Tripadvisor is the must have marketing tool for any hotel. It is the largest online travel community where you can read information and opinions from other travelers while you are planning your next vacation.
One of the free marketing tools that Tripadvisor has to offer is the reviews. The reviews are honest and helpful with ratings and recommendations based on a 5 star scale. Don’t be nervous if all reviews arent stellar. Trends in social networking have opened consumers eyes to the review process and if you have mostly positive reviews, then you should be in the clear. Consumers now know to take into consideration that there are some people you just cant please, as well as looking at the time frame of the review. For example, reviews that complain about noise and parties in a spring area during spring break, are obviously individuals that didn’t plan that well. Also, you can message back to those individuals who didn’t have a great experience to try to fix the relationship. If you don’t have mostly positive reviews, take into consideration what your guests have said and try to fix the problem! The reviews are one of the best customer service marketing tools in your arsonal.
Another free tool that you can utilize are the photos and videos. If you are listed on Tripadvisor, go to your hotel page. Scroll to the bottom past all of the reviews where it says “Do you own “So and So” hotel”
You can add numerous photos and videos to aid your past and future guests in their decision making process in a relatively easy manner. It’s one of the fastest ways to show people what amentities you have, or what updates you have made.
When you actually get to the point where you are ready to purchase advertising space on Tripadvisor, there are several different items that you can buy, Im just going to go through the basics and what has a proven track record.
You can purchase both CPM (cost per thousand impressions) or banners and CPC (cost per click) or text link programs. Tripadvisor won’t allow you to purchase CPC without a CPM buy, and the minimum on the CPM is about $10,000. The CPC tends to have a better ROAS with about a 5:1 ratio. The highest grossing portions of the CPC elements are the check rates section. This allows you to place your hotel name to check prices with Bookit.com, Priceline.com, Expedia.com, Hotels.com and Travelocity.com.
In this instance, MyrtleBeachHotels.com owns the Breakers. The checkbox automatically fills, the consumer adds their check in dates, number of adults and they hit the “Check Rates” button. When someone hits the check rates button, it counts as a CPC, and the benefit is that the consumer gets to check your hotel rate against the other online travel agencies (OTAs). If you are the least expensive, and hopefully you are, chances are that the consumer is going to book direct with you and save you the 30% or whatever you are paying with the OTAs. Your text links will also show up within the destination pages where your hotel resides.
The CPM version of the ad buy will be the standard banners that you are used to seeing. The banners help drive traffic to the hotel website, but do not tend to generate a large return on ad spend. These are normally placed within the destination pages of where your hotel is located. So, if your hotel is located in Myrtle Beach, you will see your banners when you are searching within the Myrtle Beach pages of Tripadvisor. This includes other hotel properties pages.
A personal theory that I have is that Tripadvisor is so powerful that it will actually move the needle on your other advertising media buys depending on your Tripadvisor rank. I have seen evidence that supports this theory on other advertising platforms. So there you have it, a few tips and tricks to store up your sleeve to get heads in beds.