Hotels and other players in the tourism industry have been having it rough since the global Covid-19 outbreak in 2020. Many were forced to halt their operations indefinitely, while others have been on the brink of closing up for good. As most the world slowly recovers from the pandemic, hoteliers are trying to figure out their post-Covid strategies to get guests back on the premises.
Truth is, most pre-pandemic strategies will still work after hotels eventually open up again, it’s just the messaging that has to change to suggest that returning to these facilities is safe. Let’s see what hotel owners and marketers can do to convince their target audiences!
Emphasize your USP
No amount of positive messaging will convince your prospects to check out your hotel if you can’t offer anything worthwhile to them. You have to find what’s unique about your hotel and present it to your target audiences as a so-called unique selling point (or USP for short).
Low prices alone won’t cut it (especially if other hotels will start lowering their room costs for a while after the pandemic). You need something that makes your hotel truly unique – an experience that will stay with your guests long after they’ve left your hotel.
Think about how you can offer something exclusive to your guests. It doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive. It could be a small welcome gift that waits for your customers in their rooms (maybe a bottle of wine), or special services that are included in the room’s price. You can even offer special packages for couples, families, etc.
You don’t even have to reinvent the wheel either – just take a look at what other hotels offer in your price range (or maybe even above that), and implement them in-house.
Get your Website in Shape
You can’t expect people to find your hotel online without having a website. Sure, sites like TripAdvisor exist, but in order to take full advantage of the internet, you simply have to have a dedicated website for your hotel.
Think of it as your online headquarters, where potential guests can get to know your hotel, your team, what you offer, what makes you unique (your USPs), and of course, where they can book rooms as well.
You also have to offer stellar user experience on your website – this is important not only as a gesture towards your guests (who will abandon your website when they get frustrated with it), but also for SEO, as Google prefers ranking websites that people enjoy using.
Other important aspects of hotel website design include search engine optimization (or SEO), mobile-friendliness, technical optimization (speed and security), a good CMS that allows for content marketing, and a way to track your conversions.
Create your Hotel’s Google My Business Profile
Essential to all businesses, Google My Business is a free service that allows you to create a profile for your hotel so that it can appear on Google’s Knowledge Panel, as well as its local pack results and Google Maps. Whenever a potential guest searches for hotels in your area, your hotel will have a chance to appear as a featured result on the SERP.
Utilize Social Media
Create a profile for your hotel on all the major social media platforms that your ideal guests regularly use. These probably include Facebook and Instagram, but a YouTube channel can come in handy as well, if you can create videos consistently.
Use these platforms to share important information, news, and useful content with your guests. Try to avoid self-advertising when it comes to your organic posts, and reserve ads to the paid options.
Also, try creating a new post every day on each of your platforms. These doesn’t have to be all spectacular pieces of content, but you should make sure that all posts include either an image or a video, as most algorithms (and users) tend to favor these over text-only posts.
Use paid Ads
Paid ads are the necessary evil of online marketing. Nobody likes to pay for these, but sometimes, organic reach can be hard to expand, especially if you’ve just created a new social profile for your hotel. You can run paid campaigns on all the major social media platforms, and on Google as well.
Of course, it’s not about who can pay the most for these ads. While definitely a factor, your bids will only get you so far in succeeding with your campaigns. You also need good creative, effective targeting, and a good sense of timing to see the returns of your paid efforts.
When it comes to hotel ads, A/B testing can be extra useful to find what works best in your ads. For example, you can compare two versions of the same ad, but with a different CTA or image, to see which performs best, and go with that in the future.
Things will eventually return to their normal state worldwide, and we will be able to travel the world just like we used to before. Until then, try building a great marketing strategy for your hotel to get as many guests as possible after the pandemic! Good luck!