Making the most of your digital presence

In the darkness of a pandemic it can hard keeping track of everything but ensuring that you are making the most of every opportunity to engage with customers has never been more important.

At the recent Road to Recovery webinar, Trish Barry, Managing Director of Mastermind Consulting, a marketing Consulting company specialising in marketing strategy, digital and social media, gave venues advice on how consumer behaviour has changed and how you and your venue can make the most of these changes.

“If you look at the behaviour and how quickly consumers have been forced online by this pandemic, the landscape has evolved very quickly,” Trish told the webinar.

“If you look at some of the reports coming out from brands like McKinsey & Co, they’re predicting that the pace of change of digital adoption has fast-tracked nearly eight years through this pandemic.

“So consumer behaviour has changed and it means we need to be thinking about what that consumer journey looks like, and how can we bring in digital tools to help tell our stories direct to that consumer.

“EDM’s are a very important way of communicating, but there’s other elements of the mix that you need to be thinking about, particularly what your own website presence looks like. This means the content on your website, how you are found in search and how you are using broader marketing tools like paid advertising or targeting consumers using different parts of the digital marketing mix is more prevalent than ever.”

In terms of the different elements that make up the digital marketing mix, and how venues can utilise them, Trish said: If you think about your website, this is the extension of your premise, it’s your digital home. We often say start first to get your house in order. That can mean things like putting pop-ups on to be able to have a chat with your customers quickly; there’s some great tools like Pure Chat that you can use for free, just plug in and make sure that the customer experience is enhanced.

“Make sure your social media profiles are up-to-date and making sure you haven’t gone dormant in your communications is really important. But also thinking about things like giving extra content that is useful or entertaining. Using things like Facebook Live or Instagram Live to introduce a bit more theatre to your brand, has been a really good way that we have seen over the last few weeks a lot of venues showing their chefs or sommeliers like this.

“There is a raft of tools at your disposal, driving people back to your homepage and making sure that website is very much what we call the beating heart of your digital brand. Think of your website as a core part of your infrastructure, especially if people can’t come and visit you. Now is the time to be sure that you are able to be found on a mobile device, that all of the tools you are using to drive people back to your homepage are in order.”

Trish also had advice for venues in terms of budgets for digital advertising, and said while it may be difficult, there are long term benefits to investing in advertising now.

“We mostly work with small food, wine, hospitality and venues so we know budgets are tight across the board, but there is some great historical research that shows continuing to invest in your brand and spending through recession or pandemic, does help your brand have a higher share of voice when you come out of this. And what we have seen over the last few months is that particularly with paid advertising, I’m talking about Google, Facebook, Instagram advertising, you can spend a little bit of money to get a great amount of reach who are very targeted.

“Things like uploading your email list into the back end of Facebook Business Manager, retargeting people who have visited your website, local campaigns where you can physically put a pin over your venue on Facebook and marketing very locally, mean you are very targeted but the wastage is small. Then you can think about how you can continue that journey and acquire new customers and get their names onto your email database and then continue to market to them in different formats.

She added: “Some of the little brands that we work with have sold $1m worth of wine over the last three months and paid has been part of that role. But very few of these brands are spending more than a couple of hundred, a couple of thousand dollars and just being very selective about where that spend will be placed.”

There is still more great advice from Trish on the webinar, including her top three tips for digital marketing, to find out more simply register here and you can watch the webinar.

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