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DO'S & DON'TS in Digital Marketing

VP, Global Strategy
Tina Markowitz darkTina Markowitz light

Keeping up with the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing can feel like traversing a maze without a map. Yet, when the right strategies are in place, businesses can unlock boundless opportunities to engage and captivate their audience. Whether you're a seasoned marketer or just dipping your toes into the digital waters, understanding the fundamental principles is paramount. In this comprehensive article, we'll unveil 15 crucial DO'S and 15 critical DON'TS to steer your digital marketing endeavors toward success, helping you harness the power of online platforms to propel your brand forward.


  1. Optimize for mobile: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly and provides a seamless experience across all devices thanks to an adaptative web design as 70% of research is now done on mobile.
  2. Leverage social media: Engage with your audience on platforms like Meta (Instagram, Facebook) to showcase your hotel's unique features and attract potential guests through organic posts, reels, and stories. Including Paid social in your digital marketing strategy can also boost your visibility and tap into a qualified pool of travelers.
  3. Invest in quality visuals: Use high-resolution images and videos to showcase your hotel's amenities, rooms, and surrounding area to entice potential guests. Utilizing high-quality images (especially videos) greatly improves the user experience and drives direct bookings on your website. So, favor photos and videos taken by a professional.
  4. Convey unique and impactful storytelling: Tell your story and what makes your hotel unique. Your web and ad content should support your images in transmitting emotions with clear, precise, positive, and impactful speech. Your storytelling must be well-written and highlight your establishment while connecting with your audiences.
  5. Utilize email marketing: Build and maintain an email list to send targeted promotions, special offers, and newsletters to past and potential guests, based on your CRM data and customer behaviors. Thoughtful email campaigns can help attract new guests and build loyalty to encourage repeat bookings.
  6. Create a content calendar: Creating a content calendar ensures consistency in your digital marketing efforts by planning and scheduling content in advance. It helps you stay organized, maintain a strategic focus, and align your content with your marketing goals. Additionally, a content calendar allows for better collaboration among team members and provides a clear roadmap for content creation, ultimately saving time and maximizing the impact of your efforts.
  7. Use retargeting: Retarget previous website visitors or those with abandoned carts. By pairing these individuals, based on their past actions, with hyper-targeted offers you’ll increase the likelihood of conversion, improve brand recall, and maximize the efficiency of your advertising budget. Bonus: you can easily set this up in your CRM as automated emails with personalization.
  8. Offer a seamless booking journey: Less is more. Make it easy for guests to book directly through your website by providing an intuitive, user-centric booking interface, with visible “Book” call-to-actions and a sleek design, otherwise you will lose direct bookings.
  9. Encourage reviews: Entice satisfied guests to leave positive reviews on platforms like Tripadvisor, Google, and Yelp to build trust and credibility. In 2023, as 92% of consumers looked at reviews before buying a good or service.
  10. Personalize content: Tailor your marketing messages and offers based on guest preferences and past interactions to create a more personalized experience. You can leverage CRM data integrated with a digital marketing platform to elevate your advertising efforts and optimize your campaigns.
  11. Incentivize direct bookings: Along with competitive rates, offer additional benefits for direct bookings, such as free breakfast, or discounts on spa services. Highlight these special offers and make sure they are clearly visible on the reservations page.
  12. Boost your visibility with paid search: Implement paid search campaigns such as Google Search Ads and launch brand protection campaigns to seize the top spot on search engine result pages, protect your brand name against competitors and OTAs, and reclaim direct bookings. You can now launch Google Search Ads in Cendyn Digital Marketing Platform in a few clicks, alongside your other campaign types.
  13. Track KPIs: Monitor metrics like booking conversion rates, website traffic, and ROI to measure the success of your marketing efforts, identify areas for improvement, and make data-driven decisions to optimize your strategy for better results.
  14. Launch Google Performance Max for travel goals campaigns: Capitalize on Google’s machine learning and artificial intelligence to increase your visibility and reach a qualified audience on all Google surfaces for better conversion rates. This type of campaign allows you to rapidly gain media coverage and increase your visibility on all Google platforms, in addition to your other automated or manual campaigns.
  15. Appear on metasearch: Metasearch engines are used by 72% of travelers preparing their trips. Posting your rates on metasearch will give you greater visibility and increase direct bookings on your hotel’s website by up to 30%!


  1. Use AI: Google’s Core Update from March is no ordinary core update, as it includes major changes to multiple core ranking systems – and it introduces brand-new spam policies. AI-generated content isn’t inherently bad, but Google values real experiences and first-hand expertise in the interest of its users. So, make sure your website only hosts content that exhibits experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to keep your SEO in check.
  2. Ignore (negative) feedback: Regularly monitor and respond to reviews and comments on social media and review sites to maintain a positive online reputation. Address negative reviews and feedback promptly and professionally to demonstrate your commitment to guest satisfaction.
  3. Overlook website speed: Ensure your website loads quickly to provide a smooth browsing experience and reduce bounce rates. Every second lost represents 40% fewer conversions on your website! Hosting and media file optimization are two sources you can work on to increase the speed of your website.
  4. Overspend on paid advertising: While paid advertising can be effective, overspending without a clear strategy can lead to wasted resources. Set a budget and closely monitor your campaigns to ensure you're getting a good return on your investment.
  5. Rely on ROAS: An obsession with achieving a high ROAS can mean overlooking opportunities for incremental revenue growth. This is due to narrowing the focus predominantly on immediate returns, rather than creating sustainable growth strategies that consider the bigger picture. Instead, look beyond ROAS and consider the Cost Per Acquisition (CPA) and lifetime value (LTV) of each guest to provide a multifaceted measurement of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
  6. Neglect SEO strategies: Optimize your website content with relevant keywords to improve your search engine rankings and increase organic traffic. Set up title tags (your web page name) and meta description tags (description of your page, under the blue links of the results). Choose the languages of your website and URLs to cover the maximum of markets in adequacy with your clientele to offer relevant content to the search engines.
  7. Rely solely on third-party platforms: While OTAs can help generate bookings, don't rely on them for the entirety of your marketing efforts. Invest in building your brand and direct bookings through cross-channel marketing actions to optimize your return on investment and reduce third-party commissions.
  8. Forget to A/B test: Digital marketing is constantly evolving, so it's essential to test different strategies and iterate based on results. Failing to adapt to changes or sticking to outdated methods can hinder your marketing efforts and limit growth.
  9. Spam email subscribers: Avoid bombarding subscribers with irrelevant or excessive emails, as this can lead to unsubscribes and damage your brand reputation.
  10. Ignore analytics: Analyze your website visitors' behavior as well as your digital advertising campaigns to identify strengths and weaknesses to optimize your online acquisition strategy. Regularly look at website traffic, booking data, click rate, conversion rate, cost of booking acquisition, and other key metrics to identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategies.
  11. Neglect social media engagement: Don't just post content on social media platforms; actively engage with your audience by responding to comments, messages, and mentions.
  12. Forget about local events: Stay informed about local events, festivals, and attractions, and leverage them in your marketing efforts to attract guests attending these events.
  13. Ignore your competitors: Monitoring your competitors' strategies and performance can provide valuable insights and help you stay ahead in the market. Ignoring competitors may result in missed opportunities or falling behind in industry trends.
  14. Create advertising fatigue: Ad effectiveness diminishes over time due to repetitive creative, resulting in declining returns on investment. Avoid ad fatigue with varied and targeted creatives, as 67% of consumers dislike repetitive content and say they want a variety of storytelling, so they don’t have to see the same ad. Find the right balance between reach & frequency to maximize advertising effectiveness.
  15. Forget to update your Google Business Profile: Your Google Business Profile (formerly Google My Business) can help you gain visibility on the Internet. This is your hotel’s identity card on Google. It brings together all the information that characterizes your hotel, making it visible and accessible in a single click. By optimizing your Google listing, you can attract up to 38% more interest from travelers. To do this, remember to add all your business information, a link to your website, and list your additional services. The more complete your listing, the more effective it will be.

As we conclude this journey through the DOs and DON’Ts of digital marketing, it's clear that success in this realm requires a delicate balance of strategy, creativity, and adaptability. By adhering to the principles outlined in this guide, businesses can forge stronger connections with their audience, amplify their brand presence, and ultimately drive tangible results. Remember, in the dynamic world of digital marketing, staying informed, experimenting with new approaches, and learning from both successes and setbacks are key to staying ahead of the curve.