The key to effective marketing is knowing your audience and getting your message out there!
If you run a hotel, pub or restaurant then check out our free marketing tips, to get the most from your marketing.
Some of our ideas are even free and won’t cost you a penny…
Tip 1 – The Power of Branding – Be uber consistent!
We’ve all been to places that are a bit samey-samey! Nothing special or stand out about them or places that seem to have a different look for everything and just don’t give you the right feel.
- So use strong and consistent visual branding across your business.
- Do an audit of all your branded items from the signage outside, to uniforms and tent cards. How does it stack up? Strong, fair or poor?
- The little details do really count.
- Invest in your brand and get a professional designed logo and your own photography – you won’t stand out if your images look exactly the same as the pub next doors!
- Work with your marketing agency to develop some Brand Guidelines or a Style Guide – to make sure that all branded items are printed consistently and to your set brand colours. When you have lots of different suppliers working with you it can be tricky to keep things consistent.
- Any printed promo material like tent cards, bill wallets, guest comment cards will need to be as high quality as your brochure or menus. Don’t skimp as customers will notice and do replace them regularly as they get food and drink spilt on them and looking scruffy, just won’t do!
Tip 2 – Go Digital…
The world of digital marketing has meant that even an independent hotel, pub or restaurant can play with the big guns and punch above their weight!
- Make sure you have a mobile responsive and simple to use website where people can find out your opening times (don’t hide these in the contact page – one of our pet hates!), sign up for offers, get in touch and book. Make sure your tel number is on every page and a clickable link on mobile devices. Make it easy for your customers to call you.
- Email Marketing is still a great way to keep your customers up to date with your latest promotions, new menus or facilities. Regular communication at least once per month and possibly twice is vital. Even weekly, if you’re a local pub or restaurant. But make sure your content is engaging and doesn’t turn into a lengthy ‘newsletter’ type affair. Short and snappy updates are by far the best way.
- Create a loyalty or frequent diner programme – track, recognise and reward your most loyal customers. It will pay dividends and reduce your marketing costs and gain you more repeat business at a fraction of the cost of finding new customers.
- Social media is a great way to get more brand awareness in your local area and the advertising options on Facebook alone means you can precisely pinpoint and send messages to your ideal customers at a fraction of the cost of traditional magazine advertising. Happy marketing days!
Tip 3 – Free Marketing – well that can’t be bad!
Not all marketing has to cost you money and often the best ideas are free or very low cost.
How about these freebies:
- Google – make sure your list your business on Google My Business. This gives a free listing and works with Google Maps. Great if people are looking for a quick spot of lunch or a bed for the night in your area.
- Capture that email address for free! Run a free prize draw – keep a jar at your reception desk for people to put in their business card to be entered into a prize draw for one of your services – creating a free marketing email list! Sometime it is tricky to get email addresses but this tried and tested way is a great start.
- Get social! Using social media to promote your business and communicate with your customers (without advertising) on these platforms is free. Why not post customer reviews you have received, food and drink pictures, behind the scenes in the kitchen or bar, staff members working, events taking place – these are all good examples of the types of post that work well on social media. Facebook and Instagram are great to show customers visually what your establishment is like with photos and videos. Videos are the most powerful content you can use on social media. But do have a content plan to ensure it doesn’t fall by the wayside during busy times!
- Get customer insights, feedback and reviews – Use Survey Monkey (a free research tool) to ask your customers for feedback on your service and their experience.
- Find out what works! Set up a free Google Analytics dashboard to monitor how well your website is doing and how people are finding your business. It’s free and we can help you if you don’t know quite where to start with this.