The Most Profitable Marketing Channels for Hotels

by Alyssa Fate

Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to marketing for hotels, and the days of dumping dollars into a single channel are long gone. Marketers must meet travelers where they shop—and in today’s digitally-dependent landscape, this means everywhere. Leveraging the proper mix of digital marketing channels is paramount in generating a long-term, sustainable revenue stream. We’ve detailed the most profitable marketing channels for hotels to help you reduce costs, improve performance and increase your bottom line.

Putting money in the piggy bank with the most profitable marketing channels for hotels.

Profitable Marketing Channels for Hotels

CPC Marketing for Hotels

Cost-per-click advertising can attract and retain customers, as well as introduce your brand to a new audience. This cost-effective marketing channel offers a variety of campaign types with customizable features that provide both a short and long-term return. Paid search and metasearch campaigns are among the most profitable marketing channels for hotels.

Check out the top benefits of CPC marketing for hotels.

Paid Search Advertising

Paid search, or pay-per-click (PPC) ads, allow marketers to reach a broad customers base, that may or may not know about your brand. Paid search campaigns can generate considerable returns when optimized strategically. This channel plays a crucial role in reducing OTA reliance and commissions, as well as earning highly-coveted SERP real estate. In addition, non-brand paid search can generate brand awareness and new business. Understanding the nuances of paid search ads for hotels is your first step to deciding how to integrate them into your hotel marketing strategy:

  • Benefits: The cost-per-click model can help stretch budget dollars, especially when granular targeting is used, and the impact of PPC ads is felt almost immediately, providing cash flow when you may need it most. Paid search campaigns also allow you to compete for business that may otherwise be earned by OTAs, helping to reduce or eliminate high fees.
  • Drawbacks: Ad spend can fluctuate based on campaign optimization and keyword selection, and ongoing management is necessary. You’ll need to spend money to make money – and upfront payment is required.
  • Profits & Acquisition Costs: Depending on your target keywords, ads can be highly competitive and costly if targeting and bidding aren’t managed carefully. Combining thoughtful targeting and smart bidding strategies can provide an excellent return on investment.

Metasearch Advertising

Metasearch management for hotels on metasearch engines, such as Google Hotel Ads, allows properties to advertise real-time pricing and availability to drive direct bookings. Metasearch campaigns performance can rival the ROAS of top marketing channels, but the rate strategies and execution can be complex. Factors to keep in mind about metasearch marketing strategies include:

  • Benefits: Nearly three-quarters of travelers use metasearch engines when planning vacations, so this marketing channel offers access to a wide audience. An optimized presence on metasearch engines can lead to a big boost in direct bookings. And, several partner platforms offer AI-driven management tools to reduce the need for manual campaign optimization.
  • Drawbacks: The logistics, like integrating your rate feed with a metasearch engine, as well as manually-managed campaigns, can be challenging for independent hoteliers with limited technical knowledge or resources.
  • Profits & Acquisition Costs: Metasearch engines charge a commission, and the cost to outrank the competition can vary based on the property type, other bidders, and more. The user-friendly interface can increase direct bookings, and is cheaper than acquiring a booking via an OTA.

Email Marketing for Hotels

Email marketing is one of the most measurable, reliable marketing channels for hotels. The return on investment for email marketing averages 36x, meaning for every $1 you spend, you can expect $36 worth of revenue via bookings, upgrades, or services. For most travel, hospitality, and tourism brands, the ROI is even higher. Other considerations when determining the profitability of email marketing for your hotel include:

  • Benefits: Email marketing is an inexpensive way to reach a highly-qualified audience that is likely to engage. This marketing channel fosters guest relationships and loyalty, and improves brand recognition without a high CPA.
  • Drawbacks: The reach is limited to predefined email lists, and outreach must follow strict anti-spam laws. Maintaining subscribers and managing content requires both time and resources.
  • Profits & Acquisition Costs: Smartly segmented campaigns can lead to high open rates and an even higher ROI, lowering the cost per acquisition compared to other marketing channels for hotels.

Hotel Website Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

An organic, direct booking is the most cost effective for hoteliers, which makes SEO an obvious profitable marketing channel for hotels. Plus, optimizing a site for search has long-lasting benefits. Organic marketing via the website does have some perks and pitfalls that hoteliers should consider, which include:

  • Benefits: A well-optimized, user-friendly website can help improve rankings, in turn fueling organic traffic and driving more direct bookings.
  • Drawbacks: Hoteliers must invest in their hotel website to reap the benefits of organic search. In addition, major algorithm updates can make it difficult to stay abreast of best practices and changing guidelines.
  • Profits & Acquisition Costs: A coveted direct booking from organic search can yield a high profit, however it will require a long-term effort to begin seeing real results.

Multi-Channel Advertising Strategies for Hotels

When hoteliers choose to eliminate profitable marketing channels from their overall strategy, it leaves the door open for OTAs to win business you may have capitalized on yourself. Focusing on one or two channels may seem effective, but trust us when we say that you’re missing other opportunities to increase revenue. Here are a few tips to weave into your multi-channel advertising strategies for hotels:

  • Tailor messaging and creative to your audience.
  • Ensure brand messaging is consistent across all channels.
  • Create and share valuable content that resonates with your guests.
  • Cross-promote your content across marketing channels to ensure you get the most out of it.
  • Use data and analytics to measure success, and optimize campaigns to improve performance.
  • Integrate personalization where possible across these profitable marketing channels.
  • Ensure your website is user-friendly to reduce friction and earn more direct bookings.
  • Follow SEO trends for hotels to ensure your organic efforts garner top-notch performance.

When an independent hotel participates in the most profitable marketing channels for hotels, brand visibility increases exponentially and reliance on OTAs decreases. A strategic multi-channel approach drives traffic and puts you in control of your brand image, the booking experiences, and your bottom line. 

If you’re ready to reap the rewards of the most profitable marketing channels for hotels, contact TravelBoom today.  

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