Let’s say you’re no larger than 50 rooms or a single restaurant that wants to ultimately become well known in you local area and surrounding counties. What Internet marketing channels and offline marketing opportunities are at your disposal to get your hotel and restaurant out there?
One strategy we recommend is local PR and Internet Advertising. These have proven to be a successful strategy with many of our smaller (and larger) sized clients.
This article will give you some hints and tips on where to start to achieve consistent local coverage of your business through internet marketing and PR strategies.
Planning & Marketing Activity
Consider your target audience
First look at your current audience and use information you have to break down the audience into different types. If there are additional markets you want to target who would be interested in your offering, then include them in your marketing planning activity.
Top tip on target market analysis:
Look at the addresses your guests have registered with and see if a trend is appearing from a certain county, city or region.
Consider the media you’re going to use
Create a list of online / offline channels your current and potential target markets engage with. These could be:
- Local newspapers and magazines
- County websites and local council / government websites
- Local news websites
- Local businesses
- Local events
Consider the offering
It’s essential to create a compelling offer to appeal to your target audience and media, so make your campaign exciting enough for local newspapers, magazines and local websites to want to offer it to their readers or customers.
- Be exciting enough for your target market to want to get involved
- Plan what campaigns you’re going to run for the year as these need to be tied into seasonal marketing activity events, such as Valentine’s, Christmas or local annual events.
Top tip on exciting campaigns:
Run exciting competitions – Ask a question that shows off your business such as ‘How many Michelin Stars does our restaurant have?’ Ensure your prize also shows off your business such as taster menus or personalised services you may offer.
Securing the opportunities
This is where there is a fine balance between PR and Internet Marketing. It is important you approach your marketing channels with an intention of running your competition, without having to pay to do so. This varies greatly as a local newspaper will run editorial or competitions without charging you, however a local county website will tend to charge you for the pleasure, however you do get more for your money.
There are many advertising opportunities available, so talk to the person responsible for advertising or organising local events and see what platforms they have available, for example a local regatta might allow you to do a cooking demonstration or you could sponsor a local charity event – those are just a few local PR examples.
Top Tip for Creative Internet Advertising channels
I secured advertising for a hotel with a local county website, which was a competition and reader offer campaign – it included:
- A button on the homepage
- 50 word editorial and image on their offers page, that clicked through to…
- A dedicated landing page that was designed in brand and included two special reader offers, a competition and an image gallery of the hotel
The client achieved a high ROI due to the reader offers and generated hundreds of new members of the database who are now regularly communicated with via the hotel email newsletter.
Top Tip on data capture:
Ensure that any competition or reader offer you run is trackable and allows you to capture users email addresses and other contact details.
This is an ongoing strategy to continually involve your business within your target market’s lives. There are always growing channels, local events and businesses that your business can get involved in so don’t get disheartened when all the local newspapers are not interested in currently running one of your offers… Look elsewhere and don’t forget that you can ALWAYS develop new customers from new locations.
To find out more about how we work with hotels and restaurants to help them manage their internet marketing strategies and PR, contact us on 020 7275 8682