8 Steps To Sales Nirvana :: How Inbound Marketing Can Supercharge Your Direct Booking & Lead Generation
Originally posted at Lure Agency written by Melissa Rautenberg.
Let’s recap from a recent blog post we published last month regarding 3 Revenue Affecting Strategies Every Hotelier Should Know. In my short blurb I gave an overview on what inbound marketing is, sometimes referred to as content marketing, and I promised to elaborate on how strategies and tactics work together to help drive traffic and leads back to your website. Below I put together an 8 step guide to better help hoteliers understand what is meant by an inbound marketing plan and how it can benefit your property.
Step 1: Content – It all starts at the hub of your online presence, your website. Having engaging and informational copy, videos, pictures, stories, reviews, etc. Content is anything that's simulating to the viewer. It's the key element to inbound marketing. It keeps visitors on your site and builds authority to your hotels online presence. Travelers are always searching for information about the surrounding area, such as where to eat, what attractions to visit, local festivals, property amenities, and the list goes on. Updating your website pages and blog posts will bring visitors to your site from external sources, such as social media and search engines.
Step 2: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – It’s important to optimize your content everywhere it goes on the web. Your keywords, personas, title tags, and meta descriptions fall are part of your SEO strategy. From your website content, social media campaigns, pay per click ads to email marketing, your keywords, personas, tags and descriptions for every campaign should be congruent across all platforms from start to finish.
Step 3: Pay Per Click (PPC) – It’s time to stop thinking that the internet is this magical land that gives away free conversions. Maybe a long, long time ago in a far away internet land when AOL was cool, that was the case, but that’s not the case today. Pay per click advertising isn’t just something the big boy brands are using on Google, Bing and Yahoo. PPC is popping up all over the internet, including your social media platforms. So use those keywords, target those personas, and tweak those audiences to get the best results possible.
Step 4: Social Media (SM) – It used to be cute when your kids used these platforms to talk to their friends and small businesses were able to write an update and everyone who liked or followed their page saw the updates, but it’s not cute anymore. It’s a business, and just like any other business you need to pay to play if you want to see real results. Those personas and keywords we talked about? Yup, they come back again. Same idea as PPC. Use those keywords, target those personas, and tweak those audiences to get the best results possible.
Step 5: Lead Generation Forms – Now that you’ve gotten your target audience back to your website and reading your blog, cool. Now what? Get them to connect with your brand. Get them to sign up. Get them to want more content from you. Don’t just leave a blog sitting there will no call to action (CTA). Are you just writing to write? Heck no. If you’re anything like me, you hate writing. So don’t let your hard develop words go to waste. End that blog with a CTA to sign up and learn more about the new happenings at your hotel and in your area.
Step 6: Email Marketing – It’s hard to get people to keep coming back to your website to check for new content. We live in a world where everyone sees shiny new pennies and loses focus pretty dang easy. So, email marketing is going to be your golden ticket. It reminds your contact list that you still exist, that you’re still writing valuable content they need, and it fosters a deeper relationship between you and your audience.
Step 7: Inbound Sales Platforms – You are all going to hate me for this… without an inbound sales platform, don’t even put forth effort doing any of the above steps. Without a marketing management system like Lure's Sales Platform connected to your website, you’re completely missing out on ton of qualified leads to nurture. The Sales Platform gathers website analytics from all over in one web, social media, search engines, etc. It also stores your contact list, sends emails, and updates you on the hot leads coming to your site.
Step 8: Analytics – Let’s face it, data and analytics can be overwhelming. So why are you going to gather data from multiple different platforms and try to piece together what happened in your campaign and what you should do moving forward? The inbound sales platform gathers all the analytics coming into your site from all over the web. Cut yourself some slack and add these platforms to your website already.