As we emerge from 2020, businesses across the hospitality and gastronomy industry have been forced to cut costs and consider any expenditure with caution. In such a landscape, marketing and advertising budgets are often the first to get cut. However, we can all agree that successfully marketing your business will attract customers and thus naturally drive up your profit.
Being able to quickly and effectively identify potential new customers, as well as re-engaging old customers, can significantly reduce your marketing spend. Instead of casting your net wide, target specific groups of individuals who are most likely to spend money with your business.
The good news is that as marketing has moved online, your business now has new cost-effective and simple options to target the right customers, in the right place and at the right time. In this article we will look at how the online space acts as a filter to narrow down the pool of potential customers, and how this pool can be narrowed down even further through the network effect of social platforms.
Keeping your online presence updated and relevant, filters the pool of your business' potential customers into those that fall into your target audiences, and those that do not.
Meeting your customers where they search for you is extremely important. 97% of your customers will search for your business online. 87% of customers searching for a hotel will visit the hotel website before making reservation. Interestingly, according to Google research, these same customers make an average of 18 web searches using different devices (mobile, desktop, voice search) across eight sessions before securing the booking. When it comes to searching for the right place to eat or drink, on average people spend an hour searching. The first step to successfully targeting the right customers for your business is to understand what your customers need and desire.
What are potential customers searching for? One person may be searching to find opening times, another looking for take-out options or to view a menu, one to read a friend’s recommendation, and another to find a reservation page or simply find a restaurant, hotel or bar in their area. Online marketing gives you the chance to reach out to each of these people, and to catch their attention at their point of inquiry.
Representing your business accurately online allows you to filter out those individuals that won’t be interested in your business. Bring the offline, online. Displaying your menu at the front of your restaurant or bar will filter out those customers looking for a different menu item or price point straight away and quickly attract those who will. Having your menu available for customers to see when they search for your business mimics this same process.
Many sites, including TWISPER, have a partnership with Google which means that your business will already have a page or profile on their site that will pop up when customers search for somewhere to eat, sleep or drink in their desired area. Another way to capitalize on restaurant searches is to claim and actively manage your businesses’ pages on online platforms. Actively managing these listings means that your hours, services, photos, occupancy or menu will be up to date. Having a consistent online image across different platforms can add as much as 33% to your revenue according to Lucidpress. Claiming your profile will also give you the opportunity to see your business’ statistics such as reach and engagement, as well as giving you insight into what your customers are saying about you and the opportunity to thank them for positive recommendations.
The importance of online presence is hard to dispute and an interesting side effect of business operations, marketing and sales moving into the digital space, is the network effect of online interactions. It has been shown that far and above the most effective way to reach new customers is through your loyal ones. That is that when a loyal customer enjoys their experience with you, they will recommend you to their friends. With these positive recommendations now happening online, the power of them is amplified, and that power is not to be underestimated. 83% of consumers trust the recommendation of friends and family over any other type of advertising or review, and this translates directly to custom for your business.
However, the marketing power of the network effect is not only in word-of-mouth marketing, but it is also in market targeting too. Through the network effect of recommendations on online platforms, your brand is being exposed to people with a similar, if not identical demographic as the loyal customer recommending you. On TWISPER, your customers don’t rate you, they recommend you to their network of friends.
When it comes to promoting your offerings to the correct segment of the customer market, online engagement and reach are extremely important. We know that if you can successfully narrow down your target audience and segment them into groups according to their common characteristics, the more personalized your marketing approach can be, and the better your conversion rates. Encouraging your existing customers to speak positively about you online makes them the best kind of brand ambassador; one that provides you with exposure within your specific target market. You attract new customers to your business who are of the same demographic of your loyal and existing customers, the same location, similar purchasing power and age range.
TWISPER is on a mission to bring fairness and positivity back to the hospitality industry. Claim your business on TWISPER today and reach a growing market of over 2 million users, ready to favorite and recommend your place to their network of friends.