Life moves pretty fast…
And, as we know, so does everything in the digital marketing world! A decent digital marketing strategy is key to a successful book direct strategy. It’s something that needs to be constantly reviewed and kept in check so that you’re getting the best for your efforts, and of course, your budget. That’s where we come in. Our digital marketing experts love their craft, which is why their consumption of industry and platform updates borders on obsessive…
In such a fast-paced work environment it can also be really important to be reminded of some of the basics, as they can have just as much weight in your digital marketing strategy as some of the seemingly meatier considerations – we were collectively reminded of this at our Revenue Summit earlier this month.
Every year, we’re faced with a new (and sometimes not so new) list of challenges we need to be aware of in order to combat them and keep thriving. With this in mind, our team have put together an update including key challenges and tips across the industry and the most widely used digital marketing channels. This information is crucial and should help inform, shape and develop your ongoing digital marketing strategy for 2020.
What are some of the current challenges?
- The last few core algorithm updates from Google are causing major fluctuation for some organic search results
- Mobile-first indexing has come on a long way and is now fully rolled out, with further updates in development
- A new Google ‘search results’ page is now rolled out on desktop with smaller ‘ad’ tags and increased use of snippets. This is already live on mobile, and it’s contributed to a high increase in paid clicks as ads are significantly less clear, and organic results are further down the page
- Over 50% of Google searches receive no clicks… and this number is only expected to increase
- Google is increasingly monetising search results for travel-related searches, which naturally reduces organic traffic opportunities for hotels
Increased OTA activity
- In 2018, booking.com and Expedia spent a combined $10.6 billion on Google Ads! This was an 8% increase on the previous year
- If the past spending behaviour of OTAs continues, Booking.com and Expedia are expected to spend close to $13 billion on Google Ads in 2020
- Facebook have run out of ad inventory, so costs are expected to increase as bids become more competitive in order to compete with the same available slots
- Security and privacy issues and ongoing investigations into Facebook’s role in spreading fake news is causing users to leave the platform!
What might this mean for you?
- Increased cost-per-clicks on Google Ads due to increased spend from OTAs
- Increased costs on Google Ads to drive the same level of traffic you would have previously
- Additional Google Ads spend might be required to replace any lost organic traffic
- Increased costs on Facebook due to the increase in ad competition
What are some opportunities?
- It’s the 2nd largest search engine after Google Search! This is mind boggling…
- It has 1.9 billion monthly logged-in viewers
- The average Youtube user watches over 1 hour of video content per day on mobile alone
- By 2021, 5 million years of video content will be watched online every month!
- We’ve been banging on about it forever now, but mobile is a huge opportunity for 2020 – mobile revenue is continuing to grow every quarter
Organic Search – featured snippets and FAQs
- They can help with ensuring your guests are getting the answers they need directly in search results
- This will have a knock-on effect on your organic traffic to the site
Organic Search – Google My Business
- Upload at least 10 high-quality images
- Respond to all reviews – it really shows that you care!
- Verify that your content and amenities are accurate, and check this every couple of months because Google tends to make their own updates
- Utilise the Q&A section to your advantage. Answer all questions and remember that some questions can be business opportunities!
- Make sure you plan for ongoing activity on Facebook / Instagram (organic and paid). This will attract new audiences and re-engage existing audiences
- They have a highly complex and varied range of ad products! Use them to your advantage, whether it’s Lead Ads (to help build a database for email marketing), Story Ads (to showcase visual appeal of your property) or Video Ads.
What are some best practises you can implement straight away?
- Run campaigns across as many platforms as possible, and at all times – keep in mind, a typical person needs to see a brand 27 times before they recognise it!
- Utilise dedicated landing pages for all of your paid activity
- Be open to testing images – try at least 3 images for every campaign, particularly on Facebook
- Check everything you do on mobile devices – rate plans, offers, content pages, image updates all have to look right and work for the 2 in 3 users visiting your site on their phones
- When you’re analysing your data, don’t settle for averages. Analyse by device at the very least. What works on desktop might not work on mobile.
If you have any questions for our digital marketing whizzes, get on to us at firstname.lastname@example.org!