August 2010 – Creating effective online marketing in conjunction with local events has been a challenge for operators with large chain brands, but a new automated sales tool has changed that.
Hospitality Ventures is one hotel ownership and management company that is increasing revenues with multi-branded, precisely-targeted web pages created on-the-fly to promote local and regional events such as Little League championships and crafts fairs. These events are difficult for centralized corporate brand marketers to identify, but the ability to easily create customized web pages is boosting reservations from visitors attending the events.
Hospitality Ventures creates its pages using hotel WebSpace from hotel SystemsPro, a technology company providing high performance, ASP-based enterprise and property solutions that enable hotel companies to grow market share.
“We have had a number of conversations with meeting planners and guests that indicate our properties’ hotel WebSpace pages are leading to bookings,” said Kathryn Jones, Director of eCommerce for Hospitality Ventures, an Atlanta-based company with 26 hotels in its portfolio across the U.S.
In the past, Hospitality Ventures faced lengthy turnaround times for franchisors to address local marketing programs near its large branded properties. Using hotel WebSpace, it now creates web pages that attract travelers to community or regional activities. hotel WebSpace pages describe the event and the proximity of Hospitality Ventures properties. Here are two examples:
“The time required to build pages in hotel WebSpace is minutes, and the pages are optimized to ensure excellent search engine placement,” Jones said.
Jones recently built a web page for families participating in a church youth conference in Daytona Beach, FL. The site earned page one placement on Google for anyone searching for the conference and provided booking for Hospitality Ventures’ The Shores Resort & Spa near the conference.
Prime placement on Google searches increases bookings
“Most people start with Google for an Internet search, so we know we are getting a big benefit from hotel WebSpace, which offers a number of fields to help optimize search engine placement when we create these promotional pages,” Jones explained.
Jones begins her page-building process by reviewing the calendars from local Convention and Visitors Bureau, sports arenas, and entertainment complexes near her properties. “We do a lot of Internet prospecting to identify local events, and build our pages so they are online well in advance of the events we want to promote,” she said.
Events offer stronger web marketing results than attractions Corey Trautvetter of hotel SystemsPro offers a perspective on the company’s strategy for developing hotel WebSpace. “We wanted properties to have a way to provide their own local web marketing for regional events that would attract visitors to their properties,” he said. “This is not just about major events, but about smaller events that sell out a town, like a military reunion or soccer tournament. We have found hotels do better with an event topic, rather than an attraction like Mt. Rushmore, which already has many websites promoting it. A Little League playoff or a reunion are ideal candidates for a landing page.
In a recent performance test for hotel WebSpace by a major hotel company, 80 percent of the indexed landing pages created with hotel WebSpace for local events ranked within the first 10 results on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). This means that 8 out of every 10 landing pages ranked on the first page and within the first ten listings of Google results.
For example, Hospitality Ventures recently went beyond single-event marketing with hotel WebSpace. It used the solution to create a page that would capture the interest of visitors not only attending any events at the Rocky Mount, NC, Sports Complex, but also those wanting a pet-friendly hotel. See the page at http://www.hotelwebspace.com/Package.aspx?Portal=2162cd70-fc8a-40af-abd1-a7a17eb31635.
More than 1,200 properties use hotel WebSpace to create their own event pages. hotel SystemsPro is also launching a service to audit the existing pages of its hotel WebSpace clients, suggest enhancements, and evaluate results to help the properties make their online strategies more effective.
About Hospitality Ventures
Hospitality Ventures is a privately owned, fully-integrated hotel ownership and management organization based in Atlanta, Georgia. The company was formed in 2001 and currently owns and/or operates 25 hotels located in 15 states. Eighteen hotels currently operate as Hilton or Marriott brands. The senior leadership team has experience owning and managing hotel portfolios, ranging in size up to 143 properties.
Kathy Bannasch, CHA
Vice President of Sales, Marketing and Corporate Training
280 Interstate North Circle, Suite 600
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: 770-303-9911 or Toll free: 877-263-3645