There’s a lot on everybody’s plate right now. From adaption to a new normal to concerns about family, friends, and the world, it’s a tough time that is new to all of us. But beyond the day-to-day logistics, we want to encourage you to think about this time as a real potential opportunity to begin your plan, protect, and recover path through to the future. We believe that this path should include a focus on a short-term marketing strategy for your biggest marketing tool, which is your website. Reports from the CDC and U.S. Travel continue to share that the risk to the U.S. public is low and there are no restrictions on travel anywhere in the U.S., however it is clear that public confidence is shaken, and the full impact of this time has yet to be seen. The bottom line is that both DMOs and the travel industry in general will come out of this. With that in mind, a focus on Q3 and Q4 marketing efforts for your site can be a good way to help you prepare for the return of visitors and travel throughout the country.
So what can these strategies be? The good news is that there are plenty. While we encourage you to use your site to relay information to locals about news and updates, we do also believe that you can think about a shift to inspiration for travelers for when they are comfortable and able to travel again. While your events sections today seem overwhelmed with a sea of cancellation notices, the longer term strategy of continuing to show visitors why they should visit you can still be ongoing. These types of changes can include:
- Ongoing SEO efforts to make sure your website rankings are preserved.
- Adjusting your homepage content to focus less on current events and more on general destination information.
- Temporarily pausing media campaigns directly aimed at specific events or time windows.
- Consider a round of inspirational storytelling to help website visitors become inspired to visit you when the dust settles.
- If you are seeing a large volume of cancellations on your events pages, consider only showing any activities that are still scheduled, and also add content to discuss what sorts of events typically happen at your destination.
In addition to these types of changes, this can also be a time to do a little house cleaning, or working with your website development team to address long-standing issues that you’ve been meaning to get to but haven’t had time. If you are utilizing our Growth-Driven Design website and marketing strategies, we can adjust your ongoing sprints to focus more on these types of projects. If you are on our monthly hosting and maintenance plans, we can also work with you to show you ways that you can work to clean out outdated and redundant content using your WordPress administration area.
The takeaway is this: While we don’t want to sugarcoat anything that is currently happening, we do know that this will pass, and when it does, we want you and your primary marketing tools to be as ready as possible for the return of visitors to your destination. And as your partner in that process, we want to be available to you to help and guide you through to that time. The reality right now is that people are at home way more than they might have typically been – this means they will be surfing the web and looking for information, be it as a distraction from the times, or wanting to plan future trips once we come out from the other side. This is why it’s important that you and your site are ready to help them.
Interested in learning even more about how you can protect, plan, and subsequently recover from the current COVID-19 environment? We’ve developed a COVID-19 Marketing Preparation Guide for you and your partners.