Your booking sales funnel is a crucial component of your sales and marketing strategy and the roadmap for driving travellers from considering a booking to having a confirmed reservation. Your sales funnel will incorporate a multitude of elements and transact with a range of marketing activities but perhaps one of the most important areas of overlap is with your hotel’s content marketing efforts.
Your content marketing strategy will have a big impact on your sales funnel and vice versa – with your funnel needing to be fed with inventive and impressive copy at each stage. Content is the fuel which will drive consumers onwards and prompt them to move from being a prospect to becoming a paying customer – and booking a stay at your hotel. Via your content, you need to be driving your prospects through to the purchase stage, helping them gather the final pieces of information they require before making a purchase. Here’s how to determine what kind of content your booking sales funnel needs to keep your online hotel booking engine humming…
Reaching the Booking Stage
The sales funnel or buyer’s journey is comprised of four distinct stages:
- • Awareness – where customers are searching for answers and still seeking a venue.
• Interest – initial information gathering stage.
• Decision – a decision of hotel venue is reached, preparatory to booking.
• Action- a booking is placed with the hotel.
These stages represent the process, or ‘journey’ each and every one of your customers has gone through in order to make their booking, and just as each of these stages is distinct in its thought process for your potential customers, so your content must reflect this if you want to get the best results from your hotel’s sales funnel. You’ll need to plan out content for each of the four stages – which means factoring in pieces such as area guides, hotel information, things-to-do blog posts and customer reviews.
Booking Engine Content
Your online hotel booking engine
is where the main booking activity of your website takes place, so it makes sense to ensure the content is fully optimised, user-friendly and reliable enough to make your prospects comfortable and secure in making a booking. Consumer psychology plays a significant role in this process (as with the rest of the sales funnel) – carefully consider whether the booking platform you have is sufficient to drive sales and analyse whether any improvements can be made.
Are there sufficient options for customisation, and are there enough booking options to prevent your site visitors booking via an OTA (online travel agent) instead? An area which often requires improvement is the mobile version of your booking engine, so to ensure you don’t lose bookings at a crucial stage, check the appearance and functionality of your mobile booking engine for any glitches. Is the content concise enough? Are room and hotel facilities explained well enough?
Create An SEO-Friendly, Informative Website
The content of your website will benefit from a strong SEO strategy woven into your content strategy to ensure it feels entirely natural and organic to visitors. A helpful blog or guest posting function also helps you to dominate the hospitality industry or simply demonstrate expertise within your niche, which in turn helps to build buyer confidence in your proposition and ultimately fuels more hotel bookings.