Last week, we wrote about how there was still time to secure bookings for the August bank holiday. A summer of staycations encouraged by the government is currently in full swing, with bookings continuing to increase around the country. There’s even talk of a ‘staycation voucher’ coming into effect which could potentially be valid all the way through until April 2021.
With this in mind, it’s a good time to start planning ahead – no matter how uncertain the future looks. Typically, autumn may have been a time when your property would’ve gotten a lot of corporate business. With this potential type of demand most likely being much lower this year, it means you will need to continue attracting the domestic leisure market.
Traditionally, we also usually would’ve seen searches for autumn breaks picking up in the middle of July, ramping up in August, and then peaking in September. We aren’t seeing the same interest pattern yet because people are still focused on booking their summer getaway. Consider starting your autumn campaign no later than the middle of August to ensure you capture demand and maximise your hotel or property’s bookings throughout the autumn period.
So… where do you start?
Firstly… do a clean up on your offers
Use the new season prep as an opportunity to review your rate plans and their sales performances. If you need to remove or tweak offers that aren’t selling well, do.
Focus on quality rate plans, not quantity – the more offers you have going, the more confused potential bookers will be. Be clear and keep it simple! When it comes to pricing, remember that now is a time when guests will be looking for as much added value as they can get. We don’t advise you drop your rates drastically – but do look at what you’re offering and see if you can add in some special extras here and there. Making your packages valuable and unique doesn’t necessarily mean going big – it’s just about getting creative.
Sell your packages using the right mixture of messaging and visuals
The same rule applies regardless of what time of year you’re trying to sell rooms – make sure your messaging is completely consistent across all your channels. As for the seasonal occasion, have fun with your language and visuals. Play up the beauty of your hotel or area at this rustic, crisp, autumnal time of year. The right visuals will entice people in and have them fantasizing about that magical break away.
Show guests what they can do in your area
We said it last week and we’ll probably say it again – showing off all that can be done in your unique area, as well as partnering up with local businesses to attract additional interest, will benefit everyone involved. It benefits your community, your business, and your guest all at the same time. You can use a blog to create content on local attractions too.
Communicate your hotel’s health and safety measures
As you know, it’s now going to be the norm to communicate and display clearly your hotel’s own health and safety measures. Guests might be willing to travel to your property, but they’ll want to be reassured of its standards before they do – this is a sure thing. However – you’ll need to get the balance right! They don’t want all the joy sucked out of their trip and you don’t want them to feel like their stay will be made a hassle by all these new measures. Just try to keep your language simple, positive, reassuring and informative. They’ll be relieved you have it all in hand.
Some marketing recommendations
You want your marketing campaign strategy to incorporate multiple channels and touch points so you have the best chance possible at meeting your potential future guests – wherever they are online.
Although we’re not seeing huge interest just yet in general autumn offers, searches for Halloween breaks are tentatively increasing. Keep this in mind when you’re reviewing your site content as it would be helpful for you to have a dedicated page for Halloween/Midterm breaks up now, so as to capture organic search demand ahead of you actually launching your hotel’s campaign.
Like we said earlier, you should try and start your autumn campaign no later than the middle of August to ensure you capture demand and maximise your hotel or property’s bookings throughout the autumn period.
YouTube Bumper Ads
YouTube Bumper Ads are non-skippable 6 second video ads which run before or during content on YouTube. We talked about them on our latest Marketing in the Morning podcast – listen back here for more.
Why should you be considering adding Youtube to your active marketing channels?
YouTube reaches over 2 billion users world wide, watching 1 billion hours of video content daily! Advertising on this platform allows you to reach a large captive audience at low costs. Here at Net Affinity, we’ve been running bumper ads for our clients going on 3 years now, and we’re still seeing costs of only €0.02 – €0.03 per view. This gives you an incredibly wide reach, even with a smaller budget. We’ve seen these types of campaigns perform effectively for rooms, F&B and wedding promotions.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch!