Last year we saw the direct booking journey make the move to metasearch. For travelers, it meant a more seamless booking experience. But what did it mean for hotels?
For those hotel companies already competing for traffic and bookings in the metasearch marketplace, it meant greater opportunity for success. For those hotels not yet listed on metasearch, it meant it was high time to change that.
Metasearch has transitioned from being a trend to being a cornerstone of the industry, which is good news for the hotels looking to compete online, drive more bookings online, and effectively re-stake their claims in the distribution landscape.
Here’s a look at how metasearch is set to empower hotel advertisers to compete in 2018.
High-impact direct bookings
Marketplaces that operate with a CPC model, such as trivago’s, give the advertiser the highest level of control over both the spend on and reach of the campaign. The CPC model can also yield higher profit margins on direct bookings and greater ROI than the CPA model.
Is there a catch? CPC bidding calls for advanced marketing knowledge and requires constant monitoring to maximize campaign results. The larger OTAs and hotel chains have the resources to do this; smaller OTAs and independent hotels generally do not.
To level the playing field, trivago developed an automated bidding tool that leverages the metasearch’s data and market expertise. With Rate Connect, hotels are empowered to drive high-impact direct bookings and counterbalance the high commission costs of CPA-generated bookings.
Optimized conversion funnels
Building a booking page optimized for conversion across all devices demands data, tech innovation, and professional developers. Again, the big players in the booking world have such resources at their disposal, giving them a natural advantage over smaller players. But leading metasearch companies have these resources as well, and trivago is using what it has to even the odds.
A facilitated direct booking platform — hosted and optimized by the metasearch site — empowers all hotels to profit from a high-converting booking page, no matter their size.
By utilizing its data and technology to provide a professionally developed booking funnel optimized for conversion, trivago is empowering even the smaller hotel advertisers to compete at the same level as the big companies. And because trivago Express Booking is a hotel-branded platform, there’s no confusion about who owns the bookings: it is the hotel.
Data, aggregated and made actionable
In 2018 data is a hot commodity available in high abundance. It enables hotel advertisers to effectively target their core audience of potential guests, position their properties strategically in the market, and ensure their rates are competitive and profitable all year round.
But data in a raw and inaccessible form is essentially worthless. Technology which can mine data from multiple sources and mold it to create clear analytics renders the data invaluable to hoteliers.
trivago is providing hotels with accessible technology, such as its rate shopper Rate Insights, to equip them with data on their audience of travelers, their online reputation, the search volume for hotels in their location, and their competitors’ rates.
How metasearch empowers hoteliers beyond the technology
As metasearch continues to bring direct bookings to hotels, the technology enabling hotels to seize these bookings will empower them to compete online.
But metasearch can also empower hoteliers in ways that go beyond the technology it provides to them.
Building strong relationships with hotel advertisers
A strong relationship with the metasearch channel can be the difference between an effective marketing campaign and one maximized for the greatest possible results. Specialized metasearch experts from trivago work closely with the advertiser to ensure that campaigns are live and running smoothly and performances are constantly optimized for success.
Allowing space for the entrepreneurial spirit to thrive
When a hotel’s entire marketing spend is put toward high-cost third-party customer acquisitions, there’s no room to explore innovative new ways to attract travelers and no chance to cut dependencies from booking partners. It can lead to stagnating entrepreneurial passion and sluggish business growth.
The high-profit margins from well-executed metasearch marketing campaigns, by contrast, enable hoteliers to grow their marketing budgets and take creative ownership of their marketing investments.
By harnessing the power of metasearch data and technology to drive high-impact direct bookings through platforms optimized for conversion, hoteliers have the freedom to be agile and innovative in their business strategies, flexible in their marketing spend, and independent from third-party booking agencies.
In other words, metasearch affords hoteliers bookings, yes, but also the chance to embrace their entrepreneurial spirit and to constantly learn and expand their expertise as they forge their own path to success.
(Article originally published by tnooz)