As the number of smartphone users is constantly on the increase, mobile marketing becomes a more effective tool in driving the sales of your business. With over one billion mobile web users worldwide, and mobile shopping revenues continually on the rise, almost every type of business gains an advantage in going mobile, and the hospitality industry is no exception. Two-thirds of travelers say they are likely to explore and purchase travel activities via their mobile devices, although the mobile platform is typically used for research, leading to bookings made via desktop. This shows that there is a need for hotels to develop stronger mobile marketing strategies to take advantage of the growing mobile traveler base. So what makes an effective mobile marketing plan?
- Optimize for mobile
When it comes to viewing your site on a mobile phone, you can use a specially designed mobile site, or a responsive website. A responsive website is one that adjusts to match the viewer’s screen resolution. This saves you more resources compared to having a separate mobile site, and also helps keep the design consistent. Whichever method chosen, it is imperative to provide mobile users with unhindered access to your site, as optimized websites are 75% more likely to convert visitors into customers. With HTML5 providing developers with a host of benefits, well designed mobile sites are now a basic requirement to any successful internet marketing campaign.
- Get listed
Travel listing sites are extremely important to a mobile marketing campaign; 70% of consumers reported travel reviews as having the largest influence on their decision. Popular travel review listing sites like TripAdvisor and Kayak also have mobile versions of their site for travelers. Getting listed on such platforms is a cheap and effective way to tap into the mobile audience. Keep in mind that once you are listed on such sites, you will need to handle online reputation management to ensure a positive online presence.
- Go Social
Mobile phones are used as a more personal form of communication, and you can take advantage of this to interact socially with your guests. Your social media marketing should cover networks like Facebook and Twitter, allowing you to access both mobile and desktop users with engaging posts, but you can also use other mobile-specific applications to interact with users. FourSquare is one such application, allowing users to check-in to a particular location and leave comments that can be seen by others in the vicinity, and so is Instagram, which allows users to upload photos from their mobile phones. Through such applications, you can promote a high level of guest interaction and have a positive effect on their experience.
- Promote via mobile
Conduct special promotions through the mobile platform; use location-based services to provide new visitors with information about your facilities, or even notify your guests of special offers at the restaurant. Some hotels even allow guests to order room service and schedule activities like spa treatments via their mobile applications. If you are unable to use such resources, though, such notifications can be delivered by SMS. However, when following through with your mobile marketing techniques, always remember to keep your customers engaged with meaningful interactions, as this also a part of your guest experience. Once your messages are viewed as spam, it will be difficult to change this impression later on and will adversely affect your credibility.