Coronavirus: how to fight the impact on your bookings
We outline some marketing tips to reduce the repercussion of coronavirus on your online sales.
As the Covid-19 has been expanding around the world, sectors such as tourism have seen how the demand for its services has come to a halt. When this happens, brands tend to react by taking hasty and often panicky measures. From a marketing perspective, the main thing is to stay calm and make rational decisions based on creating solid, long-term strategies.
Although these types of events are unpredictable in terms of evolution and scope, there are still certain actions that can be taken to minimize the already notable impact.
Promote inland and domestic tourism.
It is a fact that leisure trips are not an imposition. It is likely that users who have cancelled their trips for fear of the virus are already looking for alternative and safer destinations, and promoting the domestic destination in safe areas can be an option.
Segment your SEM campaigns in the cities or communities closest to your hotel emphasising safety and offering special packages.
Transmit a message of peace of mind and security.
In this scenario, your rates are not the reason for the low bookings, so lowering your online prices will not necessarily stimulate demand. What you need to highlight is how important is the health and safety of your users and how you are complying with all the protocol. Go ahead and spread the word of the measures and protocols you are currently applying.
Keep in mind that if your potential client has not quite decided yet where to book, the confidence you arouse can be decisive for final purchasing decision.
Create a protocol of good practices (cleaning and prevention) with friendly and striking design to convey calm and confidence to potential customers. Once this has been done, spread this information using all your corporate advertising channels (web, social networks, specialised media).
Another way to spread your message is to write articles related to the coronavirus taking care of the SEO positioning, in order to position these pages by including keywords that currently have a high level of search such as “what is the coronavirus”, “coronavirus in Spain” or “coronavirus prevention”… Including a downloadable protocol can be a good extra.
Special packages or exclusive advantages to stimulate demand.
Reward guests who trust your establishment by offering a welcome gift or special service, within the dates that are of interest, can be a good claim when creating your campaigns.
Insert a banner on the home page that highlights the benefits or gifts offered when booking for specific dates. Also, highlight exclusive benefits such as free cancellation or late checkout.
Create the same creativity to carry out retargeting campaigns for Display, SEM and/or social networks, highlighting the benefits you offer.
Offer and promote alternative destinations.
If you have more hotels in other parts of the world outside the so-called danger zones, spend more investment to create campaigns that promote these destinations.
If you decide to go for the above suggestions for your campaigns, make sure you keep an eye on flights information, as cancellations are rising due to “at-risk” countries banning. Ideally, you should focus on creating campaigns aimed at those countries free of risk, without neglecting the evolution of events to adapt your campaigns to new circumstances.
Bend over to CPA for campaigns
If you haven’t implemented it before, it’s a good time to start testing the cost-per-acquisition model or CPA as this is a good marketing strategy when looking for low-cost solutions or to reduce your marketing investment.
Create CPA SEM Campaigns, CPA Display Campaigns and give an extra push to your Affiliate campaigns. Working on a CPA model will avoid spending your budget blindly and the commissions you have arranged with your partners will only have to be paid once the client has checked out from your hotel, and the booking has been validated by you. It is a safe investment, you will only pay for results.
Concentrate your efforts on direct sales.
In our previous post “how to minimize the effects of Brexit“, we already suggested that, in the case of a crisis, the smartest thing to do is to boost direct sales and thus control your brand image, sales and revenue.
Introducing Performance Marketing and how it can help to boost your direct bookings can be a bit more complicated, so you can download this easy-peasy guide with the basic concepts.
If there’s more information or doubts after reading this post, please don’t hesitate and contact us.