The travel and hospitality industries have seen a shakeup over the past month with regard to Coronavirus (COVID19).
NB: This is an article from TravelNet
Many of you have likely been affected, whether this is in the form of event cancellations or travelers looking to cancel/re-book their stays. While no one can be sure of the ultimate impact on individual businesses, it’s important to understand the strategies that will help reduce the overall impact on your business. We’ve compiled a digital marketing checklist to ensure you have a list of items to review with regard to COVID19.
#1: Over Communicate With Guests/Travelers – Give updates on your website as to the steps you are taking to mitigate the risk of COVID19 exposure. Reminding people that you are still taking reservations, and creating offers for travelers within driving distance of your property are good messaging options for any pop-up messaging you currently have on the website. If you are updating your policies (cancellation or otherwise) make sure you are emailing confirmed guests to notify them. Make sure your guests know that their safety is top of mind for your business.
#2: Keep Google My Business Up To Date – In a world of no-click results and Google offering all the answers within their own search platform, it’s imperative you have your Google My Business profile in order. If you are closing for any duration, make sure this is reflected in your open hours on the listing.
#3: Adjust Your Targeting – Many of our current partners are seeing increases in traffic from drive-to markets, with people opting out of vacation destinations to which they need to fly. If you are currently targeting the US or Canada with your advertising dollars, it’s time to limit that scope. We recommend keeping it to your state, or neighboring states (250-300 mile radius if utilizing radius targeting).
#4: PPC Smart Campaigns – Smart campaigns, similar to traditional search campaigns, allow your ads to show in Google Search. They also allow your ads to be displayed on Google Maps. As people are looking for road trip options, being top of mind (and in high visibility) on Google Maps will be important to maximizing exposure.
#5: Maintain Your Presence – When revenue is not coming in at the steady stream to which you are accustomed, it is difficult to be steadfast and hold true to your annual budget planning. You may not be in a position to maintain your current advertising budget, but we recommend maintaining a presence. This is not the time to completely turn off your advertising channels. Instead, look for ways to better utilize your ad spend (see Targeting updates and Smart Campaigns above).
#6: Revenue Management – Traditional revenue management practices based on customer segmentation should be put on hold in a crisis situation we are experiencing right now. Instead, revenue managers should focus on Feeder Market Revenue Management. Identify your short-haul and drive in markets, develop hotel packages and promotions focused on these markets (family, weekend, staycation, gas reimbursement, F&B, etc.), and then geo-target these markets with digital marketing campaigns.
#7: Website – Apart from advertising strategies, this is also a good time to spend working on your website. Sprucing up property pictures, making sure amenities are up to date and and updating any property or site descriptions. Are you promoting nearby recreational activities or landmarks? Now is a good time to get those on the site. When travelers are ready to get back on the road, you can assure your site is ready to capture their attention.
#8: Newsletter – If you’re not already, a newsletter is a great way to keep your former guests and future visitors up to speed on your property now and into the future. Offering promotions and deals via a newsletter is a great touchpoint for interested visitors. Capturing their email address when they hit your site using exit-intent technology helps build that list of interested prospects.