The sum of the parts is greater than the whole when it comes to digital marketing by Daniel Twigg, marketing strategist at Clockwork Marketing.

In the past, the accepted adage when promoting a product was you need to tell people something three times before they remember it. Whether a marketing message in editorial, a brand logo on a TV ad or any other marketing promotion, you’d need to see or hear a message three times.

Now it’s estimated that’s at least seven times before we get the message, recognise the logo or remember the brand. A Microsoft study investigating the number of exposures required for audio messages found between 6 and 20 were optimal.

When marketing your hotel to boost bookings, this has big implications in terms of your choice of digital marketing channels and as the number of channels continues to expand.

Data insights benchmarked

At Clockwork Marketing, we’re able to see which digital marketing channels mostly work best for hotels across the country.

We know the top three channels which, in most cases, drive greatest website traffic and drive most conversions:

  1. Organic Search

Organic search or people typing into Google what they need eg “best independent boutique hotels in London”, is generally what drives most new users to hotel websites and converts bookings.

Well executed and ongoing Search Engine Optimisation is essential to ensure your hotel is on the first page of Google.

  1. Pay-Per-Click (PPC)

A shortcut to getting in front of new users is PPC, or the sponsored search results that we see at the top of the results page when we search Google.

PPC is paid for and is definitely worth using during the shoulder seasons, but in our experience, can also significantly boost your new users and unique purchases when used on an ongoing basis.

  1. Social Advertising

In the past, promoting your hotel on Instagram or Facebook worked organically, without the need for paid advertising but now a monthly budget is needed to ensure your posts or ads reach a wider audience.

We can see that the bigger the budget, the more potential guests sent to hotel websites.

Conversion Paths

If set up correctly in Google Analytics (GA4), “Conversion Paths”, shows all the journeys that people take to visit a hotel’s website and the different channels they use through to purchase.

For example, when PPC is used on an ongoing basis, we can see from the data insights that more unique sales are made, than when it is not. But we can also see that, as well as using PPC, people will often visit the site via organic search or direct as well, at different times, during their journey to final purchase.

This is why using these channels together is greater than the sum of the parts. It’s rare that one channel is solely responsible for the purchase, in the same way we have to see or hear things multiple times before we take action.