Hotel Mobile Marketing

Hotel Mobile Marketing – 11 Fool-Proof Strategies

By: Frank DePino | May 22, 2024

Hotel mobile marketing is no longer an option for the hospitality industry, it is a necessity. Disruptions and changes in the travel industry over the past few years have forced hotels to examine and redefine how and where they engage with their target customers. Hotels that include mobile strategies in their communication can enhance the guest experience, increase loyalty and retention, boost revenue, and much more.

Hotel mobile marketing goes beyond traditional marketing by encouraging engagement and interaction in real time. Mobile marketing uses responsive website design, mobile applications, social media campaigns, email marketing, and SMS messaging to reach and engage the target audience.

With the right tools and tactics in place, hotels have the opportunity to reach new heights of revenue, repeat clientele, and an impressive ROI. Read on to learn more about hotel mobile marketing, why it is important to industry growth, and eleven effective strategies to incorporate into your hotel’s digital marketing plan.

Hotel Mobile Marketing strategy will help you engage your target audience, before, during, and after a guest visit.

What Is Hotel Mobile Marketing?

Hotel mobile marketing is a multi-channel approach to digital marketing that encompasses all the activities which connect businesses to their consumers through mobile devices and networks. Mobile marketing in hospitality can be highly effective when used as part of an overall hotel advertising plan.

Hotel mobile marketing strategies are unique in the way that they reach the audience in real-time–whenever, wherever, and encourage engagement and interaction before, during, and after a guest visit. Mobile marketing and communication help hotels adapt to the needs of their customers through tools that provide personalized experiences and make guests feel valued.

Mobile marketing creates strong, top-of-mind connections between the hotel brand and its current and prospective guests using a combination of SMS messaging, email, optimized mobile websites, and mobile apps. Hotels are not only able to promote their brand using mobile marketing, but provide ease of access and convenience to their guests. Plus, when combined with a client satisfaction and loyalty program, loyalty and guest retention rates will soar.

Should My Hotel Use Mobile Marketing?

Hoteliers would be remiss not to integrate an aggressive mobile marketing strategy. Consumers are now using mobile devices for everything related to travel, from investigating travel destinations to booking hotels. You can avoid conversion friction if the device being used to research is the same device being used to book. Trends would indicate that this is what the modern traveler has come to expect.

Hoteliers are finding the effectiveness of mobile to reach their customers is rapidly overtaking other avenues of digital marketing. When paired with a strong digital marketing plan that is well thought out and executed, hotels have reported a 40% higher guest loyalty rate and increased ROI by 564%.

Adapt to the Needs of Your Guests

Cultivating a positive guest experience is what shapes a brand’s reputation, turning first-time visits into loyal repeat customers. Avid travelers want consistency and great service. It is vital to understand the reliance on smartphones for just about everything. Whether traveling for business or leisure, mobile marketing and communication can greatly improve bookings, reduce the stress of guests, and enhance guest experience. Implementing a smart mobile strategy, offers your guests another way to access hotel information, communicate with the hotel, and control their own experience through:

  • Mobile check-in and check out
  • Mobile room service and dining reservations
  • Messenger communication for during-stay communication
  • Welcome emails and SMS messages
  • SMS and email discount codes for future stays

Mobile also allows hotels to better drive and track staff performance. Issues can be addressed in real-time, rather than waiting for a scathing review after the fact. The use of mobile marketing tactics help your brand to better understand the needs and frustrations of your guests so you can get it right on the first try.

Hotel Mobile Marketing Tools and Tips

1. Responsive Website Design

When developing your hotel mobile marketing strategy, the first thing to consider is booking. Is your website equipped with an online booking process quick and easy on both desktop and mobile so that you can properly compete with Online Travel Agencies (OTAs)? If not, that is step one. Hoteliers need to make online bookings from any device accessible, safe, and seamless. Tips for making sure your website is optimized for mobile include:

  • Be mindful of your site’s navigation, is it user-friendly?
  • Responsive website design and functionality
  • Secure payment options
  • Frictionless booking and reservations
  • Updated information and accurate pricing

 2. Mobile Apps

“There’s an app for that!” Today’s ‘digital first’ travelers are accustomed to this thanks to OTAs, ride-shares, and airlines. Developing your custom mobile app for your hotel is essential to staying competitive. Mobile apps achieve a level of personalization and enable hotels to give the best service in a convenient way that puts the guest in control. Mobile apps can be used to:

  • Promote your appealing features/extras
  • Provide a place to book and manage your stay
  • Automate check-in and check-out
  • Request room service or housekeeping
  • Make dining reservations
  • Plan excursions
  • Pay your bill

3. QR Codes

QR codes enhance accessibility and convenience for hotel guests and reduces friction for hotel staff. Using QR codes for hospitality is a practical way to provide detailed information instantly, and economically. Placing QR codes in lobbies, QR key cards, receipts, and room service menus gives the user instant and portable access to important information.

QR codes can be used to check in, order from the menu, book an experience or reservation, request room service or housekeeping, and more.

text and sms message marketing are effective ways to start connecting with your target audience

4. Text/SMS Message Marketing

SMS messages are the most opened form of communication with a 98 percent open rate. They also have higher response rates clocking in at 45 percent.No other form of communication can compare. SMS marketing is an effective way to start a conversation and stay connected with guests. Personalize offers in real-time such as promoting your spa, shopping, dining, or selling room upgrades. More often than not, guests will be more receptive to this kind of marketing the day before travel, upon their arrival, and throughout their stay. To effectively use SMS to your advantage:

  • Keep messages succinct and streamlined
  • Personalize your offers to your guests based on their preferences
  • Use clear calls to action
  • Provide a clear path to take action via your mobile app or mobile-optimized website

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5. Messenger Apps

Messenger apps allow direct connection with hotel staff and guests in real-time. Every country is accustomed to using multiple messaging solutions: SMS, Facebook, WhatsApp, email, etc. Your messaging solution should be universal to accommodate your diverse guests.

Integrate messenger apps into the property management system (PMS) so the hotel can access guests’ information when discussing their needs and requests. This adds another layer of personalization and convenience that enhances your guest service. The PMS data allows conversations to be based on highly personalized scenarios, such as room types, previous requests, and more.

6. Mobile Optimized Email Marketing

Not long ago mobile optimization was an afterthought for most marketers, fast forward to the modern day and it is a priority–with good reason. Over 50 percent of emails are opened using a mobile device, making mobile-friendly email campaigns imperative for hotels. The key to mobile-friendly emails is brevity–keep it short and sweet. Here are some best practices for an effective mobile email strategy:

  • Subject lines– Keep these to about 41-70 characters of engaging text that entices your recipient to want more.
  • Preview text– This is what readers first land on, provide the most important information.
  • Text– Use a font that is easy to read and no smaller in size than 13pt. Use headers and bold text to make your email easily scannable.
  • Images– Find the right balance of images and text ratio. You don’t want too many, and none at all makes for a very unappealing email. Typically, shoot for about 60% text and 40% images. Be mindful of image size as well, images that are too large will take too long to load.
  • Calls-to-Action (CTAs)– Without this your recipient won’t know what to do with the email information they have just opened. For mobile email campaigns, make sure to avoid links, they can be hard to click on mobile devices, instead use a bold CTA buttons of an optimal size, 57 x 57 pixels is recommended.
mobile friendly website and effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can improve the ranking of a hotel website on search engines like Google and Yahoo

7. Mobile SEO

We can’t forget the lifeblood of all digital marketing strategies–SEO. Search Engine Optimization is the process used to optimize and improve the ranking of a hotel website on search engines like Google and Yahoo. An effective mobile-first hotel SEO strategy is vital to ensuring hotel seekers see your hotel first when planning their next getaway. For successful mobile SEO you’ll want to:

  • Know your target customer– Who are they, what do they like, what are their needs? Identify booking patterns, income status, and travel habits.
  • Start with keyword research– Figure out what keywords are the best match and will be the most possible to rank for using tools such as Google Keyword Planner.
  • Get to know your competition– You’d be remiss not to check out the competition. Form your strategy and fill in the gaps of where your opportunities are to be seen by your target audience.
  • Optimize your web content– Enhance your page title, metadata, and URL with relevant keywords, as these are the three essential elements displayed on a search engine results page (SERP). Use targeted keywords in the H1 and throughout your homepage, and develop an SEO-focused content strategy.
  • Optimize your website’s loading speed– Your audience, especially mobile users, is IMPATIENT. Ask your site developer to analyze your website loading speed and optimize it to improve the score.

8. Mobile SEM and Ads

Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the practice of using paid ads to boost search rankings. Developing an ads strategy is paramount for hotels to stay competitive. SEM campaigns when done in conjunction with a solid SEO campaign can help get more instant ranking results. Tips for running a successful SEM campaign include:

  • Ad copy– Write compelling, unique copy that will engage and entice your customers.
  • Keywords– Conduct thorough research, frequently to target high-quality terms
  • Landing pages– Link only relevant, up-to-date, optimized for mobile landing pages.
  • Budget– Make sure you set a competitive and sufficient budget for your ad campaign
  • Optimize– Make sure to frequently monitor for performance and keyword adjustment. Implement A/B testing to see what works with your audience and what doesnt.
  • Experts– Hire a team of ad strategists and experts to get optimal results and high return on ad spend.

9. Content Marketing Designed for Mobile

Capture prospective guests’ attention with engaging content that highlights your hotel. Write on-page and blog content that helps people plan their vacations or book their business trips. Your content should resonate with readers to help them see themselves staying in your hotel and leave them feeling excited and inspired. When writing with mobile in mind:

  • Make sure your content is highly focused
  • Write in shorter paragraphs to accommodate smaller screens
  • Avoid complex language or in-depth topics
  • Get to the point, fast
  • Write captivating and alluring headlines
  • Use images (mobile prefers images over text)

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10. Chatbots

Designed to simulte human conversation, hotel chatbots are useful throughout hotel operations. These mobile user-friendly personal assistants with analytical and predictive capabilities can help simplify the online booking process.

Chatbot technology is beneficial not only to guests who want answers quickly, but to hoteliers in automating processes that usually take a lot of time and labor, including:

  • Guest services
  • Automated payments
  • Booking or modifying reservations
  • User history and preferences
  • 24/7 Customer support

11. Mobile Social Media

Coined as the new “word of mouth” advertising, everything is shared on social media–which, can be used to your advantage. Your social channels have the power to drive direct bookings and brand awareness, and most importantly your reputation. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Ninety-seven percent of travelers share photos of their trips on social media creating loads of user generated content (UGC) you can leverage in addition to your social media marketing plan. Here’s how:

  • Respond to, and share UGC
  • Encourage positive reviews
  • Engage with your followers

Take Away

Hotel mobile marketing is a key strategy for capturing the attention of guests and keeping them engaged before, during, and after their stay. To implement an omnichannel mobile communications strategy at scale, hotel brands need an experienced partner for a seamless mobile marketing experience.

By: Frank DePino

Frank DePino is Principal and Founder of Mediaboom. Since 2002, Frank has led Mediaboom’s award-winning staff of creative and technical professionals, building the most effective marketing and advertising solutions for its clients.

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