Are We Back to “Normal” Yet? 5 Post-Pandemic Marketing Tips to Implement Now!
Since March of 2020, we’ve all been waiting to get back to “normal.” While the road hasn’t been linear, and some new practices are here to stay, the world is opening back up again. Different countries and industries are re-opening at different paces, but vaccine rollouts and travel bubbles have made it possible for many people to travel again, and to plan for future travel.
This means it’s time to reexamine your marketing strategies as we continue to emerge into a post-pandemic world.
What to Start Doing Differently
Partner with Live Events & Festivals
Live events have felt like a thing of the past throughout the pandemic, but they’re making a comeback as some countries lift their restrictions on gatherings, especially in the summer when we can gather outdoors. This could be a great opportunity to partner with a live event or festival in your area by becoming a sponsor, having a booth, or even offering your activities if it’s a good fit (like a mobile axe throwing lane at an outdoor festival).
Make your presence known and re-introduce your business to the local community. Events allow you to get your brand in front of hundreds or thousands of people, so they can be a good investment.
Resume Advertising Beyond Only Local Audiences
If you paused your PPC campaigns or have been targeting local audiences only, it’s time to start branching out again. Travelers are looking to get out of town as soon as they’re able to, so a well-placed pay-per-click ad could lead to more bookings.
Some experts predict that CPC (cost-per-click) prices will go down this summer as more people advertise offline (see above), but a hybrid approach can help you capture customers online and offline. If your budget is tight, read our marketing budget guide to help you decide where to spend for the highest impact.
Before you create your target audience, make sure to read up on the latest travel guidelines in your country and state/region to be sure you’re targeting users who can freely travel to your destination. Need a refresher on PPC ads? Review our checklist for starting a Google Ads campaign.
What to Keep Doing
Show Empathy in Your Messaging
If you’ve already been vaccinated and you’re walking down a local hiking trail with no mask on, you might feel like the pandemic is over, but your situation may be different from those in your community. Many people remain unvaccinated, with varying levels of access to the vaccine around the world. It’s important to remember that even though it might feel like “normal” is on the horizon, people will be dealing with the fallout from the pandemic for years to come.
So how does this apply to your marketing messaging? In the past year, many brands prioritized empathy in their messaging to show audiences that they care about their community, and this should continue into the future. Tell your audience how you’re contributing to your area’s recovery, whether it’s growing the economy, supporting local businesses, or even donating to local nonprofits.
Optimize for Local Search
Local travel will continue to be popular as people dip their toes into tourism again. Make sure your Google My Business profile is up to date and optimized so locals can easily find you. Review our GMB checklist to get started, and pay close attention to things you might have changed during the pandemic, like hours of operation.
Keep Experimenting with Social & Video
If you got social savvy during the pandemic, don’t stop now! Social media has become an increasingly valuable tool for businesses to stay in touch with customers. We’ve seen a lot of innovation in this space, from brands trying their hand at TikTok to live-streamed events on Facebook that brought together people from all over the world.
We may be putting down our phones a bit more now that we can enjoy more activities, but that doesn’t mean you should let digital tactics fall to the wayside. They will continue to be an important way to reach new and existing customers, especially millennials and Gen Zers.
We’ve learned a lot about our industry and how we can improve throughout the pandemic, and now it’s time to put these lessons into action. Listen to what your customers are saying (in person and on social media) and remain flexible as you figure out what marketing tactics will work best for your business. To learn more, read up on three ways the pandemic actually made our industry better.