Over the coming weeks ROLLER will publish a series of blog posts to showcase innovative ways leisure and entertainment venues around the world are responding to the situation and preparing for the ‘new normal’. This piece focuses on essential marketing initiatives to put in place to ensure you are best placed for when your doors re-open.
All businesses know that engaging with customers to build trust and loyalty is extremely important in normal market conditions. Direct marketing, branding and online social media efforts enable you to target your loyal and most profitable customers, so they continue to return to your venue and help attract new visitors by enabling them to be brand ambassadors for your business. However, with the recent change in market conditions, it is now more important than ever that you retain your existing customer base and build even stronger online relationships with them.
Why? When your business emerges into the ‘new normal’ of leisure, ensuring that you have effectively protected and retained your core revenue driving customers will be extremely vital for your recovery. Remember the Pareto principle, aka 80/20 rule - "80% of sales come from 20% of customers."
Hence, preparing and executing a customer engagement plan during this period should be a high priority for your business. It also helps build trust with your local community that you are acting responsibly and planning for the future.
During this time you should be looking to work smarter and leaner across your entire business, and the same goes for your customer engagement strategy. However, dramatically cutting all marketing activity is a short term fix that is sure to have long term consequences. The approach of doing more with less, focusing on key only initiatives and taking advantage of free marketing products/tools that would not normally be considered should be done during this time.
Below are some customer engagement tips to put in your strategy to help you power through the COVID-19 period.
Out of sight means out of mind
You may have heard that saying before, and it is true. You need to continually keep in touch with your customers or you risk losing them. It is always cheaper to retain an existing customer than acquire a new one. Hence, you can be confident that working smarter to retain your existing customer base will deliver a good ROI.
Marketing automation is the lowest cost, easiest, and most effective way of keeping in touch with your customers. Setting up the ability to broadcast your updates at every touch point in their digital journey through social channels and through exploring the web is critical. This will ensure the job gets done, and will free up your team to focus on other marketing tasks.
Resources: Free Social Media Management Tools; Free Marketing Tools
Content production is an essential part of your engagement strategy and the quality of your content will determine how successful you are in engaging and ultimately retaining your customers. When producing content it is best to brainstorm ideas and then create a schedule/calendar on when they should be released. You don’t want to overload or spam your customer base. Remember content doesn’t need to be super polished, generally raw and authentic content performs higher. Follow these tips to ensure your content is effective;
- Know your audience
- Keep it simple
- Ensure you’re consistent
- Ensure the content is sharable
- Make sure it’s not overly promotional
- Try and vary your content formats
- Promote your content through your channels
- Track your analytics and learn from it (Content performance metrics)
Get more social, this means actively engaging in conversations with your existing customers. Facebook, Instagram, TripAdvisor & Google reviews - these are places where your customers are sharing their experiences about your business, reviewing your business, discussing their purchasing decisions etc. Creating a low cost plan to reach and engage customers via these channels is a critical part of your engagement strategy. You need to continually engage and respond to your customer base so you can listen/learn from them and show that they are all valued. And remember, it isn’t about advertising – your contributions to the conversation need to be valuable and appropriate.
Just because your venue is currently closed due to the coronavirus outbreak doesn't mean your customers still can't experience your venue's magic at home. Yes, that’s right! With a little creativity their home can be an extension of your venue's experience. There have been many examples of businesses in a range of industries taking the time to produce some truly amazing and engaging content.
- Virtual experiences / tours
- Video unique/fun situations due to venue being closed
- Staff introductions and messages
- Social media trends - eg TikTok, Challenges
- Live stream shows or record podcasts
- Produce solution based content
- Quiz/Trivia/Fun games
- Jump In - Easter holiday lock down fun
- Altitude - ‘the floor is lava’ game
- AirHop - spot the difference
- Flip Out Wandsworth - Coloring print outs
- Scavenger hunt (great for easter!)
- Videos about the venue
- Ride Reviews
- Behind the scenes
- Show support for your front line workers
- Company messages and updates as to what you are doing
*If you have any ideas (or examples) that you would like to share please contact us and we will update our list!
How to action through ROLLER
If you are using our email marketing integration, please refer to our ROLLER Mail knowledge base area.
Your social media and other marketing tools are not connected to ROLLER.
Get in touch if you need assistance
If you require any assistance actioning any of these initiatives please contact our ROLLER support team via logging a support ticket - Contacting ROLLER Support
Other COVID-19 materials