Whether you’re operating a small boutique inn or a large chain of hotels, digital marketing can often fall to the back burner as you deal with the immediate concerns of running a hospitality business. You’re helping guests check in, troubleshooting the many issues that all-too-often arise, or training new employees to ensure your operation is running smoothly and your guests are staying happy. Unfortunately, you can’t overlook your digital marketing strategy for long; sooner or later the hotel down the street will start dominating the booking scene, and your pool of guests will begin to dwindle.
That’s where Vizergy Digital Marketing comes in. Located in sunny Jacksonville, Florida, Vizergy has been helping hospitality clientele grow their businesses for the past 20 years. In addition to helping a number of smaller independent hotels grow, Vizergy’s portfolio also includes big brand names like Marriott International and Hard Rock Cafe.
From website design to social media management to any other marketing initiatives needed, Vizergy does it all for their prized customers – and they do it at scale. In fact, Vizergy increased their headcount by almost 20% in 2018 alone in order to handle their large customer database.
With this rapid growth, Vizergy needed a more efficient way to manage the influx of campaigns in a timely manner. That’s why they partnered with WordStream.
Recently, we had the opportunity to speak with a few folks over at Vizergy to understand a bit more about their business growth and how they were able to take on more customers, hire more employees, and still maintain their high-quality level of service.
Vizergy’s Director of Search Marketing Trish Leighton explained that the main goal for the majority of their customers is to increase direct website bookings by ensuring OTAs (online travel agencies) are bypassed. As you can imagine, paid search is a big part of this! After all, 75% of travelers use a search engine to start their search for a place to stay.
So how did Vizergy ensure each and every customer they manage is performing optimally on search engines like Google and Bing? We’ll dive into that, but first let’s get into why this area of marketing is so challenging, especially for growing digital marketing agencies managing a wide array of hospitality accounts.
Vizergy’s rapid growth meant more new account managers and digital marketing analysts coming in to manage the multiple hospitality clients needing a wide array of digital campaigns. For Joseph Lesho, team lead of digital marketing services, this meant more Google Ads training. Joseph knows far too well that Google Ads is not something that even the brightest new hire could pick up overnight.
“It’s hard to manage the skill levels of each analyst,” said Joseph. “Working in the Google Ads interface is time-consuming. It’s important to ensure we’re hitting all the right points for all accounts every time we touch them.”
Vizergy knew they made the right decision partnering with WordStream when their success manager reached out within the first hour of signing their contract. “Onboarding was seamless,” said Trish. “She set up several trainings that were thorough and separated out very logically. It continues to be clear how invested WordStream is in making sure we’re using the toolset well, which is very nice since a lot of times this does not happen.”
The team unanimously agreed that having a tool like the 20-Minute Work Week to help identify problem areas in each account each week was a real game changer. “The 20-Minute Work Week has everything I need,” said Joseph.
More time for Halloween parties with the 20-Minute Work Week.
Another area of the WordStream Advisor platform that the digital marketing analysts use frequently is the negative keyword tools. “My number one priority is to ensure we’re not spending any budget that is not relevant to the client,” says Brandon Mitchell, digital platform marketing analyst at Vizergy. “The negative keyword tool is an efficient way to check and make sure I’m never overspending.”
But the most critical thing that WordStream Advisor helped Vizergy with was increasing employee productivity. The platform allows each team member to manage multiple Google Ads accounts in minutes, not hours.
“At first I was only given 10 accounts,” says Katie Rossi, one of the newer digital marketing analysts at Vizergy. “Within my second week, I was able to take on 20 more accounts just because of WordStream. At that point, I had really little to no ramp-up period, but I felt completely comfortable optimizing client accounts in such a short period of time.”
According to Trish, the increased efficiency is not just anecdotal; she did the math to analyze her team’s performance and found that the switch to WordStream Advisor led to a 39% improvement in productivity. “It’s given us a lot more time to spend making sure our clients are well served and that we’re staying ahead of the curve when it comes to industry trends,” says Trish.
While saving time is wonderful and all, in the digital agency world, clients want and need to see results. So were results achieved with the switch to WordStream Advisor?
The Vizergy team was actually floored by how substantially results improved for many of their clients. For instance, one of their most valued accounts, Le Mount Stephen, a boutique hotel in Montreal, saw a 32% increase in click-through rate (CTR), a 7% decrease in cost per click (CPC), and a 41% increase in return on investment (ROI) from January to June and July through October. While a seasonal increase was expected, this was a far greater bump in performance than Trish and team had anticipated.
WordStream Advisor allows Vizergy to easily create a comprehensive professional report to be shared with clients.
“We love the reporting. It’s not only beautiful, but it also provides great information, showing the whole story without bombarding them with too much information,” says Joseph. “I also love the pre-written notes, and the fact that you can edit them if needed.”
“One of the things that sets Vizergy apart from other digital marketing agencies is the technology we put behind everything we do,” says Trish. “It is our mission now and in the future to always make sure we have the smartest people around using the best tools in the industry. By combining our people and the tools we use, we are setting our clients up for success.”
And how does WordStream help the Vizergy Team get more out of every hour of every week?
“WordStream gives us actionable data that our brilliant digital marketers can use to get the very best outcome for our clients. It’s a perfect marriage of technology and the human element.”