The Advantages of the Billboard Effect on Direct Bookings
Technology, “seduction” and common sense in the use of low-cost traffic. Chris Anderson, Professor at Cornell University, coined the concept the billboard effect. In his study, Professor Anderson analyzed the relationship between a group of hospitality establishments and Expedia. Over a period of 3 months hotel properties were cycled on and off Expedia listings. During this period, average daily bookings were monitored. When hotels appeared on Expedia’s listings direct sales increased by 20%.
For travelers, OTAS are immense billboards on the Internet. Priceline Group (Booking.com) and Expedia (Trivago, eLong, Hotels.com) are two important clients of Google Adwords, so there’s a strong relationship of interest for both companies associated with an expense in the use of their technology.
The billboard effect on the market
OTA’s are, without a doubt, the most visited travel platforms. According to Cornell University, 30% of all visits to travel sites come from these channels, in the research and inspiration phases and in final booking decisions. The relationship between OTAs and hotels are a reality.The Billboard Effect: Still Alive and Well” the influence of the billboard effect has only decreased by 10% in recent years, finding that 65% of consumers who book directly with a hotel have visited an OTA before booking. In 2011, it was 75% . In addition, this can be checked against information from the Google platform where it was found that More than half of all travelers will visit a hotel website after seeing the listing on an OTA.
Use your resources to boost direct bookings
Hotels ought to treat their OTA profile as an extension of their own website as it’s the perfect opportunity to gain direct bookings at a low cost. Here are some recommendations for using the Billboard Effect and converting OTA traffic into direct bookings:
1. Connect users to the content generated by your hotel.
The ability to generate information attractive enough to get your user’s attention is one of the main functions that you must apply to your hotel’s website.
This channel should help provide local information and connect users and tourist destinations. You must be able to transmit authenticity, make booking easy and show your hotel as part of the destination to be able to take full advantage of the Billboard Effect.
2. Use promotions to close bookings.
When a potential guest looks at your hotel’s rates, it’s important that your booking engine be seamless and user-friendly. A good booking engine is important for highlighting special and last-minute offers, early booking discounts and special packages. This will help you encourage impulse buying and give the traveler an additional incentive to book.
3. Optimize the website for bookings.
It’s absolutely essential for your website to be aesthetically beautiful and be operationally renewed and updated. Usability, mobile-friendliness and SEO optimization will make it easier to appear in search engines and motivate the user’s return. These factors are also vital for converting visits into direct bookings. If your website’s aesthetic and booking mechanics are optimized, consider looking into booking recovery tools.
4. Offer the user added value on your website.
Bearing in mind the relationship that is established with price parity, you can use your product to offer special promotions and add extra value to the user. You could offer similar OTA rates, offer perks such as late check-out or include breakfast to incentivize travelers to book directly with your hotel.
5. Take advantage of the balance of national and international bookings.
It’s important to analyze the balance between national and international bookings, and the relationship between direct bookings and OTA bookings. An international traveler may feel more comfortable reserving through an OTA, whereas a domestic traveler may hesitate less and book directly on the hotel’s web or by phone.