The vast and ever changing world of digital and social media marketing can be overwhelming. You might wonder where to start, what to focus on, or if it’s even worth it! We can assure you that, yes, digital marketing IS worth it and is hugely beneficial for your tourism or hospitality business! Whether you are a small café, a busy restaurant, or a hotel, digital marketing is crucial to build brand awareness, increase customer base and drive sales.
So, let’s go over some of the basics to get you started and on track.
A modern, visually appealing and user friendly website is key to attracting potential new customers. It doesn’t have to be super fancy – a simple yet attractive website that is responsive and easy to use will do the trick. People want to see what you have to offer. Draw them in with high quality images of your best dish or most luxurious hotel room on the home page. The aim is to get people to stay on your website and have a good look around.
A good way to persuade people to stay on your website for longer, and possibly make a booking, is by using a pop-up. A pop-up offering a special deal is an excellent way to interest a potential customer, who might be keen to know more. To encourage the customer to make contact with you, include a simple call to action, like ‘Book now!’ or ‘Contact us!’. Limited time offers work well to create a sense of urgency which encourages customers to take action.
Links to contact your business should be available throughout the website, to make it easy for a prospective customer. Key information about your venues opening hours, facilities and pricing must be easily accessible on the website. Restaurants and cafes should display their current menu so customers can get excited for their visit. And, don’t forget a built in booking engine for customers to easily book a room or table!
Before we get more into the social media side of things, you need to make sure you have high quality and up to date content to use. Variety is key in content creation. While we do want some great photographs of food and accommodation options, mix it up a bit, too! Try get some snaps of your staff at work: chefs plating up food in the kitchen, bartenders pouring a beer, receptionists checking in a guest. People like to see that the employees are happy and take pride in their work.
Take some photographs of each area of your premise too, so people can get a feel for the vibe and atmosphere. A professional photo shoot is recommended to get a good collection of high quality images. However, with most cellphones these days having fantastic cameras, you can easily use your phone to take photos that have a more candid approach. Having a mixture of both professional and ‘day in the life’ style photos is valuable for variety of content. Maintain your brand by creating social media tiles that follow the same color scheme and are consistent with your brand guidelines. Social media tiles are graphics that contain any content you want! Create these to advertise special deals, competitions and discounts. This kind of content results in great engagement, because people tend to share competitions and deals with their friends and family.
Facebook and Instagram are the key social media platforms for hospitality businesses. These platforms require high quality content to attract strong engagement and interaction. Social media is an easy and free way to build brand awareness and generate business. Have a look around at what your competitors are doing – is there anything that really catches your eye? Or maybe there’s something they are doing that you think isn’t working.
Benchmarking against what other businesses’ are doing is a great way to find inspiration and new ideas. Every social media post should have a call to action. This could be a link to your website or a prompt to message your page. Urge your audience to communicate with your business to increase sales alongside creating that valuable customer relationship.
Remember to use hashtags on your posts consistently, too! Hashtags are an effective way to get more people seeing and, hopefully, engaging with your content. Use the content you have to your advantage and encourage engagement amongst your audience.
There are a number of ways to promote your business with paid advertisements. One of the most cost-effective ways to do this is through Facebook Ads Manager. Facebook allows you to set a budget and time frame to get the best results from your ads. You can choose your audience to target people who will be interested in your business. Targeting the right audience is important and will help you build relationships with potential customers. The benefit of paid advertising is that you can get instant results! These results are easily measurable with KPI’s, too, so you can see what works well and what doesn’t.
Google AdWords is another cost effective way to advertise your company and promote brand awareness. Google AdWords drives traffic from Google to your website by increasing your ranking on the search engine. This will help you compete with your competitors by ensuring that customers will see, and go to, your website first.
Lastly, one of the most important things to consider in your digital marketing strategy is consistency! Consistency really is key. People like to see information about a company before they become a customer, therefore it is crucial to maintain regular contact with your audience. Creating a memorable brand results in strong brand recognition, which is what encourages customer trust and loyalty. Loyal customers are the ones who are likely to make repeat purchases and spread awareness for your business through word-of-mouth recommendations. The aim is to create enough awareness about your company that it becomes the ‘go-to’ place for many people.
Implementing simple digital marketing actions is recommended for every business, no matter if you are a holiday park, wedding venue, hotel or restaurant! Not only will these key steps help you build brand awareness, but they will grow your audience, resulting in increased sales and overall success for your company.
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We offer a range of brand engagement and digital marketing services specific for hospitality and tourism businesses. Contact us today for more information on how to make the most of digital marketing and get results!