During the Corona (COVID-19) crisis, there is a lot of uncertainty in the travel industry. Billions of damage are imminent for the travel industry. Only relief from measures against the Corona (COVID-19) virus can ease the economic pain. The hope of travel organisations is focused on summer and autumn business. But how do you deal with online marketing during this crisis period? And how can you prepare your organisation for what’s to come? In this article we share some topics to focus on during the Corona virus with practical tips.
Come Back Stronger After the Coronavirus Pandemic
The direct impact on the travel industry is significant during the Corona virus crisis. Holidays have ended early, bookings are cancelled upfront and of course it’s not the time to book a new holiday. Travellers who have booked their holiday for the summer have questions whether or not they can go or prefer to get their money back. If your company is only busy with the short term priorities, it is tempting not to focus on the long term. But still you should be. Only if you look ahead at the possibilities of optimisation, you can come back stronger. We advise you to consider these 4 topics to focus on now during COVID-19.
1. Information and Insights
Probably, most of your online marketing campaigns are paused during the Corona crisis. And rightly so, because you want to save as much cost as possible. But when is the time to start investing in online marketing again? You don’t want to start too early, and certainly you don’t want to be late. Information and data from inside and outside your organisation can help you to answer this question:
Actual Information & Measures
It’s a matter of course, but the current information about the COVID-19 outbreak in your country – and measures to combat the virus – are leading for your business. Keep yourself and your company up-to-date about information from your government and the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment. Please also don’t forget the information about COVID-19 on your destinations, because the measures may be different over there. This can also affect your business, in a positive or negative way.
Check Consumer Trends via Google Trends
Use Google Trends to determine if there is a demand for the type of holiday you are offering. Use search terms such as “holiday America” or “Holiday New York” to investigate this. Please keep the customer journey of your travellers in mind. The business look-to-book data is normally available in Google Analytics.
Follow the Competition
It’s always good to keep an eye on your competition, also during COVID-19.
Do you see ads from your competitors again? Maybe it’s time for you to also start advertising again.
What Does Your Website Data Tell You?
Is the number of visitors on your website increasing day by day? That could be good news, but it’s important to explore what visitors do on your website. Measure whether the number of visitors increases at important moments in the customer journey. In other words, are visitors looking for availability and prices? Are they planning to book their holiday? That’s good news and then it definitely will be time to restart or scale up campaigns and marketing efforts.
2. Automate Your Search Campaigns
Take tools and systems you use – or not yet use – into consideration. For example, are there opportunities to help your organisation in the long term through automation in terms of cost saving or optimisation of your return on investment? Based on priorities and budgets, this often starts with paid channels like Google. Those channels can help you to automate your ads based on a feed, making you even more relevant for the traveller looking for the perfect holiday. Now is the time to consider how you can be a step ahead of the competition when the market picks up again after COVID-19. More information about automating you advertising campaigns within search engines you can read in the article “The Benefits Of Automated Advertising in Search Engines”.
3. Set-Up New (Performance-Based) Collaborations
Are there opportunities to set up new collaborations? It might be difficult when it comes to budget with new collaborations. Therefore, you should focus on the collaborations that benefit you most as an organisation, and try to be smart in the financial agreement you make. For example, look at a possibility to generate more direct bookings where you pay performance based to your partner. During COVID-19 this possibility is offered by Adchieve when you want to increase your direct bookings with Google Hotel Ads.
4. Tips for Optimising Your Website During Corona
Last but not least, we want to share some practical tips to optimise your website during COVID-19:
- Inform your website visitors as good as possible about the relevant information concern the Corona virus. Answer the most important questions in a FAQ. This will also help your customer service to focus on what’s most important during COVID-19.
- Optimise the content on your website. You could write new content, for example blogs about destinations. You could also check if the current content meets the SEO requirements. This can done through the use of headers, structure in content and use of keywords.
- Society will be different after Corona, this will be a fact. This may require the necessary adjustments to the stay of a traveller and their accommodation. Make sure the traveller is well informed about these measures at the time of booking, so that they are aware of a safe stay.
- Do you have travel agencies where the opening hours have been adjusted due to the Corona virus? Does your customer service work during extended opening hours? Make sure these changers are communicated on the website and don’t forget to communicate it to your partners. Think, for example, of adjusting temporarily your Google My Business listings.
- Are there accommodations and destinations that can be travelled to? For example, a domestic trip in combination with a “contactless” stay in a private bungalow. If this is possible to book, make sure that such offers are promoted on your homepage.
Many of the above points require a daily time investment within your organisation. Use this time by making a hands-on marketing plan with the above points as a guide. Stay positive for the future and work towards a situation where you come back stronger. Stay safe.