Your hospitality business - be it a restaurant, hotel or tiny back street bar - cannot survive without marketing.
The good news? Even if you don’t think you’re conducting enough marketing at the moment, you’re probably doing more than you think. There are so many subtle forms of marketing available to businesses at the moment that it’s relatively easy to fall into brilliant strategies without even realising it.
Sure, the ability to create SMS marketing sequences could transform your business, and there are new marketing ideas and trends appearing every week, but sometimes, the simple stuff makes all the difference.
The key lies in understanding the types of marketing campaigns that are available to you and working out which ones best suit your operation and audience.
So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into our ultimate guide to different types of marketing campaigns.
Digital marketing - where it’s at… NOW
If you want to reach a large, specific audience cost-effectively, digital marketing is the best way to do so.
In this guide, we’ll be offering some insight into the more traditional forms of marketing, but digital really is where it’s at now. But, where do you start?
If you take Neil Patel’s advice (you should - he’s brilliant), he’ll reveal that there’s seven categories for online marketing, and most have acronyms worth getting to grips with:
- Search engine optimisation (SEO)
- Search engine marketing (SEM)
- Social media marketing (SMM)
- Content marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
- Affiliate marketing
- Email marketing
As an operator in the hospitality field, we recommend focusing on all of the above bar affiliate marketing.
But there are so many different types of email marketing campaigns and types of social media marketing campaigns; it’s difficult to know where to start (or end).
We write regularly about digital marketing on Town Square. So, head over to our dedicated category for all things digital, by clicking below.
Recommended: Town Square Marketing
Radio and TV campaigns - they’re not dead
TV campaigns are the same - people still watch and listen to adverts placed on these ‘old’ mediums. In the face of the digital competition, they’re still flying high within the priorities of marketers (and audiences) across the world.
To use this type of marketing effectively, you need a great story, a clear call-to-action and solid knowledge of where your audience resides. Sure, you’ll need a few more pennies in the marketing budget, but as Best Western has proved, traditional advertising of this kind can still work - big time.
For several years, the French arm of the global hotel brand has used TV and radio to boost recognition of its name. What sets them apart - and something we can all learn from - is the fact they use analytics to assess the effectiveness of campaigns and set solid goals. Read their story - it could inspire your own.
Direct mail - look past it at your peril
Just like TV and radio advertising, direct mail still has a role to play in hospitality marketing.
Get it right, and you can enjoy a handsome return on investment (ROI). But we appreciate you might need some convincing, so here are some advantages of direct mail which we don’t think you can ignore:
- It’s highly targeted. Pick the area, exclude certain regions and specify which types of dwelling or businesses you want to send your marketing messages to.
- It’s dead simple. There aren’t as many bells and whistles with direct mail, compared to digital marketing. But that’s an advantage, because it means there’s less to get your head around, thus providing more time to spend on the content of the campaign.
- There’s less competition. Send an email marketing message and it has to compete with potentially hundreds (thousands, even) of other messages. Send something through the mail, and it’ll be an entirely unique experience for many of your recipients.
- It increases brand recognition and recall. Direct mail is so unusual these days, that if you get it right, people are more likely to remember your brand. It can be seen as more trustworthy than email, too, therefore is likely to be acted on.
It’s also important to bear in mind that direct mail pairs brilliantly with digital marketing; they really can work hand-in-hand.
Mention in your direct mail letters that you have online reviews to read, online coupons to redeem and Twitter accounts to mention, and you’ll create an ‘omnichannel’ marketing experience that’s truly powerful.
Customer referrals - your best marketers don’t work for you
Your best, happiest customers will recommend you without you lifting a finger.
How exciting is that? It’s free marketing!
You do, however, have to engender plenty of loyalty among your customer base to tempt them into referrals. It takes time, patience and a resolute focus on the experience you’re offering, but over time, customer referral marketing could be your most profitable source of new business.
Loyalty programs are a great way to build this trust among your audience and encourage referrals. They require three elements to be successful:
- Motivation to engage
- Rewards for valuable behaviour
- Inspiration for long-term commitment
Check out our full guide:
Before you go
We’ve neglected to mention one form of marketing which is growing in prominence. It’s a known as ‘destination branding’, and works beautifully alongside the strategies we’ve noted above.
Check it out, and add a few ideas into your no doubt bulging marketing strategy book!