With my own personal hospitality venture, the Escape Gastro bar going from strength to strength I’ve realised several elements of any business strategy that are vital in the hospitality industry. One of these is online marketing. Just why is online marketing key in the hospitality industry?
Marketing has always been a stalwart of industry. The rise of capitalism saw marketing become an international pastime. Companies developed professional marketing strategies and spent billions of dollars every year doing so.
The rise of such technologies as the internet, the smartphone and social media has changed the face of marketing forever.
In the modern world you won’t get nearly as far with a billboard as you will with a PPC ad on Google. In 2014 a radio ad isn’t going to bring in half the amount of custom as a carefully crafted social media campaign. These days yellow pages are obsolete, replaced by the looming specter of Google rankings,
However some may make the mistake of thinking that online marketing strategies may not be useful to them. Some in the hospitality industry, for example, may argue that their business is targeted to a consumer base that isn’t known for using social media.
This really is a mistake; one that can cost you clients and ultimately decrease your profit margins. I‘d like to take the time to explain why several factors mean that online marketing is more important than ever in the hospitality industry.
The first concerns social media. Some may argue that sites such as Facebook are the province of teenagers; a market that isn’t really known for its expendable income. The reality is that the face of social media is changing.
Reports have surfaced recently that show that teenagers are less and less interested in social media such as Facebook. They are being supplanted by adults and most importantly professionals. The changing audience means that these sites become relevant to those looking to target these key demographics.
The second concerns reviews. Reviews online have increasing power in all areas of industry; particularly those written on Google generated sites such as Google Places that rank particularly well on Google.
People, all people in all demographics, are increasingly turning to Google to do their research when they want to find out more about a certain industry; including hospitality. If you have bad reviews popping up on the first page for your business, people will see it and you will lose business.
Finally we come to Google rankings themselves. Like I’ve said previously, people are turning to Google to get their information. If your business isn’t prominent then they’re not even going to know about you; you will lose business.
This is why online marketing is more important than ever in hospitality. Key industry demographics are turning to the internet to do their research; make sure they come across you and your business.