The COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on multiple industries, but none has taken the blow as hard as the Travel & Tourism and the Hotel industry. Even though we are in the middle of unlock 2.0, it does not look like tourism is going to pick up any time soon. As a result, it may take time for business to pick up for the hotel industry as well. But, things are eventually going to fall into place.
Now is the time to get ready for the comeback. How you market yourself during this slack period will determine whether you will thrive or lose ground, once the travel bans are lifted. So, in this blog post we will give you 5 important digital marketing tips for hoteliers that will help you to stay ahead of the re-opening curve.
Don’t slash rates and encourage direct booking– Once everything re-opens, you may be tempted to lower your rates in order to create demand. But, we suggest you don’t do that. You may get some leads in the beginning, but the interest will taper off at some point and the long-term damage to your product value and average daily rate will take a very long time to recover. To avoid slashing rates, you should ensure that you maximize your profit margin on each booking. You can use digital marketing strategies to generate direct booking through your website.
Give your brand a digital facelift– Don’t get stuck on idle, plan ahead and launch a full-fledged marketing campaign. Work on creating new product videos, update your website content or optimize your e-mail list. Now is a good time to give your brand a face-lift. You will be thankful later on that you used this time well, because by the time the business picks up, your digital marketing campaigns will be up and running, and will be ready to fetch greater engagement levels.
Invest in content marketing– During a crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic, content comes to play an important role. You can use content marketing strategies for hoteliers to communicate with your guests. You can share details on how you are dealing with the pandemic, what are your re-opening strategies are, and how you are maintaining safety of the internal staff and the current guests. This goes a long way in building trust and alleviating your guest’s hesitations about booking a stay. Also, it enhances your brand credibility.
Invest in SEO to identify your target audience– So, you think you already know your audience? Perhaps, you do. But, the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted into a major shift in consumer behavior. It never hurts to get smarter, and to acquire insights about who is searching you, and what for. This kind of insight will influence every SEO strategy you make for your brand and help maximize your ROI.
Also, you should stop to consider that Google won’t stop updating its search algorithms because there is a pandemic. And, the rankings lost during the pandemic won’t return magically after the situations gets under control. If you abruptly stop investing in SEO for your hotel business during the pandemic, it may render all your previous efforts as useless. So, it’s important to follow SEO best practices even during the pandemic, and to update your Google My Business Listings.
Ramp up your local marketing– The pandemic has put a stop to long-distance travels. There is no telling when the situation will get back to normal. But, it is safe to assume that most people will inevitable cancel or postpone any long-distance or recreational travel plans that they might have had, for another 6-12 months. Under such circumstances, a majority of your guests will come from the local markets. With that in mind, you may considering creating all-new promotional packages for the locals or partner with local brands and influencers to crank up your local marketing initiatives. You can adopt a ‘serve first, sale later’ approach, and use your blog and social media pages to tell your community know how you can useful to them, when they need you the most. This will help cement the trust between you and your potential guests, and have numerous benefits in the long run.
We are all waiting desperately for things to get back to the way they were, but that’s probably never going to happen. The post pandemic world will have its new definition for what’s normal. Right now, there is no way of knowing what that’ll be like but what you can do right now is work with what you have, and hope to better prepared for what lies out there.
Your website, your social media presence, your search engine ranking and your overall digital foot print is an asset that you must build on right now. Are you looking for digital marketing strategies for your hotel business that will help you survive the pandemic? Get in touch with our experts today! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 91 22 2368 2245/8998.