By Hâfi Martinsdóttir
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes | 1136 words
During times like these we are often overwhelmed by just how much we can’t do, and we’re here to remind you of all the things you can do for your luxury hotel or guesthouse simply by utilising the tools you already have at your disposal.
Our websites are one of our brand’s most powerful tools, if only we know how to use it. Below you’ll find a list of suggestions that you can take action on right away to not only help you feel more proactive, thus lifting your mood, but also continuing to position you as a desirable location for when the travel bans begin to lift and guests start booking once more.
If you haven’t been blogging regularly before, now is the time to focus on writing, or outsourcing the writing, to show your audience that you are taking control, that you haven’t simply gone quiet. At times like this we need leaders, as luxury hoteliers and guesthouse owners, you provide people with an escape from their reality. Your guest experiences, the images you share on social media, the style of your brand, everything is showcasing an ideal way of life that many of your guests strive for. During times like these, when people are searching for uplifting inspiration, you can choose to be that leader.
As you are essentially representing and selling a particular lifestyle to your guests and audience, so why not share articles on your lifestyle directly on your website? Your social media and website can provide a soothing escape from our current problems. You might consider writing how-to articles covering instructions on how to style a beautiful tablescape, create a picnic or restyle a particular room. If your guesthouse is known for having a beautiful garden, perhaps you can create a tutorial on how to recreate your style in your audience’s own gardens.
The majority of people are at home, staring at their screens, lamenting their sudden loss of freedom and craving comforts. An article written by your resort’s interior designer helping readers redecorate their bedrooms or living space in a similar style to your rooms, or an article by your head chef or bartender sharing tips on how to make the best cocktail, breakfast pancakes or how to bake your own fresh bread.
People are looking for creative stimulus. Not only will they remember you each time they then make that particular cocktail or dish, but they will be sure to tell others about how they came across the recipe thus spreading your brand awareness even further, especially if you name the cocktail or dish after your hotel’s name.
Perhaps you have a few different playlists to create the perfect atmosphere at your guesthouse, this could be shared via your website to help people relax in their own homes and gain a deeper understanding into your brand’s vibe.
By keeping the idea of your lifestyle alive, providing quiet relief for many people stranded at home while also ensuring your destination is kept top of mind throughout this crisis, makes it much more likely that when people begin booking again, your hotel is the first place that comes to mind.
Data analysis has shown that people’s intent to travel has not decreased, simply their confidence in booking. People are actively looking at travelling, looking at your location and saving these ideas for when the possibility of travel opens up again.
The worst thing to do right now is to go quiet and simply cease to post. These are confusing times indeed, but by proving your consistency you earn the trust of your potential guests and their desire to experience your way of life when they are again able to do so.
Video is a powerful way to share your brand message with the world. Utilise Instagram stories to share your take on this current crisis, what you are doing to protect and help your community and how you are choosing to navigate these stressful times as the owner or manager of your guesthouse or resort. Showcasing you and your team’s humanity and the story behind your hotel would provide some much needed human connection right now.
Perhaps you could share a yoga routine or meditation practice that you have been enjoying that has helped curb some anxiety. People will be looking to you for guidance as a role model. Your guesthouse, lodge or small, independent resort acts as a guiding light in the darkness and you can help them achieve and maintain this desired, luxury lifestyle from afar when everything else seems to be crumbling around us.
You can also utilise YouTube to create a series of videos of how-tos, advice, behind the scenes of your lodge and sharing your thoughts on this global situation along with a message of comfort. These videos can then be viewed directly from your website.
If you have read our previous post, How Should Hotels Manage Room Rates After the Coronavirus Crisis, which I highly encourage you to do so, you will have seen just how important it is to reward guest loyalty. On your website you could have a section for people to enter their email address in order to receive a specific offer for your hotel. For example, this could be the promise of additional amenities, a room upgrade or a complimentary spa treatment when they book for their second visit within one year. Encourage website visitors to sign up, support you and invite them to become a part of your tribe.
Most businesses are beginning to understand the importance of having their business operate online, especially during times like these. By adding an online store to your website, you could allow people to purchase from you which would bring in some much needed revenue at this time. In particular if you have branded products such as luxury toiletries, bath robes or beach towels.
Anything that can give people a taste of the luxurious lifestyle that your guest experience provides which will further encourage them to book with you when travel begins to open up once more.
This is also a great way to keep you always at the forefront of your audience’s minds. When former guests use these items in their own homes, such as lighting a branded scented candle or using a branded beach towel or bathrobe, they will fondly remember their happy memories from their stay with you.
These are just a few ideas on how you can continue to market your business intelligently during these difficult times. If you would like some more ideas, here are some of our recent articles that may help you:
Unsure of your next step? Get clear on your hotel’s recovery strategy
As COVID-19 is unlikely to disappear completely without an effective vaccine, it’s expected that we will have a W shaped recovery with lock downs repeatedly being enforced, relaxed and enforced again over time. Being prepared for this tumultuous recovery will stand you and your hotel in good stead to ride the waves to come.
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About Magpie Creative Co.
Magpie Creative Co. is a digital marketing and design consultancy with a worldwide client base. We provide branding, web design and online marketing for businesses that offer luxury guest experiences and require an efficient online booking system.
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