Commonly Asked Questions about Marketing in the Age of COVID-19
- Posted by Kate Hinson
- On March 27, 2020
COVID-19 has left hospitality professionals around the world with more questions than answers, especially when it comes to marketing. Here at Screen Pilot, we speak daily with hotels and resorts around the world about how to not only weather the storm, but also how to come out of this crisis stronger than they were before.
We’ve compiled our most commonly received questions below along with our responses to them.
Are we missing anything? Let us know!
What type of messaging should we be putting out there right now?
- “4As’ research survey last week looked at the changing consumer attitudes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Of the 1000 respondents surveyed, 43% said it’s “reassuring” to hear from brands they know and trust.”
- Be that calm in the storm for your guests past, present, and future with hopeful messaging that’s relevant to your hotel.
I have to turn media off to save money. Is there anything else I can be doing?
- Yes. Start by posting organic social content and website content so you have information available when your audience comes looking for it. You can also use this time to audit Google Analytics data so you’re prepared when things ramp back up.
How long will it take to turn media back on once we see an uptick in search volume?
- Turning media back on will be a quick process, but what will take time is deciding on messaging, offers/packages etc. to ensure we’ve got the right communication in place given the climate. Keep in mind that if you’re turning media back on at the moment search volume increases, that will likely be the moment CPCs also increase. Consider getting ahead of the curve.
My hotel is closing temporarily. What should I do? Where should I put that messaging?
- Put messaging on your website so it’s clear what, if anything, is still open. Give guests an estimated timeline of reopening, and what, if anything, they can still purchase right now. Add communication to GMB listings as well, and across organic social channels and email. You can also consider shifting your marketing strategy to lengthen your booking window so guests are encouraged to book once you re-open.
What tools can we use to monitor search behavior?
- Auction insights
- Google Trends
- Google Analytics/Adobe Analytics
- Google Data Studio
- Google Search Console
What KPIs should we be looking at to guide us during this time in order to best evaluate user behavior as it changes?
- Impressions to gauge search volume
- Website activity, such as pages per session, which pages users view the most or spend the most time on, what actions users are taking on the site.
- Booking engine activity. Which dates are users considering?
What are other properties doing?
- Here’s a round-up of our favorite COVID-19-related messaging from the hospitality space.
What is the strategy you recommend once there is an uptick in search demand?
- Add top of funnel strategies. Consider how you can reach new users in new places to rebuild any momentum you lost while search volume was down.
- Spend strategically. Slowly ramp up to your full budgets as you gauge the ads marketplace for what spend levels you need to reach your prospective guests.
- Target drive market. Consumers may not be ready to fly just yet, but they’ll be ready to get out of the house. Don’t overlook prospective guests in your own community.
- Build value-added packages/services for guests who do book. Include things they can do on property that would allow them to still practice social distancing.
How can we help people feel comfortable visiting an urban property?
- Partner up with local restaurants so guests can order food to be delivered to the hotel
- Create content on a self-guided tour of the city that does not require human interaction.
- Include some stops along the way that are safe to rest or use the bathroom to wash their hands.
- Develop clear materials surrounding what protocols are in place to protect guest health and safety.
- Are your restaurant tables further apart? Do you have hand sanitizer stations?
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