“What are you supposed to post during a global pandemic?”
If you are asking this question, you’re not alone. COVID-19 has rocked the hospitality industry leaving many struggling to determine the right messaging during this uncertainty.
For content marketing, the focus should be on brand awareness and using tasteful messaging that drives traffic to valuable content. To break it down, the experts at Lumi Luxe put together this list of 5 important content updates for the hospitality industry that reflect current events:
This isn’t a bad review – it’s a global pandemic. Businesses need to change their messaging in response to COVID-19. This is especially true for the hospitality industry which normally encourages travel. Social and marketing campaigns that were created pre-COVID-19 can come off as incredibly offensive if posted as planned.
Playing it safe, by posting nothing, is also a bad choice. Consumers are looking to brands for transparency, leadership, and compassion during these times. With so much uncertainty around travel, it’s important that the hospitality industry continues to communicate with their guests proactively.
The best pandemic messaging is the one that comes from the heart. Hospitality brands shouldn’t be afraid to share that they feel uncertain about the future or that they miss seeing their guests and staff. During tough times, consumers really value content that is authentic and relatable. Of course, businesses should still follow branding guidelines and ensure that all messaging ends on a positive and hopeful note. But, being honest and vulnerable can help connect with consumers and resonate with them emotionally.
People travel to get away from everyday life and enjoy the experiences of a new destination. While guests are unable to travel, the hospitality industry should focus on recreating these experiences virtually! This can come in many forms such as creating a playlist of destination-themed music, sharing a recipe for a local drink, or live-streaming the sights and sounds of waves crashing on a beach. Helping your guests feel like they are escaping reality, even if just for a moment, is a great way to foster a positive brand experience from afar.
As consumers adjust to the new normal, there has been a demand for meaningful, interesting at-home activities. Hospitality businesses help satisfy this need with content that adds value to their lives. For example, to help people relax and exercise from home a hotel could stream yoga or meditation classes from their fitness center. A restaurant can help people develop their cooking skills by offering virtual cooking tutorials of popular dishes. There are so many ways for talented hospitality professionals to use their skills to enhance the lives of those in quarantine.
People are already daydreaming about their post-pandemic travel plans. The hospitality industry can help people visualize these ideas by tastefully sharing user-generated content of the destination and property that inspires wanderlust. Those with a Pinterest presence can also create destination guides and regularly add to their boards to appeal to those in the planning stage.
When sharing this content, it’s important that you do not encourage people to travel. Instead, emphasize the beauty of the destination, reminisce over memories, and show excitement for the future.
Sometimes the most unprecedented times call for surprisingly simple solutions. We don’t know what a post-COVID-19 world will look like, but what we do know is that during this difficult time the only ‘strategies’ that should be employed are humanity, empathy, hope, and consistency.
Focus on open communications with consumers and help them get through the uncertainty by bringing your destination experience to their little corner of the world. Soon enough, they will be able to experience the real thing.