The last year has really demonstrated how COVID-19, pandemic life, and changes to the traditional workspace affected hotel marketing trends. The hospitality industry saw major advances in digital and touchless hotel technology, contactless service options, and a complete overhaul of the way guest and staff safety are managed. While many of the industry changes are here to stay, experts are, of course, anticipating some new hotel marketing trends for 2022 as well.
In this blog post, we take a look at the recent hospitality trends that are likely to continue growing in the future, as well as take a deep dive into the new hotel marketing trends we may see crop up in 2022 and what hoteliers should be doing to prepare.
7 hotel marketing trends for 2022 you should know
1. Hotel advertising campaigns should have a strong video focus in 2022.
80 Days, an award-winning digital marketing agency, recently released their annual “What’s Next For Travel?” report. The marketing agency, which specializes in creative and digital marketing for the hospitality industry, reviewed a wide variety of industry data (collected from over 600 hotels) provided by their sister company, Hotel Benchmark, to inform their findings.
80 Days used this reporting, in conjunction with key insights from popular third-party sources, such as Expedia and TripAdvisor, to predict key hospitality trends for 2022. Based on extensive research and analysis, their reporting estimates that “82% of all consumer internet traffic will be video focused in 2022.”
Animoto, another renowned marketing agency, came to the same conclusion in their recent report, Emerging Video Marketing Trends for 2022. Animoto focuses on making it easy for marketing professionals to create video content and analyzes the impact of video marketing on consumer activity. They found that 93% of businesses landed a new customer after sharing a video on social media. The report also concluded that the most impactful video marketing focused on short-form video content between 30-60 seconds long — perfect for TikTok, the No. 1 social media platform increasing in popularity.
- Create a TikTok account and develop a TikTok marketing strategy.
- Create a short video that showcases activities, attractions, and must-see sights around your area in one minute or less.
- Incorporate video-focused marketing across other social media platforms, such as Facebook and Instagram.
- Create a video-content-driven “inspirational” section on your website.
2. Expect the recent trend of shorter booking lead-in times to continue.
In their “What’s Next For Travel?” report, 80 Days found that “92% of hoteliers agreed that the most observed trend during 2021 has been shorter booking lead-in times.” Travelers are booking their hotel stays in shorter and shorter booking windows, often by booking directly.
Business Travel News reports seeing rapid growth in direct booking since 2020, with no anticipation of slowing down. With the significant increase in direct bookings, and guests choosing to book stays shortly before their arrival date, hoteliers need to ensure that they’re prepared to meet the demand changes 2022 will bring.
- Optimize your direct booking channels to increase hotel direct bookings.
- Focus on improving your website and your hotel’s website experience.
- Create SEO-rich content for your hotel website and direct booking channels. Effective SEO marketing will help drive a significant amount of traffic to your hotel website.
- After driving potential guests to your hotel website, make sure their click-through experience is seamless. Booking a room should be quick, simple, and easy to navigate.
3. Prepare for a decline in third-party data collection.
More than ever, consumers are demanding privacy when it comes to collecting and sharing their personal data for marketing or advertising purposes. As a result of the shift in many consumers’ attitudes regarding personal data privacy, hotels may face a drastically different marketing landscape in the future.
Email marketing, and the hotelier’s ability to attract new guests via email, changed dramatically with the release of Apple iOS 15. Marketing professionals are no longer able to see when recipients open marketing emails. As a result, it’s more difficult than ever to track which email marketing campaigns are successful. Without access to conversion rate reporting, many hoteliers will have to adapt to new privacy standards and adjust their marketing campaigns accordingly. Some industry professionals believe we are seeing the end of third-party data-driven advertising, or the beginning of “a world without 3rd party cookies.”
Tech giants like Facebook and Google are also opting to phase out cookies as customers demand more privacy. Hoteliers may soon be without access to data that may have in the past been integral to their marketing success. While Apple and Facebook are already allowing users to opt-out of data tracking, Google has moved their goal of phasing out cookies from 2022 to 2023.
- Shift to “first-party” data-driven advertising. First-party data is information your hotel collects directly from the source, such as your hotel website or social media accounts.
- Analyze website clicks, search behavior, booking patterns, and other key visitor activities in first-party data collection.
- Use the specificity of first-party data to personalize guest marketing.
4. Use first-party data to develop hyper-specific marketing campaigns.
SoCap, or Social Capital, is a Denver-based advertising agency and consulting firm focused on marketing to millennials and employment branding. The marketing professionals at SoCap see a future in hospitality advertising where hotels will be able to create “personalized journeys where the same website experience for one guest will be completely different from another.” Based on individual customer data, hoteliers will be able to create ads that target individual guests.
By tracking IP activity and website activity for individual guests, hotel marketing managers can create hyper-personalized advertising for their target audience. In their article, “The Future of Hospitality Marketing Trends in Tourism for 2022 and Beyond,”’ SoCap explains that businesses have the potential to create dynamic promotions, change offers, and even tweak the layout of their website to alter what individual consumers see.
In order to adapt to the changing availability of consumer data, hotel marketing managers should place a strong emphasis on proper data hygiene, ensuring that only valuable data is used and that “garbage data” is avoided. As the marketing world as a whole may be forced to shift away from third-party sources, hoteliers may want to move away from “aspirational marketing” and focus on “essential marketing” instead.
- Focus on accurate and consistent data collection; clean data helps ensure you’re accurately targeting your desired audience.
- Use a CDP strategy, or take advantage of a Customer Data Platform, to control your own marketing and rethink your guest data strategy. CDPs put all of a hotel’s data into one spot for clean, seamless marketing management.
- Use a CDP to determine how data flows from one tool to another.
5. Focus on building your “digital brand” in 2022.
Going digital is no longer an option for many hotels, especially properties located in competitive markets. In 2019, PWC reported that 81% of travelers were looking for more digital service options from their hotel brands, and industry research shows that demand has continued to grow. From adding contactless communication options and digital concierge services to implementing digital menu ordering to meet foodservice needs, hotels can step up their digital game in a variety of ways in 2022.
Hoteliers looking to remain competitive should put an emphasis on creating mobile-friendly marketing. By 2023, the number of people in the US who access the internet via a mobile device is expected to be higher than 90%. Creating clunky or wordy marketing content, not ideal for mobile viewing, could cause travelers to overlook your hotel and opt instead for a more tech-friendly brand.
- Encourage guests to share their experience while you gather valuable hotel guest feedback through post-stay surveys.
- Integrate hotel digital signage in hotel spaces to improve the guest experience.
- Prioritize creating a mobile-friendly website, as well as a branded app, that accommodates digital check-in, allows guests to make reservation changes, and provides mobile access to additional hotel digital services.
- Take advantage of services that accommodate contactless event check-in and onsite attendee management.
6. Expect a large uptick in global tourism.
According to the US Travel Association, more than half of US adults have set funds aside over the last year. With lockdown, restrictions, and a lack of available entertainment options at their disposal, many travelers have packed their pockets. Lots of everyday folks are ready to spend some “fun money” on travel, tourism, and a pleasant experience. As restrictions ease and different countries become accessible again, the travel industry is expected to see a boom.
In addition, many travelers are now experiencing more opportunities for travel due to remote work flexibility. As more workers have gone remote or partially remote, and as more companies implement remote working policies, some workers are experiencing the option to travel more than ever before.
- Evaluate how much of your marketing budgeting is dedicated to targeting bleisure travel.
- Reassess your budget distribution to accommodate the anticipated demand growth in market segments affected by the re-energization of global tourism.
7. The desire for pre-booking virtual guest experiences may be here to stay.
Many modern guests are interested in experiencing their hotel and the surrounding area visually before booking a hotel stay. It can help bring peace of mind to guests unfamiliar with your city, making it seem like less of a “strange new place.” Travelers and event planners alike are able to source the perfect venue with virtual tours. Showcasing a virtual tour on your website could help bring in higher levels of individual travel as well as attract more valuable group leads.
The VR industry is expected to grow from less than $5 billion in 2021 to more than $12 billion by 2024. Hotels that want to stay on the cutting edge of hospitality technology may want to consider jumping on the tech trend.
- Upload a virtual property tour to your hotel website and brand page.
- Upload short videos that highlight area attractions and local must-see stops to your hotel website.
- Showcasing captivating virtual tours of your property can help grab the attention of your target audience as they scroll through potential accommodation options.
- Create VR experiences related to seasonal packages that highlight holiday attractions, seasonal event reels, and in-room amenities included in the package.
Be proactive: Put your knowledge of 2022 hotel marketing trends to use
After reviewing some of the biggest hotel marketing trends for 2022, which trends do you anticipate will affect your market the most?
Identify the industry changes that are likely to have the biggest impact on your area as they could impact your property’s budget allocation, affect your marketing strategy, or require implementing new technology and hotel policies. Incorporate the hotel marketing trends of 2022 into your marketing strategies early to get ahead of the competition!
Up next, take a deep dive into the world of hotel mobile check-in.