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!

A few more free fonts that you need to add to your collection

2015. A new year, a new list of our talented designers’ favorite fonts for you to peruse, download, and enjoy! And did we mention they’re free fonts?
We all know that typography has grown to become an art form, one that has the potential to really attract an audience to – or detract their interest from – an advertisement, article layout, or website. Always keep a variety of fonts in your quick draw. From script to plain text, as well as some with a bit of artistic flair, employing a mix of beautiful fonts can elevate the design of your promotional content, website, etc., and truly draw your audience to your design.

If you’re looking to “shake things up a bit” through the use of a gorgeous new typeface, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve done the heavy lifting, so feel free to take advantage of this no-cost opportunity to further maximize your font drawer by adding a few new lovely options to your existing repertoire.

And now, without further adieu, here’s our current list of our favorite free fonts for 2015 – hand-selected by our Creative Team at BIGEYE:






Moderne Sans

Galano Classic


We can’t resist adding some of our favorite free fonts from 2016 to this list.


Libre Baskerville



And finally – one more that we adore. This one’s not not a freebie, but it’s most certainly a serif beauty:

So, which of your picks did we leave off of our list? See any font styles that you’re really drawn to? Contact our Florida marketing agency to let us know how we can help shape your design dreams – complete with some truly breathtaking typography!

The power that lies within the Super Bowl XLIX ads

Ah, the Super Bowl. For football fanatics, it’s the most important day of the year. For others, it’s an excuse to enjoy a few brewksis and some BBQ on a Sunday night; employees and bosses alike can be seen donning sunglasses indoors come Monday morning, free of judgment. Fried chicken wings are a viewing-party staple and high-fives can be heard throughout the sports bar. It’s a great day to be an American.
It’s also a great day for advertisers. For one night only, the country, whose viewing behavior typically includes a finger affixed to the remote control, set in fast forward for those notorious “TV time outs” – anxiously tunes-in to a series of commercials, rather than actively ignoring them. [quote]Expectations are high, as the Super Bowl has a history of airing some of the greatest ads of all time. [/quote] Wendy’s “Where’s the Beef?” spot is still admired 30 years later, and no one can forget the Budweiser frogs (even though, I’ve now dated myself, given that the last commercial featuring the trio was in 2000). But with such high viewership comes an even higher price tag attached for precious airtime. NBC’s asking price for Super Bowl XLIX? A cool 4.4 million to 4.5 million per each 30-second spot. That’s some serious pay-for-play.

Not surprising, landing a spot isn’t an option for most companies – just ask Newcastle. The brewer’s media budget for the entire year was half of what it would cost to buy a spot during the 2014 Super Bowl, so instead they got crafty and made something even better. Being inventive was a requirement, if the brand were to compete amongst a sea of frothy hops-induced advertising.

The company’s campaign, entitled, “If We Made It,” showcased just how outrageously silly, epic, and awesome their ad would be – cleverly playing on the fact that Newcastle could never really afford the ad space to begin with. One of the fan favorites featured a foul-mouthed Anna Kendrick, who was hired to star in the Super Bowl commercial, only to discover Newcastle backed out because they had no money. It was a genius move for Newcastle, using self-deprecating humor and honesty to turn their disadvantage into a successful campaign – one that earned itself AdWeek’s #1 Ad of 2014.

In other words, Newcastle Brown Ale managed to air the most memorable Super Bowl ad, without actually making a Super Bowl ad – or paying for one. Cheers, you sneaky geniuses.

On the flip side, you’ve likely noticed that many advertisers are now pre-empting the “grand reveal” of their much-ballyhooed debut of epic, witty, and oft-discussed ads – designated specifically for the BIG game, and with BIG budgets – in advance of kick-off. As an advertiser, this is a fairly brilliant strategy to obtain the greatest media mileage for a spot’s hefty purchase price. The conversation gets going early, the buzz begins via social media and marketing industry experts, and viewers immediately know what to look out for when they tune into the game.

I have to admit, what is likely a very logical idea from an ROI standpoint sure does feel a little bit like peeking at your holiday gifts in secret before unwrapping them in front of friends and family. What do you think? Which advertisers’ spots do you anticipate will be most-talked about around your office the “day after?” How do you feel about gaining early access to “sneak peeks” at Super Bowl commercials? My guess is, we’ll all have more to discuss than “deflate-gate” with our co-workers come Monday morning.

Contact our Orlando marketing agency today, to let us help you create water cooler-worthy creative!

Transmedia storytelling as an effective theme park marketing strategy

In a lot of ways, developing an effective theme park marketing strategy evokes quite the “roller coaster” of experiences. There are highs and lows and oftentimes, it even throws you for a loop!

But- it doesn’t have to always be that way, particularly when you have a good sense of what your target audience is looking for in its theme park experience. At our marketing agency in Orlando, we understand that people visit theme parks to be entertained, excited and thrilled, but also to relax and escape everyday life. One of the best ways to get people to choose your park over your competitors’ is to tap into their emotions through emotive storytelling.

This isn’t a story with an introduction, a middle and a conclusion like you might’ve been told in your third grade English class. We’re talking about transmedia storytelling, which describes the art of being able to tap into what people are thinking about, and being able to give them great content and visuals to help inspire them. And, by inspiring potential customers through images of what a great vacation could do for them, you’ll hopefully also be able to inspire them to buy plane tickets to Florida to spend a week at a local resort hotel.

In telling an emotional story, your imagery and words should reflect your commitment to this appeal. A photo of kids laughing on a double decker carousel in LEGOLAND’S Fun Town is going to grab a child’s attention and make them want to escape in the same way. A bullet-point list of facts about your park? Maybe, but think about how much more the photo might resonate with a parent who has a LEGO- obsessed child.

Disney is a master at this, and Universal has appeal through its rides inspired by famous favorite films. A perfect example of incorporating media and other immersive storytelling techniques into a marketing strategy is the soon to be newest Universal Water Park- Volcano Bay. Keep your eyes open for this marketing plan, it’s going to be one for the books (get it? Since we’re telling a story? We think we’re funny.)

Unfortunately not every theme park has learned to tap into that universal trigger that keeps people thinking about their experience there through the generations. So if you’re a theme park marketer, one of the most important things you can do is focus on the importance of story in everything that represents your brand. And if you need ideas on how to bring that story to life, contact the expert team at our Orlando ad agency to help you navigate the twists and turns of this exhilarating industry!

5 Mom Marketing Tips for Your Travel Industry Strategy

People travel because they like to experience something new. They may wish to experience the relaxation of a different setting, an educational experience or a thrill seeking tour full of activities such as skiing, safari and theme parks. However, when people have children, the vacation dynamic may shift, so it’s key for the travel industry to understand mom marketing.
For women with children, vacation may have at one time been an escape for one’s self, either alone, with a spouse or with friends, but it may not involve the entire family, or else moms with older children may opt to leave the kids with a relative. Depending on the type of mom segment, our Florida advertising agency has found that marketers can reach out to these women by targeting the following appeals.

1. Adventure

No one loves a fun, educational experience more than a parent. In households where the mother makes many of the purchasing decisions, the mom may find value in visiting museums, exploring nature and visiting the zoo. All of these provide opportunities for children to engage their curiosity, helping them to explore the world around them and to view it in new ways. Marketing strategies that appeal to a mom’s adventurous side may entice them to visit a unique travel destination, to sign up for an interesting tour or to embark on an adventure that is fun for the entire family.

2. Fantasy, Escape & Relaxation

Sometimes moms just need a break. Cruise lines are notorious for marketing in ways that offer people a glimpse into the world around them. Cruising and other luxury travel allows moms to escape the pressures of balancing work, day-to-day childcare tasks and home issues. Appealing to a mom’s internal desire to escape through fantasy reminds her that she too can take some time away with the family, thereby escaping the real world.

3. Entertainment

Entertainment marketers can reach out to moms in ways that entice them to spend. With a variety of options for moms, ranging from relatively inexpensive to outlandish, marketers have good reason to reach out to the mom market to help sell their goods and services. Generating appeals that work directly toward the mom give her an emotional reaction, prompting brand preference and loyalty down the line.

4. Emotional: Family-Based

For a family-based entertainment company, an emotional appeal that speaks to the family can help drive moms to invest in such activities for their children and for themselves.[quote]The “fun for the whole family” experience leads to quality time with the kids, as well as helps to create memories that will last a lifetime.[/quote] Moms who want to subject their children to unique events and experiences are apt to respond to an emotional, family-based appeal.

5. Fantasy: Leave the Kids Behind

On the other hand, there may be times when moms seek entertainment without the kids by their sides. This may be in the form of a girl’s night out or date night, and many moms can attest to the good feelings that come from a night out on the town. The Sex & the City style-fantasy can appeal to moms everywhere, who are eager to continue to have fun in spite of the fact that they have children at home. An appeal to a mom’s desire for fantasy helps drive brand preference in the modern mom, one who hasn’t abandoned her social, active lifestyle for domesticated motherhood.

For more mom marketing advice, contact our team of experts today!