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Friday Fuel: Starwood Kicks Butt & Google Gets Smarter… Maybe?

Need a Date? Try PPC

No, not PCP, you sicko. PPC, as in “pay per click” ads you see on search engines and websites. Believe it or not, someone did actually set up paid ads on Facebook promoting himself to the single female market. You go Glen Coco. This is just one example of creative and catchy ppc campaigns that takes outside of the box thinking to a new level. Other examples include a ads that Snickers ran on commonly misspelled words to match their “you’re not you when you’re hungry” campaign and a paid ads game that Converse created on low competition phrases and questions that match their target demographics. What can hotels take away from these stellar examples of paid advertising superstars? Instead of the boring “rooms from only x amount” and “great rooms and amenities – book now” text that we see with every other hotel ad, it’s time to step outside of our comfort zones and think of new and creative ways to reach and communicate with our audiences in a way that will resonate and stick.

 

Starwood Hotel Points Are The Real Stars

The Starwood Preferred Guest hotel points are kicking some major butt in the loyalty programs arena, despite other loyalty programs’ continued devaluation. The program offers extended guest benefits through partnerships with relevant vendors like Amex, Delta, and Uber. SPG is valued 50% higher than their closest competitor and is valued at being a 64% stronger program than even Marriot Rewards. So what makes the Starwood program sparkle? It’s simple – the points are easy to use and include numerous transfer partners, making them an ideal match for the coveted business traveler market. What could you be doing to enhance your guest loyalty programs?

 

We’re Not In SERP Kansas Anymore Golden Triangle SERP

Gone are the days of the beloved “golden triangle” – a highly recognizable and industry accepted search engine results page viewing pattern that has been the norm for digital marketers for ten years. A new eye-tracking study released by Mediative reveals some interesting changes in user behaviors. The average time spent scanning SERPs has decreased significantly from 14-15 seconds to only 8-9 seconds total. Viewers are, however, scanning more of the page as a whole and are clicking more results that are listed lower on the page than ever before. What does this mean for hoteliers and marketers? If you take away ONE thing from this study, let it be that ranking #1 isn’t everything and being relevant is everything.

 

To Bid on Brand or Not to Bid on Brand – That is the Question

While this question may seem like a no-brainer to some, many are still questioning the value of bidding on brand related search terms for paid ads in search engines. Hoteliers often question the necessity of such practices since the organic rankings for branded terms are going to drive in “free” clicks – why cannibalize? Well, the numbers for quarter four 2014 are in and they aren’t pretty. Hotel brand’s lost an estimated 31,653 clicks to OTAs bidding on their brand terms. Ouch. Though you might save that $.25 you would have spent on acquiring that click, you will now be paying a much higher rate for the fee that the OTA will charge you for that booking. TL;DR version = bid on brand.

 

Insta-Conversions via Instagram? 

This popular photo-centric social media site is rolling out a new advertising product that will appeal to marketers, particularly those in a highly visual industry like travel. The new “carousel ads” will allow brands to tell their unique story through multiple images – a stark change from the single image content format that currently exists. Other features include specific targeting capabilities and the ability to insert a call to action with an off-site link that creates a new potential conversion funnel for users. Will your property dabble with this new advertising channel?

 

Google Gets Smarter… Again… Maybe?

Google might be considering algorithm updates that would take more consideration into the accuracy of your website content – according to a research paper written by the popular search company. The system would determine the trustworthiness of a page based on the number of facts it has and lessen the importance of quantity and quality of incoming links. The so-called “knowledge-based” score would also check the accuracy of other content on the site to determine trust which would be particularly useful for sites that don’t contain many actual facts.  There are still many questions to be answered and this report is rather preliminary but we want to know – what do you think about this potential change?

 

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Meisha BochicchioFriday Fuel: Starwood Kicks Butt & Google Gets Smarter… Maybe?
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