Introducing MultiMeta – the new way to drive potential guests to your own booking engine from price-comparison websites
Can you tell us more about MultiMeta, Availpro metasearch product?
MultiMeta is a major new product launch for us – helping our hotel customers connect to Google (via Google Hotel Ads), TripAdvisor and Trivago.
This trio of websites can be classed under “metasearch” when it comes to hotel search. The user types in their request (dates, room type, location, price and so on), and the metasearch engine, also know as a price-comparison website or aggregator, scans other third-party hotel search engines to return its own results.
Since the end of 2016, metasearch has become the most important marketing channel in the hotel sector. They represent the typical booking path for your clients, and our new MultiMeta tool will enhance both your digital marketing strategy and your metasearch offering.
So why now?
Our MultiMeta tool has been inspired by recent changes in metasearch trends. Up until around two years ago, the model was seen as one that only really benefitted the larger hotel chains. When you connected as a booking engine provider, you were considered a chain, representing many different hotels. As a result, there was a special contract with a fixed Cost Per Click (CPC) attribution model, where the hotel paid for each click in its marketing campaign. And your property could have been in Portugal, or London; you were treated the same, which in my opinion was a bit of a nonsense. It just wasn’t adaptable, and the flat minimum CPC rate charged by the metasearch websites was too high for some markets.
Today, the main model has become CPA, or Cost Per Acquisition, where the hotelier only pays per conversion, meaning when the guest has paid for their hotel stay. There’s also no bid management, the risk is less, and the commission model is what hoteliers are used to, it’s what they know.
So why did the trends change exactly?
One factor was the launch of TripConnect by TripAdvisor (which today offers two tools: TripConnect Instant Booking and TripConnect CPC) in late 2013.
TripAdvisor began to understand that there was a huge pool of independent hotels out there. In its own words, it says hotels can “win the guest relationship from the beginning”, with “no risk with simple ‘Pay for Stays’ commission model, no commitment and no up-front investment”. What’s not to like?
With Google, meanwhile, no matter the attribution model, you can set your commission at rates of 10% to 15%. Plus there is the fact that Google is bringing together all kinds of content: all the information is there, from photos to reviews to general information. Everyone also uses Google as search in some form, and looking at the Availpro statistics – we’ve never seen this rate of growth before.
What does it bring to hotels in terms of marketing tactics?
From a marketing campaign point of view, MultiMeta can drive potential guests to your own booking engine. You connect to the market and maximise your visibility. Select the offers you want to promote for each metasearch engine and optimise your campaign management using the intuitive interface.
However, managing an effective metasearch campaign can be as complex a job as managing an SEO campaign, or an AdWords campaign. Also remember that metasearch does not equal more direct bookings – it is another channel, and when managed well you can drive down commission levels to 8-9% depending on your campaign.
TripAdvisor and Trivago also, at their heart, give hotels the chance to be best in the market. They have the data, and Trivago in particular has done an amazing job, with good account managers.
What’s the Availpro difference?
Of course, most hotel channel managers offer metasearch connections, but we focus on what we do best – connections, and a fully performing booking engine. Our strength is the connectivity we can offer you – we can open and close, or hold, the connection from our channel manager. You simply use the dashboard, and decide how involved you want to get.
Availpro is also unique as we duplicate the booking engine for metasearch enquiries, so you know exactly how it is performing. Availpro is therefore centralising the whole distribution for the hotel through its platform.
MultiMeta has been in testing mode for a while now, although Availpro has actually been connecting to metasearch websites since 2012. To date, 500 hotels are using it, with 3,000 bookings having already been made since July 2017.
Any concluding remarks?
It’s important you enable your property to appear on the likes of Google, TripAdvisor and Trivago, make it findable when users enter queries into metasearch engines. Put simply, you cannot afford not to be on it, so let us help you on the journey, take the first step with MultiMeta, and you’ll never look back.
Feel free to read more about Multimeta