March 23, 2020 · Phil Foriska
How To Adjust Your Advertising Strategy Right Now
Through trying and difficult times, TravelBoom is here to help. Advertising has become a quagmire and we want to provide actionable to-dos that can be implemented immediately to ensure your current advertising efforts are setting you up for success.
Here are a few things you can do right now to protect your bottom line while still reaching potential guests at the right time.
Update Your Negative Keyword Lists Immediately
If you plan on maintaining your current PPC efforts, be sure you’re not spending your advertising dollars on unqualified searches. The most effective change you can make immediately is to update your negative keyword lists. Adding keywords like ‘cancellation’, ‘cancel’, ‘covid’, ‘coronavirus’, & ‘corona’ can eliminate people who are looking to cancel or just looking for any information on the virus in your area or at your property, specifically. *Be sure to add these negatives as phrase match to cover any unexpected queries.
Be Mindful of All Messaging and Audit Scheduled Posts
Your brand’s messaging during this critical time can make or break your advertising efforts. You could be opening the door to disaster if your team isn’t reviewing and rewriting email copy, ad copy and social media posts. Ensure that your team is crafting empathetic, helpful messages to potential guests for a lasting impact.
Sending the wrong message could be conveyed as self-serving or insensitive, and potentially turn people off. Some industry players have communicated messages that resulted in a public relations nightmare, which will leave a permanent mark. *Remember, you could be crossing a line that might not have existed a week prior.
Be Mindful Of The Promotion
While providing value may be what people traditionally want, promoting a sale won’t show your true appreciation for the life blood of your business – the guest.
If you choose to continue marketing to potential guests, ensure you’re promoting a stay in the future and that your messaging reflects that.
Use psychology to promote the fantasy of travel – specifically, a visit to your destination and property. You don’t necessarily want visitors to take action immediately, but you do want to be top of mind when they’re ready.
Alternatively, others have doubled down and are encouraging stay at home messaging. When done correctly, this type of messaging can provide infinite value. You could entice or impress a potential guest by showing that your brand truly cares about guests and their well being.
Market To Drive Markets
Unfortunately, many hotels are being forced to close temporarily. However, when it’s time to reopen the first guests through the door will be those that reside in surrounding drive markets.
Be mindful of your targeting. Ensure that your brand is refining geo-targeting on all platforms so that you are actively reaching your drive market. You should also look at historical data to determine your highest converting demographics within your drive market to maximize ad performance.
During this time, you may only be offering a limited number of rooms. Be sure to offer your best rooms available. Extend this as a free upgrade to guests that may still be booking.
Promote Ways You Can Help Comply With Social Distancing
Social distancing is top-of-mind. If your hotel offers ways for people to maintain social distancing while traveling, be sure to communicate that message via email, social media and ad copy.
A mobile app that offers check-in and serves as a digital room key allowing guests to arrive and enter their room with limited to no interaction with staff can appeal to travelers.
If you have an on-site restaurant providing take-out, make it known!
Like hotels, many restaurants are experiencing a financial strain right now. If your on-site restaurant is still offering take-out, that may be your only source of revenue right now. Make sure that your website and local listings are clearly displaying your menu and your online and phone ordering options.
Be Prepared For Recovery
We know that many hotels are experiencing an increase in cancellations right now.
- Create a segment within your email database to reach back out to guests that have canceled during this crisis! Prepare an email campaign for when you’re ready to reopen in an effort to reach those potential customers and get them to book a new stay.
- Revisit all paused ad copy and update where necessary – make sure you’re ready to hit the ground running when the time is right.
Your messaging should include your cleaning procedures. Try using housekeeping in your imagery. You will need to ensure your guests understand that they will be entering a safe and clean environment.
Here are a few additional resources on how hotels can manage this crisis:
Master List Of Resources – https://www.travelboommarketing.com/crisis-management-resources-for-hotels-master-list/
Whitepaper – https://www.travelboommarketing.com/navigating-troubled-times/
Podcasts – https://www.travelboommarketing.com/hotel-marketing-podcast/