All of us know that the hospitality industry is one of the most heavily impacted sectors when the coronavirus pandemic occurred. As domestic and international travels all over the world were halted, hotels, resorts, and lodging establishments took all the beating. We’ve seen a huge slump in the tourism industry, leading to a despairing number of accommodation businesses to close down.
Fortunately, we’re now partially seeing the light at the end of the tunnel: the travel industry is slowly reopening.
If you’re one of the fortunate hoteliers who survived the economic downturn, you might be working to boost your presence and increase your sales. An effective digital marketing campaign is key to letting your customers know that you’re open and ready to serve.
1. Boost your digital marketing campaigns
Digital marketing is more cost-effective than traditional marketing, like a TV ad or print campaign. Consider strengthening your relationship with a digital marketing agency that will come up with strategies to boost your online presence. These include SEO, content creation, e-mail marketing, PPC advertising, and social media marketing.
2. Audit existing marketing materials
Assess your previous content performances and promotional materials — photos, videos, presentations, blogs, articles you’ve published, infographics —and see which of them can be used during this time.
Which images can you repurpose? Which receives the most social shares, backlinks, and traffic? Can you optimize them with new calls to action and keywords? Is it possible to add internal links to new products or services?
3. Refurbish your hotel website
Next to repurposing content, now might be the best time to refresh your website. If your photos and videos are dated, consider having a photoshoot in your property for new promotional media. You should also assess your website to see if some things need to be updated or fixed.
4. Update your hotel’s “Google My Business”
If your operating hours have changed as a step to preventing virus transmission, let your customers know about it. Update your hours, business description, and contact information, and share Google Posts with updates.
5. Promote your hotel’s safety measures
Buyer behaviors have changed since the pandemic took the world by storm. Gone are the days when it’s enough to lure prospective clients with high-quality photos and descriptions of your hotel rooms, amenities, services, and location. Now, people are looking at whether or not your hotel is a safe place to stay in.
If your hotel is taking the necessary measures to maintain a safe, virus-free environment, make sure you let your followers know about them. Update your followers on the changes your hotel has taken, including the suspension of buffets, regular disinfection measures, contactless payments, and flexible cancellation policies.
6. Create helpful, inspiring COVID-19-themed content
Content is a great way to provide value to your customers while building credibility.
Do you have a blog section on your website? Post a couple of inspiring and helpful pieces of content about travel and COVID-19. It doesn’t have to be all about the things people already know, like coronavirus prevention tips. It can be an engaging article about staycation tips amid pandemic, the list of beautiful (and safe) places people should visit, and other pieces that spark the excitement of traveling while staying safe.
Use the relevant keywords, meta descriptions, catchy headlines and SEO titles, and appealing photos. Don’t forget to optimize them for social media users and share them on your accounts.
7. Engage your followers on social media
Post engagement-worthy content, like a poll on Twitter or a quiz on Instagram. Turn to contests, giveaways, and games. Post an article worthy of likes and shares. Lastly, try to be as responsive as possible.
Social media engagement helps you get a good brand recall, strengthen your customer relationships, and build customer loyalty, which will then increase your sales.
8. Think of creative ways to answer frequently asked questions
FAQs can be something more than just a word-filled web page. There are creative (yet clear and precise!) ways to answer these questions.
You can conduct a webinar to answer FAQs about your hotel amenities, destination, new products and/or services, cancellation policies, and COVID-19 measures. You can also create an engaging video presentation or user-friendly infographics.
9. Capitalize on user-generated content
Testimonials and influencer content never fails to boost a brand’s reputation. Ask your followers on social media to share their unforgettable experiences, like the things they miss the most about your hotel and your destination in general.
You can also use Google Hangouts or Zoom to conduct video calls and interview your customers and/or employees. Ask about their experiences, and use these transcripts as valuable insider info for your future blog posts and social content.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the resident writers for SPRINT DIGITAL Agency Dublin, a firm offering an extensive range of digital marketing and website services to businesses across UK, Ireland, and Continental Europe. She enjoys sharing her insights about blogging, web design, SEO, and other forms of digital marketing.