If you have been in the hospitality industry for a while and been following the trend and effect patterns, you may have heard of the term “The Billboard Effect”. It’s a term that extends from the advertising a business receives through the property listings on OTA’s (Online Travel Agencies), then conversion occurs when consumers visit the direct property website to actually make the booking.
Some property managers may not see the benefit in enlisting their properties on OTA websites, from lack of ROI in those web pages. However, a pattern we have seen in modern day travellers, is that OTA’s are first being used as a research tool to identify location, price variants, and value for money. This is then followed by viewing the website of the property to see if the brand is a culture fit and any additional information or offers. At that time, the consumer completes the transaction directly through the property’s web-page. So, what does The Billboard Effect mean for property owners/managers? Simply put, it is imperative that properties have a modern, easy to use website that engages with customers in order to complete the transaction process.
In order to maximise the advantage of The Billboard Effect, it is essential that your web-page is visually appealing, modern and user-friendly. Professional, high-quality imagery will optimise the appearance of your property and translate your brand into the digital realm. It is important to showcase the time, quality and financial investment you have committed directly to consumers to highlight the best parts of your brand.
Ensure your web-page is easy to navigate across all devices (desktop, mobile & tablet). Consumers are likely to peruse and research hotels from numerous devices before finally booking, that’s why having a responsive website is crucial to the customer booking process. HiRUM’s website design team create beautiful, responsive websites designed to convert bookings.
Show customers you have taken the time to go above and beyond by providing tourism options beyond their accommodation stay. This could entail local tourist spots, attractions, transport, restaurants and activities. Delivering more information about the area and what to do will be seen as a hotel with the “whole package” and will give you a better opportunity to take advantage of the Billboard Effect. We offer a Marketing Reach program designed to drive more people to your website and help you create engaging content that will ensure your property stands out from the crowd.
An attractive and easy to use booking form will make your accommodation look highly appealing to consumers and therefore increase the chances of a direct booking being made. Our HiSITE Booking Form has just 3 clicks from Look to Book so guests save time and have a pleasant booking experience. There are even options to personalise the appearance of your booking form so it fits in seamlessly with your website.
To fully realise the benefits of the Billboard Effect, it’s important that your website is easy for consumers to find. The accommodation industry is saturated with businesses so investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is going to be one of the best ways to ensure your website stands out from the rest. Outsourcing to a digital marketing firm and dealing with industry professionals is well worth the investment. Learn about SEO and why you should use it in our two-part blog posts: What Is Search Engine Optimisation? and How SEO Works.
Once consumers decide to visit your web-page to make their final decision, it’s worth encouraging them through competitive prices that can only be secured through booking directly. Adding time-sensitive promotions will also add in the subtle pressure to book now at a special rate instead of opting for the OTA.
The Billboard Effect is a great digital event in the industry that if used tactfully, can increase direct bookings considerably. The above tools are just some of the ways you can make the most out of a natural event that occurs during the consumer booking process!
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