With digital technology continuously evolving, it should come as little surprise that its applications within the hotel industry evolve too. Indeed, over the course of the past few years, there have been several notable digital trends that have taken the industry be storm and the year ahead promises to be no different. Crucially, the businesses that benefit most from the use of digital technology are those with the foresight to get in on the ground floor. So, with that in mind, here are six important digital trends for the hotel industry.
1. The Rise of VR
The virtual reality market has grown rapidly over the past year, thanks to the release of devices like the Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and PlayStation VR, but the best is yet to come. Statista estimate there are now around 50 million active virtual reality users worldwide and that figure is expected to reach 170 million by 2018. For the hospitality industry, VR offers almost limitless potential. Before long, we could be living in a time when it is commonplace for people to visit a virtual recreation of a hotel and explore it digitally before making a booking.
Find more detailed information and examples about how virtual reality can benefit your business in the articles “How Virtual Reality is Transforming the Travel Industry” and “10 Amazing Examples of Virtual Reality Hotel Tours”.
2. Podcasts, bloggers, and vloggers
Within the hotel industry, influencer marketing typically involves asking people with an established internet presence, such as video bloggers, podcasters and social media stars, to promote a hotel, resort, or hospitality service. This increases the amount of marketing content online, while also expanding audience reach. To provide an examples, Turkish Airlines sent 10 YouTube ‘vloggers’ on trips around the world, ensuring their experiences with Turkish Airlines was shared with their respective audiences.
3. Video Content
Although video marketing is not a new trend, it is one that is increasing in importance and that will continue in 2017. From live video streaming, to more traditional video advertising, there is no shortage of options available to marketers and new avenues, including Facebook Live, will ensure video marketing continues to grow. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all offer excellent video support, while YouTube report that mobile video consumption increases by 100 percent year-on-year. Moreover, Invodo have found that 92 percent of consumers share video content with others, offering a unique opportunity for those in hospitality.
4. Temporary Social Media
In recent times, Snapchat has been one of the major game changers when it comes to digital technology, bringing the idea of self-deleting, temporary content into the mainstream, while Instagram have introduced their ‘Stories’ feature. Temporary social media has great potential as a marketing tool, allowing hospitality companies to run ‘now or never’ promotions and helping brands to become closer to consumers by creating a feeling of closeness and exclusivity. Furthermore, users can be encouraged to share experiences without worrying about leaving a permanent ‘footprint’. More social media tips about how to promote your hotel, you can read in the article “7 Social Media Marketing Tips to Promote Your Hotel”.
Finally, despite industry experts warning that user adoption of wearable technology has been slow, it is still likely to be one of the major digital trends into the hospitality sector. More importantly, once the wearables market grows sufficiently, hotels and resorts are among the best-placed to take advantage. Already, Disney World have innovated within this field, offering their Disney MagicBand, which guests can use in place of paper tickets to the park and key cards to their hotel room. As a bonus, Disney have also been able to use this to ensure more guests book directly through them, rather than through third parties.
6. Editorial Content
As ever with digital marketing, content is king and, in particular, editorial content is becoming vital when it comes to attracting guests. This is partly because holiday-makers no longer want to be sold a hotel room; they want to be sold an experience that they will never forget. Visitors to a hotel website want to be inspired, so while it is important to showcase your hotel rooms, pool and facilities, they need more. Possible content ideas include videos showing local attractions and holiday diaries written by guests. Try to create content which positions your hotel as a crucial part of a much wider experience.
How the Metaverse Factors Into Digital Trends Hotel Owners Are Using
Out of all of the digital trends, hotel owners and decision-makers are capitalising on, virtual reality may just have the greatest potential, especially when it is used to make the metaverse a reality. This describes three-dimensional, metaverse virtual words, where people can interact with one another, powered by VR, augmented reality, and similar tech.
You can find out much more about what the metaverse really is, how it is defined, the ways in which it is being used by those in the hotel industry, its potential for the future, and ideas for how businesses in the hotel industry can maximise their investment by reading “How Can the Hotel Industry Take Advantage of the Metaverse?”.
More Digital Trends for the Hotel Industry
Hotel marketing and Hotel management is constantly evolving as new digital technology emerges. In the article “Key Digital Trends in the Hospitality Industry”, we explore some of the digital trends that are going to be most significant in the industry: from virtual reality, which is changing the booking process, to augmented reality, which is enhancing the in-person experience, to artificial intelligence, which is fundamentally changing customer service.