The way we market hotels has changed out of all recognition in the past twenty, ten, and even just over the last five years. We’ve developed sophisticated online marketing tools like retargeting and booking abandonment messages, email marketing has become an art and a science, and we can even find out exactly which ad a guest saw before they called the hotel.

It’s all, frankly, a bit of a mess. Which tools are best for your hotel? What data tools should you be using to measure your results? How do you make sure your ads are being seen by the right people? Who, exactly, are your guests?

Today, we’re going to give you some resources to answer those questions. The topics in the guides below include social media, customer personas, mobile, SEO, and a look at the industry outlook for 2016.

Go find out how to modernize your hotel’s marketing in a way that keeps you sane:

Living on the Internet: How to Market Your Hotel to Millennials

How are millennials behaving online, and what are they doing there? Google’s Consumer Barometer gives insight into exactly that. This information can, in turn, be applied to your hotel’s sales and marketing strategy to teach you how to market your hotel to millennials.

We’re going to give you 5 key insights into the millennial market, and ways to turn those insights into revenue for your hotel in 2016.

ere’s what you’ll be learning:

  1. The importance of a strong online presence – after all, many of your potential guests practically live there.
  2. Tips on how to leverage search engines, which millennials rely heavily on for product research.
  3. Mobile: it’s even more popular among millennials than it is in other demographics, and innovations have made bookings on mobile easier than ever.
  4. Using video as a way to entertain, inform and connect with your potential guests. YouTube is a star social channel for millennials.
  5. How social media has infiltrated our daily routine, making it easier than ever to connect to friends – and to your favorite hotels. We’re giving you a few ways to boost your own social pages.

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We’re reaching the tipping point in mobile commerce

Think people don’t convert when they receive email on a mobile phone? Think again, advises columnist Jason Warnock, and he’s got the stats to back up his contention.

Mobile revenue is at a record high, as more and more consumers use their smartphones to complete purchases.

Although positive sentiment toward mobile commerce has been building for several years, we may finally be approaching the tipping point — the moment when the marketplace accepts mobile as a primary purchasing channel.

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Strengthen Your Direct Bookings: Use Customer Personas

If you want your hotel to appeal to the right people, you need to have a solid understanding of who those people are.

Why not appeal to everyone? Basic business sense will tell any hotelier that no hotel is for everyone – and if it’s trying to be, the hotel is probably as bland and generic as it’s possible to be.

Instead, your hotel might be geared towards middle-aged couples who love boutique B&Bs, or young people who are looking for something a little funky. You might cater to business travelers, those with young families, or a combination of a few different demographics.

Who are the people your hotel is for, and what are their motivations? What are they most concerned about when travelling? What objections do they have about staying with you?

A solid customer persona will answer these questions.

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75% of marketers say social media marketing is paying off

Social media is generating better returns on investments this year than it did last year, according to Salesforce’s new “2016 State of Marketing Report.”

The report finds that 75% of retailers and other marketers say that social media delivers either a “strong” or “some” return on their investment. That’s a 46-percentage point increase from the 29% who said so a year earlier.

In part, social media has become a more effective marketing tool because marketers are increasingly developing holistic, cross-channel marketing campaigns rather than developing their social media marketing campaigns in a silo.

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Independent Hotels Business Outlook: 2016 Europe Edition

This free industry report offers key information about Europe’s independent hotel and tourism market in 2016 and beyond.

It’s a must-read for European hoteliers, covering the following:

Survival of the Fittest: The Diagnosis
Embracing the role of OTAs
Changing Channels
Looking Closer to Home
The Future