Top 5 Landing Page Software 2017

What is a landing page? Any page on a website is technically a landing page in the literal sense, as it’s a page visitors ‘land’ on when arriving at your venue or hotels website. However, more commonly the phrase ‘landing page’ correlates with standalone web pages used for online marketing and advertising.

Landing pages give hospitality marketers the ability to remove distractions and tightly control the message presented to the visitor. For example, a person looking to book a winter event is more likely to make an enquiry when shown a webpage only about winter events, rather than having to review your whole website.

In 2017, online software platforms enable us to quickly create fantastic, highly custom and bespoke landing pages – perfect for long term marketing aims, as-well-as limited run promotions, such as for a ticketed event or seasonal booking special offer. Below LeadDigital review five of the top landing page software tools available today:-

Pagewiz | pagewiz.com

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Pagewiz is a platform created for marketers and business owners who want to get landing pages built and live fast. The WYSIWYG style drag and drop software means you don’t need to be a web designer to create basic landing pages, and there’s even a collection of pre-designed templates available. You won’t win any awards for incredible web design using Pagewiz, but it’s great for quick production.

Pros: Drag & drop designing, integrations with popular software like Salesforce and MailChimp, quick for everyone to get ‘up and running’.

Cons: Template designs aren’t overly inspiring, limit on number of page visitors and domains, simplified builder compared to alternatives.

Cost: Free 30 day trial, then from $25 (£19) per month for the basic package when paying annually. Four plans available, structured on the number of page visitors and custom domains.

Lander | landerapp.com

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Along the same lines as Pagewiz, Lander is another drag & drop, non-technical landing page builder, ideal for beginners. The editor is modern and easy to use, you are able to create great pages fast and A/B testing features help you test up to three different versions of your landing page at any time. You can also integrate closely with Facebook, adding tabs to your new landing pages in just four steps. Other integrations are available, but most are premium features.

Pros: No technical knowledge required, superb collection of integrations with other tools, templates built by designers to achieve conversions, powerful analytics included. Well rounded.

Cons: Some integrations only available as premium features, technical support only available on ‘Pro Plus’ package, limits on custom domains.

Cost: 14 day free trial. Then from $16 (£12) per month for the basic package when paying annually. ‘Professional’ package required to use integrations and for more than 3 custom domains.

Instapage | instapage.com

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Instapage are ranked highly, not just because of the software but also the customer support they provide. Whilst offering a simple and easy to use landing page builder similar to other, Instapage also have a huge collection of resources available to help optimize landing page results. They are also one of the only companies to give unlimited pages, visitors and domains on a basic price plan.

Pros: One of the only companies offering unlimited pages, visitors and domains on their basic package. User friendly interface, high quality selection of conversion tested templates.

Cons: No A/B testing on basic package and limits on integrations.

Cost: 14 day free trial. Then from $29 (£22) per month for the basic package when paying annually.

Leadpages | Leadpages.net

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Leadpages takes landing page creation to the next level. Built specifically with conversions in mind, everything about this platform is focused on converting traffic into buyers. You have next level landing page design tools, all the integrations you could want and an incredible collection of templates – plus lead capture forms and subscriber tools, powerful analytics and AB Testing features. All of this and the basic package offers unlimited traffic, leads and responsive pages!

Pros: All of the above, plus a huge library of resources including guides, certifications, tutorials and an active community of users.

Cons: This is a more complex, feature-rich software platform so may be overkill for some companies. A/B testing and advanced integrations only available on ‘Pro’ and ‘Advanced’ plans.

Cost: 30 day money back guarantee. From $25 (£19) per month for the basic package when paying annually.

Unbounce | Unbounce.com

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Last but not least is Unbounce. As with Leadpages this is an advanced landing page development tool, and whilst you don’t need to be a qualified designer to use it, the features are more complex. Yes they have all the landing page building abilities you’d expect, but Unbounce’s true strengths lie in the testing and optimization of each page to achieve industry leading conversion results. This is the most expensive of the software tools we’ve reviewed, however its next level features help make the investment worthwhile.

Pros: Advanced features but still easily usable without a technical background. Powerful optimization and testing capacities. Always releasing new services, including ‘Unbounce Convertables’, targeted overlays for any web page.

Cons: An expensive investment and less integrations than some alternatives.

Cost: 30 free trial. Then from $79 (£61) per month for the basic ‘Essentials’ package when paying annually.

Conclusion

As with any new software purchase your primary concern should be ‘what do I actually need’, rather than simply buying from the industry leaders. The landing page software tools reviewed above are just a handful of whats available today, but all provide those core functionalities needed to create web pages that look good and convert sales.

If you’re still not sure which landing page software best fits your venue or hotels needs then have a chat with us anytime. LeadDigital have over 20 years experience in hospitality marketing and have designed hundreds of landing pages, so can advise on the best fit for your hospitality business.

 

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10 Examples Of Awesome Venue Websites

Venue websites must be beautifully designed and engaging to entice visitors into choosing their location over the various alternatives available. It’s not simply enough to have an online presence in 2017, venues must also think about a website’s goals and functionality. Keep in mind your website may be the first interaction a new customer has with your business, so it will speak volumes about your brand and quality expectations.

With this in mind, here are 10 UK venues that have awesome websites live today!

Tower Bridge

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“The most famous bridge in the world houses three stunning venue areas, each one a unique and memorable setting for celebrations of every kind.” – This is both a practical and structurally well designed website for event planners, making it simple to learn more about Tower Bridge and make an enquiry. The use of virtual tours aids in providing insight into the venue before a real world visit.

Twitter: @TowerBridge
Instagram: @towerbridgeevents
Website: www.towerbridgeevents.co.uk

One Events

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“Whether you’ve popped the question and you’re looking for somewhere intimate to tie the knot, you’re looking for somewhere to impress clients and colleagues, or you’ve got something to celebrate, you’re sure to find the perfect event venue with us.” – One MaryleboneOne BelgraviaOne Embankment and the recently added One Adelphi make up four of the most prestigious venues in London, all under the One Events brand. This sense of quality and exclusivity is mirrored on their website, with the use of gold, luxury fonts and detailed information on each venue (including 3D tours).

Twitter: @oneeventslondon
Instagram: @oneeventslondon
Website: one-events.co.uk

Burley Manor

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“Tasty food and bespoke services, offer you the chance to create your individual event in this beautiful rural location that is sure to impress your guests.” – A modern yet warming website, Burley Manor have clearly put a great deal of thought into the design, creating an impression of rustic luxury. From a visual perspective, we particuarly like the use of animated text on each page, which grabs the attention of visitors.

Twitter: @Burley_Manor
Instagram: @burleymanor
Website: www.burleymanor.com

Woods’ Silver Fleet

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“Create a stunning top deck canapé reception followed by an intimate dinner in the River Room, or invite a larger guest list to enjoy the entire vessel and the drama of your own private yacht, luxurious in space and service.” – Woods’ Silver Fleet create some of the most exclusive events in London, held on the iconic River Thames. A clean design and simple layout make this site easy to navigate, whilst contemporary fonts and images are on-brand and resonate the luxury status of the venue.

Twitter: @WoodsThames
Instagram: @woods_silver_fleet
Website: www.silverfleet.co.uk

Urban Guild

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“Big grins, flip flops, happy staff and happy customers, inspired, energetic environments.” – Urban Guild own a number of bars, restaurants & hotels on the UK’s south coast. For events, their ‘Urban Reef‘ restaurant offers a unique and beautiful beachfront location, perfect for private and corporate occasions. Their website mirrors the brand’s bright and exciting style, with an informal, yet high quality finish maintained throughout.

Twitter: @theurbanguild
Instagram: @theurbanguild
Website: urbanguild.co.uk

Natural History Museum

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“It’s magnificent architecture and collections create the perfect backdrop for any event.” – Already an icon of London, The Natural History Museum offers event planners an incredible opportunity to deliver any type of occasion within this spectacularly stunning setting. Their website is very practical and has been created to handle the wide range of activites going on at the museum. The venue hire area provides quick access to the different events the building accomodates, and makes it easy to get in contact.

Twitter: @NHM_London
Instagram: @natural_history_museum
Website: www.nhm.ac.uk

8 Northumberland Avenue

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“8 Northumberland Avenue is one of the finest and grandest venues in London. Our team are dedicated to making every event a success. For the best venue hire London has, look no further.” – This is a venue website that’s all about the photography! This is not just a case of using high definition, beautifully shot art, but also how it has been intelligently placed across the site to create the biggest impact. Colour management is another core strength of this site, and the venue look to highlight the reactive 16 million colour lighting system they have available.

Twitter: @8Northumberland
Instagram: @8northumberland
Website: www.8northumberland.co.uk

Aynhoe Park

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“A country house of stories and surprises – a place where the extraordinary happens every day.” – Aynhoe Park consider themselves a venue for unique and creative celebrations, promising a countryside escape like no other. From corporate retreats, to filming, weddings and even children’s parties, this venue has the flexibility to make any occasion magical. The website is very modern and sharp, with the bold use of charcoals on a crisp white background, alongside inspiring, artistic photography.

Twitter: @aynhoepark
Instagram: @aynhoepark
Website: aynhoepark.co.uk

The View From The Shard

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“The only place to take in over 1,000 years of the capital’s history all at once.” – “Pretty damn spectacular” is how TimeOut described The View From The Shard, and honestly there’s no better way to explain this exclusive venue. Up to 400 guests in the summer can marvel at the London panoramic, with premium breakfast and evening events and a dedicated support team available throughout. The website makes it quick to book an event, and celebrates the venue’s niche on every page.

Twitter: @shardview
Instagram: @shardview
Website: www.theviewfromtheshard.com

Château Rhianfa Hotel

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“A host of elegant rooms and outside spaces to choose from, opt for a private dinner starting with drinks in the Wine Caves. Or go all out and take over the whole Château with an exclusive ‘house’ party like no other.” – Château Rhianfa is a fairytale venue in the heart of North Wales, that offers a variety of exclusive party hire options that are unique to the location. On their website they tell the hotel’s story, with romanticised content and the promotion of previous guest experiences.

Twitter: @ChateauRhianfa
Instagram: @chateaurhianfa
Website: chateaurhianfa.com

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5 Ways to Improve your Customer Experience

Customer experience is everything. The way your customers feel, the interactions they have and their entire end-to-end journey with your brand define this experience.

This can refer to physical interactions (such as the cleanliness of your venue) and the non-physical (digital) interactions with your brand. We will be focussing on the latter of the two, looking at the Martech (Marketing Technology), which can support you in improving your customer’s experience.

How to improve hospitality customer experience

Customers demand a high level of personalisation, in every interaction with your brand. Employing a personal touch is what will place you above the competition. With the tools available today, there’s no reason you cannot also provide this level of personalisation on the digital front. Some platforms will even help your on-site staff, by personalising your customer’s experience even at your venues!

1. Website

Your website is likely to be the first real impression a customer has of your brand. It is therefore, essential to make a good first impression. Here are a few points to stick to with your website, to ensure an incredible customer experience;

Usability

Often referred to as UX or User Experience, it is critical that your website is well designed and easy to follow, for anyone visiting for the first time. It is essential to have clear and concise navigation that guides visitors through your site, to anything your potential customer could find valuable. This varies from information about your product/services, to pricing, or simply the booking process. It is also critical that your website is quick loading! In this world of immediacy, nobody stays on a website that slows them down.

Conversion Tool

A great website guides a visitor through a refined, thought-out conversion path. This may include making a booking, requesting more information, posting a recommendation or just finding out your location/opening times. While this sounds like the top requirement for you and your business goals, it’s also a requirement of your customer. Your website needs to make it easy for the visitor to do all of these things. Any friction, and they’ll leave your site and go to a competitor.

Aesthetics

Your website needs to make an impact visually, but also deliver an authentic representation of your venue and services. Hero images have become a great way to present beautiful imagery throughout your website and are likely to be the very first impression you make on your visitors. Make sure they are high-quality (not pixelated) and alluring. Photography is an art, be sure to use a professional.

Cross-platform friendliness

Today, people are visiting your website from a variety of platforms. According to StatCounter in a report towards the tail end of 2016, global mobile web browsing actually overtook desktop for the first time. Given this fact, It’s never been more important than now, to make sure your website is optimised for mobile devices. In-fact, you may even wish to consider a separate design that specifically caters to mobile visitors – rather than trying to make desktop content work on mobile.

Alluring visuals, backed up by a smooth user experience – quick, easy to use, with clear and concise navigation, are all critical elements for your website and the experience of your visitors, alongside the information you provide. Additional content based around visiting your venue will also solidify your expertise within the customer’s mind – for example; Hotels might offer local sightseeing information, or restaurants may provide information on local entertainment venues. It all shows that you care about your customer having the greatest experience possible.

2. CRM

CRM platforms are all about leveraging data made available to you, given by customers as they progress along their customer journey; from strangers to brand authorities & promoters of your services.

A Customer Relationship Management system can benefit your Hospitality company, both in terms of the physical and digital experiences of your customers. On the digital side of things, CRM’s can log every visitor interaction with your company, adding their details to a centralised database. This makes it easy for your team to then personalise communications with potential customers!

However, a great CRM can also take it one step further, providing all this information to staff at your hotel or restaurant, for example, ahead of your customer’s visit. This enables a unique & personalised service that takes into account any requests and requirements, well ahead of time. Think about it this way, if you were to return to a hotel you had previously stayed at, wouldn’t you prefer to to be greeted with “welcome back” rather than the question “have you stayed with us before?”. It is this level of detail that can make a huge difference in your customer’s experience, by making them feel special in this way you also promote a sense of luxury.

Find out if Salesforce CRM is right for you here!

3. Email Marketing Automation

Email Marketing is an effective tool for reconnecting with your existing customers and extending their lifetime value. It is also a great tool for creating a personalised customer experience using automation. So how can something automated be personalised?

Automation is all about utilising the data that is available to you. Data such as name, date of birth, bookings and details such as reason for booking are all accessible if you have a centralised database CRM system. You can use this information as follows;

Name

You can use name tags to address your customer personally in your automated emails.

Date Of Birth

If acquired during booking process can be used to send Happy Birthday emails with special offers

Booking Details

If your guest booked a room or a table as part of an anniversary celebration, you can have an automated email scheduled to ping them the month before this date in the following years to prompt booking the same again or making a special offer.

If your guest booked a standard room in your hotel, you could have an automated email offer the opportunity to upgrade to a superior room or to book additional services that you may offer.

The opportunities to provide a personalised service to your customers via automated emails are pretty much limitless. You just need a strategy for acquiring these details and a system set up to make the most of the data.

For more information on Email Marketing, see our top 5 recommendations to enhance your email marketing campaigns.

4. Social Media Monitoring

Social channels like Twitter and Facebook are great for proactively promoting your brand and the services you offer, meeting your customers where they are. But, they have also become a great tool for customer service.

You can use tools such as Buffer or ‘Social Inbox’ within Hubspot, to monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand, or keywords relevant to your service. With social monitoring, you can get the inside track on what your potential customers are talking about and identify opportunities for engagement through social media channels. It can also be used to flag any mentions of your brand or products, allowing you to respond directly and with speed. With social monitoring you can turn negative experiences into positive ones.

Answering your customers, on the platforms they reside in, gives a personalised feel based on the direct response via their personal profile. It is important for the respondee to be sympathetic with the customers concerns (if negative) and try to resolve any issue quickly and to a satisfactory level.

5. Customer Survey

If you’re really struggling to find ways you can improve your service, you probably aren’t utilising social monitoring or a CRM system as described above. The best thing you can do is ask your customers directly via a customer survey.

Customer surveys work in two ways for improving the customer experience. Firstly, you will get actionable responses from your customers. They will tell you what you need to do to improve their experience! But, secondly and quite subtly, you will also show that you CARE about their satisfaction and are looking to improve based on their recommendations. Again, this feeds back to providing a personalised experience of your brand.

Conclusion

Today’s economy is starting to be driven by millennials who want experiences more than anything, as suggested by the Harris Research study commissioned by Eventbrite back in 2014. Advances in technology and the leveraging of data can support you in creating these experiences in both the digital and physical interactions you make as a brand.

Customers want to feel special and unique and this is what they are willing to pay for. A CEI survey revealed that:

“86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience” – Forbes.com

The points raised in this article are the foundations of creating first-rate customer experience. If you get these right you will be well on your way to improving your customer experience, retaining your customers and extending their lifetime value.

 

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How Much Should Your New Website Cost?

Why do website prices vary so much? As an agency, we hear this all the time. Along with, “we saw a TV commercial that tells us we can buy a website for as little as £99”. And “our son’s friend has been learning web design at school and has offered to do it for nothing”. At the same time, we often hear of large multinationals paying seven-figure sums for website design!

How can there be such disparity in pricing? This article hopes to explain the top level factors that together create a price for a website.

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1. Goals

All too often this elementary question gets forgotten. In its absence, a website simply becomes nothing more than a glorified brochure. A well-designed website should function as a sales and marketing funnel.

All too often this principle is at odds with the goals of your agency. In the minds of the client, more pages means more work, which means more value, doesn’t it? The truth is, each page of your website should have a goal in mind. Each goal should form a step along the sales funnel. Transforming a prospective customer into an enquiry or booking.

2. Architecture

A well-structured website should act as a funnel which drives customers to enquire (leads) or make a purchase (eCommerce). Unfortunately, most websites aren’t designed in this way. Rather than being shaped like a funnel, they could be more accurately described as a sieve. A series of disconnected web pages which have no purpose other than to frustrate the visitor.

Don’t underestimate the time it takes to design a sales funnel correctly. As important as aesthetics are to the hospitality industry, it should never overshadow the true goal of your website.

3. Analytics

Why do you need your website? If you don’t have hard data on the return that your business generates from its digital investments, then you’re basing your decisions on opinion and not fact. The often forgotten or bolted-on aspect of website projects is analytics.

When configured correctly, analytics provides the ongoing information which enables you to measure the return on your digital investments. Whether that be something as simple as how many people visited our website yesterday, to the more complex, like, how many Facebook visitors from yesterday’s post made a booking?

Analytics needs to be aligned to the business strategy, the goal of your website and the metrics on which you plan to measure its success.

4. SEO

There’s a lot of confusion around the meaning of SEO. In its most general sense SEO means Search Engine Optimisation. In the context of website building, the term optimisation should really be replaced with optimised.

The easiest way to view SEO in the building phase is to think of it in terms of building regulations. Just as is the case with building construction, the critical work happens behind the scenes, in the foundations.

If a website is built with disregard to SEO, then it could arguably be described as unfit for purpose. Retrofitting SEO to a poorly thought out website project can be an extremely costly and time-consuming process.

5. Mobile

Mobile traffic to websites today is rapidly outpacing desktop. Although most businesses have embraced this change and created mobile versions of their website, they haven’t considered the user interface. That is to say that people’s habits when using a phone are very different to when using a computer.

A great example is the interaction people have with photo galleries. Sites such as Facebook or Instagram have taught consumers to interact in very different ways on their mobile devices than they would in front of a keyboard. Simple things such as swiping left or right, or pinching to zoom are functions expected on touch screens, yet absent on a desktop.

Factoring in these additional design features means to a certain extent designing a second site. Rather than thinking of mobile as the poor cousin of the desktop, we need to be increasingly placing mobile front and centre in our design process.

6. Content

This is a huge area and can significantly impact the final cost of your project. Website content can not only be costly to produce, especially when it comes to video and photography, but also in terms of time. One of the most common delays in a website project is the production of content.

When faced with delays, you run the very real risk of focusing on the input and not the output. In other words, you focus on getting something onto the website so you hit your deadline, rather than focusing on the real goal of the project, namely increasing your new business.

Don’t rush this stage of the project or underestimate its importance. The return on your investment will be impacted heavily by shortcuts taken in this area.

7. Content Management System (CMS)

Do you plan on updating the content of your website regularly?

You can pay to have a CMS included in the price of the build. Be warned many design firms use proprietary software to keep you tied to their business. Try and leave and you will have problems updating the content yourself. So if you do opt for a CMS, make sure it’s not something custom built by the agency, and something that they can demonstrate is used by the wider community.

You can also opt to have the agency maintain the content on an ‘as needed’ basis. The assumption being they can make changes to a website more efficiently than you.

8. Design

Do you already have clear branding guidelines that your agency can work from? It stands to reason that project costs can dramatically increase if the designer needs to create everything from a logo to the layout of your booking forms.

Avoid low-cost template websites that promise everything for a fixed price. Your first impression these days, more often than not, is online. If you’ve invested time in differentiating your business from your competitors in the physical world, doesn’t it make sense to do so in the digital?

9. CRM Integration

CRM (customer relationship management) system is critical to not only manage the development of potential customers but to manage the relationship and lengthen the lifetime value of each guest.

It’s likely that over 90% of the visitors to your website won’t be enquiring or booking anything on the first visit. Even more frustratingly, many of those which do enquire, will more often than not, get stuck in the sales funnel you’ve created.

As we already mentioned, the website is just one element of your marketing and sales funnel. This makes it critical that any current or future CRM system, should be tightly integrated. The cost of doing this type of project can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the CRM solution.

10. Other Integrations

Following on from the CRM system, it’s also important to consider any further integrations within your business. Do you need your website connected to bookings, payments, calendaring, email confirmations, SMS, marketing automation? Although impossible to fully scope out all the potential future integrations, careful consideration at this stage can ensure greater compatibility in the months and years to come.

11. Timeframe

A word of warning when it comes to including deliverable dates in your agency selection criteria. The real hidden costs related to time is actually around delays. This comes in the form of the agency slipping your project. Which can often be the case when timeframes are a factor in the contract bidding process. When agencies are forced to quote unrealistic deliverables in order to win the contract, the inevitable happens.

It’s also rare that an agency is working on a single project at a time. Expect to pay a premium if your timescales are so tight, that resources need to be pulled off other client work to focus on yours.

12. You

It’s time to take a look in the mirror. Are you the type of client who has a very clear idea of what their website is setting out to achieve? Or do you require strategic input from your marketing agency? If it’s the latter, aside from the impact on costs, you need to really consider the capability of the agency. A portfolio of shiny new websites doesn’t mean they have in-house expertise when it comes to business strategy.

Conclusion

Hopefully, at this point, you can appreciate why there’s such a huge disparity in pricing within the industry. At the same time, we know how frustrating it can be to take the time to read an article on price, and never see one quoted.

Before we get to that number, it is important to point out that LeadDigital has a very clearly defined customer profile which needs to be taken into account in relation to our typical costings. Our clients typically have very clear branding and product positioning. Their businesses are usually at least 10 years old. They are generally in the £5-10M revenue range. They’re private companies that generally have a singular vision driven by the founders. They have in-house copy and photographic archives for use with creative projects.

Our average website project is in the range of £15K – £20K. That budget would generally include an eCommerce component and some level of lead management, generally in the form of integration with CRM or marketing automation.

 

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5 Capabilities Your Next Hospitality Marketing Agency Must Possess

Marketing technology (Martech) is constantly evolving and the capabilities of Marketing Agencies must evolve as well if they are wanting to stay at the forefront of their industry. They need to be offering their clients the latest marketing services and executing successful and measurable digital marketing strategies in 2017 and beyond.

Does your marketing agency tick all the boxes when it comes to growing your hospitality business?

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Hospitality Marketing Agency Checklist – Data Analysis, Web Design, Marketing Automation, Content Marketing, SEO and SEM

Below are the top 5 marketing expertise, we believe, any hospitality marketing agency must possess to deliver successful marketing campaigns for their clients.

1. Data Analysis

Arguably the most important aspect of any marketing effort in 2017 and beyond is data analysis.

“Marketing without data is like driving with your eyes closed” Dan Zarrella

Data is everywhere and in everything we do! By now, you should be aware of data and how it can be captured in every digital interaction we make. With the ever growing importance and abundance of customer data (which is only going to increase further with the development of the Internet of Things), every marketing agency must have the capability, knowledge and passion to measure, analyse and interpret data.

Data enables you to;

  • Create more effective and targeted marketing campaigns
  • Create comprehensive customer personas
  • Improve marketing personalisation
  • Reduce bounce rates
  • Improve customer experience
  • Attract more and higher qualified leads
  • Increase customer retention

Ultimately, data is the driving force to increased revenues.

If your marketing agency doesn’t analyse data, how can they decipher what marketing initiatives are working for your resort, restaurant or events venue? If they don’t know what’s working, how can they develop strategies that achieve your marketing goals?

2. Web Design

While “web design” includes the aesthetic design of your website, there is a lot more to it than this. There are too many websites that look visually stunning, but don’t actually work.

Websites MUST work on a technical level, aligning to your business goals and supporting you in achieving them. Website design must include all the backend processes that enable your site to track and generate leads before converting them to customers. This includes but not limited to; data tracking, landing pages, forms, CTAs, and integrating payment processing and booking systems.

Without this capability, your web presence is just for show and is not working for you. If your website isn’t working for you, it’s working against you, generating more demand on resources and if not optimised properly, wasting your resources. A good hospitality marketing agency knows how to deliver your visuals and make them work for you, converting visitors into customers.

3. Marketing Automation Tool Mastery

The marketing platform landscape is vast. Social media alone presents at least 5 major platforms for the Hospitality Industry (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and Pinterest) for posting and sharing content.

With the growing network of communication platforms, for various types of content, marketing automation tools such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, Buffer, Salesforce Pardot and Marketo have become a necessity. However, it is important you have an expert in these automation tools, that can guide you on best-practices and efficiency.

Automated emails, social media and content marketing campaigns deliver more and better qualified leads, culminating in more sales. Marketing automation tools allow for more marketing efforts to be achieved in less time, generating better ROI, let alone the opportunity for greater personalisation.

To get the best out of these tools, you need a marketing agency that has tried and tested the tools, learnt how to get the most out of them and only works with the best. They can either manage your in-house marketing team efforts or manage your automated marketing efforts for you.

4. Content Marketing

Content Marketing has evolved in the last decade, largely due to the development of data enabling it to be measurable, and become the foundation to any marketing strategy.

Nobody likes receiving unsolicited emails or advertising pop-ups that fight for your attention over what you’re actually looking for. These are the intrusive tactics of Outbound Marketing. Content Marketing on the other hand, is the foundation of the non-intrusive, Inbound Marketing methodology, first coined by Hubspot.

Inbound Marketing is the practice of creating content that is informative and useful for your target audience – Content that directly answers the questions you know your potential customers will be typing into search engines. By addressing their questions you will attract your potential customers (earlier in the buyer’s journey) directly to your website. It is from here that you use your landing pages as tools for converting visitors into customers.

For example, say you run a Hotel in London. Creating a piece of content on the ‘Top 10 Things to do in London’ answers questions your potential customers are researching before booking their trip. Clicking through to this content will subject them to your brand and you can use this opportunity to convert them from a stranger into a lead – Link them to why your hotel is the perfect choice for a trip to London or place a CTA (Call-To-Action) to the latest offers that are available.

Content has become one of the strongest methods for lead generation. Working with a marketing agency that understands Content Marketing and the Inbound methodology is incredibly important for the success of your marketing strategies moving forward.

5. SEO & SEM

Last but by no means least, Search Engine Optimisation and Marketing. To get your website, content and services in front of your existing and potential customers you need to get them ranking highly on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Search engines are constantly developing and becoming smarter with their algorithms frequently being updated. It requires an expert with their fingers on the pulse of Google and it’s competitors to keep you appearing at the top of the results pages.

A lot of businesses try to take this in-house, unaware of the skills, knowledge and resources it takes to be successful in this area. It is important to work with a marketing agency that lives and breathes SEO and SEM, advising and optimising your keyword strategies, to ensure you consistently rank highly.

Achieving higher rankings for your website content generates more traffic, which coupled with your content marketing strategy develops better qualified leads and more sales.

Summary

Proficiency in data analysis, marketing automation tools, website development, content marketing and SEO & SEM are the top requisites for your marketing success in 2017 and beyond.

Marketing agencies that boast these services are going to be the ones with the most successful marketing strategies for your hospitality venue. Be sure to review your current marketing agency and check that they offer you all of the above, or risk being surpassed by your competitors in partnerships with those that do.

 

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