By Margaret Mastrogiacomo, VP StrategyThis month, Google’s search engine algorithm update takes full effect, Facebook rolls out new video format to more advertisers, and animated typography helps website content pack a punch. From SEO to design, read on to learn the top 5 things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing.
- SEO: The Google search algorithm update on August 1 is now officially rolled out. Overall, the search engine update is considered a broad core algorithm update, so there are no specific optimizations that the SEO community should be focused on. However, now more than ever, marketers should ensure that the website offers a great user experience, rich content, and is valuable and relevant to website visitors. While some sections of the website might drop in ranking, other website content may rise in the rankings and become more favored by the search engines. The arts and entertainment, auto and vehicle, beauty and wellness, finance, and health industries saw the largest impact from this algorithm update, while the travel vertical remains the least affected industry.
- SEM: Google Ads introduces ad strength indicator for responsive search ads. Google has stressed ad diversity as an AdWords best practice for quite some time now. Google claims that the more ad variations an ad group contains, the more impressions and engagement the ad group will achieve. In light of this, a new ad strength meter will measure the relevancy, quantity, and diversity of ad copy for responsive search ads. The meter ranges from “poor” to “excellent” and provides actionable insights for optimizing ad groups for best performance. Google is also introducing reporting for responsive text ads so marketers can gauge the performance of these changes and learn from their optimizations. For hotel marketers, this will help further boost performance of responsive text ads and provide more tools to understand what is working for the hotel brand in search results.
- Display: Go beyond organic marketing with user-generated content. User-generated content is commonplace in social media marketing. However, a new trend in display advertising is turning user-generated content into paid marketing gold. It’s no secret that customers are the best brand advocates, and that consumer trust in paid advertising is on the decline. Bearing this in mind, why not take authentic content from your hotel’s best brand advocates and get permission to promote this content across channels? This strategy was highly effective for Coca-Cola with their “Share a Coke” campaign, and with so many postcard-ready vacation shots being shared on Instagram every day, this could be the perfect way to showcase a getaway at your hotel through the eyes of a guest.
- Social: Facebook opens up new video ad format to more advertisers. Ad Breaks, a new Facebook in-stream ad unit, will allow advertisers to include a 15-second pre-roll and mid-roll ad unit throughout video on Facebook in addition to image ads displayed just below the video. Pages within the US, UK, Ireland, New Zealand, and Australia with more than 10k followers that were able to generate more than 30k video views in the last 2 months are eligible. This new feature is great for hotel brands with a strong Facebook following and video content. Include special offer and package promotions throughout hotel and destination video or promote a multichannel campaign throughout rich video content.
- Design: Actions speak louder than words with animated typography.
A design trend that is gaining even more traction as we move into 2019 is animated typography. Bold typography that takes up major real estate on a page has been a trend for quite some time, and now with interesting and engaging animation, it’s making an even stronger impression on website visitors. Animated typography is perfect for highlighting emotive copy and taglines throughout your hotel website and draw a visitor’s attention to key selling points of the hotel.
About NextGuest Digital:
NextGuest Digital uses the latest in digital marketing technology to assist hotel brands in crafting their digital presence. Through the agency’s smartCMS®, Content Personalization Engine, Smart Data Marketing, and other innovative initiatives, hoteliers see a drastic boost in direct bookings, as well as lower distribution costs and an increase the lifetime value of guests. NextGuest Digital is part of NextGuest, an all-encompassing partner that helps hoteliers acquire, engage, and retain their next guest. Based in New York City, the company is comprised of NextGuest Digital, CRM, Labs, and Consulting.
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