Throughout the pandemic, hospitality marketing strategies have had to change dramatically.
Consumer behavior, lockdowns and travel restrictions have wreaked havoc on hospitality marketing messaging.
Now that the industry is back on its feet, with more and more people yearning to travel, it’s time to get creative with your hospitality brand content.
Check out some of the fun and engaging content marketing trends we saw last year and expect to see this year as hospitality opens again:
1. Touchless and digital technology
With COVID still on the horizon and many safety protocols in place, the importance of digitally-assisted interactions (in other words, not touching the same screens as hundreds of other people) has increased.
According to PWC, 81% Many travelers were already looking for more digital service options from their hotel brands in 2019 – and demand has only increased since then.
Of course, touchless technology has been the way to go during a global pandemic, so this is the kind of technology that has really seen the industry boom.
If you’re traveling in the next few months, you may see more and more hotels using technology like touchless faucets, automated doors, and more.
In the future, you might be able to Control different aspects of your guest roomsuch as lights, thermostats, and TV from an app on your phone.
Not only does technology like this help ensure that everyone – staff and guests alike – is safe and comfortable, it also makes their stay more enjoyable!
(Hopefully) the pandemic is over now, but germs will always be there and guests will always be looking for a way to make travel easier and simpler.
It’s never a bad idea to create some of these touchless additions to your facility.
2. Enhanced safety
Speaking of safety, one of the most common trends in hospitality marketing in the wake of COVID is the importance of highlighting and advertising the brand’s pandemic protocol and safety procedures.
Examples could be increased cleaning and sanitation, social distancing, mask policy enforcement, and contactless food and concierge options.
Advertising of this on the brand’s website and also upon arrival shows clear communication and a commitment to guest safety, which improves customer satisfaction.
You can use the attributes and description field in Google Business Profiles to display these efforts in local search results as well.
3. Encouraging residencies
With many individuals still reluctant to go abroad or even domestically, people have turned to traveling domestically or going on a ‘staycation’.
Supporting your local community has also become more important in recent years, which makes residencies even more attractive.
With that being said, brands should market saunas, gyms, spa/massage services, and food delivery.
Midtown Hotel in Chicago Does a great job of getting locals to visit their restaurants, world class fitness center, and in-house And the outdoor swimming pools, and more.
Not to mention that you have the entire city of Chicago at your disposal, so why not skip the plane ticket and go to your city?
4. Highlight flexible cancellations
The world is a very uncertain place right now, and many hotels and flights can cancel at the last minute.
Brands must offer a generous cancellation policy, which allows customers to either rebook or get a refund.
It’s not the guest’s fault that their flight may have been cancelled, and you don’t want to put extra stress on the guest for not being able to get a hotel credit or get a refund.
Some airlines, for example, have generous cancellation policies while others do not.
Those who have generous cancellation policies are likely to have a higher degree of customer satisfaction versus those who are not as lenient.
While it is true that many companies compete on pricing, they also compete on customer experience and reputation.
For many audiences, it doesn’t matter how expensive your brand is if it comes with bad customer service.
Although Southwest Airlines is not considered a “luxury” airline (because it does not offer first or business class seats), it does have one of the Highest customer satisfaction rates in the aviation industry.
This may be partly due to the fact that they also have one of the most flexible cancellation policies around.
Customers will return to the brand when they are happy with the quality, experience and customer service.
5. Work from home…or a hotel
Why work from home day in and day out when you can work from a luxury hotel or resort?
More and more hotels are enticing businessmen who specialize in the trade in slippers and Zoom casual wear they can relax in while working from the hotel lobby or coffee shop.
Hotels can market to these remote workers by offering them free Wi-Fi or a cup of coffee when visiting their facilities.
Some have even designated clean and quiet workplaces ideal for those who cannot go to an office but whose home may not be an ideal working environment.
A change of scenery is always nice, and who doesn’t want to step out of their house from time to time anyway?
Market your hospitality business as a great place to work, or even just to meet friends and catch up!
6. The influencer marketing
The power of social media is incredible. It affects basically every market across the world, and so you need to learn how to use it to the advantage of your business.
Whether you love them or hate them, influencers have taken over social platforms.
Influencer marketing has become a necessity for the hospitality business when it comes to keeping up with competitors.
With influencer marketing, brands can reach a larger audience (the bigger the influencer, the larger the audience) and attract more target consumers.
If you partner with an influencer in your space, this can be considered one of the most valuable marketing tools because that influencer trusts their audience and that trust will translate into your brand.
The #LetHawaiiHappen campaign became a huge success when the Hawaii Tourism Authority partnered with a variety of popular Instagram influencers, encouraging them to post pictures of themselves at some of Hawaii’s most popular (and beautiful) tourist attractions while using the aforementioned hashtag.
7. User Generated Sharestinks
User-generated content is content that is created by the users themselves rather than by company employees.
This includes reviews and testimonials, as well as any time someone comments on a company (an online forum, like Quora, for example).
Potential customers usually value user-generated content because users have no reason to be deceived; They are not paid or compensated for their brand review, so it is safe to say that everything they write will be honest.
These are the types of reviews that are important for brands to highlight on their website.
So, how do you achieve this?
As a business, always encourage previous customers to write reviews and share their experiences on social media.
Create a hashtag (or a few) and ask clients to use it when posting about your business on social media (see example #LetHawaiiHappenfor example).
You can even reach out to the influencers we mentioned in the above paragraph and encourage them to check out your work and leave an honest review!
If you have a solid business, this will only help you in the end.
If you find yourself with a lot of negative reviews, maybe it’s time to take them into account and start making the changes you need to be successful.
8. Buy now, pay later
Similar to the point above about making it easier to cancel and avoid change fees, many still feel uneasy about their financial situation.
Recently, we’ve seen different companies offer a “buy now, pay later” option to help attract customers and make them commit to making a purchase.
This allows the company not to miss any urgent calls or promotions that may be running, and it allows the consumer to feel confident that they got the best deal without having to put any money down.
A good example of this to liftwhich has partnered with a variety of international travel organizations from cruise lines to airlines to vacation packages in an effort to ignite the travel industry by allowing patrons to “make informed purchases now and pay over time…”
Hospitality marketing is hot right now and will only gain more buzz over the next few years as the world starts to open up again.
Using the tips above will help maximize revenue and increase customer retention and satisfaction. Safe Travels and Happy Marketing!
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