Unless your property is located in a popular winter sports destination, you are likely approaching your shoulder season. After the hectic months of summer and fall, you might be ready for a little down time. However, just because your busy season has ended doesn’t mean you should slouch off on your digital marketing efforts. In fact, now is the perfect time to rethink your current strategy and make any necessary improvements or changes. Here are the three things we think you should be doing to make the absolute most of this shoulder season:
- Write Down your Goals: The shoulder season is the perfect time to rethink, evaluate, and revise. Now that you likely have a little more time on your hands, take this opportunity to sit back and really think about your goals. How did your property perform during your shoulder season last year? Were you happy with that? If not, what is your ideal occupancy and revenue target? Write down your goals and your previous performance. Documenting your goals will help you achieve them.
- Update Creative: Use the shoulder season to revamp your website. That means taking the time to update your creative, such as, pictures, content, and badges. Consider uploading seasonal photographs of your property, displaying any awards you have recently won, or adding new content to your website in the form of blog posts or improved and revised pages.
- Consider Different Ways to Generate More Direct Bookings: Many Innkeepers we talk to are interested in strategies to improve direct bookings a be less reliant on Online Travel Agencies (OTAs).Now that you have some down time, think about new strategies to generate more direct bookings. For example:
- Review your Performance. Think about what percentage of traffic to your site is coming from Google or Bingand how qualified that traffic is. Also ask yourself: How much revenue does it generate? Are there relevant keywords that I’m not currently ranking for? Use your answers to craft a revised SEO strategy.
- Determine What % of Your Reservations are Coming From the OTAs. Are you comfortable with that number? Are you willing to accept more reservations from the OTAs during your shoulder and slow season? If so, what is your inventory and rate strategy?
- Create a Content Strategy and Editorial Calendar. If you aren’t already blogging, now is the perfect time to get started. Click here for Odysys’ ultimate guide to blogging. You can also start thinking about your content on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Come up with a strategy and then implement an editorial calendar using a site like Trello or Buffer to keep organized and on top of your game.
- Update Your Social Media Profiles with New Pictures. This may sound small, but trust us, it is important. Make sure you have clear, high-quality photographs that showcase the best aspects of your property. Make sure your social media profiles have pictures of your property, rooms, common spaces, dining options, and more. You can even include pictures of your guests having a good time at your property or pictures that showcase your surrounding area.
- Update your Google My Business Listing. Google My Business is an essential tool for showcasing your property and encouraging guests to make a direct booking. Click here to learn how to navigate the new dashboard and improve your page’s overall optimization.
- Review Your Analytics. Now is also a great time to sit down and review your analytics. Take the time to understand where your is traffic coming from and how qualified it is as well as basic metrics like bounce rate, time on site, pages viewed, goals, and conversion rate.
- Consider Adwords PPC and Remarketing. Investing in Adwords and other remarketing campaigns has the potential to improve your marketing tragedy. Adwords allows you target advertisements to customers by region, country, or city by reaching them precisely as they are searching. Odysys offers Adwords Management to our customers as well as Facebook Advertising, Local Business Listings, and Reservation Recapture. These are great ways to extend your reach and connect the potential guests you are hoping to target.
Don’t let your digital marketing fall by the wayside this shoulder season. Use this downtime to reinvigorate your marketing efforts and implement a new and improved digital marketing strategy. Whether you choose to start a blog, review your SEO, or invest in adwords or remarketing, try out these tips to truly make the most of your slow season.
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