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.