Recently I have been writing on The Brightbox Blog about the various online marketing tools available to hospitality businesses and discussing how you can use these tools to drive business. In this final article in the series specific to internet marketing techniques I'll be bringing everything together to illustrate how the different communication tools interact and compliment each other.
All marketing activity should be planned and online techniques are no exception. By planning things carefully operators will ensure the maximum impact of budgets and the optimum return on investment. Tools such as Email, Twitter, Facebook and your website are simply channels that can be used to communicate messages. The message is key as no matter how well you use the tools, without a strong message they won't be effective. Developing a creative marketing idea is therefore the first step and is of utmost importance. Start with an objective, what do you want to achieve, which area of the business do you wish to promote or drive? For example, let's say you're a restaurant that would like to push your seafood as you source sustainably and seasonally and would like to communicate the great fresh fish you offer on your menu. So the objective would be to highlight your seafood dishes.
The next step is to decide on a creative idea to achieve the objective. In our example we could decide to run a 'Seafood Month' with a special set price sampler menu with matching wines. Once the menu is planned and your dates set it's time to spread the word far & wide. That's where your online marketing channels come in.
Clearly you'll want to set up a process to convert interest in your Seafood Month to bookings so you need to ensure your special menu deal is available on your website booking engine. Next add details to your website Special Offers or Events pages and add advertising buttons to your website promoting your Seafood Month and directing people to the pages providing the details. Here customers should be able to read about your seafood attributes, view the menu and book a table. You want to make the process seamless and effective, easily directing traffic from your homepage to your promotion and on to a booking, persuading the customer at each step of the way.
Once your conversion tool is all set up and you're confident that it's going to effectively persuade people to book you need to drive traffic to your conversion page. The key digital communication tools to use in this case are:
• Google Adwords: Add some relevant keywords and adverts to your Google Adwords campaign as a new Ad Group using your conversion page as the landing page. Ensure your keywords, advert copy and website page copy all match to achieve a high Quality Score and to help keep your bid price low. Set a daily budget and monitor your Click Through Rate.
• Email: Design a fully branded Email promoting Seafood Month with 'Book Online' buttons linking directly to the conversion page. A 'View Menu' button would also be helpful. Send this out a number of times throughout the campaign. Also include 'Follow Us On Twitter' and 'Fan Us On Facebook' buttons on the email.
• Facebook: Add all the persuasion details to your fan page and add a Like Button to the seafood menu on your website. Link to the conversion page at every opportunity.
• Twitter: Start to Tweet on a regular basis about your seafood and include links to your conversion page and Facebook page. Ideally run your Tweet feed onto your website if your web designers knows how to set this up.
All of this should also tie-in with your offline communications such as an A-Board poster and flyer.
By working together in this manner you are delivering a multi-platform campaign with a cohesive and coordinated message that will build strong links with your core target audience and encourage direct bookings, a clearly practical path to a successful campaign and achievement of objectives.