Hoteliers say hello to guests in all kinds of ways: A fresh drink in the lobby upon arrival; a warm smile at check-in; the small in-room details that make a big difference. But what happens after goodbye? How can hoteliers stay connected to their guests long after they walk out of the hotel doors? How about now while travel is still on hold? It's time to optimize your travel marketing to keep up with today's current trends, so you can be ready for tomorrow. We've outlined 6 simple ways to do just that.
1. Make your content relevant with the right messaging
Shift your hotel experiences to work virtually. Think of creative ways you can engage with your guests using online events, tutorials, and experiences. Do you normally offer yoga classes? Awesome — host one online. Do you have the coolest team of bartenders with dexterous hands? Give an online lesson on easy to make cocktails your guests can try at home. Give them something to remember you by when it's time to travel again. Your guests live online. Think about where to find them, be empathetic about what they're looking for, and deliver it in a creative way.
2. Tell meaningful stories
Remember that it's not always about the sale. As a leader in the hospitality space, you know what your guests are looking for, and you go above and beyond to provide the most memorable experience possible. Hoteliers are exceptional at doing this in person, and at the property. But with travel slowly coming out of a standstill, engaging your guests can't happen face-to-face just yet. So, use your online platforms to share meaningful stories. Share what you and your team are most excited for in the coming months. Where are you hoping to travel next? What amenities do you look for in an accommodation? What makes your experience memorable?
3. Stay in touch through emails
Emails are a quick and convenient way to push messages out to guests — as long as you’ve already collected all the right details beforehand. Personal information can be a big ask. And once you do manage to land in their inboxes, you’re competing with countless other businesses trying to grab today’s most important form of currency: attention. Don’t forget to contact your most loyal members. Wish them well, and let them know you’re thinking of them. Keeping in touch with your guests gives them a reason to keep your brand top of mind.
4. Engage with your audience with Social Media
Asking your guests for a follow on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn is a lot easier than collecting their personal info. Once they’re in your social sphere, blasting off messaging is straightforward and scalable. But it’s not personal. While on one day messaging can hit home with half your following, it may alienate the other. And that’s assuming they even see your post in the first place (looking at you, social algorithms). There are lots of creative ways you can engage with your social following. Ask them about their favorite travel memories, what kind of memorable meals they miss most from their last trip, where they’re planning to go next, or even how they’re keeping occupied during this time. It’s all about keeping conversations alive.
5. Take a moment to ask and analyze
While most companies are working hard to get their brand out during COVID-19 shutdowns, many might be using old strategies and positioning and hoping for the best without considering what today's markets need. Now might be a good time to reflect on what worked well before and what didn't work. Most importantly, take this time to ask your customers what they want. After all, they are the ones with the most valuable opinions. At PressReader, we frequently take time to analyze and ask for feedback from our customers and users. When looking to improve our service, brand, and technology, collaborating with users always proves to be successful.
6. Embrace personalized tech
Companies have built entire platforms that you can help you engage and delight your guests. All you have to do is use them. Technology platforms like PressReader deliver a personalized experience for every single one of your guests — no matter who they are, where they are, or what they’re into. Providing your guests with valuable content, a trusted source for news, and entertainment in a contactless way is something they’ll remember when it’s time to travel again.
Online engagement is one of the best ways hoteliers can build long-term loyalty right now, despite social distancing and guests staying put in their homes. It doesn't mean trying to stand out among inbox clutter or posting into the void. Remember: keep it personal and relevant. A technology partner like PressReader can help you cater to the experience of every single guest, long after they’ve left your hotel. Get in touch with us, and let talk about how we can elevate your guest engagement and boost long-term loyalty.