Did you know that roughly one in four dollars spent in restaurants is related to either travel or tourism? This means that you don’t have to be specifically located in a “destination city” for a traveler to be important. People can travel for many different reasons. It can be a vacation, to visit family, for a social event, or business. Regardless, after checking into their hotel, one of the first things every person does is seek out the best places to eat.
Have you ever heard of digital marketing segmentation? Essentially, it is the process of creating personalized and specialized digital marketing for a specific customer subgroup. With digital marketing segmentation, you can tailor your marketing message based on a group’s specific demographic, behaviors, location, or other factors. For instance, a restaurant or bar in a “college town” may have separate marketing designed for college kids, for visiting parents, and for the local adult population. When you arrange your target customers into segmented subgroups, you can more efficiently spend your money, time, and resources by employing more personalized strategies.
With this in mind, today’s article is sharing several methods for making your restaurant a hot spot for tourists and travelers.
How to Market a Restaurant to Tourists
1. Create Social Buzz – Effective social media marketing can expand your marketing reach well beyond your local community. This means needing an up to date and active presence. Moreover, engage with both local and out-of-town followers and fans. Some social media users have thousands of online friends. When they share your content or engage with social users, it will help expand your marketing reach and following.
2. Geo-targeting – Facebook, Yelp, Foursquare, Waze and some other smartphone apps will serve ads to their users based on their specific location. While it does cost money, a tourist or traveler will see your ad or special offer after checking into their hotel or other destination. Moreover, some ad platforms can be tightly tailored to target an even tighter group, such as the under 30 crowd, families, or a specific income level.
3. Encourage Reviews – When a person is traveling, these online reviews are very important. Moreover, sites like Google, Yelp, and Trip Advisor take information gained by users to categorize restaurants. You can create a reputation for being a great place for cocktails, a large beer selection, awesome deserts, or a place to take the family.
4. Capture Your Listings – Platforms like Google My Business, Yelp, Zagat, and others will allow you to take ownership of your restaurant’s listing. Once done, you can edit important information, correct errors, and upload photos. However, the biggest benefit is the ability to respond to reviewers. Take the time to acknowledge positive reviews and dispassionately address the concerns of negative ones.
5. Establish Relationships – Make sure you take the time to make connections with area hotels and local attractions. Tourists and travelers don’t always have their entire visit completely mapped out. In fact, many times travelers will trust the tips from locals, who are more in tune with hot spots, than any marketing message you create.
Today’s article discussed some of the ways that digital marketing and segmentation can help attract tourists to your restaurant. Since approximately one in four dollars spent in restaurants comes from travelers, every restaurant can benefit from a digital marketing strategy that targets these potential customers. Regardless, by personalizing your messaging based on a customer sub group’s specific demographic, behaviors, location, needs, or other factors, you will ensure a more efficient use of your restaurant’s marketing resources.
Do you still have questions? What haven’t we covered yet that is important to you? If you would like to talk about how to use digital marketing to attract tourists to your restaurant, or a related topic, please contact us.
Also published on Medium.