Aligning Your Digital Marketing to the Digital Journey of Luxury Travellers
Neglecting to focus on digital is no longer an option for luxury hotels in 2022. Taking a customer-centric approach to developing unique packages and experiences for your clientele is critical, and digital marketing gives you the visibility, agility, and insight you need to do just that most effectively.
The best place to start is by understanding exactly what it is that your luxury travelers want. Understanding their lifestyles and why they want to travel will give you some important insights that allow you to align your marketing to their digital journey.
Before we dive in, you might want to consider reaching out to a Las Vegas Digital Marketing Agency to support you in your efforts. Working with a seasoned company that knows the luxury hotel space can pay back dividends, and save you a lot of time and effort.
You might also want to check out our Hotel Digital Marketing Tips for additional support, as this topic can be quite complex.
For those who are ready to dive straight into the rest of these insights, let’s begin.
Understanding the needs of your luxury travelers will point you to the specific ways in which you can cater to those needs. This is the heart of a great marketing strategy. The more specifically you can articulate your solution to their specific needs, the more effective you will be, and the more bookings you’ll bring in.
Here are some tips to help you plan a customer-centric digital marketing strategy for your luxury business:
Go Online (and Focus on Mobile)
According to Condor Ferries, 70% of travelers use their smartphones to search for tourist destinations online. You can take advantage of this by ensuring your business is visible and easily accessible on mobile devices.
This means every aspect of your online presence should be mobile optimized and search engine optimized, with fast load times and a user-friendly interface. Whether you have a mobile app, social media channels, or just your website, these parameters matter to your potential visitors.
You should also consider implementing an automated chatbot system that instantly responds to your visitors’ questions right away. This can help you automatically answer key buying questions, troubleshoot and resolve issues, and help streamline your booking processes tremendously.
Setting up your chatbot will take a bit of forethought, as you’ll want to make sure your bot is set up to answer (or identify) predefined questions and inputs– ideally, the ones that matter most to your customers when they’re ready to buy.
You can also set up your chatbot on social media sites like Facebook, which can amplify your brand’s reputation and also lead to increased bookings and referrals.
Work with the Phases of Travel Decision-Making
According to Pu, people move through a set of stages when making a decision. This includes the decision to travel. These phases include need, information gathering, analysis of value (outweighing risks vs. benefits), decision, and evaluation.
Here's how you can strategically use these phases to your advantage:
Phase 1: Need
In this phase, your potential customer is “problem aware”. This means they know they have a problem that needs to be solved, but they don’t know much else just yet. Try to be there when your customer is searching for guidance in this phase.
The best place to start is by identifying what the “problems” your potential customers are experiencing might be. Why might they want to look into luxury travel? People travel for all kinds of reasons, be it visiting family or just for relaxation. This is a great time to map out holidays, special seasons in your area, life events, and anything else that might push someone to want to travel or embark on a luxury experience.
These should be the things driving your digital marketing campaigns. That way, you’re able to meet your potential customers exactly where they are on their decision journey, and invite them to take the next step with you.
Offer promotional offers and special rates for those family vacations and personal getaways. This will help you guarantee sustained bookings throughout the year. Keep an ear out for the latest in local events in your community, and use them to generate even more buzz and revenue for your business.
Don’t be afraid to cater to millennials!
Millennials are the most frequent travelers at about 40% compared to Gen Z. This likely has something to do with the fact that millennials have a higher earning capacity. They spend a lot of time working but take an average of 35 vacation days every year.
35% of this group stays in luxury hotels and resorts (Condor Ferries, 2021). You can make the most of this active traveler group by engaging them with your interactive deals online. When designing your next marketing campaign, consider targeting this age group by using messaging that appeals to them and their needs, and speaks to their lifestyle.
Phase 2: Information Gathering
At this point, your target customer knows they have a problem, and they know there’s a solution: travel. So, they’re gathering information to help them nail down exactly what their excursion is going to look like.
This phase is where tools like cookies and remarketing come in handy.
This is also where geotargeting and local SEO shine. Registering your business on Google Maps and with local and international directories will help travelers locate the nearest hotel or resort to their destination.
Your goal is to be suggested in search results for the area they’re looking for. This means your website and social media need to be set up for local targeting. Make sure that you include your location, address, and relevant local keywords across your website and social media pages.
Phase 3: Analysis of Value
In this phase, it’s important that you ensure you’re offering competitive rates and packages. Remember, potential customers will almost always check out several similar or comparable hotels in the area. You’ll want to make sure what you offer stands out.
It’s wise to know the strengths and weaknesses of your own business as well as those of your competitors. Understanding where your value-add lies against your competitors will help keep you top-of-mind in the eyes of your target market.
Phase 4: Decision
This is the deciding moment. Have live customer support available on your website to help answer any final questions your potential buyers may have before making a decision. Typically a potential customer will have just one lingering question that keeps them in a place of hesitation.
That’s why having a team in place ready to answer those final concerns right when they come up is key. This is where a tool like live customer chat support really comes in handy.
Make sure that the staff assigned to this role are friendly, patient, and know the services and offerings extremely well. They should feel comfortable closing deals, dealing with concerns, and finding solutions.
Phase 5: Evaluation
From the time that your new customer steps inside your business, the evaluation starts.
The key to mastering this phase is going out of your way to make the customer experience incredible from start to finish. To do this, you need visibility into your operations. Try implementing technology and systems that allow you to track every stage of a customer’s time with your business.
Also, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback! This is your key to critical insights that can help you improve your overall experience, and it shows the customer that you care. It’s also a great practice to request feedback digitally on review sites like Yelp at the end of a stay.
If you receive negative feedback, take the time to publicly address the concerns with poise and professionalism. Request that they book a call with your team to discuss further. This shows online readers that you care about the experience your customers have.
With these tips in mind, you have everything you need to hit the ground running and make this the best year for bookings yet.