Perhaps you do not have the budget to hire somebody to help you with your online presence. Nonetheless, this is not an excuse to neglect the opportunities that the online space presents us with. In order to help bars, hotels, and restaurants with their online presence we from Sprints & Sneakers provide you with 11 practical insights in order for your business to be even more visible this summer than ever before.
1. Local SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization or being found organically (without having to pay per visitor) in Google. The search engine is getting smarter in receiving all kinds of signals to put the best answers at the top of the search engine results page. One of these signals is the location where the consumer is searching from. With a few smart adjustments, you ensure that your website transmits these signals to Google for better local findability for your business. In order to improve local SEO, perform the following actions for your website:
- Set up your Google My Business profile (see tip 3)
- Make sure you are displayed on local / regional (catering) platforms, including address details
- Add your address and opening hours to your website (footer, contact page, special opening hours page). Bonus: Do this using schema markup
- Include your place name in titles, tags and descriptions
- Collect as many reviews as possible (not specifically local, but it does help distinguish you from local competition)
- Integrate Google Maps into your contact page or footer
2. Display advertising (with directions)
Display advertising is the name for advertising with so-called banners on a set of websites. in other words, the image advertisements that everyone knows from your favorite news sites. This form of advertising can, for example, be based on location, interests, age, be placed on specific websites or a combination of these factors. This offers your bar, hotel or restaurant an opportunity to reach a relevant target group that is located near your business. In addition, you can also enhance your banner with directions by linking to Google My Business. For example, after seeing your ad at 10 to 6 in the evening, people can walk straight to your restaurant as soon as it is open again.
3. Set-up Google My Business
You can claim your Google business page via Google My Business. The results of these business pages are normally shown on the right or relatively top of the search results in a separate block. Usually contact details such as company name, address, telephone number, website and opening hours are shown here. There is also room to ask / answer questions, reviews are shown, you can show beautiful images of your interior and there is even room for free marketing (more about that later). Make sure to claim your company page, add cool photos and fill in as much relevant information as possible. This makes Google and people who search for you happy.
4. Advertise for free via Google Posts
It has just been mentioned that in Google My Business you have the “Google Post” functionality. This allows you to communicate a message at your own discretion that will remain in your Google My Business block for 7 days. This is therefore very clearly shown almost every time someone searches for your company and is also free. This is an ideal way to communicate your latest menu, special offers or new products with your target group. Obviously this is not a substitute for social media or email marketing but additional.
5. Optimize SEO for your niche
As just mentioned, SEO ensures that Google (and therefore searchers) can find your website well. The tricky part is that several companies do this. So if you want to be found on “restaurant amsterdam” then you compete directly with all the big boys who definitely outsource SEO. You can, for example, rank on “Dutch stew restaurant Amsterdam”. This is much more specific in terms of search term, which means that there is less competition. Make sure that your website contains these niche search terms (titles, URLs, texts, alt tags of images) and make sure that you continuously share content with your target group about this niche. Think of sharing dishes, recipes and stories about your products through blogs, social media and email marketing.
6. Make look-a-likes of your existing customers
As you know, practically the whole of the Netherlands has a smartphone on at least 1 social platform, including your customers. Within these social platforms, the option is offered to upload a list of your customers (no worries, this is anonymized and legal) and then search for similar profiles of your customers through Facebook, for example. You can use these profiles in a targeted advertising strategy to find, approach and ultimately turn your target group into a customer.
7. Reach your target audience via Social Media
You had expected this tip, of course. Obviously, you should not only reach your target audience on social media by paying for it. With Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and TikTok you have enough choice and you can even do it all if your target group values it. Important considerations in the choice of which social media platforms you use and in which way are:
- Which platforms are used by your target group? The target audience on Snapchat is considerably younger than on LinkedIn
- What information do they take up on these platforms? Are they videos or texts? Funny messages or valuable content. Target your content on the platform
- How do I interact with my target audience? Sending is good of course, but interaction even better. Devise a tactic in which the target group will also communicate with you.
- Be as unique as possible. There are many restaurants and catering companies in Amsterdam, how do you ensure that they follow and remember you?
8. Create video content
There are countless options for using video marketing. You can of course make a company/brand video as a first step. Other examples are sharing the atmosphere in your business life through social media, make how-to videos for youtube, vlog the turbulent life as an entrepreneur or come up with something completely new yourself. Youtube alone already has more than a billion users. Moreover, video content always does very well on social media and is a nice addition to your website.
9. Engage in Email marketing
Does nobody read those newsletters? Wrong! With Sprints & Sneakers, we achieve an average open rate for our customers of 63% with our customer segmented newsletters. Email marketing is an excellent way to communicate with potential customers. In contrast to social media, it gives you the opportunity to provide more extensive explanations if necessary or to pack multiple messages into 1 message. Make sure customers know they are being emailed and make it worth their time every email.
10. Invite (micro-) influencers to visit your business
Influencers… You can’t escape them in 2020. But most of them are actually quite nice and you cannot ignore the fact that they influence the behavior of their followers to a greater or lesser extent. Try it yourself! Make contact with influencers in your region and ask them to come to your establishment, try your dish or name a cocktail after them. Just a post on their Instagram as a thank you and you will reach more potential customers. Do make sure that the influencer in question has a connection with your target group.
11. Create an “Insta-Wall” in your business
Word of mouth remains the best form of advertising available. Fortunately, you can always help yourself. For example, set up a wall in your space especially for Instagram photos and mention your brand name on this wall. You can also raffle a monthly free dinner among anyone who tags your business on social. Give people a hand so they can help you!
We challenge you to use all these insights this summer and we hope that despite everything happening in the world it will be a good season for the hospitality industry. If you need help taking advantage of the online opportunities for the hospitality industry, you can always call or email.