- By Reinaldo Calcaño
Love is in the air… and so is the competitive spirit for the hospitality industry! While we’re all for the candlelit dinners, chocolates and flowers the holiday of love brings, restaurants and hotels must strategize intelligently, making sure they do everything possible to win over their competitors. V-Day might be just around the corner, but you can make some quick adjustments to win the heart of lovebirds near you this year.
Hotels and restaurants need to step up their Local Marketing game if they want to increase their share of the pie (or box of heart-shaped chocolates). But juggling on-site promotions, online campaigns, and optimizing your local presence can be a logistical mess and the stress levels just keep rising. Sound familiar?
To get your guests feelin’ the love this season, try these top ten Local Marketing strategies to get ready for the big day.
10. Update all your listings to match your Valentine’s schedule:
Make sure your guests know you are open longer than usual so they can schedule a stay, or a last-minute dinner (for those forgetful types!).
9. Get cozy with your neighbors…it is also friendship day!
Partnering with nearby restaurants or hotels to create Valentine’s packages that include dinner, stay and — why not add in breakfast too! –– Run local marketing campaigns to promote your coupling. Conversely, if you are a restaurant, this is the perfect time to pay a visit to the hotels around you and create alliances.
8. Leverage your Valentine’s promos and discount coupons for your all Local Listings:
Customers are always on the hunt for deals. Make sure you are giving them the right discount at the right place and time. Use your local listings to promote coupons or discounts. Maybe even create a whole Valentine’s experience and promote it online, from champagne to flowers!
7. Make sure out-of-town visitors can find you:
Tourists are in town for their little romantic escapade! And they are probably looking for the best restaurants and places to stay too. Make sure you understand when they are visiting and capitalize on those busy periods.
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6. Go visual with your Local Campaigns:
This applies to all your locations. Make sure you have compelling images for every listing that speaks to your audience the moment they are ready to buy from you. Visual content gets 94% more views than just text. (Source: Forbes)
5. Tailor your service offering by target groups:
Identify age groups and make sure your offering matches their needs. If you are getting calls from a younger crowd making reservations, you might want to push products or services that are relevant to them (think about a backdrop wall for millennials to share their love in selfie form! ). Be sure not to generalize – what works in one location might not work in another. Use your data!
4. Customize your Local Campaign according to gender:
Different customers behave and consume differently. Use your local insights to identify the best moments to connect you punches or present your flowers.
3. Monitor your whole Valentine’s season:
Track, track, track! Keep an eye on all your local metrics during your business’ busiest time. Your post-mortem will let you know which locations need improvement in order to best prepare for the next holiday season.
2. Reach out to your most loyal audience:
Target return visitors and ask them to review your locations. Returning guests are usually happy ones, so make sure to leverage that satisfaction into a positive review!
1. Implement a thorough Review Solicitation Campaign:
Reviews are one of the main influencers when lovebirds make decisions about where to celebrate. Building an online reputation is a critical step for any business, if you haven’t done so, take advantage of this busy time to solicit reviews from your happy guests. There are rules for this…so make sure you play a fair game or you might get in trouble with key directories. (Read our guide here).
These easy-to-follow steps will help you generate more in-store traffic, optimize your local presence and set you up for success in the most romantic season of the year.
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Want to learn more about how to harvest the power of Local Insights? Request a SweetIQ demo now and let us show you our Local Marketing Hub will help you build a conversion funnel that gets you feelin’ the love.