Have you thought about your hotel’s digital advertising strategy for the upcoming year yet?

If not, it’s time to think about moving beyond the status quo and trying some new things.

While digital advertising is an ever-changing arena with a whole new set of hotel advertising trends, you can take control of your digital marketing today.

To help you, we’ve prepared this article on hotel digital advertising trends in 2022. They will help you increase your direct bookings with great advertising and marketing campaigns.

Before we get started with the specifics, let’s touch on a few important points to guide you as you begin to develop your digital strategy:

Humanize Your Hotel

In today’s marketing climate, consumers want to have touchpoints with your hotel brand. They see your hotel’s reputation as a reflection of what they can expect when they stay the night.

While you may have great service and great rooms, if you aren’t focused on building a relationship with your visitor online, you’ll likely lose the booking. To humanize your hotel online, tell stories, share anecdotes, be funny, and most importantly, have empathy with your guests, especially when they have a bad guest experience.

  • Also, you can focus on the booking engine. Let people book easily - more effortless than a phone call. When it’s not so, your potential customers may leave your booking page immediately.
  • Refresh or redesign your hotel's website in 2022 as people expect a seamless, attractive, safe and straightforward web experience now.

Drive with Content

If you’ve been doing any marketing research lately, you’ve most likely come across the term “content is king.” This has never been truer. Your digital content is fundamental to the success of your hotel advertising program in 2022.

Blogs, social media, and email newsletters – these are all important to your digital advertising in 2022. For the most part, they can all be boosted with paid digital ads.

Let your potential guests know about the guest experience through your content. People want to see engaging content to book a room, not some unfriendly advertising.  

Follow the travel trends

Earlier, we shared the travel trends for 2022 to help you understand your target audience more profoundly. Data-based decisions assist your marketing efforts for higher conversion rates. Guessing what people look for can help you come up with creative ideas. However, acting based on travel trends enables you to increase your chances of multiplying your share in the hotel industry.

Test and Evaluate

Use the tools available to analyze what’s working and what’s not. Change things up as necessary. Test, measure, evaluate and revise are the keys to your hotel’s digital advertising.

Hotel advertising trends to know 

Now that we’ve discussed some of the basic tenants of digital advertising let’s get to the details.

The Continued Rise of Social Media Advertising

You can be assured that social media is a viable, worthwhile marketing strategy and one you should use. Here are several trends we anticipate taking root:

  • Social media will continue to cater to users’ sense of immediacy. People want in-the-moment updates. If this truly catches on, scheduling your posts days in advance will have to take a back seat to instant updates.

  • Buy buttons in paid social media advertising are huge. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest have already launched buy features. In fact, their mobile users can use one click to purchase something without leaving the app. Imagine the possibilities for your customers. By the end of 2022, perhaps they can make a reservation with one click on social media.

  • Expect the cost of social media advertising to rise throughout 2022 as competition increases. Facebook has already curbed organic visibility to force its business users to buy advertising. We expect that to filter through the other social media channels as well. So expect to pay more for your social advertising and know it’s well worth it.

Diversify Your Social Media Marketing

For years, Facebook has been the biggest game in town regarding advertising your hotel to increase hotel revenue. Facebook will remain at the top of the heap, but it’s a good idea to diversify your paid social media advertising.

Paid advertising options are available on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat, as well as Facebook.

What do all of these options mean for your hotel marketing strategy? They mean multiple platforms for you to promote content, engage customers, build relationships and drive website traffic.

Your choices in 2022 for promoting your hotel are diverse, and you’ll find a platform to fit each one of your advertising objectives.

As in other marketplaces, the competition encourages innovation and quality. Look for new features on all the platforms in the coming year. 

  • Earlier, we have discussed the importance of Metaverse for hotels. You can read our article here: Is Metaverse something to invest in for hotels? To sum up, Metaverse seems to be among hospitality marketing trends with its limitless opportunities for creating content, influencer marketing, and online presence.

  • NFT in hotel marketing is also growing bigger. 

Video Marketing is the Hottest Trend

If the content is king, video content is the emperor. Visual storytelling will dominate, as hotels can share videos across social networks through their website and email marketing.

Some of you may be scratching your heads and wondering just how a travel-related video can help your bottom line. Here are some ways you can stay on top of this hot trend and use it to your advantage:

  • Inspire your future guests. Use video at various stages of the planning process. The hotel booking process for most customers takes several trips to the website before completion. A well-crafted video can help expedite the process.

  • Share videos on social media and use paid advertising to promote the video. You’ll create brand awareness and increase your SEO with links to your hotel website. High-quality short virtual tours are definitely your ally in 2022. Reels are great for hoteliers to tell more about their hotel brand.

  • Don’t underestimate the power of TikTok. As we have mentioned before, in 2021, TikTok left Google behind and became the most visited website for the first time. It’s time to consider moving your online presence to this platform where the younger generation dominates - especially if they are your target. This demographic wants authenticity, flexibility, and digital engagement. Explore our guide to TikTok hotel marketing, create a TikTok account, and develop a TikTok marketing strategy.

  • Make sure your branded accounts share stories as well. In 2019, 500 million accounts used Instagram Stories daily. Instagram hasn’t shared updated stats since 2019, but it’s assumably gotten higher. Here, you can use poll ads as they’re incredibly engaging on all social media platforms.

  • It’s not only about social media. Virtual hotel tours are also getting more realistic with virtual reality and augmented reality technologies. Experience keeps bringing success to the travel industry in 2022.

Industry experts predict that travelers will look less to travel review sites and more toward first-hand video stories of your customers’ experience at your hotel.

Video ads also take hold. Google is soon to incorporate video advertising in their search results, and this has great potential for paid advertisers. Once this happens, video is sure to drive hotel advertising.  So, it’s time to start creating your videos to stay ahead of this trend.

Retargeting Leads the Way

Retargeting is a trend that may sound complicated, but it’s one you should take advantage of. Here’s why:

Booking abandonment, the rate at which your website visitors abandon reserving your hotel, is staggering. Studies show the rate to be more than 65% for hotels.

An Expedia study found that in the 45 days leading up to a booking, a consumer may visit as many as 38 websites. Knowing when and how to engage and re-engage with these people is essential. Retargeting is an exceptional tool for converting users and helping them with their complicated decision-making processes.

Why do people abandon your website in the middle of booking a reservation? Here are a few of the reasons:

  • They were just looking and in the middle of the research process.

  • The price was too high.

  • There were technical issues, or the process was too long.

While this may seem all gloom and doom, that isn’t necessarily so. With retargeting, you can reach back out to these customers to engage them and attempt to meet their needs.

We mentioned the personal relationship earlier. Retargeting allows you to re-engage with your website visitors in a personalized manner. With retargeting, you have the opportunity to grab the consumer before he goes somewhere else. You have several options in 2022 for retargeting:

  • Website retargeting – reach your guests who visited your site and left. You can offer specials, tips, or just a reminder.

  • Social media retargeting – show ads to people on social media after they’ve left your site. For example, a consumer tries to book your Dallas hotel. They leave and go to Facebook. Your ads automatically retarget them on Facebook and show them the hotel room they might stay in at your Dallas hotel.

  • Email retargeting – a subtle reminder to users who started booking your hotel and stopped.

Retargeting is a paid digital advertising medium and one worth a look at.

You can also develop loyalty programs because they nurture existing relationships and allow you to deliver very targeted offers.

Search Engine and Display Advertising

This year brings you customers who split their time online between multiple devices. In their journey to booking a room at your hotel, they may view your website on an app, smartphone, and desktop computer. Their voyage towards conversion is fragmented.

Every online encounter with your hotel creates a digital pathway leading to the next interaction and the next until they are engaged and take action.

Because of this, expect display advertising to take a more significant role than search advertising as part of your paid search strategy for your website’s rankings.  While search ads continue to drive business to your website, display advertising has come of age, and the reach potential is enormous.

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising which includes text ads, mobile ads, remarketing, and display ads, performed well in 2022 until now, and marketers expect even greater spending levels in future years.

When potential hotel guests are searching for a place to stay, will you show up in search results? With paid advertising, the odds are much better. We recommend allocating a generous budget to both search and display ads.

Search engine advertising, including paid search and display ads, is essential to your digital advertising success. Let’s look into the ongoing importance of paid search and display advertising.

Paid Advertising Dominates

Dennis Schall says on skiff.com, “Search engine optimization had a great run, but we are way past it now. Instead, the top dogs in digital marketing are Google itself and the largest and most skilled players that can pay for those clicks and convert the hell out of them.”

Priceline CEO, Paul Hennessey, says, “And so I believe it is a paid world.”

This suggests that the trend toward paid advertising will be around for a long while. Search engine optimization, while still necessary, needs a boost from paid advertising such as Google AdWords.

The best way to get visibility on Google’s search pages, both mobile and desktop, will be to pay for it.

The theory is that as users conduct their searches on small mobile devices, the real estate available on the smartphone for search listings is smaller than on the desktop. So, it stands to reason that you'll need to pay for the privilege to be seen at the top of the mobile search screen.

It seems that organic search engine optimization isn’t dead, but it will no longer be the only player as we move into a new year. The hotels that provide the best content and the best customer experience who can pay for paid search will be the best at converting web visitors to customers.

Marketing Automation

Marketing tools are not the big game any more. In 2022 we are talking about an overall digital transformation in the hospitality industry. CRMs and chatbots have been in our lives for a long time. Now, hotel marketing teams are moving towards more automated marketing.

Just what is it? It’s the use of technology to manage and automate converting consumers into paid hotel guests. In other words, marketing management systems are not that manual now. And it means the teams have a longer time for creativity.

Consider the past hotel guest who booked your hotel over spring break last year. With automated marketing, you can reach back out to that person two months prior to spring break with a message that it’s time to make their reservations.

If you take advantage of this trend, it will save you time and money while allowing you to customize messages to your hotel guests or website visitors. Also, you will compete with OTAs much more effectively.

Marketing automation is part of the relationship-building we discussed earlier. It humanizes your hotel and allows you to communicate personally with your customers.

New movements in the industry

The standard terms are changing, and new target groups are developing in the hotel business. Business travelers are the first guest groups to start booking rooms after the pandemic. They are oftentimes the target of hotel advertising in 2022.

Trendy themes are staycations, remote work, and postponed weddings and reunions in today’s world. So the hotels need to bring their amenities forwards to attract their target group effectively.

Also, sustainability is still snowballing. Hotels are highlighting how green they are constantly. Actually, in this case, greenwash is the biggest danger. So the hotels should really focus on being sustainable if they want to join this marketing trend.

The Take-Away in hotel marketing trends

Digital advertising is expected to become the number one media category, according to a comScore report released to CNBC earlier this year. Next year is the year to allocate a budget for digital advertising.

You’ve learned about a few of the digital advertising trends for your hotel, including social media advertising, search engine advertising, retargeting, and video marketing.

We’ve given you a lot of information about these digital advertising trends for your hotel. One of the most important things to remember is that they are all interwoven and co-dependent.

One digital advertising trend affects another and vice versa. Your social media platforms, email marketing, website, and paid advertising all work together to brand your hotel and sell your rooms.

As a last note, we want to emphasize the importance of testing your digital advertising channels. Monitor what’s working and continue it. Revise what isn’t working and test again. Never stop testing as trends will continue to evolve throughout 2022, and what doesn’t work one day may work the next month.

There’s always a new trend or tip on the horizon. Check it out, put it into play, test it, revise it, and test it again. You’ll soon find incorporating new trends a productive way to deliver your digital advertising.