Back in December and early January, many marketers were making predictions about hot trends for hospitality marketing and we wanted to do a little check-in to see if the trend flopped or if we should ask them the winning lottery numbers.
The prediction: Not only will mobile website visits be growing but about 44% of online bookings will happen on a mobile device. Google’s already discussed making the move toward a mobile-first index and prioritizing websites that are optimized for mobile devices.
The reality: In the first quarter of 2017, we did see a rise in mobile traffic coming to sites and about 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase on their mobile device in the last six months. We have no doubts that optimizing for a mobile-first world will continue to be a hot trend for 2017 and beyond.
OTAs growth in market share
The prediction: OTAs will face some challenges in Europe with rate parity bans but will have 52% of the market share in the U.S.
The reality: OTAs continue to have a strong hold on the market share but these metasearch sites are also considered essential tools for most hospitality marketers. That doesn’t mean go pay for a listing on every OTA out there but you should be listing inventory on the right channels and then marketing to those guests for future direct bookings.
PPC + social PPC
The prediction: The PPC space would change with more competition and better ad layouts. We’d also see more advertising dollars moved to social channels like Facebook and Instagram.
The reality: With expanded text ads on Google AdWords, we have seen a shift in paid strategies and increased CTR with more real estate per ad. Social media budgets doubled from 2014 to 2016 to $31 billion and advertisers continue to invest in social media ads in 2017 with predictions of ad spending to exceed $35 billion this year. Instagram alone earns $595 million in mobile ad revenue.
Bing rising’s market share
The prediction was that Bing’s market share would continue to grow and be an important search engine.
The reality: In June of 2016, Bing has 31.3% of the market share in the U.S. with 160 million unique searchers. Though Google does grow at a faster rate than Bing with its market share, Bing is proving itself with its ROI as Bing users typically spend 25% more online than other searchers.
Video + livestreaming
The prediction: Video would be an important part of content marketing with bigger budgets and better storytelling. Another option was to use social media livestreaming to connect with audiences.
The reality: Video is definitely a hot trend for 2017! Landing pages with a video can increase conversions by 80% or more and 87% of marketers are using video content. Facebook’s live stream feature has seen a 300% increase in usage in the first months of the new year from media and bigger brands.