Using Digital Marketing to Increase Group Dining Bookings

Group dining bookings are an essential source of revenue for many restaurants. Here’s how to maximize group bookings through smart restaurant marketing.

The restaurant game isn’t for the faint of heart. Roughly 60% of new restaurants fail in the first year, and 80% fail within five years. That’s the kind of math that will momentarily subdue even the giddiest new restaurant industry entrepreneur.

Developing a significant and sustainable pipeline of corporate and group bookings is one of the best methods for ensuring your restaurant beats these grim odds. Yet, many restaurant owners simply have no idea how to implement this strategy.

Let’s take a closer look at how smart digital restaurant marketing can jumpstart your group bookings business.

The Power and Reach of Digital Restaurant Marketing

Digital technology has radically disrupted countless industries and altered consumer behavior in innumerable ways. Streaming services, for example, allow people to enjoy on-demand films in the privacy of their living room — something that has led to US movie theater attendance dropping to a 25-year low.

Restaurants, however, have been insulated from this trend. While there have been efforts to let consumers have meals prepared by chefs in their own homes, these concepts haven’t gained much traction. Right now, people still enjoy eating in a communal setting.

Digital tools, however, have changed the playing field for how restaurants secure business. Major platforms such as OpenTable transformed how reservations are handled; Yelp now acts as a critical guide for consumers looking for new places to dine; platforms such as Instagram are bursting with photos and videos of plated food.

Savvy marketers take advantage of the new digital paradigm by doing the following:

  • Building a robust online presence. This includes a dedicated website and accounts with major reservation and aggregation sites.
  • Social media outreach. Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat are all critical channels for engaging with customers and advertising and marketing new menu items, discounts and specials, etc. 
  • The creation of a valuable online brand. Today’s diners are looking for experiences, rather than just meals, when they visit higher-end eateries. Digital branding plays a key role is promoting awareness and establishing cachet in a local market.
  • Taking advantage of the latest digital marketing tools. One example is geo-fencing, a mobile marketing technique that allows restaurants to push notifications to the smartphones of people within a pre-defined geographical distance.

Gobbling Up Group Booking Revenue

Most of the above techniques are also useful in terms of stimulating more group bookings. Digital marketing plays a crucial role in surfacing your restaurant to the people who determine where to schedule their bookings.

Another sound idea: Designating a dedicated person to help with group dining outreach. Many restaurants use a similar model for organizing group meals onsite by hiring an event planner. Should you designate someone to handle group business development, that person can use digital marketing tools to identify corporate decision-makers, and to engage with regular restaurant patrons prior to birthdays and other celebratory milestones.

Taking an active approach and contacting potential group clients in advance of these milestones is a great way to increase bookings, as people generally dislike having to search for group dinner locations. By taking the initiative through digital outreach, you can remove this task from their plate.

One note: When reaching out to corporate customers for holiday-related group dinners or other special events, it’s essential to do this well ahead of time. Corporations often begin planning such affairs weeks, if not months, ahead of time.

Why Bigeye is the Perfect Restaurant Marketing Partner

At Bigeye, we have an insatiable appetite for designing compelling group dining marketing campaigns — and we have all the right ingredients on staff to make it happen. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help your grow your group dining business.

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5 Multifamily Marketing Strategies to Employ on Instagram

You already recognize the power of Instagram to reach out to renters, but are you making the most of your Instagram multifamily marketing efforts?

In today’s marketing environment, the incredible potential of Instagram cannot be denied. In fact, according to the independent social media analytics company Hootsuite, 7.7 billion people (a full eighth of the total global population) now have Instagram accounts.

Even better, Intstagram is particularly effective at reaching key marketing demographics. Analytics data shows that 71% of Instagram users around the world are 34 years old or younger. Furthermore, Instagram use is at its highest (60%) among individuals who make more than $100,000 a year.

So how can you use Instagram in the rental property sector to maximize your multifamily marketing outreach? Well, in today’s competitive market, it’s simply not enough to create and maintain a standard company Instagram page.

If you want to tap into the full potential of Instagram, you need to educate yourself on what makes this popular social media site truly unique. Here are just a few multifamily marketing strategies that will optimize your Instagram presence.

1. Make Strategic Use of Hashtags

Although hashtags have become prevalent across the broad spectrum of social media, Instagram has built hashtags directly into the basic search functions of the site. In other words, hashtags are just as important as keywords when it comes to driving consumer traffic for marketing purposes.

By choosing your hashtags carefully, you can reach out to the Instagram users who are most likely to help you reach your lease-up goals. Precise location hashtags, for example #parkslopebrooklynapartments, can help neighborhood-conscious apartment hunters find your listings with ease.

Instagram is also uniquely positioned to help you capitalize on non-industry hashtags that are already trending. By piggybacking on extremely popular hashtags such as #tbt and #nofilter you can extend your reach into a whole new market.

2. Regram Relevant Posts from Others 

Unlike its cousins Facebook and Twitter, Instagram doesn’t readily support reposting or sharing the content of other users. In fact, a preponderance of multifamily housing providers don’t even know that Instagram reposting is possible. 

But with the help of third-party digital applications such as Websta and Repost, you can gain a considerable advantage over your competitors by regramming the relevant content of other Instagram users. This strategy can help you capitalize on the perceived authenticity that goes hand in hand with user-generated content (UGC).

In the realm of multifamily marketing, effective UGC might include a photograph of existing residents enjoying the apartment complex pool on a sunny day. Marketers can maximize the outreach of their UGC campaign by uniting it under a creative branded hashtag and encouraging residents to use this hashtag when posting content that relates to their living environment/lifestyle.

3. Use the Instagram Stories Feature

Introduced in 2016 to compete with a similar feature on Snapchat, Instagram Stories is an exceptional way to present time-sensitive content. Briefly described, Instagram Stories allows marketers to gather a number of images and video clips into a single piece of multifaceted content that will delete automatically after 24 hours.

Like the reposting of Instagram content, the use of the Instagram Stories feature is woefully underused by multifamily marketers, providing another great opportunity for you to get a significant jump on the competition. The Instagram Stories format offers an exceptional way to frame in-depth and timely information.

Consider using it to tell the story of ongoing structural renovations or present the highlights of an open house or a special event for residents. To promote your organization itself and its exceptional team members, you can use Instagram Stories to post a “behind the scenes” peek at the daily activities of a top property manager, leasing agent, or administrative executive.

4. Change Your Bio Link to Direct Traffic

While other leading social media sites allow users to post unlimited clickable links, Instagram restricts users to a single clickable link within the biography section of their profile. This may work great when it comes to keeping visitors on Instagram for longer periods of time, but it makes marketing on the site exceptionally difficult.

Wise marketers, however, can get around this clickable link conundrum by frequently changing their Instagram bio link to lead visitors to the most important promotions of the day. This strategy can really set you apart from competitors who have adopted a “set it and forget it” bio link approach that simply sends visitors to a generic homepage, landing page, or “about us” page.

Multifamily marketers can post pictures of vacant apartments on their main Instagram page after changing their bio link to an official website URL dedicated to that particular apartment. If you choose to pursue this strategy, just be sure to include a statement such as  “click the link in our bio to learn more” next to the pictures that you post.

5. Pay Close Attention to the Brands Your Followers Follow

To create marketing content that will truly resonate with your audience, you need to tailor it after the content that they already love. To discover the other brands and organizations that your Instagram followers follow, begin by selecting one of your followers and clicking on the “following” count of that follower. From there, you can sort through the different accounts that he or she follows concentrating solely on brands and organizations.

Contact Bigeye to learn more

Bigeye is taking digital marketing into the future with innovative social media strategies that have proven to drive conversions. If you’re ready to push your multifamily marketing efforts forward, contact us.

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The Benefits of Geo-Fencing for Apartment Marketing

Among the countless advantages that digital marketing has over traditional media marketing, geo-fencing ranks near the top.

Briefly defined, geo-fencing establishes an invisible perimeter (or “fence”) that covers a particular geographic region, allowing digital marketers to specifically target the audience that lies within it.

Countless industries and business sectors have benefited from geo-fencing, but its value to marketers within the residential real estate sector cannot be underestimated.

Geo-Fencing Explained

As the old cliche goes, the three most important criteria for determining real estate desirability are location, location, location. Renters in search of a new apartment almost invariably look within very specific areas and have little interest in properties that lie outside of those areas.

Geo-fencing allows you to make the most of your marketing efforts by reaching out to apartment-hunters inside a precise geographic region that you are able to define and alter at will.

With geo-fencing, you can program automatic alerts to launch to smartphone users who happen to stray close to your apartment community. Prospective tenants who are using Zillow, Yelp, Pandora, or any other mobile app that supports geo-fencing are instantly identified through technologies such as radio frequency identification (RFID) or the Global Positioning System (GPS) and can receive one or more instant alerts when they enter your targeted area.

3 Key Benefits of Geo-Fencing

Unsurprisingly, more and more apartment marketers are employing geo-fencing to specifically target individuals who are most likely to engender conversions and, ultimately, fill property vacancies. The majority of prospective tenants also benefit from geo-fencing. After all, what apartment hunter wouldn’t appreciate a tip or a special offer regarding a great place in an ideal location?

Here are just three key advantages of apartment marketing and hunting with geo-fencing:

1. Optimized search operations based on location

Real estate websites and online rental databases that employ geo-fencing technology do much of the legwork for apartment hunters by automatically and instantaneously sorting through a nearly infinite number of listings to show only the properties that fall within the parameters of a specific geographic location. In addition to targeting only the most likely future tenants on an individual basis, geo-fencing allows apartment marketers to send them relevant sale suggestions at the most opportune moments.

2. The delivery of key apartment information in real-time

In addition to sending relevant listings to a localized audience and vacancy alerts to individuals who are close to your various listings, geo-fencing technology can aid with prompt apartment showings and spur-of-the-moment apartment applications. More generally speaking, it can do wonders when it comes to helping apartment complexes and other real estate organizations build their brand and engage with the most relevant audience possible. After all, why spend the money and energy on an extensive and protracted branding campaign that will reach thousands or even millions of uninterested people?

3. Convenient, value-added apartment hunting assistance

Geo-fencing goes a long way toward placing the power to find and obtain the perfect apartment in the palm of any smartphone user’s hand. In addition to optimizing the online apartment hunting process, geo-fencing allows even the least tech-savvy Zillow, Redfin, or Realtor.com users to schedule relevant apartment search alerts that do most of the hunting for them. By setting specific rental interest criteria within a particular geographic area, they can let their favorite real estate app do the work, notifying them of key apartment prospects while they concentrate on career, family, and other important matters.

To Learn More

If you have any questions about geo-fencing for apartments, contact the real estate marketing leaders at BIGEYE today. The professionals at BIGEYE offer a broad spectrum of marketing services that can benefit anyone in the property rental sector.

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4 Multifamily Marketing Analytics Tools for Your Lease-Up Goals

To optimize the marketing analytics that drive your promotional efforts, pay close attention to these four key platforms.

Although advertisers still debate the comparative value of traditional vs. digital media, there is no doubt that digital analytics reign supreme when it comes to tracking the effectiveness of specific marketing campaigns and their various components.

While measuring the total audience for any given radio, television, print, or billboard ad is speculative at best, modern analytics systems can not only accurately identify every individual viewer of an online ad, they can follow each viewer through the entire post-ad exposure process, measuring criteria such as click-throughs and conversions as they (hopefully!) lead to the final sale of a product or service. Even better, these systems can accomplish all of this and deliver results in real time.

So where, exactly, should you go to reap the benefits of digital analytics? If you’re looking to attract renters to meet your specific lease-up goals, you’ll want to pay particular attention to the following four marketing analytics tools.

1. Google Analytics

If you’re going to achieve your desired lease-up level (typically round 95%) in a limited amount of time (typically between 6 and 15 months), you’ll need a strong foundation of analytics support. A platform that is nearly ubiquitous in the world of digital marketing, Google Analytics provides just that.

According to Entrepreneur Magazine contributor Thomas Smale, “no list of marketing analytics tools can be complete without Google Analytics.” The tool is so common due to its unparalleled power and versatility. In particular, it is great at tracking lead sources and helping users concentrate resources into the most effective media channels.

To more effectively allocate its multifamily marketing resources, for example, an apartment rental organization can use Google Analytics to discover whether its Facebook page or its Twitter page is generating the most leads.

The platform works by asking marketers to define their goals by entering a specific goal ID. A common event ID might track the number of times that users click on a specific piece of content.

A company in the apartment rental industry might be interested in determining which of its three floor designs are generating the most public interest. Using Google Analytics, it can establish clicks on these floor plans as individual goal IDs and watch each as they begin to accumulate clicks in real time.

In short, Google Analytics can create a report for any set of data you might desire, from simple audience overviews to complex conversion progress statements. And if you’re not impressed by its ability to lead you to unprecedented ROI, you still have to enjoy its initial price-point. Google Analytics is absolutely free.

2. Google Tag Manager

An extremely flexible platform that you can easily tailor to meet your specific wants and needs, Google Tag Manager helps you capitalize on the ability of Google Analytics to track information. Briefly described, Google Tag Manager uses bits of code called tags to generate detailed information about your audience members including who they are, where they’re located, what pages they’re visiting, and even what devices they’re using.

By default, Google Analytics places tags on your official website, social media pages, and other online locations to report on a wide variety of visitor behavior. As you begin to accumulate more and more tags, Google Tag Manager becomes indispensable when it comes to keeping them organized.

Google Tag Manager is particularly helpful because it offers a single place to manage your Google Analytics tags as well as your tags from other platforms such as Hootsuite and Facebook Pixel (which we will discuss when we come to must-have analytics tools, numbers three and four).

By clearly identifying every trackable item in Google Tag Manager, you’ll be able to easily read the data in each report and translate it into real world leads and conversions.

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is an analytics tool with a specific focus on social media monitoring. Due to the unparalleled outreach of Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and the other major social media networks, a specialized social media analytics platform makes absolute sense.

With Hootsuite, you can monitor a wide range of user activity across multiple channels of social media to discover what your audience is posting about your business and track the relative performance of your own posts on your official social media pages. By monitoring these activities, Hootsuite can show you which types of content produce results and which don’t, helping you optimize your social media presence with posts that are both specifically targeted and highly relevant.

4. Facebook Pixel

Although overall Facebook advertising revenue has stagnated in recent months, it remains the dominant force in digital marketing, outpacing the other major social media networks by a significant measure. Facebook owes much of this success to Facebook Pixel.

An analytics tool that businesses add to their official website and other online pages, Facebook Pixel specializes in tracking/analyzing the performance of your Facebook ad campaign, helping you refine/focus your marketing efforts and monitor the online activity of both existing and prospective renters.

If you want to pursue more advanced Facebook Pixel analytics, you can establish event tags that are similar to those you can create using Google Analytics. Using these tags, you can gain even deeper insight into overall user behavior.

To learn more about the top analytics tools

A forward-thinking and creative marketing agency, Bigeye specializes in apartment analytics to aid in the development of effective leasing strategies. For more information, contact a Bigeye representative today.

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Next-Gen TV Trends and How They Can Impact Your Brand.

Next gen TV, also known as ATSC 3.0, is redefining traditional broadcast TV by breathing new life into the aging medium.

So now we answer the first question, what is ATSC 3.0? It’s the update that broadcast TV has been severely lacking. This new system will leverage current technologies to enhance picture, sound, framerate, and overall range of the medium without losing a moment of your favorite shows. ATSC 3.0 technology enhances everything about broadcast to bring it into the digital age. This will reinvigorate traditional TV, and dramatically increase its value as an advertising medium.

What will Change

The short answer? Everything. But let’s start with picture. The current—let’s call it classic, broadcast system caps out at 1080p. Next gen TV will span all the way to 4K! Making the new ATSC standard an HDTV over the air experience. Raising the quality of the experience without adding cost, the ATSC 3.0 system will drive conversion like never before.

Furthermore, next gen TV is designed to be an ever-evolving technology. Building on the concept of technological adaption, ATSC 3.0 is designed for easy integration as new technologies develop. This way, broadcast television will not fall behind as time passes. Allowing room for future growth is an incredible capability for any technology in this day and age. This system will entice users who want to get the best service over time without paying to switch hardware or service providers as technologies evolve.

This broadcast method will also have a stronger, wider range. Meaning that every user will receive more channels in higher quality without the need for a large antenna. The system will even allow mobile devices to access broadcast shows. By building in capabilities across devices, broadcast TV is broadening its scope and making itself a far more advantageous advertising tool.

The Impact

Next gen TV enables stronger geo-targeting capabilities than cable or satellite TV. As over-the-air TV is intrinsically contained in a specific geographic area, it is a medium that lends itself to area-specific messaging. This makes next gen TV the perfect platform for local businesses such as community banks, mom-and-pop shops, and more to reach their target market without breaking the bank.

How it Works

This system is able to achieve its unique capabilities by connecting on more than one front. The classic broadcast system is accessed simply by an antenna while the next gen TV system uses both an antenna and a wi-fi connection to strengthen the quality and broaden the service range; This is also what allows it to be accessed across devices.

Not only is ATSC 3.0 perfect for geo-targeting, but by enabling tracking as well as use across devices it presents as both a traditional and digital media. With next gen TV, experienced advertisers can reach their audience on a whole new level.

The Takeaway

Broadcast TV is getting a much-needed facelift that will skyrocket its importance both as a service and as an advertising medium. Paying attention to this change now will open up avenues for effective, low-cost campaign strategies that will reach the right people, at the right time, for the right price.

When you’re ready to enhance your advertising strategy reach out to our innovative channel experts today!

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Why Digital Marketing Drives Revenue in the Multi-Family Industry

Don’t let your multi-family digital marketing strategy become stagnant, now is your chance to extend them beyond the walls of your complex.

The multi-family industry has long used traditional advertising and marketing approaches to drive revenue through local TV, brochures, etc. Yet as the industry changes to adapt to larger societal changes, these legacy approaches need to play a more complementary role. Today, multi-family digital marketing supported by data-driven insights is the best way to reach audiences and create sustainable revenue.

How multi-family digital marketing helps cultivate leads and meet occupancy goals

What’s driving the multi-family space’s foray into data-powered digital marketing? According to some industry observers, digital marketing is essential in order to help resolve several entrenched business problems. These include diagnosing underperforming properties, identifying gaps in lead management and merchandising specific product types (such as floor plans and unit sizes) on demand.

By integrating data analytics into their approach, multifamily operators are able to gain the insight they need to convert leads more effectively and identify inefficiencies and opportunities within specific properties. Decisions supported by real-time data can help managers increase yield and minimize lost opportunities.

So how are multi-family operators incorporating these strategies? By mastering the fundamentals: High-quality lead generation, a robust online presence (great UX, compelling content, and tools such as online chatbots) lead forms, and contact centers.

Other key developments

Multi-family digital marketing tactics need to extend beyond lead management and well-designed websites. Marketers in this space should also give due consideration to the following:

  • Consumer search preferences are evolving. Multifamily operators must stay current on SEO best practices in order to ensure visibility when prospective customers search for properties within their area. This is especially true given the impact of Google Places on organic search placement.
  • Internet Lead Management (ILM) analytics can help property managers gain deeper insight into the lifecycle of a lead and how various channels are performing. ILM analytics can also provide a window into performance on the agent level, as communication can be analyzed to determine what prospects are responding to and what they aren’t. Analytics can also shine a light on whether there is a problem within the lead management process, or the sales process.
  • Data-driven insights can also help optimize revenue management. Property managers can identify upcoming occupancy problems and make adjustments to ensure that rates remain stable. Those adjustments may include ramping up an existing marketing campaign to get additional prospects in the sales pipeline, or hitting pause on a campaign if long-term occupancy projections are higher than previously thought. Property managers can also use digital tools to introduce dynamic pricing, optimizing revenue based on shorter-term demand fluctuations.

The takeaway

The multi-family property space is quickly modernizing its marketing approach, shifting from traditional TV ads and brochures to sophisticated, data-driven digital marketing. This approach is paying significant dividends in terms of creating more leads, optimizing lead management, and improving revenue management practices.

At BIGEYE, we’re experts in multifamily digital marketing — and we’d design a campaign that increases your leads and boosts your bottom line. Contact us today to learn what a top multifamily digital marketing agency can do for you.