Covid-19 is the biggest challenge that the hospitality industry has faced globally till date. It is having a dramatic effect on every aspect of our lives, presenting a once-in-a-generation test of business continuity and planning. The hospitality industry in India contributes to approximately 10 percent of the GDP. Prior to the global pandemic, tourism & hospitality in India were one of the key drivers in the services sector in the Indian economy.
Now the hospitality industry is assessing the situation and reinventing itself to effectively revive the sector post lockdown. However, to remain resilient, digital marketing can help the industry wade through this crisis. The slowdown has given an opportunity to look within an organization, evaluate current ways of working, customer service, inventory and products, and most importantly digital marketing efforts to re-invent the business for when the demand comes back.
How Digital Marketing Can Be A Boon For Your Hospitality Business?
For the hospitality sector in India, it is no longer going to be business-as-usual and it will need to redefine, refocus and change the game plan going forward.
- Optimizing Website
Your website is an image of the services you provide and its quality. Detailing how hygiene is being maintained in your hotel/ restaurant etc. will help pull customers. The website should specifically mention the various health safety measures that you’re taking for the safety of your guests, how well the support staff is trained to maintain hygiene in the premises. Optimizing your website with targeted keywords for SEO, images, video, content describing quality services, etc will surely fetch enquiries. A good website can land you in top searches, in turn, improving website traffic.
Since most people are working from home and there is minimal physical interaction, it is a great idea to look for Social Media Marketing mediums to promote your business. These days most of the people spend their time on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc. You may develop content to suit your target audience. Facebook ads and Google ads are a great means for promotion. What you must ensure is since health and safety are a primary concern in these times; your ads/content must address it.
Share new deals and offers through email marketing & update your customers about your services to harness the full potential. Make sure the content sent to them also informs them about how you are a Covid-compliant business. Since we are still living in Covid times, an assurance of Covid precautions being taken are a must to be mentioned.
- Know Your Customer
This can be a good time to know your customer better. One can promote yearly offers & other packages. It helps you to earn repetitive business especially for hospitality domains such as resorts & spa, etc even post Covid.
- Make your messaging related to Covid-19 clear, concise, and consistent.
Your digital presence (website, and social media) must have clear, reassuring information for any potential guests. Clearly and concisely convey everything you’re doing to maintain the health and safety of your guests and staff. Outline all the precautionary measures your property is taking. Create a consistent strategy and talking points both for your website and for your team when communicating with clients and partners.
- Maintain your PPC investment
Paid advertising, specifically pay-per-click (PPC) ads on search engines, is essential for the hospitality sector. PPC is the best advertising avenue to pursue in the face of an economic slowdown because you’re only paying for clicks that appear in relevant searches. Continuing your PPC campaign lets you hit the ground running when travel picks up.
- You may even create a Covid-19 FAQ page on your website with information on current Covid status and what all measures you have been taking as precautions in your business. In these times most queries from customers will be based around Covid Measures being observed. Along with these activities like addressing customers reviews on social media channels helps in earning credibility.
- Set up an email newsletter and ask guests to subscribe on your website, so you can share current information and market future promotions
- If you are helping respond to the crisis in your area, promote your commitment to social responsibility on your vanity website and social media.
Since physical movement is restricted, digital marketing is the only way to make your business visible to the customers. And after social distancing and quarantines, the hospitality industry will rebound, it always does. Gear up for brighter days!