You probably use off-peak times to do inventory and maintenance to get your facilities ready for your customers, but do you have your marketing ready to have your best year yet? If you usually leave your marketing to the last minute, there may be several marketing tasks that need attention, and why not get to it now that you don’t have customers waiting to check in or looking for more toilet paper?
Marketing Tasks To Do During Slow Times
- Review your website to ensure that all content is up-to-date and accurate. When you are busy, it is hard to find time to keep on top of this, so schedule a time to do this now. Typos and outdated information will turn off and mislead visitors to your website.
- Add or update your “recruitment” page and make it a better tool to attract the type of people you want working for you.
- Set up an FAQ page with answers to commonly asked questions. Consider adding full articles for more important topics and those people are likely to search on. Example: Why our facility is great for families with young children.
- Evaluate booking engines to ensure that yours is the most suitable and cost-effective for you and your guests.
- Organize your photos and videos, so they are easy to find when you want to use them in your marketing.
- See if your local or regional tourism agency has an image library you can use freely and download now to have them when needed.
- If you need additional or more up-to-date photos, schedule a photographer to do these as soon as necessary maintenance is done.
- Make sure you have two very important types of media content:
- showing the facilities and features that set you apart from your competition
- showing customers enjoying your facilities
- Optimize your social media channels. You may have set these up in a hurry and not known what you were doing.
- Review your social media profiles for accuracy and ensure consistency between the channels, your website, and all other marketing channels and materials.
- Ensure you are using phrases and other language that are relevant to your target audience.
- Select a social media tool to schedule posts across all profiles and use the downtime to learn how to use it well. Check out The 19 Best Social Media Management Tools.
- Create a content creation plan with ideas for topics for the rest of the year to use for all of your marketing channels.
- Look at the year ahead and outline content ideas for relevant events, holidays, etc.
- As noted above, keep track of commonly asked questions and schedule time to create a whole article about these.
- Set up automated “drip-feed” email campaigns to maintain engagement with customers and prospective customers. Some examples:
- After an initial inquiry, start with a personal reply, and if they have agreed to further emails start a series of emails showing why they should book with you.
- Once a booking is obtained, provide a series of emails about making the most of their experience. Also, invite them to your social channels for further information, ideas, etc.
- After the experience, ask for reviews and referrals, show gratitude, keep them updated with what’s going on there, offer discounts or early access, etc.
- Training. Use this time to learn how to update your website or use the new version of Google Analytics!
- Plan ahead for times when additional marketing may be needed. Have templates for posts, emails, ads, and other marketing when you have last-minute availability, etc.
- Optimize your listings on third-party websites, especially online travel agents (AirBnB, Booking.com, etc.).
- Ensure they are up to date.
- Rewrite the listings using popular search phrases and other language likely to be used by your target audience.
- Ensure the images are attractive and represent what you are offering.
- Review the results you are getting and decide if the return is sufficient.
- Research additional sites that would be good to have a listing.
10. More strategic marketing actions to take now.
- Don’t have a strategic marketing plan? You won’t have time later in the year, so start working on that now. A strategic marketing plan not only outlines what actions need to be done but ensures that you have allocated a sufficient budget for what is needed, that you are spending on the right things, and that you are getting a good return for that money.
- Haven’t updated your website in a while? It’s time for a full audit, and a possible revamp of the site. This is the time to plan and schedule significant changes. Even if you rely on third-party sites for bookings, potential customers will likely come to your website for a “second opinion.”
- Who has resources that will be useful for you (images and videos, referrals for customers and employees, advice, etc.? Identify and connect with relevant businesses, organizations, and individuals that would be beneficial partners for your business. Consider packages that will be attractive and increase revenue.
Need some motivation to get started with these marketing tasks? Just remember how frustrated you were when you didn’t get these things done in advance last year!