Your Top 7 Hotel Digital Marketing Updates For October 2019


October has been an exciting month. To start, GCommerce is proud to announce that we have been recognized as one of Outside Magazine's top places to work in 2019! We owe it all to our great team for continuing to evolve our culture to make GCommerce such a great place to work in such a beautiful setting, surrounded by the mountains in Park City, Utah. Your hotel digital marketing experts at GCommerce have also rounded up the latest industry news for October 2019 in this easy to follow guide that includes actionable insights. Without further ado, here’s your list of top 7 hotel digital marketing news updates for October 2019:

1. Google Launches BERT - Biggest Change to Search Since RankBrain

What is BERT? No, not THAT Bert. BERT is Google’s latest search algorithm aimed at helping the company’s search system better understand natural language. According to Search Engine Land, BERT will impact 1 in 10 of all search queries and is the biggest change since RankBrain. In some instances Google will be using BERT in addition to RankBrain to better understand queries and provide the best results. 

How Can Your Hotel Optimize For BERT? You can’t optimize specifically for BERT. Instead you should continue to focus on developing website content specifically for your target audiences and provide valuable, substantial information that answers the search query. 

2. Affinity and In Market Seasonal Event Segments Rolling Out For Search & YouTube

Affinity Audiences are interest audiences determined by browsing behavior. These include many different categories from banking & finance to food & dining and travel.  Within Travel your hotel might want to observe business travelers to see how the audience performs vs the overall campaign. You might even consider breaking out a campaign and only targeting business travelers affinity audience with specific messaging to help hit your midweek booking goals.

Another idea would be to target affinity audiences that match your hotel’s target personas. Is your target audience considered foodies? Test targeting the foodie affinity audience:

In Market Seasonal Event Segments are audiences built on Google’s buyer intent signals and browsing activity. These will include segments such as Black Friday and Christmas. If your hotel has promotional or booking strategies geared around seasonal events then these segments can help you reach consumers that have shown more interest that they are in the market to book or make a purchase during that time period.

Consult with your digital marketing team to take advantage of testing these new features.

3. Google testing new lead form extensions

Google Lead Extensions are now available as a beta in some accounts. These new paid search ad extensions allow you to capture name, email, phone number and zip code directly within the extension form submission. You can feature a compelling callout, description and upload a background image for the lead form. This will be a great feature to test out if your hotel is running wedding or event focused campaigns.

4. Facebook Announces Changes to Organic Page Impressions

If your hotel’s Facebook page metrics are starting to show a “reduction in perceived page and post reach” than it might be due to a recent change the company made in how they calculate organic Page impressions. Facebook states that this is to “make it easier to make comparisons across paid and organic channels”. See more details from industry commentator, Matt Navarra below:

5. Advanced Business Information in Bing Places

An unconfirmed update but something noticed within GCommerce’s Bing Places client accounts during October was the addition of Advanced Business Information. This section now features an expansive list of amenities that you can update for your hotel. We recommend logging into Bing Places immediately to make sure these are up to date and accurate. Our guess is that Bing will use these for hotel search/filters just like Google has within hotel search.

6. Microsoft Ads Allows Sharing Data Across Accounts

An update that should spark the interest of enterprise or brand hotel accounts, Microsoft Ads now allows all accounts the ability to share UET tags and remarketing lists across accounts. This opens the door to cross-marketing and upselling across different domains’ audiences.

7. TripAdvisor Connect Ads

TripAdvisor launched this new ad type which features co-branded content posts with TripAdvisor’s logo and company name. Advertisers can use Facebook’s targeting options in conjunction with TripAdvisor’s audience profiles and remarketing lists. This could be a great option for brands looking to reach a high-intent travel focused audience and drive more awareness and direct website traffic. Learn more from Marketing Land’s article here.