Local marketing strategy
for HoReCa

Being an owner of a hotel, restaurant, or cafe implies taking care of building a positive reputation and keeping a sharp eye on data relevance across all digital sources as a part of a global marketing strategy. Here comes local marketing as a way to take your online data and reputation under control and get the most out of being present on location-based services. In our blog post, we discuss the importance of local marketing for HoReCa and identify the primary and most beneficial steps to implement it.

What’s inside

What is local marketing for HoReCa

Let's say you own a couple or a chain of restaurants. What will it mean to you to do local marketing? To start, it's that you need to be as close to your visitors as possible in digital space. This means that you should be present on maps navigators and in popular digital sources, as well as on sites with reviews, provide customers with relevant data about your business and work with reviews.
What for? That is how your potential visitors will be able to learn about your business, find you, build routes and make decisions about whether to visit your restaurants/cafes/hotels. While regular guests can always check the opening hours, menu, order delivery and leave feedback on your service or menu in a couple of seconds.
To say it briefly, local marketing is a set of actions a business can do to make its restaurants visible to customers in search, on maps, and on other digital services. It helps to attract guests and keep them informed and loyal so that they choose you again and again.

How local marketing works

Local marketing implies targeting customers within a specific area. So if your potential customer wants to drink a cup of coffee and enters a query “drink coffee nearby” let’s say on Google they’ll receive a Local Pack with top-3 results. It means, with coffee places that are near the user, have correct, full and relevant information as well as a good rating.
How did exactly those companies get into these top-3 local search results? Obviously, they took care of thorough data and review management which led them to the top of the list within a certain area. It means that they included local marketing in their marketing strategy and got impressive results. Most likely, people will choose one of those three coffee houses to visit.
Pew Research Center states that 91% of adults use search engines to find information and almost half of such searches on Google have local intent. And taking into account the fact that Google Local Pack appears in 93% of local searches at the very top of the page suggesting to users the most suitable and relevant places, we can assume that these results collect the most clicks and built routes.
That is, local marketing opportunities for your HoReCa business are great and shouldn’t be neglected if you want to increase foot traffic to your cafes, restaurants, or guests to your hotels.
In this article, we share some steps to improve the online presence and reputation of your restaurants, cafes and hotels and make all this manageable.

Local marketing strategy for HoReCa:
how to attract guests and make them loyal

We usually visit those places that are thoroughly represented online. Let’s agree it is important for us to check the menu, atmosphere and even the design of a place where we want to spend our free time and enjoy food and drinks. Same with hotels — it is of great importance where to stay for a day or moreover a week.
Below we share the 6 easy-to-follow steps that help HoReCa businesses improve their digital performance in location-based services and be as attractive as possible for their clients.

Step #1 – Add consistent information about your locations to digital platforms

Identify where you want your restaurants/cafes/hotels to be present — maps, social media, popular services like TripAdvisor, review platforms like Yelp. Depending on your region you may have your own priority list. But one service is the most popular and universal for the whole world — it’s Google. So, let’s take it as a base. Google Business Profile (GBP) is a free tool by Google that helps businesses to be represented in search and on maps.
Start with the basics. Add your locations (if you don’t have them yet) or edit your business info to keep it absolutely relevant for Google and for your clients. This step is easy but extremely important.
Imagine your clients come to you at 9 a.m. for breakfast as this time specified in your listing, and your cafe is closed cause the actual opening hours are from 10 a.m. What will your clients do? Right, they will go to a cafe nearby that is open and probably won’t return to you cause they received a negative experience kissing the closed door.
The following information will optimize your listings for Google and make it easy for clients to find your cafes/restaurants/hotels:
  • Business name
  • Category
  • Address and pin location
  • Service area
  • Opening hours
  • Phone number
  • Website
  • Photos
  • Attributes, etc.
If you have just a few cafes, you can manage all the data by yourself. Just don’t forget to update it timely. If you have more than 10 locations, you’ll probably need help. The great news is that nowadays there are platforms that can easily and qualitatively do it and save your time. At BrandWizard, we have solutions to help you with adding your restaurants to location-based services and keep their data full and up to date on a daily basis.

Step #2 – Upload real and varied photos of your location

If to speak about attraction it is just logical you need to be eye-catching for your clients. Here come visuals. According to Google businesses that add relevant photos to their GBP receive 42% more requests for building directions and 35% more clicks on the website. We must say, it is especially relevant for the HoReCa industry.
High-quality visual representations of your places in location-based services can convey to your potential customers the atmosphere of the restaurant and all the necessary information about the space, dishes, drinks and the team. Your task is to persuade people to visit your place and make it easier for them to choose exactly your restaurant.

This coffee shop takes care of showing its customers how it looks from the outside to make it easier for clients to find the place, as well as what you can eat and drink there.

So you exactly know what to expect from this place.

Adding high-quality and relevant photos is important. But not less important to track and manage user-generated content (UGC). It happens that your guests or even competitors submit poor-quality, unattractive and irrelevant photos. And you definitely need to do something with that.
User-Generated Content: how to work with user photos on Google
Everything about user photos in UGC and how to successfully implement them into your local marketing strategy.
Happily, you can take control of it and submit complaints to remove them from your listing. With the Photo Management tool, you get notified about newly uploaded photos from all locations, can filter them by tags or publication date, and remove irrelevant content.
Customer reviews are everything for hotels, restaurants and cafes. Statistics confirm that — 93% of guests read online reviews before visiting a place. Moreover, we’ve already shared that reviews take second place among ranking factors in local searches.
To work with reviews, you need to remember three golden rules:
  • The 1st rule — respond to all reviews and rates.
We made a special detailed guide for you to review to get all the answers on the topic in a few seconds.
Big guide on how to manage positive and negative reviews
Discover how to respond to reviews to make your customers fall in love with you brand
The central idea is to share with your visitors the that you care and appreciate any feedback. Respond to positive reviews with gratitude; to negative ones with questions and expressions of sorrow that your guest is unsatisfied. And to rates without text with the same depending on what rate you get from your guest.
If you have many restaurants, it’s difficult to collect and respond to reviews from many sources thoroughly and quickly enough to conquer customers’ trust and loyalty. To make it easier for restaurants and hotels, BrandWizard developed a Review center that collects all reviews from multiple sources in one place, notifies you about new ones and gives you convenient ways to quickly react to guests' feedback from a single interface. A kind of reputation-saving magic,
isn’t it?
  • The 2nd rule — generate positive reviews to spread the good word about your restaurants
If management is the base then generation is the necessary sauce. When you come up to stable review management it’s high time to generate more reviews with positive feedback from your guests to show your future customers that people recommend your restaurants or hotels and that your place is truly worth visiting.
If you see that guests visit your place regularly you can safely ask them to leave a review about your place. To make it more convenient for guests you can send sms over your phone base or place QR-codes at the most visible places in your restaurants: checkout area, on the menus or tables, etc.
Of course, reviews should be real and exactly from people who visited your place. Search engines’ algorithms are strict enough and are able to spot fake reviews.
  • The 3rd rule — analyze the feedback you get from your visitors and find the growth points
Why collect reviews from your guests if not analyze them? Exactly reviews management and analysis help to build a strong and long-playing reputation for your business and create the “name that speaks for itself”.
Finding insights into visitors' feedback provides you with the necessary growth points and USPs for your HoReCa business. Listen to your guests, analyze and filter this information and get stronger by improving your service.

Step #4 – Use additional Google Business Profile opportunities like Posts to keep your visitors informed and interested

Let’s again turn to statistics — it says that if you make a post on Google Business Profile once a week, the visibility of your listings doubles. Isn’t it convincing? Moreover, posting on Google also increases visitors’ loyalty. You may wonder how, and we have the answer. With Google Posts you can:
  • Inform your guests about important changes in your working hours, addresses, etc.
  • Introduce your staff in a more creative way
  • Tell your guests about new dishes and drinks on your menu
  • Share special offers and promotions
  • Invite customers to your events
  • Attract visitors by showing your atmosphere and more.
BrandWizard designed a tool to make work with posts quicker and much easier. Don’t forget to check it out:

Step #5 – Analyze your overall digital performance in location-based services

To see whether there’s an effect of being active in location-based services you need to analyze the performance of your restaurant listings. Thus, you also learn visitors’ behavior in search and on maps, cause when analyzing you take into account such metrics as listings impressions, clicks to the website, built directions, calls, the number of reviews, the most common issues mentioned by your guests, and overall ratings.
What to do with all this data? Use it to make thoughtful and smart business decisions, identify the strategy of restaurants’ promotion and what should be improved or adjusted to take the most of the business’s digital presence and attract more guests to your places.
At BrandWizard, we build everything based on thorough analysis and examples of successful data-driven strategy implementation. That’s why we believe that your online presence and reputation results should be easy to track.
With our Advanced Analytics tool, you can easily follow the target actions within certain periods of time and get some recommendations on your following steps.

To sum up

Running the HoReCa business is a complex thing to do. Local marketing strategy plays an important role in restaurant digital representation as well as in attracting foot traffic. Thus, it becomes crucial for hotels, restaurants and cafes to optimize their online presence, improve their online reputation and track overall performance in location-based services.
To be in top results on maps, in search and other digital sources you to implement just 5 easy-to-follow steps:
  1. Add consistent information about your locations to digital platforms in your Google Business Profile and other popular digital sources.
  2. Upload real and varied photos of your location to impress and attract visitors.
  3. Thoroughly work with guests’ reviews to increase their loyalty and improve your service.
  4. Use additional Google Business Profile opportunities like Posts to keep your visitors informed and interested in what’s new and interesting in your places.
  5. Analyze your overall digital performance in location-based services to find the growth points and unique strengths of your business.
BrandWizard is always ready to help you optimize or transform your local marketing approach in order for your HoReCa business to get the most out of location-based services and see more happy guests than ever. Don’t hesitate to make this step and take your online presence and reputation under control.
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