Are you ready to take the competition head-on when the market opens in the imminent post-COVID era?
NB: This is an article from Hotelogix
Do you have a strong strategy in place to fight for your share of the business when travel resumes? Because your hotel brand’s survival in the coming days will solely depend on how well you make your marketing plans and how efficiently you execute them. And this whole business of endurance is going to be tough for hotel chains. So in this piece, we will walk you through the top 5 content marketing strategies to boost your business.
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Without a doubt, your ultimate focus should be to – Create Content that Connects and Converts.
Now, let’s see how to about it –
Content strategy plays a significant role in your hotel’s overall marketing plan. This is all about attracting more guests, selling more rooms, and increasing revenues using top-notch content in various stages of your marketing activities. What you do here is going to determine why guests should choose you over others.
1. Tell them that they are safe with you
Let’s first discuss the pressing issue at hand – guests’ safety in post-COVID times. This pandemic has no doubt impacted the hotel industry like anything. The damage is already done. Now, we can only plan for a better tomorrow. Once things settle down, people will travel, and they will look for safe hotels.
If you run a hotel chain, write personalized emails to your existing/past/loyal customers and let them know the precautionary measures you have taken to ensure their safety. Your mailers in this regard should be to the point. Don’t promise something that you can’t offer. Keep the frequency of such mailers 1 or 2 a month. Please don’t overdo it.
Highlight the same hygiene measures on your website. Don’t hide that critical piece of message somewhere below the footer of your website. It should be prominently placed and visible to your bookers easily. Implement the same strategy everywhere you can – on your booking pages, social media pages, pre-stay communications, etc. You may want to create a small video and put it on your website. If you are opening up and getting ready to welcome your guests after a long gap, you may communicate via newspaper ads.
In this case, if you are managing multiple properties across locations, you could be in a better position to do things better. For example, if the authorities at location A lifts lockdown measures. You can monitor all your activities to know what works well for your brand. See how your customers are reacting to your communications, listen to their feedback, look at your competitions in that area, see if they are doing something new. Then, you can implement all these learnings when you are ready to open your gates at other locations.
2. Revisit your website, refresh it
Your website represents your brand, your personality. It is what you are. Do everything it takes to optimize it for search engines in an organic way. Call it digital content strategy or digital content marketing, revamping your website will surely help you in many ways. Update your website with relevant keywords. Use keywords in your blogs, testimonials, and descriptions, etc. SEO-driven content will help your hotel website rank higher on search engine result pages. The higher you rank on SERP, the more travelers will click on the link to land on your website or booking page.
Post content while promoting local attractions because you can’t succeed by only promoting your hotel. So, go local, think local, and promote local. Think about unique page titles and update them with meta descriptions that matter. One crucial piece of advice is to make sure your hotel website is mobile-friendly and uploads quickly because nobody likes to waste their time waiting for a page to load.
Once you have overhauled your website with what it takes to become relevant, it’s now time to get into the real business – selling more rooms. And to do this, promote your rate plans, special/customized offers targeting repeat customers, discounts, add-ons, room upgrades at attractive prices.
3. Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
This is another that needs your attention that requires you to spend money on Google Ads and Bing Ads. SEM comes with a fee-based ad setup and cost-per-click/cost-per-acquisition pricing model. When done with the right set of ads, your property will be visible on Google and Bing. Run your ads with detailed hotel information, real-time room rates along with images, and other relevant information.
For example, say you want to promote your property that offers an uber-luxury stay. Then, the content of your ad copy should read something like this – “ABC Group of Hotels: Redefining Opulence | Location A | Location B | Location C.” Or, if you want to entice guests by saying how you care about their health safety, your ad copy should contain some of that information.
A well-executed SEM strategy is a definite way to boost visibility and build your hotel chain’s brand awareness on leading search engines to drive direct booking. However, you would need to have a seasoned marketer to plan and execute such campaigns.
4. Come up with a channel-specific content strategy
Creating only content is not enough. You should know what to post where. For this, you need to understand how your target audience looks at content on different platforms. For instance, it is okay to promote blogs on your website, but you surely can’t do this on your social media channels.
Now, something might work well on Facebook. That same thing may or may not work on Instagram. For Pinterest, text-centric content will never help. There, you need to showcase the lavishness of your property or multiple properties with photos. When you are targeting Facebook, you can use high-resolution images, infographics, and talk about trending stories. It would help you to a great extent if you broadcast live events. Just interact with your audience. Leverage Facebook Pixel to understand how your content is performing and user behavior. If you are planning to attract business travelers to one of your properties located in an urban area, LinkedIn is the best platform. Sound professional in all your posts on LinkedIn.
5. Make the best out of YouTube
This amazing platform continues to grow as the most popular source of online video. So, you can’t ignore it when you plan for digital content marketing. Here also, you can create and promote your hotel ads. Use the right tone, be succinct, use the right image/video and information to catch your audience’s attraction. This should be so engaging that viewers should resist pressing the ‘skip’ button. Make sure you show your creative best while describing your hotel in the ‘about’ section. Apart from paid ads, keep posting professionally-shot videos about your property, promote your pricing, discounts, special offers, and show local attractions in your videos.
By now, it should be crystal clear to you that irrespective of what you do or on which platform you decide to promote your hotel chain, you need to use compelling content that ultimately connects and converts lookers into bookers. Be it a blog, customer mailer, or social media post, create content for your audience, thick from their perspective. But, hey, you are not done yet. Just posting a piece of content is not enough. See how people appreciate it. Be prompt and polite to reply to them when they ask you anything. Meaningful interaction with the right set of audiences on the right channel with the right tone will get you success.
A well-written piece of content has the potential to help you grow your hotel business in many ways. Apart from the above-mentioned content marketing strategies, you can use content to entice and influence your target audiences’ booking decisions. And in this, a smart and intelligent cloud-based Hotel PMS like Hotelogix does the job. Take a look at how our Hotel PMS helps you create your promotions to sell more.
Some of the significant promotions you can run via your PMS are:
Long Stay Discount:
Let your guests know that the 5th-night stay will be for free if they book for four nights. Or, tell them to avail a certain percentage as a discount when they book for four nights. Here is how you can write that piece of information –
“Book for 4 nights and pay now. The 5th night stay is on us.”
“Book for 4 nights. Pay now to avail 20% discount.”
Early Bird Discount:
This is for somebody trying to book a room in advance – say before 90 days. Our Hotel PMS can help you convert him, too. Set up a particular discount and let them know that they can get it if they make confirmed bookings in advance. It would help if you sounded something like this while conveying this message –
“Looking to book a room in advance to avoid uncertainties? Let us help you with this. Go ahead and confirm your reservation now with a 20% discount”.
These are mainly for your loyal/repeat customers. Draft your message like this –
“Use the promo code “Welcome Back” while booking to get a 20% discount. We are eagerly waiting to have you at our property.”
Such discounts are for people who embark on travel without any plan or even for those who are on immediate business trips. This way, you give them a discount on an unoccupied room, which adds nothing to your revenue. This is a great way to sell your unsold rooms while helping last-minute travelers find accommodation at a discounted price. Spread this message like this –
“Need a room for a night? We have it for you. Book NOW to get it at a 30% discount.”
You can promote such content on your hotel website, booking engine, and social media platforms. Remember this; there is no sure-shot way to get it right. You need to be persistent in your effort till you witness the desired result. Create, post, wait, and measure. Then change your content marketing strategy if needed. Seek guidance from marketing experts if you seriously want to leverage the power of content marketing for your hotel chain.