Thursday, March 27, 2008

New Channel of Influence - Yahoo! Answers

Add this to your social media to do list - start participating in the conversations on Yahoo! Answers. The team over at Tourism Internet Marketing 2.0 posted this article about using Yahoo! Answers to become a Knowledge Partner. At the time of this post, Travelocity was the first travel company to gain this status.

According to Yahoo! the program is still in beta and requires an invitation to participate.

It makes sense that the program could work. As the current evolution of the web is all about finding trusted sources of information and carrying on a conversation with them. Does anyone know of any other programs like this?
Read full story

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Corporate Blogging - Is Bill Marriott's Blog a Success


Alicia over at Idea Hatching posted this entry last week regarding the questionable success of Bill Marriott's Blog.

I think that she ended up coming to the right conclusion after some coaxing from Scott Allison.  Here's why:

- He has his own voice on the blog.  He speaks genuinely and passionately about issues and ideas that are important to him.

- He posts regularly, every week on Wednesday.

- He, though certainly not him directly, responds to issues or questions that come up in the comments on his blog.

- The blog is not an overt sales pitch for Marriott branded hotels.  It is his way to share the company's values, showcase exceptional employees and just stay in touch.

- Mr. Marriott is a natural in this area, perhaps more than any other hotel company CEO.  Why?  Because of the consistent family history and values that Marriott has.

Alicia, cheers to you and here's to hoping that Bill Marriott continues his blogging career.

Read full story

Do We Really Need Paid Search?

This is a question I am asked frequently.  Logically to most hoteliers, when they are listed in the organic rankings on search engines and they can add content to their site for events and attractions they are targeting they don't need to pay for advertising.

This is not entirely true.  While you will generally show up high in the rankings for your brand or generic hotel terms, it is much more difficult to optimize for events and attractions.  Why because the amount of content on your site isn't going to be enough most of the time.  Additionally, you are competing against other sites which focus on local events.

Alex Vlasto on iMedia Connection gives a great explanation about why there needs to be a mix between paid and organic search.
Read full story

Is Your Hotel Backed Into a Corner?

It may be if you do not have an active distribution strategy. This article from Travolution confirms the latest trends on just how important search is to people trying to locate hotels for their travel.  3 in 5 people in the UK use search to determine which hotel they are going to stay at.

Besides having a prominent hotel site, it is important that you have search engine marketing campaigns as well as distribution on online travel agencies like Expedia, Travelocity, etc.  And don't forget the travel metasearch engines like Kayak and Mobissimo.  If you don't you may be left out of the purchase decision altogether.
Read full story

Thursday, March 20, 2008

How Do You Capture Channel Jumpers?

No I am not talking about the frustration you may feel about your significant other channel surfing because they can't stand commercials on the tv.

I am talking about those people who book their travel online. Eye For Travel posted an excerpt from a presentation at their recent Travel Distribution Conference in Asia where the conversation was about this topic. Basically, it boils down to the trip being the major influence of the travel decisions being made, not the traveler.


Because we make decisions based on the purpose of the trip.

We may book through Priceline for a quick personal trip, but book through a travel agent for a more complex family vacation. Really I think it comes down to the importance of being in front of the consumer as early and as often as we can in the purchasing funnel. Whether that be the purchase of more generic hotel key words for pay per click marketing campaigns on the search engines to guide the research or purchasing long tail words for events and attractions. It may involve participating in online travel agencies, like Expedia and Orbitz, or purchasing display advertising on web sites that potential customers may visit.

Recent research shows that people visit more than 20 sites before finally making a decision. It is vitally important that hotels are participating in a variety of online channels to be found.

  • People will visit review sites like TripAdvisor and IGoUgo for recommendations from fellow travelers.

  • They will visit online travel agencies, like Expedia, or meta search engines, like Kayak, to compare prices.

  • They may visit CVB or local information sites to find out what there is to do.

  • All of this before ultimately booking, which you hope comes back to your booking engine.

Being satisfied by what your brand is doing for you or just what is being added by local sites, isn't enough. You must have a complete strategy for how you are going to get in front of your potential guests.

Read full story

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Google's Guy Talks About Promoting Hotels Online


When Matt Cutts from Google talks everyone stops to listen, especially if you care about where your hotel is positioned for organic search. Hotel Online just published a portion of an interview done by Benu Aggarwal from Milestone Internet Marketing. Benu caught up with Matt at the SMX West Conference.

For the full videocast interview check out the Milestone blog.
Read full story

My Blog List


Hotel eComm Insights © 2008 Business Ads Ready is Designed by Ipiet Supported by Tadpole's Notez