Amid the devastation that COVID-19 has brought upon the world, the hospitality industry is trying its hardest to remain upbeat and pull through to the other side. Still, this is easier said than done. Hospitality businesses thrive on bringing people together which to experts, is the antithesis of how to manage the spread of the virus and flatten the curve.
But this is our livelihood. Hospitality owners can’t sit idly by and watch their dreams go up in flames. They must do everything they can to power through this time and set themselves up for success in a post-pandemic world.
Here are 5 tips that will help you do just that:
This may seem like a simple tip. But it is absolutely vital if you wish to not let your business become a victim of the pandemic era. Instead of focusing on the loss of business over the past few months, think about how your hard work will pay off in the near future. Companies need to continue to focus on how to improve their business NOW because quite frankly, most customers don’t care about the hardship that your business is going through. They are using your restaurant, hotel, or casino as an escape from the new norm. They want to forget about the problems in this world right now and enjoy a nice night out.
This means that you need to provide them a great experience and keep them coming back from more, just like you would pre-virus. Obviously, every business is in a different financial situation. But improvement doesn’t have to cost you a boat load. Simple things such as enhancing the customer experience or getting your customers involved (i.e. a game night) can cost little to money and make all the difference.
Nowadays, people are relying too heavily on online travel agencies (OTA’s) to spread awareness of their business. While having a good online reputation is great for your hospitality company, OTA’s now have the majority of the control in the online marketplace. Think of all that data your establishment is missing out on. Digitization is so important.
A great starting point would be to invest in your own website. A good way to do this is to optimize your web content for SEO. Being the first name to pop up on search engines like Google is going to bring you a ton of business. It will also increase direct bookings which we all agree are much better than someone booking via a third-party site because it leads to more repeat customers and enhances your digital marketing campaigns.
Social media is huge in the modern era. Each post on IG, Pinterest, and Facebook is going to add to your digital footprint. Visuals sell infinite times more than a written post.
CREATE A TOP NOTCH DIGITAL MARKETING STRATEGY
As we touched on briefly above, increasing your online presence should be at the top of every hospitality organization’s marketing strategy. Outbound marketing may seem like a waste of time. Ranking in SEO is no easy task. But your customer base, particularly if you operate a hotel, has shrunk significantly. Because most people are not even considering travel at the moment, your hotel needs to attract locals, and digital marketing is the way to do that.
It is imperative for your business to find the right message for your audience. You must know the pain points that your client base is going through right now. What can you do to make their lives easier amidst the pandemic?
CONNECT WITH OTHER LOCAL BUSINESSES
Remember, you’re not the only business in your city or town that is being impacted by COVID-19. Have you ever thought about a joint marketing campaign? Maybe there’s some overlap between your business and say, a local restaurant. And combining forces may be a possible solution to benefit both parties.
Numerous hospitality businesses are forging partnerships for this exact reason. What’s good for the community is good for your business. Furthermore, it exposes your company to a new audience, an audience that is a local. And during this time, you should be catering your marketing campaigns towards your local community. If you run a hotel, this will benefit you in the long haul once travel opens up again because not only will you have your usual international customers, but also a homegrown fanbase that can spread the word for you.
INNOVATE, INNOVATE, INNOVATE
There’s a reason that innovation is one of our core values here at Booking Ninjas. Everyone is always looking for new, better ways to do a business. You’re already starting to see it and restaurants. Contactless menus and online ordering are now becoming a necessity. And businesses that already had this technology implemented prior to the pandemic are reaping the benefits.
That’s why we always stressed to our potential clients that the best time to innovate is right now. Because who knows what the future holds, and you’re gonna want the most up-to-date technology to stay ahead of trends rather than trying to follow in the footsteps of your competition. The best way to get ahead is to focus on innovation.
For hotels, digital keys are all the rage nowadays. Not only is this more convenient for your guests, but it helps prevent the spread of coronavirus which could once again shut down your business. A marketing campaign centered around contactless technology will bring more business to your hotel.
Perhaps you could use your rooms for different services, such as someone using your hotel as an office for the day. The key is to get creative and think outside the box. Pay attention to what other businesses in your industry are doing and always put the guest at the center of your plans.
The Booking Ninjas PMS system can provide anything your hospitality business needs to not only survive the pandemic era, but conquer it. And that’s not an empty promise. Check out a list of our features and schedule a call to see it in action.