We are immersed in a difficult and unprecedented time in the travel and hospitality industry. However, there are some steps you can take when it comes to your digital marketing to make the most of what you have available. Here are our recommendations:
Adjust your advertising:
- Add negative keywords.
Add “coronavirus” and “COVID-19” related keywords to your negative keywords within the paid search channel to prevent your ads from showing up for related searches.
- Highlight key verbiage in ads and social.
Verbiage like “flexible cancellations” or “daily housekeeping” should be highlighted in your ad copy or social media posts to put customers at ease with completing a booking at your properties. We are working with Google to get a callout extension approved for the meta channel that says “Flexible Cancellations.” If you are a current customer and would like to add this to your meta campaign, please contact your Business Development Manager.
- Advertise ancillary.
Advertise ancillary outlets to the immediate local market in order to try to capture some revenue through these channels even if bookings for the industry are currently down.
- Maximize your low funnel channels.
Do this to capture as many direct bookings as possible. While prospecting is important for the long-term, protecting direct bookings is vital at this time. Your direct bookings are still more cost-effective than an OTA commission.
Communicate with customers:
- Email your customers.
If you haven’t done so already, send an email out to your email distribution list addressing COVID-19 and the steps you’re taking on property to keep your guests and employees safe.
- Get more social.
Communicate to your customers on what is happening on property, future opportunities, thoughts from staff. It’s important to stay connected with your existing customer base.
Take a look at your data:
- Ensure you have reporting dashboards.
You need dashboards that allow you to view daily visitor volumes and what content they are engaged with: conversion rates, booking window, campaign performance, cancellation rates, etc.
- Follow your booking window data closely.
Leisure travelers are looking out to summer. Data shows an increase in flights purchased more than 90 days in advance so hotel reservations will follow.
What your short- and long-term strategy should look like:
- Short-term strategy
Target drive markets with local packages. Ensure your campaigns are geo-fenced for efficient spend and engagement. It is imperative that all targeting and content are relevant and carefully messaged. Continually….refresh….content on your website and in your ads.
- Long-term strategy
Target advance offers, summer packages or even holiday type specials. After a significant disruption like this, people will be looking for reasons to celebrate throughout the remainder of 2020 after taking a deep breath.
If you need assistance with any of the above, please reach out to your Business Development Manager.