The pandemic has challenged many industries, and lodging has been among those hardest hits. Weekday bookings have dried up as conferences, conventions, and business travel have largely been put on hold. Weekend stays also have tanked with the cancellation or postponement of festivals, fairs, concerts, weddings, sporting events, and other activities.
To weather the storm and launch the recovery process when things begin to return closer to normalcy here are a few important marketing tips for hotels during the second wave.
• Get Online, Get Social, Get Active
Keep a close eye on your social channels, and develop an action plan to address any concerns, comments, or feedback. At present, this will predominantly involve letting guests know about your cancellation policy and explaining the steps you’re taking to keep your hotel clean and safe which Segways into our next tip:
• Adapt for more Flexible Cancellation
As the coronavirus spreads and travel restrictions become ever more stringent, hotels need to focus on smart ways to capture a rapidly shrinking marketplace. Right now, nobody will want to take a trip without knowing they can easily cancel should the need arise. In terms of communicating your cancellation policy, be sure to make it highly visible across all of your channels, including your hotel website, social media, and emails.
• Take a Critical Look at your Website Assets and Social Media Posts
Yes, we know we just told you to get out there and post on social media as frequently as is appropriate but you should also consider; as countries ask citizens to practice social distancing, the imagery on your hotel website may need updating to reflect the global mood. For instance, pictures of bustling lobbies, buzzing restaurants, and busy fitness centers (all usually great for conveying your hotel’s popularity and atmosphere) are probably not appropriate right now.
• Consider Googles “phase out” of Third-Party cookies
A man once said “Never let a good crisis go to waste” instead of trying to adjust constantly to the COVID market take this time to prepare for and create a newer digital marketing strategy, in a year or two when third party cookies are removed from googles search engine you’ll be happy you did.
Third-party cookies are attached to a user’s web browser after they visit a website other than yours. This lets you track users around the web to better understand their behaviors, habits, and preferences.
When third-party cookies become obsolete, many audience targeting capabilities won’t be available in the same capacity as they are now. This will have a dramatic impact on digital marketing campaigns that collect data on what users are doing on different websites.
• Invest in Dynamic Pricing
By allowing a revenue management system to change the price according to demand fluctuations – while making sure you set a minimum pricing rate so that you don’t incur losses, you are already a step ahead of thousands of properties on the road to recovery post-COVID.
Regardless of the pandemic travelers will always seek better prices, by automatically adjusting your pricing strategy to best match the demand, you will naturally generate more bookings.
Wyatt Niblett-Wilson, Marketing Coordinator – Pricepoint