Restaurant marketing strategies to encourage real reviews

Social media, travel, and review sites can be a great testament to your business’s credibility, customer service, amenities, and experiences. The problem is, most people only write reviews when they’ve had a shockingly horrific experience, or were completely blown away by something. But how do you encourage the masses of happy, satisfied customers in between those two spectrums to write reviews? A great place to start is with a well-devised approach- be it in terms of marketing your restaurant, or promoting your hotel, resort, or tourist attraction.

The formula is simple. Whenever you make a request of your customer – whether it’s asking for an email address or seeking a review – you must be certain that you give them something of equal value in return. Simple campaigns that exchange real value for real reviews will bring your existing customers closer to your brand, while in turn, generating new reach within your target audience. Here, BIGEYE shares the following quick and easy recommendations – in case you were in need of a little added inspiration:

For restaurants and bars

If there’s one thing you need to know, it’s that locals are truly your best friends. Use this to your advantage by employing restaurant marketing strategies that encourage local reviews. Attract your seasonal audience by engaging restaurant review sites such as Yelp and OpenTable. Host “locals’ nights” and offer a free appetizer to anyone who writes a review. Invite reviewers to preview new menu items or cocktail variations on the house … in exchange for a review, of course. Chances are, your reviewers will want to come back for more … tell their friends … or maybe even spread the word to those random tourists they bumped into on the street.

While some restaurants and bars host trivia night. Take things to the next level with your approach to restaurant marketing by hosting your very own branded “social media night.” Tweet-ups, meet-ups, and other social gatherings are hugely popular. Get people in the door by offering discounts, free bites, or some form of entertainment. Plan these activities on your traditionally slower evenings to boost business you wouldn’t otherwise have  – and to encourage all your guests to review, post, and Instagram away. Possible prize offerings may be awarded for tweets and reviews, or simply let people generate their own buzz around your business.

For hotels and resorts

Offer customers a deep discount or give them one night free for a good review. Chances are, your guests will stay longer than one night, and will be so pleased with their “free” vacation they’ll be more inclined to make up the difference in food and beverage costs or on-site amenities. If you’re worried people will “game the system,” put straightforward terms and conditions around the offer to limit one freebie per household. (This will ensure that the reviewer was a visitor within the past six months.) You’ll get a great review  – and some extra business in the process.

Another option is to create a brand ambassador program. Use a point or discount system to reward guests for meaningful social media posts, photos, and reviews. This strategy may promote quantity over quality, so consider using an “application” process that asks potential brand ambassadors why they’d be a great fit, and what unique social media skills they bring to the table.

For tourist attractions

Most travel destinations boast a host of unique activities. You can’t miss swimming with the dolphins in Mexico. Wine tasting in France or Surfing lessons in California. And most of these activities are prime photo opportunities. But as you might have experienced for yourself, even the most seasoned selfie-taker has trouble capturing these moments from the perfect angle. At the end of each activity, guests begrudgingly head toward the photo stand, where professional photography of their adventure is on display. Sneakily, some guests may attempt to covertly snap a copy on their phone, while many visitors simply choose not to purchase these photos on principle. If you offer one digital copy in exchange for a review (which can be easily emailed after the review is verified), you are creating a currency your customers genuinely value. There’s no overhead cost to you, and consequently, plenty of opportunity for gain. 

Because most tourist attractions are one-off experiences that come with a premium price tag, providing discounts on future visits may not be the best strategy. Most often, this is due in part to the low volume of repeat customers. Instead, let your guests give the gift of their memories to others. Let them know that when they write a review, they have the opportunity to share a meaningful discount with a friend. This technique perpetuates your business and makes your customers feel good for reviewing you, while also sharing something with their friends and family. That’s what we call a win-win.

Did these strategies peak your interest when it comes to encouraging your valued customers to share more about their dynamic, memorable experience with your brand? To continue the conversation by uncovering additional opportunities to engage with your target audience, and develop repeat clientele through reviews, contact our team of advertising professionals today!

Learn the Brand benefits of transmedia storytelling

In marketing, “storytelling” is a trendy buzzword. Marketers have often proclaimed the benefits of placing much of their advertising-driven focus on telling a compelling “story,” but what is actually represented by the story itself may be a bit hazy. That’s where the marketers at your favorite marketing agency in Orlando come in – we’ll help you paint a clearer picture of how a viable story might help you to provide positive support and reinforcement for your message.

Before the digital revolution, brand storytelling meant something very specific. In particular, it applied to the types of stories we share with one other, in both formal and informal settings, often containing an overarching narrative – including protagonists, antagonists, and the like.

With the ever-present and constantly changing advent of emerging technology, storytelling has taken on a brand new connotation (pun intended). Sometimes called transmedia storytelling, these are, from a broad perspective, the stories about your brand as told through the use of social media, design and other elements that help give people the entire picture of what your brand is all about. Additionally, every image or bit of copy itself can also tell a story. Even Google’s “Don’t be evil” slogan gives us a pretty solid example of how the brand strives to present itself – abiding by the belief that a company that does good things for the world might be forced to forego some short-term goals.

[quote]These days, storytelling isn’t limited to the words on the page.[/quote] Let’s take a look at how we can apply storytelling in a variety of business facets:

Storytelling in copywriting: “Just do it.” “Think different.” “Got milk?” Each of these copywriting examples represents a widely-known slogan. In just a few short words, the copywriters responsible for these taglines are able to tell fantastic stories about their business. But it doesn’t stop here. Content through longer-form text and via social media are both excellent avenues to deliver stories out into the world.

Storytelling in imagery: Images are effective because they truly resonate with people, transporting them to the locale that they see in the visual. Make an impact on your audience by relying on impactful visuals to tell these stories.

Storytelling in web design: Does the design layout of your website accurately depict who you are as a brand? Cutting-edge companies often have interesting websites that also reflect these values, whereas simple brands will employ more simplistic websites to reflect the mission of the business.

Storytelling in user experience: Beyond simply website or mobile app design, this scenario poses the question of whether the user’s experience across platforms is consistent with your brand story. For instance, if you advertise excellent customer service, then your user experience can aptly highlight this feature by allowing ease of navigation of your apps, as well as features that place the customer at the center of the experience.

Storytelling in sales: People are much more engaged with stories than with hard facts. Use interesting stories in your sales decks and presentation in order to help highlight your business’s strengths and create a feeling of “relatability” within your audience.

Storytelling in corporate culture: To at least some extent, your company’s people are the living and breathing representations of your story. Think of corporations like Google and Apple, both of which lean on their unique corporate cultures as the heart of how they do business. As an organization, who are you are, where you come from, and why you do what you do often makes for a very compelling story.

Storytelling in customer service: For Zappos, customer service IS the story. Zappos employees will stay on the phone with customers for 8 hours or longer just to fulfill the high customer service expectations set forth for and by customers. And, Zappos’ customer service commitment actually inspired an entire book called Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose, which essentially contains a collection of stories the culminate in the overall Zappos brand story.

If you’re not focusing on your brand’s story in all areas of your business, maybe it’s time to shift the paradigm – to begin thinking about how your great tale might best be told. Our Florida marketing agency can help you find and focus on a brand story worth sharing with your customers. Contact us today to let us help you refine your approach, and develop strategies to create a library of success stories!

Instagram in the OR: Using social media to bring comfort to others

I never thought when making the switch from nursing school student to an advertising major in college that I would have the opportunity to witness an open-heart surgery on a small child. But that is exactly the experience I had last month. BIGEYE had the honor to be asked by our client, Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, to produce a video about their cardiology program. As part of that video, our crew was graciously allowed in the operating room to witness an amazing surgical team, lead by Dr. William DeCampli, repair little 3-year-old Emily Stone’s heart.
We literally got to participate in history being made. The hospital broke ground by trying something relatively unheard of in healthcare: using social media to share a live surgical operation with the entire world. The hospital posted images and updates of the surgery every 10 minutes through the photo sharing application Instagram, pushing the updates out via their Twitter and Facebook profiles, as well as their blog. For me, it definitely brought new meaning to a photo app that I primarily use to apply artistic filters to pictures of my food.

The response was overwhelming as the world watched and cheered on little Emily with amazing words of encouragement. It was awesome, in the truest sense of the word, to be so openly allowed into a world that is usually very closed off to the public. Pushing the envelope will always bring on a slew of questions: Why did they do this? Does social media go too far? What role can social media play in healthcare? The very nature of social media encourages debate and provides a portal for honest discussions.

Mike Schmidt, director of digital media at Arnold Palmer Hospital, said it best: “Healthcare is behind the rest of the world in being able to tell stories well through social media. There are thousands of amazing things that happen here at the hospital each and every day, and we want to share that with our community.”

Advertising, taglines, slogans and pictures of happy patients all have their place in healthcare. They play a role in communicating to the public a hospital’s message: who they are and what they stand for. But what about showing, not just telling, what really goes on? There may not be anything “pretty” about surgical procedures, but they are real, raw, and honest. We’re talking about humans saving other human’s lives. Arnold Palmer Hospital and Emily’s family were ready to take that leap by sharing this life-saving procedure with the world. The fact is, surgeons and healthcare professionals alike live and breathe this every day, and that’s what has a true impact on their patient’s lives.

Social media is here to stay and will continue to evolve and change. Yes, seeing pictures of a beating heart on your Facebook timeline may not be for everyone, but I do commend the hospital on using a tool that we are all familiar with in a new and interesting way in order to keep people informed of what’s going on behind the curtain. It breaks down barriers and can remove the mystery of the “unknown” for families that may be going through something very scary, hearing their child has  congenital heart disease.

On a very important side note, Emily is doing well. It was a joy to get to know her and her family throughout this process. She’s a brave little girl!

You can see how the story unfolded on the hospitals blog, Illuminate.  Warning: some of the pictures are graphic in nature.

http://myilluminateblog.com/livesurgery

Written by, Laura Adams, BIGEYE Creative Account Manager

How to Identify Different Types of Ad Agencies Right Away

Advertising is one of the earliest concepts of human economic activity. This has developed with the coming of every new technology and continues to grow each day. Drawings, printing, telephone, television and more recently the internet and social media marketing have all made their mark in the history of advertising, and who knows what tomorrow might bring.
Advertising can be done individually, or by the use of a marketing agency. Depending on the kind of product or service that you wish to market, and the population that you wish to meet in terms of the strata of the population as well as whether the population is local or if you are looking for a worldwide distribution, you will want an ad agency that is able to handle your proposal effectively as well as reach the target population.

You will also have to make this choice based on the advertising strategy that you think is efficient for you and thus make sure that the agency you chose is specialized in this aspect of advertising.

[quote]Ad agencies are normally classified based on the media that they specialize in, and because of this classification, it is easy to see ad agencies that specialize in television ads, radio ads, newspaper ads and more recently web and new media ads. [/quote]

Marketing agencies are usually classified based on their scope. You might want to check if the agency serves a particular location as in a Orlando marketing agency or if the agency is has a global network and therefore a wider reach.

However in marketing, the term “type of advertising” is used to describe the primary focus of the advertising message and it can be classified as:

Product-Oriented Advertising

Image Advertising

Advocacy Advertising

Public Service Advertising

Therefore we can infer from these that type of advertising agencies will also fall within these categories.

Product-Oriented advertising

A product can be an idea, a service or a good that is the result of a company’s or a person’s activity. Product oriented advertising refers to advertising that is meant to promote this product or service to a particular audience. Here Ad agencies may use informative advertising to furnish information about the product; persuasive advertising where the approach is to try and convince people to buy, and comparative advertising that tries to show consumers how the product compares with others on the market.

Image advertising

Image advertising is the type of advertising that focuses on building up a company’s image to make it more attractive among its peers. They use strategy that increases the importance of a company and as such do not focus on particular products. This strategy is usually used in cases where a company has taken on a new name due to mergers or change of ownership, or due to negative publicity a company may need to rebrand itself.

Advocacy Advertising

These are usually advertising efforts that use the company’s public stance to voice certain opinions as concerns them or their future. In this way they companies can even sway public opinions on political issues and other debates that may affect them in one way or the other.

Public Service Advertising

These adverts are usually free of charge depending on the country and the policy of the agency that handles the advert. They are usually for the public good. It is important for nongovernmental organizations and humanitarian organizations to publicize themselves and to call for financial resources and personnel such as volunteers.

There are ad agencies that do not specialize in any one of these sectors, but embrace all the different sectors. There are also some that specialize in one or two of these and it will usually be to the advantage of the advertiser to choose the marketing agency whose profile is adapted to the kind of advertising he wishes to undertake.

Interested in obtaining more information about your target audience, and ready to enlist the expertise of an ad agency? Contact us today to schedule a consultation!