In this day and age, anyone who’s anyone needs an online presence to get the word out about their brand, and the hospitality, and food and beverage trade are no different. Building a brand isn’t just about getting the logo right and having the right website anymore, it’s become far more nuanced. Social media marketing, mobile friendly websites, apps, and online advertising bring the requirement for new skills to the marketing industry.
But you don’t necessarily have to outsource this to a marketing manager, as long as you have someone in house who is proficient online, willing to learn, and has enough free time in their working day to make the most of what the internet has to offer for building your brand.
Who is your audience?
Firstly, you need to decide who it is your brand is trying to reach. Different demographics interact with the world wide web in different ways, and you don’t want to waste valuable resources by barking up the wrong tree. Appealing to the right audience is partly about using the right media to speak to them – older people will be more likely to use TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google for reviews.
Younger people are generally more social media based. But you always want to craft a story in your marketing campaign that speaks to people in that demographic. For example, if your brand is young and on trend, your marketing campaign needs to be edgy, interesting, and cool. An older demographic will, as a general rule, prefer a marketing campaign which is reassuring and relevant, with nothing too inventive.
What are your aims?
Each different marketing campaign has different aims, but your brand will be based around that. For example, if your purpose for increasing your online presence is for finding new staff predominantly, aiming your branding at both recruitment companies and prospective employees is important. In the food and beverage industry, especially in manufacturing, there tends to be a high turnover of personnel, so keeping good relations with recruiters is essential.
If your company is regularly advertising an F&B job for job hunting people, it’s essential that your brand is built around that. Conversely, if your whole purpose of your online presence it to increase customers, either on a commercial scale or as individuals, the branding has to be designed with that in mind. Knowing who you’re speaking to, and why you’re trying to speak to them, is essential for creating relevant and engaging branding.
What is relevant?
Keeping your online presence relevant is one of the trickiest things, especially if you’re struggling to keep it updated on a regular basis. Social media is perfect for posting photos of delicious foods and drinks, and live videos in real time of events, products, or even manufacturing processes, to pique the interest of onlookers.
An up-to-date, professional blog is a great way to ensure you always have something to post on social media, and it can also help you to set yourself up as an expert in the field. Seeing posts which comment on current, relevant news events can reassure customers that you’re knowledgeable.
The online presence of the hospitality trade is essential for building a brand which speaks to potential customers, and also helps to bring new potential employees into the mix.