2020 hasn’t been an easy year. The hotel and travel industries in particular have fallen on difficult times. As a hotel or guest house, how do you market yourself during economic uncertainty? We’ve got some smart ideas to help.
Be easy to find
The market has been against organic search results for a while, and the hotel industry is cutthroat. On the positive side, this means smart use of advertising vehicles like Google Ads can help a smaller business boost its profile. Don’t limit yourself to one platform or idea, however. Customers want to find trustworthy holiday partners in a climate like this. Make sure you appear when they’re looking. While you’re at it, make sure to smarten up your website SEO.
Be easy to book with
Many small hotel businesses make the critical mistake of not being smart about bookings. In a recession economy, customers know their hard-earned bucks matter to you, and they want to be treated well. If they’ve decided to commit to you, make it easy for them. A hotel booking engine can be surprisingly cheap to run, and will soon pay you back. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to take it a step further and consider an always-on marketing strategy for the business.
Remarketing is the process of selling appealing, personalized content to customers who’ve already seen your ads. For some reason, they didn’t get pulled into the sales funnel the first time, but you know they’re looking for services just like yours. You never know what tiny tweak could lock them in, and they’re a more likely market to farm than strangers. With Facebook offering fantastic remarketing tools, you need to get on this. If you’re not sure what you’re doing, don’t be afraid to use a digital marketing agency to help.
Manage your audience
It’s critical that you’re marketing to the right people. Both Facebook and Google Ads have amazing tools for analytics and data harvesting, so there’s no excuse for not knowing your target market. Make sure you’ve refined your campaigns to appeal to the people who engage most with packages like yours; it’s far easier and cheaper to sell to interested parties.
Build local relationships
A smart hotel works the tourism scene around them. Even for those who aren’t hard hit by a shrinking economy, a ‘recession mindset’ of scarcity and hardship comes into play. People want to spend with trustworthy companies they can feel confident about. By building smart relationships with complimentary operators in your market, you can capitalize on being seen as the go-to experts and trusted partners. Consider the people working around you, including activity vendors or travel agents. In turn, you help support your local community and are likely to gather organic good will that’s invaluable when their customers want a recommendation.
Use your customers wisely
Lastly, but certainly not least, encourage reviews. You want to appear as stable, solid, and trustworthy in an uncertain economy. Word of mouth is still a powerful advertising tool, and one you can easily leverage to position yourself well in the market.
Smart, cheap marketing in a recession isn’t impossible, especially in the hotel industry. In fact, it’s the ideal time for creative marketing ideas. Simply make sure you are investing in a solid strategy backed by your analytics, instead of wasting a tight marketing budget without a plan in place, and you’ve positioned your business to thrive.