With South Africa’s tourism industry yet again receiving a massive blow, and establishments being forced to stay shut for leisure travel, it’s been very hard on us all to remain afloat and survive these unprecedented times. Even so, it remains ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL for establishments to stay in touch with their guests and potential guests for not only maintaining brand awareness but also reassuring them, making them feel appreciated and giving them the confidence to rebook when recovery happens.

To help you along the way, we have compiled some ways on how to achieve this.

Social Media – More Bang for Your Marketing Budget Buck
The pandemic has dramatically increased the amount of time people spend online which includes how they research their future travel plans. This will continue into 2021, so making sure your online presence is up to scratch should be a priority. Social Media is the best and most budget friendly place to start. At a very affordable rate, a good social media marketer can develop a content plan, create regular posts, monitor and drive customer responses, and attract new business. If your small business has been putting off adding social media services to your marketing mix, now’s the time! But more about that in our next installment!

Google and Other Listings – Keeping them Updated
As an accommodation establishment and tour operator the most important thing you should be doing is keeping your listings up to date on all platforms. Google My Business listing provides valuable information about your business, services, and geographical location. It’s one of the key factors in search and business owners are often blown away to learn how many directories there are out there, so make sure the ones you are listed with are 100 % accurate. Keeping your listings updated also allows your guests to know of any changes in your hours, promotions, blogs, or any other information you would like to quickly convey.

Improved Communication – Health and Safety
Social distancing has made things tricky when it comes to volume and how many guests are allowed in your establishment at one time and although most restrictions have been lifted now, many people are still wary of large gatherings or groups. This means that you will have to work just a little harder to encourage guests to visit your establishment as opposed to your competition. Make sure that all protocols remain in place, it’s human nature to slack once we feel the threat is over, and make sure that potential guests are made aware of these protocols prior to booking. Personal targeting is also a great way to make contact with previous guests and encourage them to visit, so make sure your database stays updated.

Encourage Direct Booking – Make your Website an Exciting Place to Visit
Adding interactive elements to your website is a great way to provide value for visitors, get them to engage with you, and learn more about your offering. You’re now offering value to your visitors and making it a fun and entertaining space to visit. Engaging them on that level will drastically help in encouraging direct booking. Other examples of interactive marketing includes assessments, quizzes, games, polls, interactive videos, surveys, and competitions. This also make for great shareable content on your social media platforms which again promotes direct communication.

While these digital marketing trends don’t represent a complete list, it’s a great place to start when planning your 2021 marketing strategy. If you would like a more detailed and tailored approach to turn those lookers into bookers in 2021, please give us a shout!