The festive season provides the hospitality industry with ample opportunity to boost conversion rates and increase revenue. From office parties to lunches with family and friends, there are plenty of reasons to celebrate with drinks or a meal out.
It is a crucial period for hospitality sales. According to Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, revenue during the Christmas period can equate to three months’ worth of trading.
So it’s certainly worth putting the ground work into digital marketing in hospitality to get yourself Christmas-ready.
Here, we give you our best practice Christmas hospitality marketing tips to ensure you don’t miss out on key bookings this year.
Aim for a late summer release of your menus, promotions, and marketing. This gives you the opportunity to attract new and existing customers. Here is an at-a-glance checklist of the things you’ll need to prepare:
- Finalise your menus
- Finalise your party packages
- Finalise your promotional strategy (more on that later)
- Create gift vouchers (restaurant gift cards are one of the top categories of gift cards that people purchase during the holidays)
- Get some high-quality photography and gather festive images
- Launch Christmas landing pages on your website (include clear calls to action and dates that Christmas bookings start)
- Ensure your booking journey is smooth
- Ensure all your copy is up to date (remove references to previous years)
- Add SEO keywords if your offering has changed or new search trends are discovered
Tailor your content to corporate bookings as your priority. Large corporate bookings are often made by PAs or Office Managers who have early deadlines by which to organise their events.
Consumers tend to wait a bit longer to organise their personal social events for Christmas. November and early December is a good time to start marketing to them.
Run paid ad campaigns across socials and Google
Start by targeting B2B bookings and then move onto B2C bookings in November and December. Ensure your conversions are clear on your landing pages and track them to understand the performance of your campaigns. Then tweak and optimise the campaign as you go. The bonus? You can use the learnings of these campaigns to feed into your organic SEO strategy. Win win.
For Young’s, we ran Facebook, LinkedIn and PPC campaigns to promote Christmas bookings to B2B and B2C audiences. All ads linked through to fully optimised location-based landing pages.
Engage your audience on socials
Talk about your offers and use high quality photography to entice customers to book.
Market to your customer base on emails
Don’t forget about your loyal customers. Keep them updated with your Christmas offering and consider giving them a special offer as a Christmas gift and a thank you for their custom throughout the year. Here’s an example of an email campaign we created for Hall & Woodhouse with Acteol.
Don’t forget traditional marketing
Display your offer in your windows and on your tables, put an ad in local newspapers, or place flyers with other local businesses.
There are plenty of ways to tempt people to book their Christmas gatherings with you. Here are some ideas:
- Create an early bird offer to incentivise people to book early. Free gifts (like a free glass of fizz for every guest on arrival) or discounts on their bill work well.
- Reward loyal customers with exclusive discounts.
- Run festive themed competitions across your socials. For example, for ASK Italian of Azzuri Group, we launched a 12 days of Christmas competition throughout December. This involved interactive flip cards with 12 days of prizes and a new competition to enter each day. We integrated this directly with the CRM system, Acteol.
- Think beyond Christmas too. How about offering a percentage off another meal in January to everyone who books over Christmas? This also helps fill up tables during the January lull.
Whilst it may feel early to be thinking about Christmas, it is vital to start sooner rather than later (even if your Christmas shopping doesn’t start until mid-December!).
Get in touch to find out how we can help you with your Christmas campaign this year.