You might ask, “Why should a small guest house or business like mine either develop or strengthen its presence online?”

Well clearly the world of technology, digital marketing and social media is having a huge impact on how we behave socially, act as consumers and how we do business.

Now it could be that a blended strategy of traditional and digital marketing could still yield returns for your establishment and we are by no means implying that you should do away with traditional marketing if you currently have it in place, but there are clear benefits to making use of digital marketing instead if you were to choose one or the other, and here they are:

1. Level the playing field: Any establishment can compete with any competitor regardless of size with a solid digital marketing strategy. Traditionally a smaller establishment would struggle to match the fixtures of its larger competitors. Online, a crisp, well thought out site with a smooth customer journey and fantastic service is key, not size.

2. Reduced cost: Your establishment can develop its online marketing strategy for very little cost and can potentially replace expensive advertising channels such as the Yellow Pages, television, radio and magazines.

3. Simple to measure: Unlike traditional methods you can see in real time what is or is not working for your establishment online and you can adapt very quickly to improve your results. There are many tools in place which allow you to track results, such as Google Analytics, which lets you track your website performance. Most packaged email marketing solutions also provide great insight into how many people are opening, reading and converting from your emails. Facebook promoted posts as well as Google Adwords also offer comprehensive reports on campaign results.

4. Real time results: you don’t have to wait weeks for a boost to your business like you would have to waiting for a fax or form to be returned. You can see the numbers of visitors to your site and its subscribers increase, peak trading times, conversion rates and much more at the touch of a button.

5. Refinement of your strategy: anything that you capture in your customer journey can be reported on and honed for greater success at the fraction of the cost of traditional marketing. Marketing online enables you to refine your strategy at any point in time and see any improvements or opportunities for further refinement almost instantaneously.

6. Brand Development: A strong brand plays an important part hospitality and hotel marketing. A well maintained website, with quality content targeting the needs and adding value to your target audience, can provide significant value and lead generation opportunities. The same can be said for utilising social media channels and personalised email marketing.

7. Far Greater Exposure: Your business can be seen anywhere in the world from one marketing campaign, the cost to do this using traditional methods would be considerable. Plus once you have optimised the key word search content in your website you should see a long-term return on your investment and will be fairly low cost to maintain your ranking.

8. Viral: Consider this, how often do your sales flyers get passed around instantly by your customers and prospects? Online, using social media share buttons on your website, email and social media channels enables your message to be shared incredibly quickly, just look how effective it is for sharing breaking news.

9. Not Intrusive: Most people hate receiving sales mailshots or phone calls at inconvenient times on stuff that they have little interest in. Online, people get the choice to opt in, or out of communications and often it is relevant because they were the ones searching for it in the first place.

10. Greater Engagement: With digital marketing you can encourage your prospects, guests and followers to take action, visit your website, read about your establishment, location and services, rate them, book and provide feedback which is visible to your market. So it doesn’t take long for good publicity to enhance the prospects of your establishment.

We’ll conclude our first newsletter here as I’m sure that has given you plenty to think about. If you’re in the market for a brand new marketing strategy or you would like to update your current one, please let us know. We’ll be happy help!