Cancelled events, cancelled bookings and cancelled travel plans. The widely increasing coronavirus has surely astounded the hospitality sector. Hotels today might be staring at their budget and seeking any and all areas to trim back to meet their payroll and future bills.
World Travel and Tourism Council
Travel & Tourism represents 10.3% of global GDP and supports 330 million jobs on the planet, or 1 in 10 jobs, making it a critical driver of economic growth and the backbone of many economies around the world. With the right measures in place to support the sector, we can, and will be a vehicle to drive recovery when we enter this next phase.
With 55 percent of 18-65-year-olds booking trips purely based on images they have seen on Instagram (Source: Telegraph), now is the time to create the strongest foundation using your current resources and virtual travel to set up your hotel for success moving forward.
Here are some tips to review and optimize your content:
Audit your current online activities
Review all of your online marketing activity, streamline which platforms you are focusing your attention and understand where your ideal customer is putting theirs at this moment. Take the time to review your internal insights, what is working and what isn’t? Which platform is driving the most traffic to your website?
Optimize your content
Are you using keywords appropriately across your site for all the key search terms for your hotel? Now is the time to go over the basic housekeeping of your website. Check your SEO, in these hard times, it is more important than ever to be visible.
Understand your audience
Do you know where your audience is right now and what they need at this moment? Research your current and potential customer personas and map them out. Create content that understands their intent and emotion; educate, entertain or empathize.
They may not be able to travel at this moment but provide escapism and create a new customer journey around potential trips in the future. Make sure your social content messaging speaks to them directly – this is just as important as high-quality imagery and video.
To measure success or failures we must set objectives. If this is sales through your website, understand your current metrics and set goals accordingly. However, in these unprecedented times, the brand value needs to be strong. Creating great awareness should be a primary objective so you are front-of-mind on the other side of the pandemic. This could be gained through online advertising, working with brand partners, using social media channels organically or starting to piece together your next influencer marketing campaign for when times are better.
This could also be offering future discounts to previous guests for their next bookings to encourage brand loyalty.
Create high-quality content and re-purpose
In these times it’s more important than ever to be showing the best version of your hotel or spa. It’s also important to display a human element that speaks of understanding. How can you help through these times? How are you adapting your business to customers and in the future? Be transparent. Can you re-imagine previous video content with a new narrative to educate and inspire people in their homes? It’s never more of a time to be consistent, so revise your content calendar and showcase your USP’s effectively.
An example of this would be the transformative 5-star wellness practice in Hua Hin Thailand, Chiva Som has created an online wellness service to provide support and encourage individuals to maintain their wellness during these times. Services will be provided by the resorts wellness advisors, practitioners and experts and feature some of their most popular services. Understanding that during these challenging times their guests are needing to maintain physical and mental well-being.
If it’s difficult to create content, then user-generated content is key to sharing fresh content across your channels.
Use marketing spend on online advertising
There’s no doubt that digital usage has gone up whilst many are in lockdown in their homes, so use your current resources and spend to show up online for greater brand visibility. Could you spend on Youtube ads to boost your content whilst Youtube is gaining more traction? Boost those escapism videos on Instagram for potential customers to bookmark for when the world heals? This is also where your brand messaging will become important so that you don’t appear to be taking advantage of the current climate, make sure your narrative is understanding and not sales-minded.
And if your budget is low, make sure your lower ad spend is highly targeted for maximum effectiveness.
Once you understand your current metrics, have set objectives and a framework around what works to drive brand awareness for your hotel, in these uncertain times you should review your digital activities once a week to every two weeks so spend is directed through channels that work. Increase the budget of what is working and move away from what isn’t. Research new platforms and campaigns that could work in the future and streamline your online strategy and content.