Hotels have been some of the heaviest hit businesses worldwide since the pandemic began in 2019. Travel has been barred in many countries and lockdowns and curfews have crashed the travel industry. With an end in sight, flights and ferries taking bookings, and resorts set to open in countries across the globe, we are ready to supply you with the definitive hotel marketing cheat sheet for 2021.
Customers this year are reading the small print. They want to know how they will be covered if another lockdown happens, or their flight gets canceled. What do they do if a family member gets covid and they are required to self-isolate? Be clear and honest and have their back. It is up to you to take responsibility for some of these issues. Customers will be far more likely to book your hotel if they feel like you will cover them in the event of any of the above.
Run a marketing campaign on the cleanliness of your hotel and any precautions that you are taking against the virus. Come across in your marketing as having left no stone unturned when it comes to the safety of your guests.
Remember, it is important that you do not sound worried but be confident that you have their health and security covered.
You may not have been as up-to-date and involved in content posts as you normally would be since the pandemic and closures. Spring clean your digital marketing and content and automate content posts, advertisement, and email bulletins to go out every day so that you start appearing in your followers’ and subscribers’ feeds.
Branding is everything. Consider if you might need to rebrand yourself and make any changes you need to push yourself as a safe, secure, and trustworthy hotel.
Choose from a variety of styles and ensure that your logo effervesces professionalism and finesse.
Use photographs to captivate your audience. Have photographs not just of the outside, but detailed ones of the rooms and eating options in your hotel.
Ensure that there is social distancing observed in all of the photos, that your staff is wearing masks, and that there is hand sanitizer available. Consumers will turn away from a business when they use old pre-pandemic photographs and it can be a real diminishment to your efforts.
Though it is right to show potential guests that their safety is of paramount importance, you should also incorporate standard hotel marketing practice. If someone is looking to book a holiday, they want to get away from it all too.
Show them that you are the escape that they are looking for, that your hotel is beautiful and exciting and the lap of luxury. Show them what they can do when they are staying with you and reassure them of what is open and available to use.
Remember that a lot of your customers this year are likely to come from the same country that you are situated in. Advertise heavily in your local area and countrywide, as being a holiday they will love right on their doorstep. Not everyone is itching to fly, and flights are continually increasing. This may well be a renewal of the Great Home Holiday trend.
Show your customers that you care by offering discounts and reductions on extra services within your hotel. For example, if you offer an A la Carte dining experience or an onsite spa then cut the price. People are struggling for cash currently but want to have special experiences. They are much more likely to sign up for the extras if they feel like they are getting a good deal. Just make sure you are still making a good profit from it.
Hotel marketing will have a lot of ups and downs this year, be sure you are up to date on marketing trends and have revised your marketing plan and content before you start advertising.
Guest Editor, Cassandra Bass