Millennial Marketing Strategies for the Hospitality Industry

While creating an unforgettable in-person experience is the cornerstone of the hospitality industry, leaving your restaurant's or hotel's online experience as an afterthought will make you less competitive when trying to attract millennial consumers, who rely on online content for  making purchasing decisions. With millennial consumers spending more on experiences than on things, it is crucial for the hospitality industry to capture these digital natives by prioritizing online content.

Here are several marketing strategies your hotel or restaurant can adopt to attract millennial customers. 

1. Be active and on-trend on social media

Meet millennials where they spend their time online - on social media.

Instagram is especially useful for the hospitality industry, because it allows restaurants and hotels to show what kind of experiences they can offer customers instead of just telling them about it.

Facebook is essential because of its power as an advertising platform.

Twitter is becoming a powerful customer service tool in the hospitality industry. Check out how Hyatt is using Twitter to supplement its concierge team. For restaurants, bars and food trucks, Twitter is the best social medium for informing guests of daily specials, locations, and closings.

2. Tap into millennial FOMO with Influencer marketing campaigns

In a social media fueled world, it's no surprise that 7 in 10 millennials experience FOMO, or "fear of missing out." You can use this feeling to your advantage by partnering with bloggers and social media influencers to promote your business. Influencer marketing is more effective than traditional advertising because millennials trust their peers and not ads.

3. Use videos to your advantage. 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine how much a 10-second video can say about your business.

Creating and sharing video content on social media is advantageous because social networks like Facebook are giving videos priority in their algorithm because they allow advertisers to spend more on ads. This means that your organic (non-ad) video content will show up in more followers' feeds.

With YouTube search results appearing at the top of Google search result pages, posting videos on YouTube can help boost your website's search engine ranking. 

While there will always be a need for beautifully-produced, evergreen videos, there is also value in creating live and temporary videos. Facebook Live lets your followers interact with you on a real-time basis, while Instagram Stories are a fun way to show what is going on at your hotel, restaurant or bar in the moment.

4. Focus on reviews

Online reviews are word-of-mouth marketing for the digital era. Online reviews can make or break a purchasing decision for millennials. Ask satisfied clients to leave you reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Google and Trip Advisor, and offer an incentive, like a small discount or free drink, for doing so. Don't forget to check these reviews regularly to get customer feedback and conduct damage control!

Millennial Marketing Strategies for the Hospitality Industry

The hospitality industry must put social media, reviews, videos and influencers at the forefront of their digital marketing strategy if they want to attract valuable millennial customers.

Which millennial marketing strategy has worked best for your hospitality business?

Let us know in the comments below.

5 Ways to Use Videos in Your Restaurant’s Social Media Strategy

So you’ve learned that video marketing is here to stay and you’d like to use it to turn your restaurant’s social media followers into repeat customers. With a smartphone in your pocket, you and your staff have access to the tools you need to capture and upload engaging videos, but what should you film?

Whether you’re uploading produced videos, going on Facebook Live or sharing Instagram Stories, here are five ways to incorporate videos into your restaurant’s social media strategy.

1. Tantalize hungry followers with food porn on social media

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth at least a thousand pictures. Videography is the ultimate visual medium, so leverage it for what it’s worth. Capture your most attractive menu items by creating some food porn.

If you're a pizza shop, film the gooey cheese oozing off of a slice of pizza as you pick it up from the pie, a la Chicago's Gino's East below.

If you have a bakery, cut into a cake to show off the chocolatey layers inside. Show steaming hot croissants being taken out of the oven.

Hungry social media followers are easy to attract with food porn, so get creative and share videos of menu items that look just as good as they taste.

2. Share recipes and how-to videos on your restaurant’s social media

The folks at Buzzfeed’s Tasty are arguably the pioneers of recipe videos optimized for social media. Their bite-size square format, time lapse recipe videos with text graphics are perfect for consumption in their followers’ news feeds. How many of these videos have you shared on Facebook?

Learn from the experts of all things viral and shoot a simple recipe video to share with your restaurant’s followers. While you shouldn’t give away the recipe to your secret sauce, consider showing your followers what goes into a popular cocktail or a new menu item to get them in the door.

The following is a video we produced, directed, shot and edited for online food magazine Better Than Ramen illustrating an original recipe.

Videos like this require a bit of editing, so if you don’t have these capabilities in-house, consider finding a video producer who specializes in social media videos.

3. Promote new menu items on your restaurant’s social media

Besides capturing your menu’s most attractive items for your restaurant’s social media followers, you can use videos to introduce new or seasonal menu items to your online audience. If you have daily or weekly specials, pique diners’ curiosity by shooting a short video showing off these new dishes and explaining what they are.

Below you'll find a video we created of bartenders preparing a new cocktail for the summer menu at Chicago's iconic Pump Room bar for Better Than Ramen.

This type of content will be especially appealing to regulars who have tried most of what your menu has to offer.

4. Gives social media followers a behind-the-scenes look at your restaurant

The beauty of social media is that it helps businesses connect with their followers in new ways and helps them tell their brand story. One way to connect with your followers and thank them for following you online is to share a look behind-the-scenes of your restaurant.

Take your followers where they typically can’t go at your restaurant. Film a video in your kitchen and introduce your chefs. Show followers how their favorite dish is prepared. Show your customers how your team preps your space for special events. 

Below A&J King Artisan Bakers in Salem, MA take their followers behind-the-scenes to the kitchen to show how their signature loaves come out of the oven.

5. Share news and updates about your food business through social media

Sharing news through social media videos is a fun way to keep your followers up to date on what’s happening at your restaurant.

If you’re opening a new location, share a time lapse of the progress to build anticipation. If you’re making a big announcement, considering making it via Facebook Live, and tell your visitors and followers when to tune in to hear the big news.

Instead of posting a job listing on LinkedIn, Boston's Little Donkey shared this fun video of their staff to announce that they have an opening on their team.

How to incorporate videos into your restaurant’s social media strategy

We hope this article inspired you to grab your smartphone or camera and start filming around your restaurant, bar, food truck or cafe.

If you find that the do-it-yourself approach isn’t for you, contact BLOOM Digital Marketing to learn how we can help your restaurant or food business grow with video social media marketing.

Are you a restaurant owner or manager? What would you take videos of to share with your restaurant’s social media followers?

Let us know in the comments below.