The restaurant industry has solidly entered the digital age, right alongside its customers. To succeed in the industry, you need to meet your customers where they spend most of their time: the Internet.
One effective way to meet your customers there is through Wi-Fi marketing. But to take advantage of wifi marketing, you need to know more about it.
Here is everything you need to know about Wi-Fi marketing: what it is, how it works, why you need it, and how to make the most of your Wi-Fi marketing campaign.
What is Restaurant Wi-Fi Marketing?
Wifi marketing offers free wifi in exchange for customer data. It is a digital marketing method that attracts foot traffic and collects customer data, which can be used for everything from gaining social media followers to targeted promotional content.
Wifi marketing takes advantage of our ever-increasing dependence on our phones. Recent surveys show most paying customers want to visit a restaurant that offers a free Wi-Fi network. The majority of restaurant visitors reach for their phones, whether to check social media or message a friend or family member.
Young professionals also increasingly rely on restaurant Wi-Fi networks to provide free internet access and social interaction.
It takes only one search to understand the importance of wifi near you. Google “wifi restaurants near me” or some variation of the keyword, and you’ll see how many local spots offer wifi, and how many positive reviews mention said free wifi.
A free restaurant Wi-Fi network has become an essential part of the dining experience–one you should take advantage of.
How Does Wifi Marketing Work?
Restaurant wifi works similarly to traditional home or business wifi. The wifi network provides network access in a set area, and people within that range can access the wifi provided they have the password.
The only difference with wifi marketing is the “password”. Restaurant wifi doesn't use a password.
If customers want access to the restaurant wifi, they need to log in through one of the guest Wi-Fi access points. An access point sign-in page appears, asking wifi users for their contact details. Once they’ve added their contact details, they can use the wifi.
The data they entered is then collected by the Wi-Fi marketing platform. With this data, you can send targeted ads via email marketing, track offline and online restaurant analytics, and increase online exposure with positive reviews.
Why Implement Wifi Marketing?
Over 90% of the world population carries a smart, feature phone, and the vast majority of those regularly access the internet. With the advent of social media and messaging, most people are active on their digital devices, even while dining.
At the same time, online and offline exposure have become increasingly linked.
By implementing Wi-Fi marketing, you ensure your restaurant stays present in the current market while taking advantage of the many benefits that come with Wi-Fi marketing solutions.
Gather Customer Information
Wifi marketing allows you to collect customer information in two impressive ways.
First, there is contact information. Wifi marketing software collects the name, number, and email address of your customers, before storing the information in a database.
This connection grows over time, accumulating more and more data. The next time the person signs in, they can be asked to fill in a quick survey, all of which will then be used to create a customer profile. You can then use this database to further your restaurant marketing and implement targeted ads.
Next, when customers access the restaurant wifi, the software starts collecting behavioral data.
How often do customers return? How long do they stay? How many new visitors are you seeing in a day? What are your busiest times? Advanced Wi-Fi marketing software even collects this data if customers decide not to sign in to the network.
With this data, you can create and implement marketing strategies that are tailored to your restaurant’s goals and clientele.
Increase Foot Traffic and Revenue
Even without using the Wi-Fi data, offering free internet access is going to increase foot traffic and revenue.
More and more people are looking for restaurants that offer free wifi. The increase in remote and hybrid work styles has also increased the number of professionals looking for local jaunts to work while eating. Wi-Fi also increases spending. People who are using free wifi tend to stay longer i.e. buy more food and drink.
When you combine good food, good service, and good wifi, you’ll see an increase in customer loyalty and customer engagement.
Combine the above benefits with the power of customer data, and the potential of free wifi becomes increasingly clear.
Improve Positive Online Exposure
Your restaurant’s online reputation–reviews, rankings, mentions, etc.–will have a major impact on your success. But to make the most of your reputation, you first need to increase your positive online exposure.
Wifi marketing presents many opportunities for restaurants to maximize online exposure. Through email marketing, social channels, surveys, and review incentives, you can increase your online presence and experience offline success.
All of this will help establish your brand, increase brand retention, increase positive reviews, and improve your ranking on platforms like Google.
Tips For Restaurant Wifi Marketing
To ensure successful Wi-Fi marketing that taps into all the above benefits, implement these tips.
1. Make It Clear You Offer Free Wifi
Offering free wifi is a big selling point, both online and offline. This is why it’s so important that it’s clear to everyone that you offer free wifi.
At your physical restaurant location, put up a board or window decal that advertises free wifi for paying customers. You can do the same inside the restaurant near the entrance, by the cash register, on the walls, and on your menu.
Next, advertise the free wifi on the restaurant's social media accounts. Make it a selling point on your Google business profile and review sites.
Finally, make sure the wifi network name is the same or similar to that of your restaurant. Customers should be able to easily find your wifi from the list of available networks.
2. Use Wifi Marketing Software To Capture Customer Data
Technology in restaurants continues to change and shape the ways of modern restaurant management. It’s also making it much easier for restaurants to tap into the potential of software without needing to be a professional on the subject.
Case in point: wifi marketing software.
Either way, the wifi software will help you create and install an internet sign-on splash page, and immediately start collecting and organizing guest data. The software will create in-depth customer profiles, which–with the help of targeted ads and promotions–will help your restaurant items sell better.
3. Implement A Wifi Marketing Strategy
You now have access to a lot of customer data. It’s time to use that data by implementing a marketing strategy and launching marketing campaigns.
Targeted Email Marketing
Email marketing covers a broad spectrum of marketing. You can email customers about promotions, discounts, and other offers. You can also get them signed into loyalty programs. You can use the gathered customer data to create tailored email marketing campaigns and set them for specific dates.
For example, you can send congratulations emails to customers on their birthday and offer them a discounted meal.
Segment the customers and group them according to age, likes, and dislikes, and create email marketing tailored to them.
Encourage Reviews & Ratings
Through email widgets and wifi access page reviews, you can encourage customers to leave reviews or to rate their experience with your restaurant.
You can even link directly to social media channels, where customers can leave a quick comment before accessing the wifi. It’ll go a long way in developing a positive online reputation and growing your popularity.
The best way to increase engagement is to reward it. Offer users who engage with the content, who show up, and who review or rate your restaurant's free or discounted menu items.
4. Issue A Privacy Disclaimer
Cultivate trust with customers and stay on the right side of the law by issuing a privacy disclaimer. The information you gather will differ from platform to platform, but you need to be upfront with customers about it.
Luckily, your Wi-Fi marketing platform likely has privacy disclaimers built into the sign-in sheet or the option to add one. If there is none, look for a platform that offers the option to add a privacy disclaimer.
5. Collect and Track Efficacy Metrics
Tracking your growth is an important measure to ensure you’re doing the right thing for your restaurant. If you don’t track the efficacy of your Wi-Fi marketing campaigns, you won’t know where you're wasting time and resources, and you might not be putting enough into the campaigns that are producing results.
The software you use should start tracking new sign-ins, returning visitors, campaign interaction, and a host of other metrics to showcase your growth. From there, adjust the metrics or campaigns that aren’t doing good, and improve the ones that are.
Wifi marketing has the potential to increase your online and offline reach, build customer profiles for targeted marketing, and establish a loyal customer base–all of which will increase your revenue.
Add free wifi to your restaurant and implement the above tips to hit the ground running.
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