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

By Margaret Mastrogiacomo - EVP, Strategy at NextGuest

31 May 2018
  • The Top 5 Things You Need to Know Now in Hotel Digital Marketing: May Edition


This month, the latest digital innovations include big announcements from Google regarding shortening the length of search result snippets and new features for Google My Business listings; new Google responsive search ads taking up search real estate; and Facebook adding new friends by expanding its list of marketing partners. From SEO to design, find out the top five things you need to know now in hotel digital marketing.

  1. SEO: Google shortens search result snippets and makes significant changes to Google My Business.

Google has confirmed that only about five months after increasing the length of search results snippets, it has now decreased the length of these snippets. However, Google has not announced an official character count limit and explains that search snippets are dynamic and will vary in length. In fact, rather than being pulled from the provided meta description, some snippets are dynamically pulled from content visible on the respective landing page. In light of this, there is no urgent need to shorten your meta descriptions. However, it is important to ensure that they are highly relevant to the landing the page, and that all visible copy is engaging (as it may be pulled into search result snippets).

In other organic news, Google My Business has officially rolled out new features to add richer content beyond photos and basic information to help boost search rankings. These features include:

  • Google Posts: As announced a couple months back, businesses are now able to share updates to their local listing. Unfortunately, this feature is not currently available for hotels, but it is available for any spa or dining Google My Business listing. Examples of posts include events, announcements, or seasonal content. Posts may take the form of text, photos, or video.
  • Google Q&A: Users can ask questions regarding your property, and you or a member of the public can answer. This is a way to engage with customers and add relevant content to your listing.
  • Google Messaging: Unlike Google Q&A, messages are personal and do not appear on your listing. Messages are sent to the business listing and your property has the ability to respond directly to the customer.
  • Google Bookings: Google bookings integrate with supported scheduling partners to provide appointments and reservations and insights through your GMB account. This feature is particularly useful for an on-site spa or restaurant.
  1. SEM: Google Adwords new responsive search ads can show three headlines.

The new ad format, now in beta, offers more real estate and dynamically combines an advertiser's headlines and descriptions. To implement, your hotel or SEM specialist can set up one ad with multiple headlines and descriptions, and Google will start testing combinations dynamically to serve the combination deemed most likely to achieve the advertiser's stated goal. One of the top benefits is more real estate for visibility with Google giving responsive search ads more character real estate than expanded text ads. This expanded real estate includes up to three headlines instead of two and up to two 90-character descriptions instead of one 80-character description.

  1. Display: Amazon is launching a new display advertising product.

This month, Amazon announced they are introducing a new remarketing display advertising offering that will compete with similar offerings from Google and Criteo. What's not clear is whether Amazon-based remarketing will run on third-party sites and/or Amazon's platform. With recent analysis from Morgan Stanley on Amazon attempting to yet again disrupt the travel landscape, while this doesn't currently directly affect the hotel marketing landscape, it is something to keep on the radar.

  1. Social: Facebook expands its list of marketing partners.

Facebook announced this month that it is expanding its list of third-party solutions to measure ad effectiveness. The company is growing its marketing partners in three specific areas: marketing mix modeling (MMM), viewability, and mobile app measurement (MMPs). The MMM solutions now available through Facebook's marketing partner program represent a newly created partner specialization. To build out its MMM marketing partner program, Facebook has added 18 partners to the category, including: Accenture, Analytic Edge, Analytic Partners, Annalect, Business Science Warsaw, Ebiquity, Ekimetrics, IPG Mediabrands, Ipsos MMA, Inc., Nepa, Neustar, Nielsen, Objective Partner B.V. and Rainman Consulting Pvt. Ltd.

Meetrics and DoubleVerify are two new partners offering viewability metrics, and Branch has been added for mobile metrics.

What does this change mean for your Facebook ads? This will allow hotel marketers to better measure how Facebook ads are playing a role in the overall marketing mix.

  1. Design: Bold and creative typefaces.

While sleek and minimal fonts still have their place in cutting edge design, now, because device resolutions are getting sharper and easier to read, the rise of custom fonts are making an appearance across the web. Excluding Internet Explorer, many browsers can support hand-made typefaces that are enabled by CSS for web browsers. The trend of large letters, contrasting sans serif and serif headings help create dynamic parallels, improve UX and best of all, keep the visitor reading your website. Typography has always been a powerful visual tool, able to create personality, evoke emotion and set tone on a website all while conveying important information. Use it to your advantage and be bold.

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NextGuest (formerly HEBS Digital)

One Penn Plaza 48th Fl
New York, NY 10119
United States
Tollfree: 800-649-5076
Phone: 212-752-8186

Margaret Mastrogiacomo

Margaret Mastrogiacomo leads creative strategy and provides strategic direction for marketing initiatives including copy, website design, and campaign development for NextGuest clients. Her responsibilities include strategy and consulting, campaign management, new product development, and more. She has been instrumental in developing award-winning multi-channel marketing campaigns and interactive mini-sites and applications for NextGuest clients. Margaret is also a Qualified Google Advertising Professional. She has excelled in a number of roles since joining NextGuest Digital, including spearheading the creation of the Digital Media and Creative Strategy Department by establishing and implementing internal procedures and directing a team to support this function within the agency. Margaret’s major accomplishments at NextGuest include building new internal creative strategy procedures across departments and offices, working with strategic clients to build award-winning digital marketing campaigns, and the development of many NextGuest products such as Facebook Applications, Sweepstakes, and more.

Garrick Lee

Brand Marketing Manager
Phone: +1 212 752 9425