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Marketing Your Hospitality Brand Now – 10 Things You Need to Know

Marketing Your Hospitality Brand Now – 10 Things You Need to Know

Hospitality marketing during a time of pandemic can be a difficult thing to get right. Not only do you need to consider your operational practicalities and budgetary constraints, but you also need to establish what content is important – and what may be inappropriate for the circumstances. It’s a logistical minefield, as well as an emotional one as you attempt to navigate through to the right destination.

We have prepared our top ten tips for marketing during a crisis, to help your brand stay ahead:

Be Sensitive to Others

Every business needs to do what it can to ensure its survival during times of pandemic, but it’s imperative that what you do isn’t seen as capitalising on a crisis. Lives have been lost during the pandemic, so sensitivity is key.

Don’t do anything to make light of the virus or the situation. It’s okay to feel relief and excitement about the possibility of it ending but be sure to temper this with sensitivity and tact.

Find Ways to Contribute

Don’t focus on conversion at this time but replace it with contribution. The public, including your customers, will remember which businesses helped their communities and gave back once this is all over.

Be in the list of businesses who prioritised helping their fellow man over profit. The rewards will come.

Don’t Cut Your Budgets – Refocus Them

It’s true that certain portions of your hotel or restaurant marketing budget may be going to waste during this crisis. However other areas will require more investment.

Audit your expenditure and see what changes you can make. Your social media and SEO strategies are what need to be prioritised, as they keep you connected to, and in the thoughts of, your customers.

Share the Positive Steps You’re Taking

If your restaurant or hotel is making changes in the wake of COVID-19, such as introducing new cleanliness and hygiene initiatives, then be sure to communicate this across your channels. It will give customers the confidence to return when the time comes, knowing you did more than your competitors to keep them safe.

Update Your Online Listings

This means on Google, Bing, social media or anywhere else where your business might be listed.

This is especially important if you’re operating in a reduced or alternative format.

For example: If your restaurant is closed to sit-down diner’s but are still functioning as a takeaway service, this must be communicated clearly so customers will be able to adjust their expectations.

Prepare to Meet Customer Demands

Eventually, life will return to a semblance of normality. At some point, the public will feel confident enough to go back out to restaurants and hotels, comfortable in the knowledge that it’s safe again. When they do be prepared for a surge in demand.

Be ready when this happens and make sure your hospitality marketing is geared towards this. Think about how you will appeal to people – what is going to make them want to visit your establishment? Monitoring the news and consumer trends will help you determine which angle you should take.

Engage with and Reassure Customers

Some customers will have questions for you during this time. They may have previously made a booking or a reservation and if you’ve offered postponement rather than cancellations, they will want to know where they stand.

Do what you can for every customer when it comes to your Customer Service. Make sure the advice you give is in-line with official advice and conveyed in your brand voice.

Actively engage and respond to customer comments, show that you’re active and ready to help so that customers will remember you when it comes to making their purchasing decisions.

Take Advantage of Any Down Time

Have you been meaning to work on your website, or study your analytical data in more depth? Once you’ve audited and reorganised your marketing budget, you can now do the same with your time. Take steps to improve your marketing, this can include updating your artwork or website copy, refreshing your brand, or running new social media campaigns.

Don’t Overcompensate with Offers

When the time comes to attract customers again it may be tempting to slash your prices or put on special offers that sell your business short.

This does not represent the best marketing practices and is only a short-term fix that won’t benefit you in the long term.

Customers will return when they feel safe. Offering big discounts won’t attract them, all it will do is damage your bottom line.

Keep Marketing!

We can’t stress this enough – your hospitality marketing needs to continue throughout the duration of this crisis. Customers will return, but every hotel and restaurant needs to make sure they stay relevant and visible.

We know it’s a difficult balance to get right, but Virtual Solutions can help. We are offering a temporary marketing support service throughout this pandemic. If you’re in need of expert help or another pair of hands, our bespoke hospitality marketing strategies may be the remedy you need.

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