How the hospitality sector can effectively market their business during Covid-19
Before I get into the nitty-gritty details of how the hospitality sector can effectively market their business during Covid-19 I just wanted to introduce myself. I began working for Sprint Digital back in November 2020, so just 4 months now. As we are in Covid times, I have been working from home and have only been able to meet my team virtually. Even though that is the case, they have made me feel right at home and part of the family. They really are a great team to work with. I have always worked in marketing and I absolutely love it. I am really interested in the social media side, as the audience you can reach is endless. This in turn hands you so many opportunities of what you can do. Now that you know a bit about me let’s get down to business.
For many Covid-19 has had a huge impact on their business. In order to deal with this uncertainty and the huge effect this pandemic has had on revenue, it is important to revisit your marketing plan and focus on what you can control. Below are some top tips to help you take the right actions when planning the best strategy for the months ahead.
The business plan you set yourself will certainly need to be revisited. With events being cancelled, restrictions being put in place, business closures etc, this will definitely put a dampener on the ideas and plans you had for the year ahead and will need to be adapted accordingly. One thing you can control in these uncertain times is the content you post online through your own website or social media. As more people are spending time at home it is important to deliver relatable, helpful and uplifting content to your audience.
Content you found to be successful in the past may not be so successful now as peoples buying habits and behaviours have changed. Our usage of online platforms has even changed so it is important to acknowledge this and change how you post. When coming up with your strategy put yourself in your customers shoes. If you were them what would you like to see or what could be helpful to you right now? A focus on fitness, wellbeing, healthy recipes etc would be a great place to start when looking for what type of content to post on your social media channels. You can see our previous blog on Marketing during Covid here which you can use along with these tips for guidance on your social media strategy.
Depending on your business and what services you offer such as weddings, catering or guest stays you can adapt your content. Due to Covid-19 many events and large gatherings have been postponed or even cancelled. If you had planned an event it may not have to be cancelled but adapted online. With the technology we have at our fingertips today it makes it so simple to create an event that is enjoyable, interactive and nearly as good at the real thing.
Improve your online presence
Now more than ever it is important to be active online. The web has always been an important tool in your marketing strategy but with so many physical location closures – it is the shop front to your business. People are spending more time online during restrictions, so you need to take advantage of this. Having a strong online presence will help you build your brand and reach more potential customers while keeping your current customers up to date on the happenings in your business. Before you begin your online strategy, it is important to do some keyword research to see what your customers are actually searching for and what information they want to see in order to create a successful campaign. Could your potential customers be searching for a small wedding venue due to a change of plans?
Many of us search the web using our mobile phones so it is important you ensure your website is mobile optimised and not slow on mobile. As mentioned before it is important the content you are delivering is valuable and also to make an effort to interact and engage with your customers which will lead to creating trusted relationships. When planning your campaigns it is important to look at a number of factors and explore what options you have, you can find out some more ideas from our previous blog here.
In a time with so much uncertainty it is important to reassure your customers, highlight the procedures you have put in place to make their stay, event or visit with you as safe as possible and that you are still there to provide accommodation and services to those who need it during this pandemic. Communicate this message through your website, online videos, blogs, emails and ads.
Provide a solution
Covid-19 has raised many challenges for those in the hospitality sector but also brought a window of new business. Unlike many businesses that had to close during this pandemic a new opportunity arose for the hospitality sector. Covid-19 has brought with it a guest that we did not have before, guests that need to self-isolate.
The hospitality sector needs to take advantage of this and create isolation packages promoting the benefits of self-isolating in your hotel/serviced apartments. It is important to identify who the essential travellers are, who is in need of your service and create campaigns to market specifically to these people. You could even create preferential rates for key workers for example to entice your service even more.
It is hard to determine how long we will be in this situation and how long restrictions that affect the hospitality industry will be in place but it is important to know this too shall pass and all we can do at the moment is concentrating on the here and now. At the moment you may have more time on your hands than usual so it important to use this to your advantage and grow your business, that way you will come out of this pandemic stronger and more prepared for the unknown.
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