January 29, 2020

The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: January 2020 Edition

It’s not just the start of a new year, but a new decade — meaning there are new updates, announcements, and initiatives kicking off around the industry. Read on to discover the top five things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing and make sure you start the new decade off on the right foot.  


1. SEO: Google Assistant now has 500 million monthly users worldwide, 9% of the virtual assistant market. 

Voice search and voice assistants are nothing new. However, their impact is still growing, further solidifying the need to have optimizations for voice queries. People are specifically using Google Assistant, and they’re using it across devices that include smartphones, TVs, home speakers, and other gadgets.  

In addition, the company also announced new features coming to Google Assistant over the next year, including: 

  • Long-Form ReadingAssistants will now be able to read articles out loud with a simple command, such as “Google, read this page.” This will be important for longer website contenlike blogs and destination guides. When someone searches “things to do in Nashville” and comes across your hotel’s website, having longform content will be important to capture this audience.
  •  Interpreter Mode: The assistant’s interpreter mode is connecting more people face-to-face, with plans to expand further this year. Google has been piloting interpreter mode at hotel concierges and front desks across the country to provide a seamless guest experience regardless of language barriers. This is now expanding globally to airports, banks, and more, further boosting monthly users and increasing the ease of foreign travel.  


2. SEM: Google changes the look of desktop search results to align with mobile. 

Google announced earlier this month that their search results on desktop would be getting a new look. The latest update to the design would feature a prominent “Ad” label for paid search results, as well as favicons next to organic results. URLs have also been moved above the headline text. 


However, after criticism from politicians, consumers, and the press over the new design arguing that the layout was making it more difficult to discern easily between an Ad and an Organic listing, Google announced on January 24th that they were going to do another redesign. The company acknowledged that they got the new design wrong and issued a statement that noted it will “experiment further” on how it displays results. 


3. DisplayUnsplash launches image-based advertising for brands. 

Unsplash is a free, crowd-sourced stockphoto service that has 300 million active users. It recently announced the launch of its new advertising offer, which will give brands access to its massive audience. The platform is still in the early stages, but brands are able to partner with the image platform to publish branded images that will be visible in search results.  

For hotel brands with high-quality, editorial images, this could be a great addition to the marketing mix. Hotels will pay to distribute their images on Unsplash, but they will also have the ability to hire Unsplash contributors to create the authentic, high-quality imagery needed for their campaigns. Brands get impact, contributors get paid for their work, and content creators get more images to play with.  


4. SocialFacebook Messenger gets an upgrade. 

In an effort to help brands communicate better with their customers, Facebook Messenger recently rolled out three new features across the platform. 

  • Icebreakers for Business ProfilesBusinesses can add these questions, which are typically common FAQs such as “What are your hours today?” and set an automated response. 
  • Updates to ClicktoMessenger AdsFor businesses that already have multiple Facebook apps connected to the Messenger platform, the company is making it easy to select which app they want to use for their ClicktoMessenger ads. 
  • More Options for Users Replying to Messages From a BusinessUsers can now use emojis to react to a response from a business, and message replies allow for threaded conversations so that businesses can see exactly which message a user is responding to. 

Hotels should be utilizing Messenger features in 2020 to connect with guests throughout their travel planning journey. Consumers are looking for brands that are available via messaging platforms, and these updates help with automation and create more opportunities to connect with people. 


5. DesignDominating grids meet cards. 

Over the past few years, the broken grid layout has been popular among website designs. Something we are seeing more of this year is the invisible grid system — already used by many designers  which is becoming more prominent and being used as the primary design aesthetic. Organizing content into cards aligned in grids is visually impactful while also guiding website visitors to the information they need. 

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About NextGuest:

NextGuest provides hoteliers with everything they need to thrive in the digital world, with bespoke technology solutions developed to meet the needs of luxury hotel clients coupled with elegant design capabilities that bring brands to life. We marry the power of data with brand discovery to uncover unique strategies that apply to everything from website design, content marketing, CRM, and more, helping the world’s top hotel brands maximize ROI as they acquire, convert, and retain guests throughout the travel planning journey. While each of our services is available on its own, the integrated technologies, marketing, and consulting offerings work together to increase digital engagement and generate revenue for hoteliers, allowing them to focus on what matters most — serving their guests.

www.nextguest.com | (800) 649-5076 | hello@nextguest.com


Editorial Contact:

Garrick Lee
Brand Marketing Manager
Phone: (212) 752-9425
Email: garrick@nextguest.com