While many of us were stuck at home during the Covid 19 pandemic dreaming of the day when we will finally be able to travel freely again, the hotel and vacation industry was suffering losses estimated at $84 billion in the US alone.
Planes were grounded, hotel bookings were canceled, and hospitality staff was let go as it became apparent that lockdowns weren’t going away any time soon. As Airbnb rentals bookings dropped to 72% at the height of the pandemic, Airbnb decided to increase rates to cover the decrease in revenue.
As the hotel and hospitality industry is on the cusp of making a comeback, hospitality marketing companies and hotel marketing services have begun revamping their hospitality digital marketing strategy for 2021 and beyond.
Strategizing a Hospitality Digital Marketing Solution
Next to restaurants, hotels and rentals are the most scrutinized places people visit. Hotel and vacation rental owners know they could face total ruin if one visitor contacts covid on their premises. Even before the pandemic, hotel owners lived in dreaded fear of the infamous white glove test, knowing their visitors expect a room cleaner than their entire houses.
In recent times, some visitors have even taken to carrying blacklights to see germs that would normally be hidden to the naked eye which caused hotel management to roll out UV inspections in 2012 to ensure only the cleanest room for their guests.
With all their focus on cleanliness, making the transition to the Covid 19 protocols wasn’t that much of a stretch for most five-star hotel chains. However, more people are obsessed with cleanliness than ever before and now bookings will likely be based more on a rental or hotel room’s cleanliness than comfort. With more of their guests focused on cleanliness, a hotel marketing agency now has to direct their hospitality digital marketing efforts to clean marketing campaigns.
These hospitality digital marketing campaigns should be highly focused on building trust in returning guests and potential new visitors by ensuring them a clean, contact-less experience. By digitizing check-in and check-out, reducing staff contact and changing the way guests socially interact, hotels and vacation rentals have reduced the chances of infections by almost 98%. Now, hospitality digital marketing campaigns need to reflect the impact of these new changes and show customers that they can still have a great vacation without the risk of infection.
By using digital marketing tools like social media marketing, mobile apps, email marketing and digital advertising, hotel marketing agencies and vacation rental owners can get past and future guests involved in their digital marketing campaigns. Encouraging guests to share their new clean experience on social media platforms, through reviews and by word of mouth. Hospitality marketing services, hotel and vacation rental owners can increase the impact of their hospitality digital marketing campaign while reducing digital advertising costs.
Focusing on Improving Hospitality Digital Marketing
Though hotels, vacation rentals and hospitality marketing companies know that the age-old industry will eventually rebound as evident by the rise in bookings this year, hospitality marketing services still need hospitality marketing solutions to keep rooms full and guests safe and happy.
By continuing the thrust they began over a decade ago, and taking most of their marketing efforts online, it seems hotel and vacation rental owners knew the future of hospitality marketing. Already, there are hotels and rentals who have set up their websites, are present on social media and have mobile apps allowing potential guests to get a taste of the visitor experience before they book.
At present, things may be looking up for the hospitality industry, but that doesn’t mean hotel and vacation rental owners or hospitality marketing companies can take a break any time soon. Yes, people are booking again and as more people are vaccinated and travel returns to some semblance of normal, there will be more people looking to escape the lockdown life. This means hotel marketing services must now strengthen their hospitality digital marketing efforts and make their presence even more visible and accessible than before.
To get on the right track, post-Covid 19, with their hospitality digital marketing, hotel and vacation rental owners can start focusing on these hospitality marketing solutions: –
- Email Marketing
Let your loyal customers and potential visitors know you are back in business. Launch your new contact-less experience or notify them of new Covid 19 restrictions. When email marketing for tourism, regaining customer loyalty and building trust should be at the heart of each hospitality email marketing campaign. Hospitality email marketing, hotel email marketing, and email marketing for tourism should reward customer loyalty, renew business partnerships and provide assurances of customer safety and continued comfort. To maximize these efforts, hospitality marketing services should try to make use of all the existing data on the hospitality industry and partner with FrescoData to be your hospitality marketing solution and craft a hotel email marketing campaign that boosts new bookings as well as return visitors.
- Omnichannel Marketing
Having an SEO-optimized website is a great start, but have you considered getting your own app? A lot of major hotel chains already have one and it makes customer engagement and advertising easier. Mobile ad spend is projected to cross over 127 billion dollars in 2021 and the hospitality industry has already reaped the benefits of this by allowing easier last-minute bookings and check-ins. Making your mobile app a part of your omnichannel marketing strategy, together with your website and FrescoData to create landing pages, programmatic ads and loyalty programs that will boost your hotel and vacation rentals bookings is a smart hospitality marketing solution.
- Understand People’s Priorities Have Changed
Besides your guests’ new obsession with cleanliness, they’ll probably need stronger wifi because many of your guests now live the digital lifestyle and spend more of their time online. Not only that, Covid has brought fear to social interaction to many of us and though they may have come to a getaway that doesn’t mean they are willing to run around town for everything they need. Having access to simple things like laundry service, healthy meal options with diet considerations and safe entertainment can go a long way to preventing negative contact or customer experience. For vacation rentals, it may be easier to create partnerships with businesses that can provide these additional services and through your hospitality digital marketing strategy, you should ensure your guest is made aware of their availability.
- Empower Your Guest
The digital age has provided people with more visible choices and digital marketing is all about empowering people to make those choices. Your hospitality digital marketing efforts should be doing the same. The provision of social media shareability, mobile app bookings, digital check-in and out, online reviews and email cancellations give your guests control of their hotel stay and vacation rental. You can empower your own hotel marketing services by using FrescoData who specializes in mobile onboarding with geofencing and can help with your mobile marketing strategy.
- Reward Customer Loyalty
Never forget those who booked before. Allow for priority bookings, special deals, and special member’s benefits for being a loyal patron of your hotel service or vacation rental. This can be done through mobile and hotel email marketing campaigns targeted specifically to these customers. Using FrescoData’s email marketing service for your hospitality marketing solutions, you can get a highly targeted list for the hospitality industry as well as mobile insights to help you craft mobile and email hospitality marketing campaigns that can boost your bookings and retarget your loyal customers.
Beyond 2021 Hospitality Marketing Solutions
People love to travel, people have to work and people need vacations so they’ll need places to stay. The hotel and rental industry isn’t going anywhere, but hotel marketing agencies just need to show that hotels and vacation rentals are a vital part of the economy through the jobs they provide and the businesses they support.
As hotels and vacation rentals reward loyal patrons, the focus should be made on business and medical travelers as they kept the industry, especially home rentals, going during the pandemic. Hotel marketing services and agencies should also pay attention to their supply chain. Thank your suppliers and service companies for bearing with you through this tough period, and work with them to reduce contact along the supply and distribution chain as well as paying attention to the cleanliness of their suppliers.
Going forward in 2021 and beyond, there are a few more hospitality digital marketing solutions that hospitality marketing companies should pay attention to to ensure continued trust, strong reputation and repeat business.
- Reputation Risking Guests
There are a lot of different opinions about vaccinations and some loyal vaccinated guests may have concerns with how you handle your unvaccinated guest. You may not want to alienate anyone, so a good rule of thumb is to have one policy or rule for both the vaccinated and unvaccinated and make sure neither is put at risk of the other. Hotel and vacation rental owners must remember that though they have the choice as to who they accept as guests, customers also have the choice of where they spend their money. The hospitality industry can run the risk of empty beds and losing revenue from both sides if they choose aside.
- Price Differentiation as Part of Your Marketing Strategy
People have lost a lot during the pandemic and some are now living on reduced incomes. Using price differentiation in your hospitality marketing strategy can help you get bookings that would’ve normally slipped away from you. By creating hotel email marketing campaigns or mobile marketing campaigns with reduced price packages for repeat bookings, meals, or references, you can get new blood into your hotel.
- Group Bookings
This may be a bit of a challenge for hospitality marketing companies as group bookings are what you live for. When email marketing for tourism, hotel and vacation rental owners are used to creating special packages for large groups. Group bookings are great and they fill up rooms fast, but post-Covid, you might need to take extra care before you book that birthday party weekend crew. Each person arriving in that group is a contact risk.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), large groups increase the risk of contact and given that even the vaccinated are apparently spreading Covid 19 according to recent reports from the Carnival Cruise ship, it may be wiser to minimize the size of the group parties until further notice or vaccination updates. This means when crafting your next hotel email marketing campaign, hotel marketing services must seek a different hospitality marketing solution when handling groups. Perhaps providing rewards for groups who obey Covid 19 guidelines or create a hospitality digital marketing campaign surrounding the new group booking policies.
- Try New Features
It’s time to do something different. Now is a great time to make your hotel or vacation rental stand out. Update your policy, allow pets, provide new unique features like a house spa that specializes in natural hair care. Do something to make your business stand out from the competition then create a hospitality digital marketing strategy to match your new feature.
- Faster Adaptability for Hotels and Vacation Rentals
If one thing the sudden onset of this pandemic taught us is that we need to be more proactive with the onset of extenuating circumstances. This is a learning opportunity for hotel and vacation rental owners, hotel marketing services, hospitality marketing companies and staff to learn to be more prepared. It’s one thing to handle a few sudden cancellations, but quite another to deal with the entire hotel shutting down suddenly for months. Hospitality marketing services should have press releases both in hard copy and digitized to be released on all platforms to warn patrons of sudden changes and advise them what steps to take during these extenuating circumstances. To ensure patrons are kept up to date, the focus should be made on keeping mobile applications updated and encouraging their use as a way to stay in contact with the hotel, before, during and after their stay.
There is a lot more that can be done at the ground level to ensure the sustainability of your hotel chain and vacation rental. Your hospitality digital marketing team can help keep your business relevant and up to date with the right data and keep your guests happy with relevant messaging through mobile marketing and partnering with FrescoData to get verified targeted emails for new leads and retarget cancellations using industry-backed data in your hotel email marketing campaign.
Using a trusted company like FrescoData, for your hospitality marketing solution, to help with your hospitality digital marketing strategy to maintain and build trust in your hotel and vacation rental is the wisest move you can make post-Covid. Your hotel and vacation rental can save time on industry research, targeted list building, secure onboarding and your entire hospitality digital marketing strategy by using FrescoData. Let’s strategize today!