Thoughts, stories and ideas.

From stumbling upon bed and breakfast inns, because your horse carriage lost its way to literally having multiple choices each catering to a very specific desire and design, we’ve come a long way when it comes to marketing in the hospitality industry.

Generating leads for hotel and tourism industries have certainly underwent a considerable amount of changes since the paradigm shift in the way people perceive tourism.

The marketing process of stimulating and capturing the interest of people in particular product or service through various methods to create a possibility of a sale is called lead generation.

Before we dive into the strategies for generating leads we need to understand the changes at the cultural and social levels that has been primarily spearheaded by the advancements in technology and information.

Inbound marketing strategy in hospitality management.

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The biggest change that dominates the industry currently is the change in consumer or customer. Consumers have grown accustomed to having access to unlimited information.

The amount of information that was created and processed over a large span of time hundreds of years have been produced over a matter of days. Therefore, making choices and decisions based upon the received information has also changed at large.

Initially a small piece of content or information was presented through tv commercials or print media and the larger chunk of the information was delivered through the interaction between the sales representative and the consumer.

However, with the advent of the internet, consumers are largely aware and knowledgeable about the service beforehand. Verbal interaction has been considerably reduced or at times even completely eliminated before making an informed choice.

Ultimately the information and the content that is viewed can be packaged to cater to the needs of the consumer. This is where inbound marketing strategies step in. inbound marketing strategy primarily revolves around tailored content and experiences to a niche audience.

Inbound marketing strategies are more effective at generating leads.

So here are proven lead generation tactics that gives a boost to your industry.

1. Websites.

According to Social scientist Herbert Simon, “in an information-rich world, the wealth of information means a dearth of something else: a scarcity of whatever it is that information consumes. What information consumes is rather obvious: it consumes the attention of its recipients.” (Source- Marketo.com)

This is what he calls the attention economics, which simply put explains that there is a scarcity of attention where there is an abundance of information. In this scenario there is increased need for your website to break through the noise and reach your target audience.

The website’s landing page has to be designed while keeping in mind the target audience. Understanding the needs of your target audience and creating a website that appeals to their senses. More than 80% of prospective tourists start their research on the internet.

A website that manages to stimulate and spark an interest in your viewers sets a strong foundation for the possibility of leads being generated. The design has to be well thought out. And the various features of the website strategically presented.

A. Design and content: While designing your website you need to have the brand image in head. Website design also needs to preserve the tone and the impression of the brand through its design. The design has to be professional and elegant.

It has to be structured in a natural way that makes it easy for viewers to access the content. The highlights of the hotels and the destination have to presented in a way to make an impact on the viewer. At the same time overcrowding the home page with too much content will put them off.

The content that is curated around the services provided by the hotel or tourism agency has to be precise and concise thereby accurately targeting the audience and the needs. Using SEO keywords in your content helps you reach your target.

Specializing and curating content that fits the exact need and niche interest of the viewers is essential. Cruise ships is not all that exclusive, family cruises on the other hand are. This although maybe targeted at a comparatively smaller audience it optimizes the leads generated since it fits their exact need.

Once the content is curated, it also needs to be constantly updated to fit the changing needs. Customizing the website to allow viewing on mobile screens without compromising on other features is also important.

CTA (call to action): A clear call to action option being set up in a strategic position on your website begins the process of lead generation. This is when you know that the viewers are becoming interested in the services you have to provide.

B. Information: While presenting the facilities presented by the hotel or tourism agency it also helps to provide additional information. Making your website a one stop for all the queries that trouble your viewers is extremely ideal for generating leads.

Provide information on various topics: Describing in short yet detailed passages the atmosphere of the tourist spot, or the various historical, cultural, gastronomical and other experiences that the area has to offer proves to be efficient in catering to an audience that seeks out information.

Add additional details about the various tourist attractions or services provided by the agency or the various experiences that people get to indulge in if they choose your agency over others. This can be done either through written content or also through visual media. Hiring professional photographers who can highlight the charms of a particular site may it be the infrastructure or the surroundings, ii proves to be efficient in keeping your viewers engaged with your website.

C. Understanding that the hotel and tourism industry Is ultimately and essentially a service industry that still heavily relies on the people is key to providing better service.

Provide detailed contact information which is easily accessible by the viewers on the website. Do not restrict it to merely phone numbers or email ids. Provide details about your social media handles. Have a section on the website dedicated for the comment to be posted. Also ensure that you constantly reach out to the people who ask queries and comment on your website by replying to them.

Focusing on the content and presentation of the website benefits both the agency and the customer. This is especially true when it comes to filtering out leads or giving the agency a chance to pick and choose your leads. If your ideal lead is someone who can spend within a certain range, then the content has to appeal to people within that range.

2. Social media marketing

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Various social media platforms serve a purpose of their own with their own set of quirks. Getting to work your way by understanding what each of them have to offer instead of creating one single post that will be posted across different platforms will be stagnating for your tourism industry.

Twitter is good for witty and funny tweets.
Instagram for pictures.
Facebook for long posts.

Changing your content accordingly and having a stream of content that will be posted on these platforms is a great way of avoiding in-activity. Inactivity on social media is detrimental for agency.

Researching on seasonal trends beforehand and having posts and their copy with catchy headline, hashtags helps in forming new leads and reaching out to a greater range of people. Planning out events and generating buzz about them online, reaching out to influencers and micro-influencers on social media platforms can help in generating interest towards your services.

Including testimonials or stories of people who have visited your hotel or advertising their event on your social media page is also effective.

3. Blogging:

Over the years, Blogs have proved to be extremely efficient in reaching out to target audience.

Regardless of whether the blog is managed by your agency or somebody else. The basic idea is connecting with people through stories and we all love a good story.

Blogging and reaching out to bloggers and vloggers across platforms is a great way of generating leads. Especially since the people following the bloggers/ vloggers have already shown interest in a particular field.

Conclusion

Since the major paradigmatic shift is in the consumer actively looking for experiences instead of material objects, the one size fits all marketing strategy has proved to be extremely ineffective. With the buzz surrounding tourism on social media platforms people are seeking out hotels and tourist destination that they consider to be their ideal fit.

Even if your industry does cater to a specific idea, breaking through the clutter to reach the right set of people proves to be a challenge. Generating leads through advertising proves to be a herculean task if an agency does not weigh its options and learn to navigate its way through the clutter to reach the right set of people.

Any lead generation strategist should also be aware of how important it is to it capture the attention of people and turn them into potential leads that can be sustained.