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Top tips on how to market to your customers effectively outside of COVID-19

It looks as though the Hospitality industry is on the road to recovery with most establishments in the majority of states now able to open with the ease of restrictions. But as we have seen across Melbourne, there is no telling what is on the horizon.  

Our industry has experienced the initial stage 4 restrictions, with many venues having to shut down completely, whilst some bars, restaurants and cafes were able to move towards a takeaway and delivery service. With this in mind, it’s important to be prepared for how to communicate best with your customer’s ongoing, no matter the situation. 

We’ve put together some of our top tips on how to stay top of mind with your customers and make sure their initial interactions with your business are positive.

1. Don’t go dormant: 

a. Consider your website as your customer’s go-to guide, ensure it is regularly updated with any changes to your opening hours, menu and pricing.

b. Ensure pages like Google My Business and Tripadvisor are updated with your correct opening hours.

c. Regularly communicate with your customers through emails:

  • Segment your customers in several ways including geographically, those who have ordered online or, customers who have responded to different offers. You can use segmentation tools to personalise your emails via subject lines and the content you include, ensuring these are relevant to the customer you are talking to for maximum engagement.
  • Offer value through email communications including frequent, regular and relevant offers/promotions.

d. Regularly post through your social media channels with new and engaging content:

  • Images of your menu items 
  • Introduce your staff
  • Videos (cooking demonstrations, venue introductions, etc.)
  • History of the business and its origins

 

2. Nurture loyal customers:

a. If you have a loyalty program or are considering one in the future, emails can be used to share monthly specials and events to encourage your regular customers to visit more frequently.

 

3. Leverage marketing tools (both traditional and digital)         

a. Evaluate your local marketing. Is there a niche group of customers who you can create a special offer for and hand out flyers in a letterbox drop?

b. Add customer service tools to your website like instant chat, providing a way of instantaneously answering customer questions and helping with conversions.

c. Set up auto-responders on Facebook to help answer common questions or help manage bookings.

d. A/B Test your emails and paid social media posts to test out different content, images or subject lines to increase the engagement rates.

 

4. Invest in targeted digital marketing campaigns which require smaller spend to re-market or reach new audiences: 

a. Re-market to those customers who have visited your website recently with a special promotion.

b. Create Facebook custom audiences. If you have an email marketing list, load this into your Facebook Business Manager and create a lookalike audience – if you have a valuable customer list this also is a useful way of reaching new lookalike customers.