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The 1.5-meter society for recreation businesses: how do you respond to it with online marketing?

22 Apr '20
Even after the April 21st press conference, the coronavirus is and will remain to be the subject of conversation. Everyone feels the consequences, including you as a recreational business. One thing is certain: the 1.5-meter society will remain relevant. Although we see a daily increase in the number of bookings as well as in the search volume, we are not back at old levels yet. However, we do expect a large increase in domestic holidays and holidays close to home. This makes it important to adapt your recreation business as well as your online marketing to the 1.5-meter society. Focus on things that are possible in this new society, and let guests book and experience a holiday with their minds at ease.

1. Take away as many uncertainties as possible online

People are currently feeling very uncertain about booking a holiday. Rather negative sentiments still prevail. Will my holiday be able to take place? Is it wise to book a holiday? By making your booking conditions less strict, you will increase trust and take away some uncertainty. For instance, you can offer an alteration guarantee, or relax your rules regarding cancellations and deposits. Consider using vouchers, or require payment only at a moment right before arrival. This way, you will generate more bookings now, and take away any doubts.

2. Corona-proof your website

During this period, your (potential) guest has lots of questions. Will I get my money back in case my holiday is cancelled due to the coronavirus? How does the holiday park handle hygiene? What measures does the holiday park take to abide by the 1.5-meter rule? Ensure that your website answers as many of these questions as possible, to decrease the number of incoming phone calls and emails. This is how you can corona-proof your website:

  • Corona information page - Create a page with information and frequently asked questions regarding the coronavirus and the 1.5-meter society. Explain how your recreation business abides by the 1.5-meter rule. Also mention which extra cleaning tasks you are implementing. Hygiene is the highest priority during the coronavirus outbreak.
  • Homepage and landing pages - Link from the homepage and any important landingpages to the coronavirus page. Your potential guest will want to know how your recreation business handles the 1.5-meter rule right away.
  • Facilities - Communicate content (text as well as photos) that matches the 1.5-meter society. Examples include takeaway and delivery meals, a contactless procedure for checking in and out, and a maximum number of guests at the supermarket.
  • Search & Book - Take away uncertainties during the booking process by communicating relaxed conditions at the Search & Book. This is the place where your guest will especially want to be reassured that they can be confident while booking a holiday.

3. Corona-proof photos and videos as well

Photos of a bustling terrace or a busy swimming pool? It won’t give people any peace of mind in the new 1.5-meter society. That is why you should provide corona-proof image material, without too many people in one photo and in which the 1.5-meter rule is applied. Replace photos of large groups on your website, and choose suitable images for your online campaigns.

4. Adjust your advertising strategy

Take away any doubts from potential guests through Social Ads and Google Ads as well, by communicating flexible conditions. Use text and image material that matches the 1.5-meter society. Focus on nature and space at the holiday park, or on a holiday close to home, instead of focusing on your park facilities. Keep a close eye on the budgets while doing so. When the bookings slowly start coming in again, you should once again start scaling up the budget.

5. Keep in touch with your guests, and keep them up to date as much aspossible

Which activities are (additionally) being implemented at the moment which corona-proof yourrecreation business? Did you relax the rules regarding deposits and/or do you offer an alteration guarantee? Clearly communicate this to your (potential) guest. You can use social media channels, newsletters and automatic emails to do so. Consider tools such as a chat function on your website as well. During these times, it is particularly important for you to be available, and to communicate clearly regarding the measures you will be taking.

6. Invest in fans/followers

Because we are staying at home as much as possible, the use of social media and other online platforms is increasing tremendously. It is important to share new content through your social media channels and therefore to remain visible, but also to investigate opportunities to expand your fanbase. For instance, you can create online campaigns aimed at increasing the number of page followers, or find a way to increase your newsletter subscriptions using, for instance, a trigger on your website. Look into new online possibilitiesas well, such as the rapidly growing TikTok, which is popular among youths.

7. Focus on domestic holidays

An increasing number of people have a positive attitude regarding a holiday in their own country. Chances are good that you will welcome a new target group at your holiday park: guests who used to go on holidays abroad, but now opt for a domestic holiday. Always make sure to communicate your location in your online campaigns, and emphasize that it concerns a holiday close to home.

8. Focus on holiday periods in the future

Have you considered entering the prices for 2021? Publish these prices and communicate it to your customers. The reason is that we see many realized bookings for 2021 coming in. Another interesting thing might be to focus on the autumn holidays. You can employ specific campaigns aimed at this as well.

9. Take a close look at the cooperation with tour operators

This period is an excellent opportunity to check and optimize the current listings with tour operators. Are there any interesting tour operators you are not cooperating with yet? They may already have a link to Booking Experts. Take a careful look at how the listings of your recreation business are shown on the websites of the tour operators you are already linked to. Are the texts and the image material still up to date? And are they corona-proof as well?

10. Low-risk advertising: affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, you run little risk during unpredictable times such as now. Affiliate marketing is based on Performance Based advertising. In other words: no cure, no pay. You only pay when a transaction has taken place. This makes it an ideal marketing channel to employ.

In the 1.5-meter society we currently live in, it is essential to take a different approach to yourmarketing. This is the period to think about how you are going to adjust your marketing, in addition to your entire management, to the measures. Be flexible and seize as many opportunities as possible in order to claim bookings despite the measures.

Do you have any questions, or would you like to know more? Don’t hesitate to contact us!

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