Digital marketing and PR agencies that focus on buyer “DNA” will propel luxury hotel brands to pivot from employing only stand-by marketing approaches to unleashing sales through a combined traditional, digital and social media campaign. This allows for much greater access to a larger percentage of the affluent traveler segments. A well-orchestrated PR campaign combining online, print and broadcast media with digital channels will give you a robust presence in the marketplace.
Affluent travelers are a unique breed, whether they are Boomers or Millennials. These consumers are both part of an exponentially growing market on a global scale. Consumer spending is on the rise – but what method will be most effective for travel and hospitality brands that seek to capture a larger market share?
What influences choice in a hotel for these travelers?
What forces drive these consumers to splurge on one travel purchase over another? That requires an understanding of the emotional forces that drive these markets to select one hotel over another. Those brands that are successful are taking a fresh approach when developing a strategy to inspire travelers browsing around for hotels when planning a trip. The luxury travel market is strong for brands that analyze digital metrics when creating their marketing strategy. Social media, combined with traditional PR is going to be your best way to capture the various market segments.
Be rigorous in selecting a PR agency that is in sync with your property. The editors and influencers that cover the luxury travel market at such target outlets as the New York Times and Conde Nast Traveler will put more heads on more beds. An agency with extensive hotel PR experience will know the hospitality industry and be conversant in the most effective means to connect with affluent travelers who want active and interesting hotels for business and leisure travel.
Online media – its power to gain traffic
Mentions in powerful online travel media outlets and major blogs – like the Huffington Post and high quality sites like ALuxuryTravelBlog.com, can be just as lucrative as traditional media on the printed page. This is especially true when your agency can get you those high value links back to your site. They are golden.
Coverage in top-flight digital outlets communicates authority in the minds of the readers and also carries tremendous sway with Google’s listings. This same coverage in digital media will move your property up the Google indexing ladder to the first page. Mentions can fill beds, and features will book rooms even more.
For instance, if weddings are one of your targets – and almost every hotel hosts them — top online outlets to hit are Martha Stewart Weddings and The Knot. The influence these outlets have over the bridal party in choosing where to hold the “big event is enormous, and garners significantly more traffic than the first advertisement listings that come up first in a Google search such as Hotels.com or sponsored ads. Ninety per cent of people just ignore them and move down to the organic entries.
Online searches provide real-time data that you can mine to create an effective digital marketing strategy for the various target markets. If you get the coverage it will provide robust juice to your online presence because what comes up first in a hotel search are articles in the highly valued media like Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. These outlets carry the heaviest weight with Google.
Successful hotel brands are addressing the fact that younger buyers – those elusive Millennials – tend to be drawn in by social responsibility, with purchasing patterns that are determined by far more than just a capacity to buy. Millennials are now the largest living generation – and they spend on travel. This is why hotels and destinations that include ways for guests to interact with the community and “give back,” is a must in capturing this group.
The psyche of the luxury traveller
A deeper understanding of this segment requires data about the psyche of the luxury travel buyer, and the factors that will motivate a purchase. For the affluent, travel options must convey a sense of status and exclusivity. A potential guest, when staying in a luxury hotel or resort depends on a higher level of security – a genuine concern – as well as comforts and services above and beyond the ordinary.
Current research reveals two different buyer types exist within the luxury product buyer market – authentic pride, reflecting a sense of accomplishment, and “hubristic pride,” intended to inspire admiration or recognition of wealth. Brands generally appeal to one of these impulses – but why not both? Highly tailored PR and marketing programs can now be developed specifically to inspire both types of luxury travel buyers.
A tailored program for your property
No “one size fits all” marketing program will get the results that a strategic digital marketing program can realize in today’s luxury travel market. Find out more about the advanced digital PR and marketing initiative programs by doing an in depth search and paying close attention to metrics – which means results. Was occupancy increased? Were weekend nights filled? The channels that mean the most today for travel are Instagram, Facebook and Twitter, and if budget allows, Pinterest is an excellent referral source too. However for a successful campaign social media must be combined with traditional media. Nothing influences more than top outlets like the New York Times.
These processes impact consumer buying patterns, impulses, and the factors that drive a potential consumer to take the plunge and buy a luxury travel experience.
By Lorraine Abelow
Lorraine has had a 30 year, award-winning, boutique travel PR firm in New York City and is at the forefront of trends affecting traditional and digital media. Her firm has represented such blue-chip names as Four Seasons and Hilton Hotels, as well as boutique properties across the globe and island destinations including St Barth’s and Necker. The agency’s affordable hotel PR and digital campaigns are designed to move the needle regularly gaining eye-catching feature exposure in such top outlets as The New York Times, Travel and Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. It’s the long-standing relationships the Abelow PR team has with high-level editors that insures coverage in A list media in every campaign. Coverage in influential blogs and social media campaigns round out Abelow PR’s expertise. Lorraine serves as an honorary judge for the Hotels Sales and Marketing International Organization, from which she has won awards for her outstanding achievement over her illustrious career. For more information about this boutique New York City PR firm visit www.AbelowPR.com. You can contact her at Lorraine@AbelowPR.com or 203-226-9247.