A decade ago, digital marketing was a complicated affair, but today it’s almost overwhelming for the uninitiated.

It’s not easy for a hotel to decide how to make best use of the plethora of social media platforms, not to mention the likes of algorithmic buying and other options out there. However, there’s no need to panic: the trick to a successful strategy starts with careful planning. Let’s start by breaking things up, and going through the beginnings of a strategy step by step.

1. Set Goals

This should seem obvious, but from the get-go you need to be extremely clear about your exact goals. So many marketing strategies fail simply because nobody actually stopped to ask what the objective actually is. Of course, you can have more than one goal.

2. Budget

Another common misstep is overreaching, such as by spreading too few resources across too many channels. In the end, no progress is made on any front, simply because insufficient resources were invested in any particular place. The best way to preempt this problem is to set up a clear, nonnegotiable budget early on. This will force you to live within your means later down the track.

3. Identify the Audience

Who do you want to convey your message to? Hint: “everybody” is not an answer! Consider factors like age, region, website and content preferences, and whether they like similar products. Once you’ve focused on specific audiences, you can fine tune your approach to each channel. Note: different channels will often have very different audiences.

4. Consider Appropriate Channels

As each channel’s audience is different, it’s critical that you assess the pros and cons of all the options before you. For example, ads on Google search are great for reaching audiences actively hunting for something. However, Facebook ads exist in an environment where users are consuming data quickly, but often aren’t looking for anything in particular. Therefore, making your ad stand out on Facebook is a very different ballgame to optimizing it for Google.

5. Construct a Plan

Your attack plan must take into consideration all the unique characteristics of each channel. Ideally, it should be prepared by a professional with solid working knowledge of each channel. Two basic essentials include:

A campaign workbook for search engines, which considers factors like keywords, geo targeting and hitting both desktop and mobile devices.

Secondary engine targeting, which looks at the specific audiences of different channels, with content designed specifically for each audience.

As the master plan comes together, it should become clear how to make best use of each channel. Then, it’s time to roll things out.

6. Monitor and Tweak

Ok, you’ve got a plan in place, and it’s being implemented. That means the marketing strategy is done and dusted, right?


Digital marketing should never be left on autopilot, simply doing the same thing into infinity. Rather, an effective campaign is one that’s closely monitored and scrutinized. Be self critical, and ask tough questions. Constantly look for ways to improve.

This last point is perhaps the most crucial. In this rapidly changing digital age, stagnation inevitably leads to failure. So stay ahead of the game, and always aim to do better!