If done properly, video is a fantastic way to engage and expand your audience. There is no better way to deliver your message on the web. However, we’ve all seen video done wrong; 7 minutes of a CEO sitting behind …
After back-to-back red-eye flights, I found myself in Dubai for 3 days. I would have stayed longer, but Canadians are on a short leash due a disagreement between Air Canada and Emirates Airlines. Travelling alone inevitably leaves time for some good old fashioned tourism. So, between meetings, I set out to see the Dubai I had seen on YouTube; the world’s tallest building, the 7-star hotel, the Palm Jumeirah, the man-made islands shaped like the world (almost) and of course, the indoor ski-hill (which was, for a Vancouverite, equally hilarious and sad).
Social is a highly effective marketing channel for hotels; no marketer worth his or her salt will tell you otherwise. Social is even more effective for boutique, luxury hospitality brands. However, by the same token, social can be exponentially more destructive to luxury brand equity if not handled properly. This article helps luxury, boutique hoteliers see the social web from a new perspective, provide insights on building a strategy that is unique to their story, and explore media that are consistent with their message.
Around this time, our hotel friends start putting together their marketing plan for the upcoming year; budgets are assigned, revenue goals are set and partnerships come under review. To help spur on productive discussions and to make sure our clients look good, we’ve put together a list of 13 important web trends for the hospitality industry in 2013.
The list is by no means exhaustive. If you notice any glaring omissions, you’re more than welcome to add your thoughts in the comments section below.
In 2010, American hotels spent an estimated $2.7 billion on OTA commissions (source). Now, as commission rates continue to rise, hotel owners are looking at any and all ways to increase direct bookings. To achieve this goal, it’s imperative that the site conveys the advantages of being the hotel’s customer, rather than the OTA’s. Hotels that invest in their website with the goal of increasing direct bookings, will achieve a greater return (higher margin booking). As Stephen explains, hotel websites are still the primary research method for travellers, which means your job is to find ways of improving direct conversions.
You may have noticed that site speed has become a popular topic of discussion lately. It’s something I’ve written about before and still something that’s an integral component of a great website. One of the tools I mentioned in my previous article was GTmetrix, a site-speed measurement tool that incorporates measurements from Google Page Speed recommendations and YSlow, both based in a letter-based scoring system (A being fast, F being slow).
Generally speaking, GTmetrix scores represent a “blue sky” scenario, meaning the aesthetic of the site was designed purely for speed and does not take into account other business interests. It’s not hard to achieve a great score on a simple personal website, however, on a complex site with a robust Content Management System, large media files, and multiple plug-ins, it becomes significantly more difficult. Most projects are built upon existing frameworks or code libraries that significantly increase development time, but may not be as lean as a custom solution. Unfortunately, a custom solution will rarely be suitable for time and budget constraints.
Site speed is made up of many complex technical issues, and this article is not intended to address every single one in detail. This is a very general overview of some of the common issues I have seen lowering speed scores in projects.