Marketing Secrets - Creative Hospitality Marketing Campaigns from 2020

Ideas for all hospitality businesses to make your brand stand out, engage your audiance and boost bookings.

Webinar transcript

Pete:

We're going to show you some of the things that we've been doing on some other of our clients that we've seen around. So the message at the top was Do The Things You're In Control Of. And you have been in control of these kind of things. Marketing, no one is stopping you from doing that, putting the messages out that you want to put out. Images, taking new photos, sending emails and social. Emails and social were brilliant during the lockdowns because so many people were at home, a great uptake from those. Doing creative ideas, building new websites. Some people on the call have had new websites, become clients during the lockdown period.

Pete:

And within the business, I know many properties have undertaken refurbishments or done other work on the properties. Some have started takeaways, smaller things. Some people just did the new menus, got round to that vegan menu they always wanted to do, or enhance their services, or look to their technology and systems. There's so many things that could be done. We're going to go to some of the creative ideas in a moment. One other aspect that some people are in control of would be entering awards, clockwork sponsors. Many of the awards in the Southwest and many of our clients won awards and were shortlisted.

Pete:

So congratulations to all those on the call, I think there's quite a few today who got through to the finals or won. That's a great way of doing something when there's not much else to do as it were, and the awards for 2021, 2022 are opening in May. I think Robin and Nell might be on the call, I'm sure they'll be posting in the chat links, so you can find how to enter those awards for next time round.

Pete:

Good luck if you're going to do that. Some of the creative ideas, I'm going to run through a few of these. So the Glass House Retreats on the left, that's in Essex. They did nice NHS heroes thank you posts. Premiere Cottages did a nice come back later campaign. Hellidon Lakes Hotel did some self-help videos, which they shared with their audience. This one is on Four Ways To Improve Your Golf Game Without Leaving The House, that's a nice idea. Wiltshire Wildlife, a bit more mindfulness and self-improvement there. Woodhouse in Wiltshire, they normally have a big house and gardens. Normally do a fantastic Easter event, which had to be... We've done lines, so we created some lovely downloadable Easter fun packs for families at home. Great uptake. Another one from the Glass House Retreat, did a little book of wellness. I think Daniel was involved that, who's on the call. If he can unmute himself, you might want to say a few words.

Daniel:

Yes, we did a little book of wellness for quite a few of our spa, hotel, and retreat clients. And these were designed thinking about the audience at home and the mental and physical wellbeing in terms of just the shock of lockdown, and the gyms and retreats no longer being open. And so the book of wellness was designed as a PDF so people could print off the book if they wanted to, or look at it online.

Daniel:

And it had a mixture of sort of serious and more lighthearted content. So as well as yoga poses, kind of physical activity to keep you healthy at home, it was health based word search to keep people entertained. And sort of on a more serious note, coping with self isolation at home and a sort of self care checklist that people could sort of go through to kind of take care of the mental and physical wellbeing. There was no heavy kind of services push on this. It was purely a social content, what we'd call branded content, that just enhanced the reputation of the properties and put forward that they were thinking about their customers to improve engagement online.

Pete:

Thank you very much, Daniel. So that's [inaudible 00:04:41] example. Lusty Glaze here on the left, that's in Cornwall. Wedding venue out in the beach, they did a social campaign to remember the good times. Travel Magazine updated hashtag Travel Tuesday to Virtual Travel Tuesday again, getting people to post their travel pictures from the past. Long blogs were really good, people have more time. So our great copywriters were able to write some really good in-depth blogs, such as this one for Long Barns, Longlands Barn in Devon. Eight Things To Try With Your kids At Home On Your Daily Exercise. Those are great ideas in there, for the family, creating a daisy chain, and finding animals and wildlife for example.

Clare:

And Pete, can I just jump in and say... I know we talk about blogs a lot, but I mean the importance of blogs... I just think that would be useful to explain that to our audience.

Pete:

Yep. So there's many ways you can use blogs. This sort of blog would have been used as sort of anchor for sending out on emails and social posts and social sharing. Again, just to strengthen the brand and position the property as being a kind of rural retreat. And also works really well for SEO, people who are looking for things to do at home with their kids, well that's the title of the blog. So, it should be appearing really well, really high their search engines.

Clare:

Yeah. So when we're thinking of SEO, we're driving traffic to the site and changing content... Is always incredibly important.

Pete:

Absolutely. Carbis Bay in Cornwall had the option to book virtual show rounds for their holiday apartments. Burleigh Court did afternoon tea takeaways and gift vouchers. They're already doing takeaways, but just extended their services to allow people to have this takeaway to afternoon teas. Cary Arms in Devon. They created a VIP waiting list for people that wanted to book, created a nice sense of excitement and exclusivity.

Pete:

The virtual tours didn't have to do the most expensive version with the video. Hotel Penzance in Cornwall refurbished some rooms, so they did a photo story on their blog. Whereas others were able to do a VR type virtual tours as well. And it's not really hospitality, but the British Red Cross did a really lovely poster campaign about being kind to each other during the pandemic, which worked really well for them. Harbour Hotels also did a lot of NHS giveaway, 250 rooms. That's very generous of them.

Pete:

Some other long blog content from Lake Country House in Mid Wales, How To Welcome Wellness And Slow Living Into Your Home. It's a really nice piece, lots of great ideas. You know, how to home spa and analog living shown here. Obviously, you can have a look at that in your own time, but lots of great ideas to engage with their audience. But many hospitality businesses were supporting their staff. There's a whole range here from different Best Westerns and hotel demand. People doing Couch To 5ks and TikTok challenges, creating A Garden Crop Rotor. I mean all sorts of great ideas just there. Butlins did a throw back to the 80s, which is quite a funny photo book of their guests' experiences from back in the day.

Pete:

Soar Mill Cove Hotel, they took a different approach. They did a crowdfunder, so they put a lot their services up from 1,000 pound family stay, you know, more affordable, to some 50 pound lobster lunches there... Were just a donation to the lockdown team to keep the business running. So many people like Daniel who's an outdoor swimmer, miss the opportunity to go swimming. But the Outdoor Swimming Association was there for him... While We Wait Photo Competition. This was the winner. Again, a nice brand story. And the final one is from Brew Dog. They reopened the bars just recently and they have the new one in Columbus this year. My friend Hannah here, she went on the first day. I didn't realize she was such an alcoholic, but she got a certificate of achievement for being first back in the pub, which I thought it was awesome. And then posted it on social, which is exactly what Brew Dog would have wanted. Didn't ask her to do that at all, she just couldn't help the excitement of being in a pub.

Pete:

That's the end of the those ideas that we wanted to share that we've found that have worked, and happy to ask any questions, or the team will be, if we have any questions. I'm not sure if Clara has anything there...

Pete:

Yeah. It was quite difficult to measure the results in many ways, because there were... during this period you couldn't actually book anything. So it was more about the strengthening the brand without... I don't actually have any data to prove this, but we certainly feel that those that did this kind of activity were the first to pick up bookings when bookings were allowed to be taken. I think that would be fair to say.

Clare:

And Peter, I know Daniel... Daniel, you were wanting to comment? So Daniel would just unmute you.

Daniel:

Hello. Yeah, and just a really interesting result that we found from one of the campaigns was, we did a kind of an offer for a hotel, an email offer that included on the communication, information on how COVID secure the hotel was. And it was just really interesting to see that in the communication 1,000 people went through to the price based offer, and there was only eight people that actually checked the COVID secure information. So it was just interesting to see that while it was important to communicate that the hotels and hospitality providers were safe, if people were willing to travel, it definitely wasn't their sort of number one priority. It was just a kind of tick box and they were more interested in the price promotion offer or content.

Pete:

Yeah. It's interesting that Daniel. And others Clara?

Clara:

There's a question about the children's word search. The Baywood example I think, and what feedback did you have? I'm not sure whether we've... I know that it was well received, I'm not sure in terms of numbers or...

Pete:

I'm not sure either. The client is actually on the call. I think Beth is...

Clara:

Oh yes, she is.

Pete:

... is on the call. I can't remember if... I know Beth joined Baywood during lockdown and I can't remember when she joined, or if she has anything to say. I don't want to put you on the spot Beth, but you can add to the chat if you want. We don't want to say anything completely unscripted. They certainly had a lot of...

Beth:

Yeah. No, I'm more on the hotel side of things. So I don't know too much about the feedback from the kind of house and gardens point of view, but I know that Dan had mentioned that the kids had really enjoyed doing the activity, and it was really nice because it was just after the house and gardens had reopened again. So it was really lovely to kind of get the family involved and get them kind of going on a nice adventure round the parkland. So yeah, it went down really well that one.

Pete:

Yeah, and your bookings for the house and garden side in terms of sort of memberships looks like it's been really strong this year as well. People are really... you can't wait to come back and attend...

Beth:

Yeah, that's been incredible.