Rebranding your restaurant is an exciting undertaking. The transition is a vital time when you can retain and gain revenue based on how you handle your digital marketing. It is also an opportunity to keep your valuable reputation in tact, or improve it. For these reasons, it is important this process goes smoothly on your highly visible digital channels.
There are several reasons a business rebrands such as changing markets, getting new management, or updating an older look. Whatever the reason, having a strategy will avoid major hiccups that can occur in the transition.
Our discussion will focus on the journey of rebranding a hotel restaurant but the principles outlined can be applied to other rebranding initiatives. Follow the guide below to maintain your loyal customers and win new ones by expertly handling your rebrand online.
Identify Stakeholders and Organize Brand Assets
First, identify the relevant stakeholders. This would include all internal staff involved in communication like your PR, customer service, sales and marketing teams. Also include relevant external stakeholders who assist in communication such as marketing vendors like a digital agency, the printers, and so on. Make sure you have all brand guidelines and assets organized and shared with these team members. Gather finalized logos and fonts and create documents you can easily share.
This is also a good time to write a description of your hotel restaurant’s new personality. What do you want the atmosphere to be? What kind of food will you serve? Think about who your target audience is and what adjectives you want your brand to portray. This will come in handy down the line.
Draft A Transition Timeline
Next, create a general timeline of upcoming milestones. This can include when you would like to announce your hotel restaurant’s new name, when it is re-opening, and more.
For example, a hotel dining establishment we work with is undergoing renovations and a complete rebrand. Once our team had a general sense of when the new restaurant would open, we were able to work backwards and created touchpoints we wanted to capitalize on. This transition plan included items like when we were allowed to reveal new menus, when we could reveal the new restaurant name, when we could announce the new chef, etc.
As dates inevitably shift, stay in constant communication with all stakeholders about these milestones. This will ensure the most accurate message is being relayed online and help you make the most out of your social strategy (more on that later).
Build Hype On Social Media
Using the milestones above, our team was able to use this information strategically across the restaurant’s social channels. For bigger items, like revealing their new name and logo, we instituted a fourteen, seven, and two day countdown. Here are some example posts:
For touchpoints like renovation progress photos and testing new menu items, we were able to tease this information. Using language like “sneak peek” can help drum up excitement and make your social communities feel like they are seeing something exclusive.
Transition Your Social Media Usernames & Handles
If you are changing your name due to a renovation or rebrand, you need to strategically with custom handles and usernames. Why? I am glad you asked!
- You need time to research potential usernames and handles to ensure they represent your brand.
- Your desired username could be taken. (Nooo!)
- You want to make sure your names are consistent across social channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
- You should plan for the naming guidelines for each social channel. EXP: Facebook usernames must be at least 5 characters & can only include letters, numbers and periods. See what page names are allowed on Facebook.
- A Facebook name change is a request, so it could take a few hours, or several days to be approved. Be prepared to have the appropriate documentation, if necessary, and know that the change will, in most cases, not take effect immediately.
- You want to avoid getting stuck half way through the process due to any roadblocks. This is a public ordeal and you want to maintain professionalism and avoid confusion amongst your followers.
If you run into any obstacles changing your names on Facebook, reach out to support. They are incredibly responsive and will provide you with the information you need to complete the process.
The transition timeline continues to come in handy. Once you agree on when you can reveal your new name/brand, you can align that with your execution of social media name changes.
Draft Social Account Descriptions
Draft descriptions for your new brand to help . This is where the first step, “Organize Your Brand Assets,” comes in handy as you should already have a description to pull from.
On Facebook, filling out your “About” section (specifically, the description, address, and phone number) can boost local SEO. These items are visible on Google search results as well as Facebook searches.
Register The Location Of Your New Hotel Restaurant Name On Instagram & Facebook
Claim your custom location on Instagram and Facebook with your new brand. Registering your location will attach your brand name to your physical address for Instagram posts. Learn how to create your custom location on Instagram.
Handle Website Changes Properly
No matter your website situation, this is an opportunity to gain new traffic while retaining loyal customers.
For our hotel restaurant undergoing a rebrand and renovations, the dining section of the brand hotel website was updated as follows:
- The old restaurant name was removed as it was closed during renovations.
- The page highlighted the name of the new restaurant with a “Coming Soon” call out.
- The new restaurant description was added. This way, people that were still visiting the dining page are aware that something exciting was coming.
If you have decided to build a separate website for your hotel restaurant, congratulations! That is a wise decision for a number of reasons. You will be able to capture new search traffic from potential customers and use it in a variety of marketing initiatives. You can now run paid search, display, and social media campaigns directly to the restaurant’s website. You will be able to add an email newsletter sign-up to the website and use the site on sales collateral, press releases, for updating your Yelp, Google My Business, and more. The opportunities are endless!
What if your hotel dining establishment has an existing vanity website that needs to be completely transitioned to the new brand? Here is a basic checklist of what to watch out for:
- Research your new domain name carefully so it aligns with the brand.
- Ensure you are instituting the proper URL redirecting required from your old website to your new one.
- Meet with your team and decide what content you want to bring over from the old website.
- Ensure site content is relevant for the new types of search queries you will get. Your keyword strategy should be updated to align with any name change or rebranded personality.
- Finally, make sure all visuals/logo are transitioned.
Contact our award winning Design and Development team for an outstanding site built for success.
Promote Your New Brand With Paid Digital Campaigns
Paid media campaigns are unique because they offer several targeting capabilities like age, gender, location and interests. When reopening a hotel restaurant or revealing its new logo, the launch of your brand to the world is a vital time. You have worked hard to create and launch your new business asset and it will need the support of paid media to reach its potential.
Engage Fans & Get New Customers With Social Media Campaigns
This time of celebration provides the perfect content for promoting social posts and running giveaways to engage users. Obtain email addresses through a social media contest for your new brand by making it an entry requirement or create a special offer for those who saw your post on social to enhance engagement. Paid campaigns allow for audience targeting so while you are engaging current followers, you can also use this as an opportunity to gain some new ones.
For your hotel restaurant, you could use “radius” targeting on Facebook to reach local customers within 10 miles of the location to alert them to your grand opening. The targeting possibilities are enormous on Facebook and Instagram. Learn how to run a paid social campaign like a pro or contact our team for expert assistance.
Use PPC & Display Ads To Retain Traffic And Capture New Users
Running paid search ads at the time of a rebrand or reopening is actually crucial as not all of the brand traffic you used to receive for your hotel restaurant on Google search will transfer over to your new website or business. With the help of paid search campaigns, you can increase sessions to your new website and use “grand opening,” “new,” and other captivating language in ad copy.
Create a dedicated rebranding search campaign or use extensions on existing Google Ads to highlight new information about your dining spot. For example, you could use callout extensions to highlight a grand opening or special offer.
Display campaigns are the image and video ads you see across the internet, so they are ideal for brand awareness. Use the vast targeting capabilities of Display ads, including retargeting, to really get into the minds of customers. Retargeting ads are those photos and videos that follow you around the internet. Think, “I visited a website to buy some shoes, and now the shoes are following me…” These visuals enhance brand recall – the ability for a consumer to recognize your brand, which is what you want during this restaurant transition. See examples of display ads for one of our clients below.
Reach out to Blue Magnet Interactive and we will help you make the most of your PPC and Display campaigns.
Drive Foot Traffic & Awareness With Email Marketing
Promote the launch of your hotel restaurant brand or re-opening with an email campaign. Research shows an expected 5.6 billion active email accounts this year with email marketing generating $38 for every $1 spent. Create a campaign encouraging users to visit your establishment with a special offer. Educate customers, old and new, about your new brand and keep them engaged with your business. This is where it pays to have an email newsletter sign up form on your website. Need to grow your email list? Running a promotion on social media is a great way to do so.
Update Your Presence on Yelp, TripAdvisor, Google My Business, & More
Cover all of your bases by ensuring all of your digital assets are current for your hotel restaurant. Ensure the channels below have the new name, address, phone number, website, and updated images.
- Google My Business
Increase visibility on local search by using tools like MozLocal. This tool pushes consistent local listing information to online directories (which is a factor in Google search results and helps customers find your new, rebranded business).
Retain & Grow Revenue During Your Rebrand
You can see there are several steps in the process that can be an opportunity for growth during a rebrand. After the launch of the new hotel restaurant is complete, stay engaged with online communities. Provide answers to questions, encourage reviews and respond to them in a timely manner, and keep social followers engaged with fresh content. Contact Blue Magnet to assist with this vast process to realize the full potential of your rebrand.