How To Prepare Your Luxury Hospitality Business For A Successful Summer 2021
2020 was an unprecedented year for everyone in the luxury hospitality sector, but market predictions show that business will rocket in summer 2021, with the excitement surrounding leisure experiences and travel only increased by missing out last year. International borders are opening up, health passports for the vaccinated are being developed, and social distancing restrictions are easing in many parts of the world.
Yet, however far we have come, the luxury hospitality sector is still suffering from the fall-out of the last 12 months. And for every client who is determined to get back out there and satisfy their wanderlust, there is one who is afraid of making that step back to normality.
That is why it is so important that travel companies, hotels and those in the hospitality sector prepare their luxury business with a winning digital strategy to guarantee a spectacular summer 2021.
How to guarantee a winning summer 2021: Prepare your luxury business
Why do luxury hospitality brands need a digital strategy? Quite frankly, because it is the way that most clients today discover and plan their experiences. According to Luxe Digital, 65% of leisure and 69% of business travellers from the U.S. search online before they decide both where and how they want to travel. What’s more, many potential clients will be looking for signs of how hospitality businesses are handling remaining COVID-19 restrictions and what their new menus or services are online, before committing to booking. Brands that make it easier for these clients to understand their post-pandemic offering will reap the rewards of more bookings.
So how can you prepare your luxury business for summer 2021? Here are five top tips on digital marketing for the luxury hospitality sector this summer:
Your brand’s website needs to be inviting, easy to navigate, and awash with inviting and fresh images to lure clients back. Take the Four Seasons website for example. It’s homepage video is eye-catching - full of pictures of sites of natural beauty, deserted beaches, and unspoilt corners of paradise, which look ultra-inviting to clients that have spent the best part of a year staying indoors. The homepage also has a clearly marked section about the latest information about COVID-19 property reopenings and current facility availability, including any temporary changes to the Four Season hotels, ensuring that readers can find out exactly what to expect when they visit.
- Mobile First
People now interact with the internet more on their mobiles than on a desktop or tablet. This was a growing trend before the pandemic, but with the majority of businesses going into ‘work from home’ or ‘furlough’ mode from March 2020, people spent even less time in front of their computers. This change has even been reflected in Google’s algorithm and how it ranks sites, with sites that do not provide a great mobile experience losing out in Google search rankings. Websites must be fast too, because if your site takes longer than 3 seconds to load your hospitality business will not just lose Google ranking, but may lose visitors as well.
SEO plays an increasingly important role in achieving direct bookings, with 40% of travel and hospitality revenue attributed to organic search, according to BrightEdge. Luxury businesses must ensure that they create well-written, relevant and optimised content, they refresh website content regularly and choose their keywords carefully so that their websites appear high-up in Google search rankings. With the rise of voice search, additional SEO strategies should also be put in place so that your luxury business comes up through voice commands. Local SEO will also make your company stand out to meet the post-COVID trend of staycations. With foreign travel still less than straightforward, many clients are choosing to holiday in their own home country.
- Social Media
The power of social media, especially platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and TikToK, is tangible in the luxury hospitality sector. For example, a survey by wearemarketing.com recently published revealed that 71% of travel agents reported better interactions and relationships with clients once committed to a social media strategy.
Let’s look at the social pages of Six Senses, a group of luxury hotel resorts, hotels and more. This brand, which claims a passion for wellness, community, sustainable design and smiles, floods its Instagram pages with stunning photographs of beautiful, unspoilt locations. These images in turn build awareness, increase engagement, and drive traffic to its website. The brand also makes great use of short videos which allows the user to imagine they are really there, experiencing the luxury holiday first hand.
- CRM and Client Loyalty
Never before has customer relationship management (CRM) and client loyalty been as important as in these uncertain times. It is important to stay in contact with past guests and show new clients that you are a trustworthy company.
This can be done through implementing a CRM solution, which allows you to keep track of your interactions with each and every client and show them that you remember them, for example emailing rewards on their birthdays, sending personalised offers and running loyalty schemes. Monaco’s La Société des Bains de Mer has a very successful loyalty programme called My Monte-Carlo, for example.
As you can see, there are many ways in which you can best prepare your luxury business for a successful summer 2021 using digital marketing.