Up close and personal

Tuesday 13th October 2015

Personalising content to your audience could vastly increase conversion rates and encourage people that yours is the right venue for them.

 

In today’s fast-moving digital age, customer experience is still a major consideration for many hotels. Despite the majority of bookings, queries and reviews now being generated online, guests still appreciate the human touch when it comes to brand engagement.

Nothing is more frustrating for a potential guest than mass-marketing tactics, especially when engaging with the hospitality sector – an industry built upon service. Personalising digital content therefore demonstrates to potential guests a value that mirrors your in-house service.

An Econsultancy and Monetate survey has previously reported that around 94 per cent of companies claim that personalisation is a key component of their success, while over half of consumers admit they are more likely to engage with, and make a purchase from, a company that provides a personalised service.

Using dynamic and personalised content allows you to speak to your target audience, telling them what they want to hear, based on a wide variety of factors, such as their age, location or brand loyalty. And most importantly for your business, personalisation is key to conversion rate optimisation

The right audience

With your persona attracting the right people there is a further stage, known as segmentation. This is the process through which you divide your clientele depending on what they are looking for. Knowing who you want to target should be a key part of any marketing strategy. Segmenting your audience will develop your communication overall, making it easier to personalise your content.

There are different forms of segmentation, including demographic, geodemographic, behavioural and psychographic. All the different forms of segmentation lead to your business being able to target each person with the right information for them, therefore leading to more conversions. For example take psychographic segmentation; if your customer is a mum with three children, she is probably more interested in family breaks in the summer, than a midweek break in late September. Targeting her with this offer is unlikely to convert to a sale. However, take geodemographic segmentation; a young husband within a 50 mile radius of your business is potentially very interested in a great deal on a Saturday night stay with spa treatments, therefore conversion is more probable.

Identifying these people who you want to talk to online is being made easier thanks to tools such as Google Analytics. It allows us to make insights into your target audience, from their location, to their age and even a rough impression of their personality.

Surveys

Another way, and one that is perhaps more traditional is surveys. These allow marketers to track the desires of users of a business or website, and subscribers as well. These are the people already using your business, but don’t neglect them. Ensure they are always receiving what they want, as their needs may have changed and it’s important your business knows when this happens.

The hospitality industry is built upon service - in real life you treat guests differently according to their circumstances and this should be no different when targeting them digitally.

Dickon Connolloy, Director of Hotel Search, Journey

Valuing loyalty

If a person is a regular guest at your hotel, the service they receive during their stay is probably an integral part of the reason they return time after time. This good service should extend to any communication you have with them outside of their stay too.

Alternatively, someone may be considering your hotel for their next stay or a product, such as your spa or restaurant, but is unsure. They’ve spent a long time on your website, returning every now and then to read up on various aspects of your offer without ever hitting that ‘book now’ button.

Using cookies, we are able to understand the needs of each user – their interests, their hobbies and even what their job might be by viewing their recent searches.

This is a great way of marketing because you are able to upsell a product. You can even invite the customer to purchase more or look at another product which may be either more relevant to them, or will appeal to them as an add-on.

Similarly, analysing a user’s purchase history avoids repetitive sales techniques and, again, offers up the opportunity to upsell a different type of product, fuelling brand engagement. Tap into their loyalty too – if someone has already booked with you, which involved creating an account, encourage them to sign in when they next visit the website to receive a more tailored experience.

Dynamic content

While some people may like information written clearly and concisely, other users will engage better with videos or blogs. Some people may only be interested in a specific offer, so it makes sense to direct them straight to that landing page. The aim of being dynamic with your content is to increase conversion rates so it pays to know who you are talking to and to do so accordingly.

Targeting guests with content, offers and deals that are likely to peak their interest is also more likely to result in a higher conversion rate, a lower bounce rate, more downloads and ultimately, a bigger spend.

Testing

When identifying the ideal content for your target audience, it’s important to think about where that audience will most likely be viewing this content.

If you are using dynamic content, make sure the people accessing it from various devices are able to see it. People using their mobile phone will not want to be bogged down with information, which they may have to scroll across to view in full. Likewise, someone using a desktop computer will want to be able to get all the information they need in one place and not have to look around or make contact with you for the simplest queries.

This is where testing comes into play. All avenues are investigated by a development and digital marketing team to ensure there is nothing in your content or the way you are displaying it that could make it impossible to view.

The hospitality industry is built upon service – in real life you treat guests differently according to their circumstances and this should be no different when targeting them digitally, whether they are visiting your website for a browse or you are targeting them with your latest email. Take the time to personalise your service and your brand will reap the rewards.