2017 is knocking on our doors, most of us are more than ready to see what a new year will bring! 2016 brought big changes from Google, partially due to the huge growth from mobile and the stronger performance of mobile e-commerce and it’s also been a big year for emerging technologies, and new advertising opportunities on social media.
Those changes are driving the new landscapes in 2017. For 2017, mobile is fulfilling its promise, with payment technologies letting mobile bookings catch up to mobile traffic.
Additionally, big players are making pay-for-play a more central part of strategies, new channels like Airbnb are offering opportunities for the savvy hotelier, and voice and video are growing by leaps and bounds.
Here’s what we’re predicting:
Mobile Leading Everything: From mobile-first designs to Google’s Mobile First Index to up to 60% of mobile traffic for hotels, mobile is leading everything in 2017. Hotels should be formulating their online persence, from content to advertisements, for the mobile user as of Q1 2017. (Source)
Mobile Payments Set to Explode: Payments on mobile are moving past the credit card, opening the doorway for mobile conversions to finally catch up with mobile traffic. From Paypal to Apple Pay, innovative payment methods are making mobile bookings easier. (Source)
Tablet in Slow Decline: The tablet is in decline. The mid-sized device is being overshadowed by phones with large screens and high specs on one end, and lightweight laptops like the Chrombook on the other. (Source)
Major Shifts in Paid Search Space: More text ads, Google’s new Extended Text Ads, and new competitors like Airbnb from the sharing economy call for new paid search strategies. (Source)
Hotels Selling Stock on New Channels: Hotels are finding more innovative ways to sell their room stock, including new channels. Outlets like Airbnb offer an opportunity for the savvy hotelier, even as they come with their own set of challenges.
Loyalty and Innovative Social Advocacy: Hotels are using emerging technology to gain loyalty with a personal touch. Tools like flip.to offer hotels the chance to give discounts for peer advocacy, getting social proof and encouraging loyalty in one move. (Source)
Voice Search Transforming SEO: As voice searches increase, content must change to meet new SEO demands consisting of long-tail keywords in increasingly natural language. This comes hand in hand with an increase in digital assistants. (Source)
Contintual Changes in Search Algorithm: Google, Bing and even Facebook are making continual changes to their search algorithm. While many of these changes are not public, hoteliers must keep an eye on what that changes are affecting and make adjustments to suit. (Source)
Instagram Ramping Up Ecommerce: Instagram is ramping up ecommerce. They’re piloting shoppable posts with 20 leading retail brands, building an ecommerce team in New York, and doing intensive research to get fully-integrated shopping features on Instagram in the next 2-4 years. (Source)
Snapchat Ads Soaring: Social media as a whole is making a pivot to ecommerce. Snapchat’s advertising opportunities are on the rise as the millennial’s social platform of choice, and the chance exists for hotels to show of their visuals on the highly visual, personal platform. (Source)
Mobile Revolutionizing Facebook Advertising: It’s time to change our approach to Facebook advertising. 95% of Facebook ads are viewed from a mobile device. Ads must be mobile-friendly, and video ads should be understandable when viewed without sound. (Source)
Increased Importance of Video: 4 times as many users prefer digestible video content to text. Video budgets across the board are increasing. It’s key to deliver timely, relevant video content to guests at the right stage of the buying funnel. (Source)
Live Streaming: Getting Personal: With Facebook and Instagram now widely using live video tools, ephemeral messaging is growing in popularity. Along with ensuring that messaging can be shared in real time with viewers, allowing videos to disappear instantly after watching gives a sense of the personal to those watching. (Source)
MetaSearch an Essential Channel: Metasearch has evolved from a potential marketing channel to one that all hotels should have as part of their marketing mix. However, it’s important to note that it is only a more successful channel than the OTAs if rate strategies are correct. (Source: Net Affinity Analysis)
Increasing Depth of Analytics: The depth of information available through analytics tools today looks only set to increase in the year to come. Hotels can see which users are most valauble through demographic information, track mobile behaviour, and much more. (Source: Net Affinity Analysis)
Bing Rising: Bing’s market share has seen big growth this year, making it more important in 2017. It now has 7.3% of the EU market, including 20.5% of the market share in the UK, a fact largely attributed to the launch of Windows 10. Although volume is lower on Bing than Google, engagement is higher as of Q3 2016. (Source)
Intelligent Databases Growing: Hoteliers are getting acess to more intelligent databases through mainstream channels. Facebook, Google Analytics, Google AdWords and more are becoming increasingly sophisticated, allowing for better targeting for your marketing campaigns. (Source: Net Affinity Analysis)
Taylor is a Conversion Data Analyst & Distributor at Net Affinity. She graduated from Trinity College Dublin in May 2015, and studied Political Science, Philosophy, Economics and Sociology, all of which gave her a broad view of the social sciences and the way different disciplines approach a problem. She is passionate about writing, data, digital marketing, graphic design and dance, and does her best to apply the first four to her work at Net Affinity.
Focused exclusively on the hotel sector, Net Affinity has collated the brightest, most commercially focused, experienced and passionate team of online marketers, account managers, designers and developers whose combined skill set ensures our clients online success and continued growth. We created this blog because we wanted to share our expertise with you, and offer you the knowledge that over 15 years experience in the hotel industry has given us.