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Covid-19 has left most hotels with significantly smaller teams as they tide through the crisis, including marketing teams. This doesn’t mean a reduction in marketing needs.

Team Meeting - Media by WiX
Team Meeting - Media by WiX

What does this reduced workforce mean for your marketing strategy? How do you respond without compromising your brand presence, being competitive and not taking on the workload of every team member you had to make redundant on yourself?

Here are a few smart hotel marketing strategies you can set up your shrunken team and yourself to achieve big results and increase bookings

1. Make it your story…

every brand has a story, lived through people. Now is the time to tell these stories and keep people connected. You don’t need an expanded team for this; just your thoughts on online channels.

2. Focus on analytics…

from your website to the distribution partner and reservation management system (hotel management software), there are a number of insights available to inform your marketing decisions. As you get into a zone where you need to minimize your effort and spend, yet maximize impact, data is your best guide.

Spend time to understand this channel. If needed, spend money to hire someone who can provide you with an analysis on all channels and where you have the highest returns on investment.

3. Build and implement a strong SEO strategy…

Search engine marketing is a key digital strategy where you influence users with high intent to visit your website by ranking higher on the search results pages of search engines such as Google. A combination of on-page activities (primarily great content) and off-page efforts such as link building yield higher ranking. SEO is time-consuming; something you need to vary of as a small team. But it can also yield good results. Invest in the right tools to inform your SEO strategy and speed up the implementation process for you.

4. Nurture your loyal customers…

The general theory is that people are seeking out the familiar as they nervously steer through this pandemic. Use this sentiment to your advantage by stepping up email marketing to attract your loyal customers with tailored incentives. You have the advantage of understanding their preferences and leveraging these in your conversion journey is important. Gift cards are a great way to inject cash into your business. It is also a great way to upsell or cross-sell to these loyal customers, inciting them to visit again or refer more people to your property.

5. Grow and leverage your online reviews…

Keep a close eye on your online reviews as these are a key influencer for bookings. As a hotelier, it is also to help you track what your guests are saying about you so that you can improve or keep up your services and offerings. Moreover, reviews help you extract vital information about your customers and reviewers, like age, job, gender, lifestyle, and hobbies. This can help you gain crucial insights about your current and potential guests.

6. Keep your visibility up…

as online channels are a key channel to acquire bookings (albeit with commission), it is important to keep your listings updated here and ensuring your visibility. Online Travel Agents (OTAs) and metasearch need to be kept alive. If you’re concerned about commissions, review your online website and its online bookings capability. Being commission-free, direct bookings from your website have one of the highest return on ad spend.

7. Leverage tools and technology to fuel growth…

Pairing yourself and your team with the right tools is kind of like adding more people to your team (without actually having to hire and train new people every time you need something). The right tools streamline, complement and even automate certain steps of your marketing strategy. When tech can take over smaller tasks, your team members and you have more capacity to do the work they love and accomplish more for your company.


None of us knows when we will be able to return to business as usual. In the meantime, marketers with small teams should focus on developing agility into their booking process, digitizing processes as much as possible, and using any downtime to boost their capabilities.

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