the visitor’s click flow toward actually making their final hotel and flight bookings. The purpose of the study was to pinpoint where travelers began their site searches for hotels/flights and what channels were used to get to their secondary moves all the way to what sources impacted the traveler’s actual booking.

 

The Study premise was the IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) definition for Attribution. The IAB defines Attribution as “the process of identifying a set of actions or events that contribute in some manner to a desired outcome, and the assigning of value to each of these events”.

 

Millward used a funnel approach by first establishing where the visitor received their inspiration to initiate their search followed by influence factors from their initial search and then ended with where the actual hotel booking was made. All this to set values and give credit to the various search channels that led to a final booking.

 

Hotel Search Channel Tidbits:

  • Package bookers made a total of 38 visits to travel sites 45 days before booking with 2.5 average travel site visits 5 weeks out and a final 15.5 average travel site visits the week of the booking.
  • In terms of industry market share, the largest percentage of visitors that actually booked were through the supplier at 65.5% of the time followed by 30.6% through OTAs and 3.9% through Meta searches
  • Of 144 Unique Scenarios, 28,565,866 Instances Study shows:
  • Inspiration started with visiting Supplier sites 40% of the time and OTA’s a close second at 39% followed by a Meta search 21% of the time.Influence factors mid-way in the visitor’s search put OTA’s at the top with 49% of the time followed by Suppliers at 36% and Meta searches at 14%
  • The final booking was through the Supplier 51% of the time, followed by OTA’s at 40% and Meta searches at 10%
  • The most common search paths taken by hotel bookers from inspiration to final booking:
  • Highest ranking showed that 7.2% of the time booker inspiration, mid search and actual booking came through the supplier.
  • In second place at 4.5% of the time, booker initial inspiration was through OTA’s, then split between Meta and OTA’s in mid search and final actual booking came through OTA’s.
  • Placing third at 4.4% of the time booker inspiration was through a Meta search, moved to mid search that was split once again between Meta and OTA’s and then final booking came through OTA’s yet again.

 

Mid-search inspiration points:

  • Mid-level search initiating from Supplier site inspiration came through the Supplier site 38% of the time, OTAs 37% of the time and Meta 25% of the time
  • Mid-level search initiating from Meta searches came to the Supplier sites through OTA’s 61% of the time, Supplier site directly 32% of the time and Meta search 6% of the time

 

Actual Booking shows:

  • If search initiated with OTAs, bookings were finalized 44% of the time through OTAs, 42% through Meta searches and 34% of the time directly through Supplier site.
  • If search initiated through a Meta search, bookings were made 23% of the time through OTAs, 25% through Meta and 20% of the time directly through Supplier site.
  • If search initiated through the Supplier site, bookings were finalized 33% of the time through OTAs evenly with Meta searches at 33% but 46% of the time directly through supplier sites.

 

Media Approach based on Study conclusions:

  • Marketer’s need to consider the relevance of OTAs because whether it was the booker’s initial search, mid-way search or final booking, OTAs were used at all three points.
  • Meta searches move more business to OTAs “than any other travel group” so marketers need to consider their relationships in order to create more effective media strategies.
  • Though a visitor’s initial search might start with Meta or OTAs, the Study shows that visitors will more than likely book directly on supplier sites. So marketer’s need to motivate bookers with incentives that stand out in their minds and keeps them coming back directly to the Supplier site.
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Lodging Interactive Wins HSMAI Adrian Award

Lodging Interactive Wins Prestigious HSMAI Adrian Award For Web Design & Digital Marketing

lodging interactive wins adrian award 2015

PARSIPPANY, NJ – November 23, 2015   Lodging Interactive, a leading digital marketing and social media engagement firm exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it has won a 2015 Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) Adrian Award for innovative website design and cutting edge marketing practices for its work on the www.NewportBeachsideResort.com website.

 

“The HSMAI Adrian Awards has become the world’s most renowned and prestigious web marketing competition dedicated to the travel industry,” said DJ Vallauri, Lodging Interactive’s Founder & CEO.  “We are honored to have our work acknowledged as a Silver winner in the 2015 competition.”

 

This year’s HSMAI Adrian Award competition was extremely competitive with more than 1,300 entries submitted. Lodging Interactive’s work was judged to be exceptional by experts in the hospitality, travel, tourism and media industries.  Judges were asked to evaluate each entry based on its own merit and success in achieving its objectives.

 

For more information visit LodgingInteractive.com or contact us at 877-291-4411 ext. 704.

 

About Lodging Interactive:

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers Social Voices, the hospitality industry’s first 24/7/365 social customer care service as well as HotelSiteXPRESS, which designs affordable, responsive websites that properties own.

 

The International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader. Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and DJ Vallauri is the Social Media Director and on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter.  Lodging Interactive is also a preferred Vendor for Best Western International, and is a member of the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA). For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

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Top 5 reasons your hotel website shouldn’t have a proprietary Content Management System

Top 5 reasons your hotel website shouldn’t have a proprietary Content Management System

Number 1:

You’re not really in control of your website – your agency is. Your website will not operate without the proprietary CMS on the back end.

Number 2:

You cannot take your website with you should you decide to switch agencies.

Number 3:

You will be forced to pay “CMS upgrade fees” or continue with an outdated and unsupported CMS.

Number 4:

Should you decide to switch agencies, you may be forced to pay a “CMS conversion fee” to enable your site to work without the CMS.  Check your contract, you might have already agreed to this.

Number 5:

Proprietary CMS’s are clearly a tactic to “lock” your hotel into a multi-year agreement with the agency.  Some are even offering to amortize the cost of their proprietary CMS over a 3 year period…how considerate of them.

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How To Write For The Web

Writing for the web has always required good copy writing and storytelling skills.  After all, you only have seconds to “tell your story” before your visitor bounces off your page, and even worse your website.  Last week MOZ.com published findings of their latest study related to website copy writing.  Their Whiteboard Friday video should be watched and it’s packed with good copy writing insights and data to back it up.  Click on the image below to view the video.

 

write for the web

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#AskDJV – Episode 39: How Google OTA hurts Hotels

Google Travel

This week, DJ Vallauri tackles the question of, “What is going on with Google Search Results and what has changed?” Watch Episode 39 of #AskDJV for the answer to this and other questions.

Google OTA

Google recently introduced their new booking engine in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). This newest update is different from past updates for hotels and you need to know how this will affect your overall bookings and your bottom line.

Learn more about:

  • Commission Structure
  • SEO traffic being pulled from your website
  • How this change affects independent and brand hotels alike
  • What you can do to help your hotel navigate this new channel.

The below image is an example of how the Google booking engine will appear in Search Engine Results:
Google Booking Engine Results

 

We hope you enjoy this week’s episode of #AskDJV. It’s easy to be confused by the newest technology and it isn’t always clear how it can affect your business. DJ explains all of this to you in an easy to follow format. Watch the video today.

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Google’s New Commission Program Is “Cannibalizing” The Direct To Hotel Booking Channel

Google rolled out a beta Google Hotel Ads Commission Program in June 2015 as mentioned in a previously published Lodging Interactive blog. On September 22nd 2015 Google announced a few more changes to this program, making it available to a broader range of hotels and added, what we believe are, serious business implications for hoteliers to consider.

According to the new Google commission program, hotels receive bookings from Google searches and pay Google a commission instead of pay-per-click. It’s very similar to the OTA-type programs charging commissions where users book through Trip Advisor or Booking.com. Hoteliers must understand that the entire booking process is handled through Google’s widget and not the hotel’s own website. In our opinion this presents increased OTA type dependencies and is counter productive in driving more direct to hotel website booking opportunities. Direct to hotel website booking opportunities are being “cannibalized” and redirected through Google’s booking widget.

In September Google announced key changes to this program, which include

  • Availability of the program to more hotels
  • Expanding “Book on Google” by bringing it to desktop and tablet devices
  • Inclusion of more amenity information within Google search
  • Retiring the dedicated site Hotel Finder
  • Availability for all Hotel Ads partners
  • Availability in the U.S. (for now)

So how Google’s new commission program negatively affect hoteliers?

  • It is not a direct booking with the hotel
  • Commissions paid (typically 15%) cut into profits by increasing costs
  • Increased reliance on an OTA for revenue
  • Decrease in generating leads independently
  • Loss in hotel’s independent competitive edge in the digital world

Recommendations:
Hotel operators, especially independent and smaller boutique properties, should consider adjusting their digital marketing strategies to receive more of a fair share of the direct to website market and make themselves less dependent on OTAs. Instead of feeding yet another OTA like model, properties should take advantage of proven digital marketing strategies to drive direct to hotel website booking opportunities. The industry has already witnessed the power and the revenue losses attributed to OTA’s and have worked hard to become less dependent on the OTA’s; as an industry it cannot go backwards. Doing otherwise would result in a greater reliance on the OTA’s rather than building a self-sustaining digital marketing eco-system.

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Lodging Interactive Wins 10 Website Design Awards

awards 2015

Lodging Interactive Wins 10 Website Design Awards

 

PARSIPPANY, NJ – October 6, 2015   Lodging Interactive, the digital marketing and social media engagement firm exclusively serving the hospitality industry, today announced it has won multiple Web Marketing Association Awards and Travel Weekly Silver Magellan Awards outstanding website design and development.

 

The Web Marketing Association was founded in 1997 to help set a high standard for Internet marketing and development of the best websites on the World Wide Web. Lodging Interactive 2015 awards were won for the following websites:

 

 

“We are thrilled once again to receive recognition from The Web Marketing Association, and proudly add these awards to the recent industry acknowledgements Lodging Interactive websites have earned,” said DJ Vallauri, Founder and CEO of Lodging Interactive. “We are grateful to The Web Marketing Association for recognizing our website designs as the ‘best’ in the industry and share this honor with our team of highly skilled web experts.”

 

In addition, the company added two Travel Weekly 2015 Silver Magellan Awards for design and development of the following websites:

 

 

Also the company added four W3 2015 Awards for design and development of the following websites

 

 

The W3 Awards honors creative excellence on the Web, and recognizes the creative and marketing professionals behind award winning Websites, Web Video and Online Marketing programs. Simply put, the W3 is the first major Web competition to be accessible to the biggest agencies, the smallest firms, and everyone in between. Small firms are as likely to win as Fortune 500 companies and international agencies.

 

The W3 Awards is sanctioned and judged by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts, an invitation-only body consisting of top-tier professionals from a “Who’s Who” of acclaimed media, advertising, and marketing firms.

 

The New Jersey based digital marketing agency, has provided customized website design, reputation management and social media marketing services to over 650 properties in 45 countries for nearly 15 years. To take your hotel website to the next level visit:

 

https://lodginginteractive.com/products-services/website-creative-design/

About Lodging Interactive:

 

Headquartered in Parsippany, NJ, Lodging Interactive is a full-service digital marketing and social media engagement agency exclusively servicing the hospitality industry. Through its web design and search optimization division as well as its CoMMingle Social Media Division, Lodging Interactive provides effective Internet marketing services to hundreds of branded and independent properties as well as management companies, restaurants and spas. The company also offers Social Voices, the hospitality industry’s first 24/7/365 social customer care service as well as HotelSiteXPRESS, which designs affordable, responsive websites that properties own.

 

The International Academy of Visual Arts, Interactive Media Awards, Horizon Interactive Awards, Web Marketing Association, Academy of Interactive & Visual Arts, and Travel Weekly’s Magellan Awards have recognized Lodging Interactive as an industry leader. Lodging Interactive is a proud supporter of the Hotel Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and DJ Vallauri is the Social Media Director and on the Board of Directors of HSMAI’s New York Chapter.  Lodging Interactive is also a preferred Vendor for Best Western International, and is a member of the International Luxury Hotel Association (ILHA). For more information, please contact sales@lodginginteractive.com, 877-291-4411 or visit the company’s website.

 

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