Experiential Marketing to ‘Gen Z’

We live in a time where instant gratification has become the norm among many of us. Whether it be online or in person, people desire experiences and fulfilment without any delay.
If your business aims to attract what marketers like to call the ‘Gen Z’ and ‘Millennial’ market, then this is a gentle reminder that you need to broaden your marketing horizons and include experiential endeavours into your marketing strategy. Simply put, ‘Gen Z’ refers to people born in 1995 to 2015 whereas ‘Millennials’ are born in 1980-1994. One may think that directing marketing efforts to Gen Z are a complete waste of time but the first wave of Gen Z has by now entered the job market and have money to spend and invest, making them quite powerful.


Millennials and Gen Z are reshaping the consumer market. Gen Z prioritizes experiences and are very tech-savvy. They are also very purposeful with the content they consume, Gen Z watches on average 68 videos a day from platforms they engage most with such as Snapchat, Instagram and YouTube (Kasasa, 2019). Isn’t is worth an eyebrow raise that Facebook barely made the list?
Digital marketing on these popular platforms means only half the battle is won, it’s time to expand marketing efforts and think about what is really making a bigger impact these days. This presents experiential marketing, a form of marketing that allows brands and consumers to connect on a more authentic and emotional level, it engages consumers and provides memorable experiences that lead to effective sales. Gen Z and Millennials love events and experiences that they can capture and share on social media as well as receive instant gratification from. They are the market driving a brands online presence and influencing their connections about whether or not to support a cause.


ROI (return on investment) with experiential marketing can be easily driven and measured. If you are a product-based business – pop-up shops and exclusive product releases are right up your alley. Brands looking to build digital impressions can do so by hosting an event that is socially driven. Another great benefit about experiential marketing is collecting real time feedback about what you are selling, rest assured it is coming from the most honest and transparent audience who aren’t afraid to speak their mind.
Gen Z and Millennials are often misunderstood by brands because they don’t respond to traditional marketing strategies. This brings us back to instant gratification and the competitive edge you hold by offering it. Experiential marketing isn’t just a trend, it’s here to stay.

Meaningful Content

Great content is about storytelling. But, and this is important, do not make everything about your brand.
To connect with your audience you need to learn how to tell meaningful, creative and authentic stories and avoid the norm.
Building authentic relationships online is tough but getting to know your audience is crucial if you want to get through to them and connect.
The way to do this is to listen, respond to the comments they leave and make note of which stories or posts they share the most.
These trends and commonalities can help shape your social content.
Using video content is one of the most effective way to engage with your audience.
In saying that, it does not mean that the power of unusual and authentic visuals should be underestimated or tossed aside but it is important not to always use stock images we have all seen a million times before.
The right image with a great caption and a #hashtag can encourage your audience to react and give you the desired emotion, which you want to evoke out of them.

To build affinity you must be authentic and put out what is best for your targeted audience. A good starting point is to bear these questions in mind:
• Do I know my audience?
• Does my content resonate with them?
• Moreover, are you sharing something which is unique, interesting and informative?

Most importantly the rule of thumb is go with something that your audience will gain the most value from.
Your brand is not about you it is about how you make your audience feel.
By doing this you will not be limiting your brand only to people who are loyal and are already following your brand.
Open up yourself to new avenues as this will enable you to attract new customers.
Knowing your audience effectively is also about understanding their culture.

Do not try to engage a community with particular content in the midst of just trying to connect.
For instance, without understanding influential figures, trends and the language that they use such as slang and relaxed tones of being colloquial.
Audiences will catch you out and see you as a brand that is just pushing out content, of which it is clueless about.
Effectively you cannot appeal to everybody, which is why it is important to research your audience.

Let your audience’s insights guide your content making your brand relatable.

Top 10 Restaurant Marketing Tips

The restaurant business is ruthless, especially in Ballito. Not only is competition fierce, a restaurant loses an opportunity they cannot regain every time there’s an empty table during a service. So how does one limit these missed opportunities? Through implementing effective restaurant marketing tips.

1. Professionally photograph your dishes

Example of enticing food photography taken by the Get It Magazine Ballito/Umhlanga team.

One of the most important things you can do is take professional, drool-worthy photos of your menu items. Online visual content is king, especially appetizing food to hungry eyes.

2. Welcome online reviews

Next is to make sure you have set up a TripAdvisor and Zomato account and have someone constantly manning these. Include as much detail on your restaurant as possible on these platforms, including your location, store hours and menu. Make sure that when reviews start coming in that they are appropriately handled. Always answer politely to negative feedback and promise future improvement. It may even be worth contacting the reviewer privately based on the nature of the complaint and possibly offering them a complimentary meal. Reviewers appreciate this interaction as they then feel like their opinions are valued by your restaurant.

Example of a review on a Ballito restaurant on TripAdvisor

3. Become discoverable on Google

Reviews can also be done on Google. Make sure you open a Google + and Google Business account. Having both these accounts increases your search ranking immediately as Google has more access to information about your restaurant. Once set up, when your business name is ‘Googled’ it will not only come up in the search results, but appear in a block on the side of the search results with your location on Google Maps, your trading hours and Google reviews – all for free. If you are unsure, get someone to set it up for you.

What appears when you search ‘Wordsmiths Marketing’ on Google – drawn from the Google Business account.

4. Set a Google Alert for your restaurant name

When you activate Google Alerts, it notifies you of any online content which speaks of your restaurant. This makes it a lot easier to stay on top of what is being said about your business online.

Google Alerts

5. Create geo-targeted ads

The key to great restaurant marketing is to target local. More often than not, someone is looking to eat out somewhere that’s fairly close to home. For example, try targeting your adverts to the Ballito region instead of a broader, KZN reach. Investing in local geo-targeted adverts is more likely to result in a return on investment opposed to ads targeting large regions. This form of advertising is available on Google and various social media platforms.

What geo-targeting looks like on Facebook 

6. Use social media and monitor it

Another tip for restaurant marketing is to use social media – and use it a lot. Use those mouth-watering images to draw customers in, but also post content which will be of interest to your target market. Use it to advertise any specials you may have, or to run a competition for more exposure. It is restaurants with a strong social media presence which often fair best in the industry.

7. Food blogger outreach

A strategic way to get your restaurant’s name out there is to invite press to come and dine at your restaurant. Ask whether they would share their experience as this cannot be assumed. You also cannot guarantee that the review will be positive – this is up to them. The only way to have any control over this is to ensure your food, ambiance and service are all top notch. ‘Unpaid’ advertising such as press reviews and articles are always more trustworthy sources of information to customers than paid advertising.

8. Share positive press

If and when your restaurant is positively mentioned by the press – share it! Show it off on your website and on social media. This will help the positive reviews reach more of your current customers and potential customers and will encourage word of mouth. More people are likely to visit your restaurant if trusted sources are giving it praise.

9. Promote user-generated content

This is one of the best ways to engage with your customers online. Encourage customers to share their personal photographs of their experience at your restaurant with the possibility of featuring on your social media platforms. Another way to gain user-generated content is to host a photo-sharing competition.

10. Have the ability to reserve a table online

One last restaurant marketing idea is to consider getting an online reservation tool set up on your restaurant’s website. The more convenient it is for your customers to book, the more likely they will.

Want us to handle your restaurant marketing for you? Contact us on hello@wordsmithsgroup.co.za for a free quotation.

Tips to get your Holiday Letting Social Media in check

Ballito is renowned for being a holiday destination, so it is no wonder that competition around holiday letting is rife in our “little” town. With so many avenues to advertise your holiday letting on, it’s important to ensure whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it well.

My first advice would be to promote Ballito, as well as your holiday accommodation. Give your audience a rich understanding of what to expect by providing information on what amenities and activities are available to them around the area. Good places to look for local content would be XX, XX and XX.

Make sure you capture your business’ personality in your social media copy and content. If the copy doesn’t ring true, it will fail to give your clients a sense of who you really are. It’s also a great way to open a dialogue with a possible guest before even picking the phone up. 

The content should also be of interest to both you and your audience, and not just you. This is where a lot of businesses get it wrong. Social media is more about listening and less about talking. Ask questions and gather the information they provide. You might gain some valuable insights into what your audience is looking for.

The internet is all about instant responses these days, so be prepared! Make sure to check all of your platforms daily to ensure no query goes unanswered for more than 24 hours. The longer you leave a query unanswered, the more time you’re giving your competitor to swoop in and steal the heart of your potential guests. 

Responding to your guest reviews (both good and bad) is not only courteous, but it also lets potential guests see how you handle praise as well as criticism. Keep in mind that Social Media has its fair share of cyber bullies, so be prepared to deal with some very unrealistic remarks. Just take it in your stride and handle them as politely as possible. At the end of the day, typing angrily in response to them is going to do nothing more than scare away future guests. 

Keep with the trends and start introducing video to your strategy. According to HubSpot, more than 45% of people watch more than an hour’s worth of Facebook or YouTube videos a week.

Shooting a video of your holiday accommodation gives people another way to interact and experience your space before finalizing the booking. It often aids as a final push for people to click “book now” or send an email.

A post, link, photo, or tweet on your profile might look nice to you, but it means very little if it doesn’t resonate with the people who are following your page.

Lastly, make sure you keep connecting with previous guests via Social Media and email marketing campaigns. Doing so will allow you to create a strong database for remarketing, as well as a network of people who can vouch for your services. At the end of the day, your followers might prove themselves to be your strongest holiday rental advocates.

The Power of Viral Video Marketing

How far are you willing to go – to take your brand to the next level?


With the introduction of new trends and techniques in the marketing space almost every week, it can be a little overwhelming to think about moving into video production especially if you’re a small business on a tight budget and unfamiliar with the concept. Great news! It’s easier than it looks and it’s a lifelong investment because video marketing is here to stay. In fact, viral video marketing is the future! Ever scrolled through social media and came across a video that made you laugh out loud and want to immediately share with your friends? That’s exactly the power of a video going viral overnight. It’s incredible to know that nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store and 90% of customers prefer videos as it helps them make decisions. Now imagine showcasing your brand and all its offerings in a tasteful yet viral manner to over millions of people on social media? Not only are you gaining brand exposure that’s unmatched from the thousands of people watching and sharing with others, your brand is communicating a very important message – likability and relatability. There’s nothing quite like having your brand become a household name and for all good reasons too, besides we’d pick exciting and innovative marketing over same old boring, any day!

So how does one go about viral video marketing?
When it comes to your brand, there’s no shortcuts – which means you want to invest in good quality equipment, scripting and acting talent so your video doesn’t just leave a lasting impression that will psychologically influence a consumer to shop at your store but also speaks volumes of how top notch your brand is.


It’s okay to not play it safe and think out the box, but it can be a little tricky if you opt to dabble with controversial topics surrounding your brand. A vital part that comes into play when executing a video campaign is to always ensure it isn’t offensive to anybody and doesn’t misrepresent your brand and its values. One of the most talked about undertakings from popular social media vloggers, influencers and even celebs that incorporate brands so well – either subliminally or directly are trending #challenges. Think to the recent “Keke” challenge or even the ice bucket challenge. What started off as just one video sparked a trend amongst the world. From your average news headline about petrol to something local like bunny chows or koeksisters can incite quite a frenzy when carefully and cleverly positioned around your marketing message. Never underestimate the power of viral video marketing and the limitless wonders it could do for your brand awareness, sales, website traffic and overall image.

Did these marketing tips help you? Let us know in the comments section.

The Insta-Future

Ever heard the term “do it for the gram”? You’re not alone! Like you, so many people have now taken to Instagram to live their best life.
Whether it’s posting a selfie or stalking your favourite celebrity, Instagram has become wildly popular for fashion, food, photography, keeping up with friends and family and getting your brand featured on a very influential platform. Want to look up a restaurant or makeup hack? So does 60% of users whom vouch for hearing about a product or service on Instagram.

Instagram is such an exciting and extremely powerful way to connect with your target market and get everybody buzzing about what you’re offering! But before you even think about global Insta-domination, there are a few bases to cover which will get you there in no time.
Your profile information is the first thing someone will see, so make sure it speaks to your brand and has all the necessary details for a call to action, such as visiting your website or directions to your physical store. Showcase what you do in a creative and innovative way. Promoting the solution your brand provides instead of the products you sell communicates the true value to a customer and having visually appealing content whilst doing so is a major advantage.

From GIF’s, boomerangs, time lapses, stories or just really great photography – the engaging content ideas for people to interact with your brand is pretty amazing. Get your brand trending by leveraging hashtags and have it form part of your brand identity by using one uniform hashtag of your business name on all your posts. This makes it easier for people to find content that is related to your brand and even expands your reach.
If you’re feeling a little generous then giveaways and competitions are a fantastic idea! It creates a major spike in your following and engagement and with a new trend on the block (loop giveaways) there’s so much potential to be harnessed as this connects you and other businesses in your industry with access to a greater online community – now that’s a win-win situation.

On the right track?
Sometimes it’s not about the size of your audience, but the degree of their involvement with your brand’s content that matters most. Key parameters that will indicate whether you’re on the right track are: How quickly you’re gaining new followers instead of the number of followers you have; the number of likes and quality comments your profile receives and the willingness of people reposting your content and sharing it with their friends.

All seriousness aside, it’s an innovative and highly interactive platform which allows you to be playful – so don’t focus too much on the numbers all the time and have a little fun. Get to know your audience with polls, theme up your feed with a trendy aesthetic, go all out with emoji’s and have your personality shine through those light-hearted captions.

There’s nothing more exciting than seeing a brand online that’s unconventional yet brilliant at their social media marketing. Instagram may not be for everybody but with just over 3.6 million South African accounts at your disposal, it’s hard to ignore.

Social Media Content Matters

With ever changing social media algorithms decreasing the chances of your content being seen – how are you as a business planning ahead? 

In case you aren’t familiar with the recent updates by Facebook and Instagram, let’s get you caught up. As of May 2019, Facebook who also owns Instagram updated the way in which your favourite social media apps process posts and decides which you see first or at all. Facebook and Instagram will now be prioritizing and ranking content on your newsfeed based on a metric of relevance or trust. 

Content from friends, followers, pages or groups will now be classified and ranked by the number of meaningful interactions it receives and how likely you are to be interested in the post based on your previous engagements. This new algorithm has made it very challenging for businesses using Facebook and Instagram as a means of marketing and advertising to reach an audience and get the desired results.  

Not all hope is lost, there is an opportunity for advertisers to understand the algorithm and optimize its content. Now with an even smaller chance of someone engaging with your post, it’s that more important to seize the moment at every chance you get. 

Consider curating content that starts conversations, prompts the reader to pause and positively interact with your post either by tagging a friend, liking, commenting or sharing. Always keep your target audience in mind when strategizing the direction and format of your content, depending on the nature of your brand, would a tutorial or lifestyle imagery suit your ad better? Observing organic performance of content after a reasonable period of time should give you an indication of whether it needs to be promoted. The paid promotion will piggyback of the organic success of the post and reach even more people that way. Analyse and measure what worked well and what could do with some improvement, this will only help on your quest to optimizing content like a pro. 

Content marketing should be viewed as a tool to craft an ongoing relationship with a customer beyond making the initial purchase. Content marketing magnifies the way a customer interacts with your business, beyond sales, requiring technical or customer support. The marketing of good content on a regular basis extends the longevity and quality of this relationship. Just remember that your content should follow the criteria of being valuable, informative and entertaining so you never have to worry about battling it out with the frightening algorithm again.  

Content is king, there’s simply no two ways about it. The opportunity lies in how you use this effective marketing tool to reach your target audience against all odds. 

How to Generate Leads from your Facebook Business Page

1) Make your Facebook Posts link directly to a lead-generating landing page.
This could be a form that needs to be filled out, or a compelling blog post which may drive an action from your audience. Send people directly to these landing pages by posting the link and ensuring that Facebook pulls a captivating feature image from your website. In order to ensure the image you want pulls through, make sure that it is the first/main image on that landing page. Make it clear in your post copy as to where you will be sending your reader, so they do not feel like they have fallen victim to “click bait.” The topic and title should be intriguing to draw your audience in. If you are going to use a blog post, I suggest including your call to action as a link within your first paragraph of your post. Including it sooner than later in your post has been proven by Hubspot to drive more leads.

2) Use video on Facebook to generate leads.
The organic reach on Facebook has dropped by 52% since 2017, and based on trends is likely to continue to drop. However, video seems to be the answer to your Facebook woes as the Facebook algorithm favours video content. It has proven to have 135% greater organic reach than photo posts. It is ideal to verbally include your call to action in your video, as well as in the text of your Facebook post.

3) Pin posts to the top of your Page that will drive leads.
By doing this it allows you to highlight the post, as it appears at the top of your Facebook Page regardless of how old the post is. You can identify a pinned post by a little pin in the top right corner of the post. You can pin a post to the top of your Facebook Page by clicking the three dots on the top right-hand corner of your post and selecting “Pin to Top of Page.”

4) Add a call-to-action button to your Facebook Page.
This button is simple but powerful, and it can help drive more traffic to your website from your Facebook Page. You can choose from a variety of options such as “Book Serves,” “Contact Us” and “Download App.” Some marketers choose to keep the call to action the same whilst others change it up every few months or so. This will depend on your marketing strategy and whether you have many lead generating avenues

5) Create hype through extreme specials or a competition.
People respond well to hype, especially if it involves winning something. This creates interest for your audience and encourages them to engage with your business, thus growing your reach and therefore your leads.

6) Create lead-generating adverts on Facebook.
Facebook has now included a form which you can add to your paid Facebook post, allowing your audience to fill out a form on Facebook instead of having them click through to your website. This makes it more convenient for your audience and therefore will enhance the engagement on your paid post.

It is particularly useful for mobile users who do not wish to click through to another site. What makes the form even more useful is that Facebook auto-fills the forms for users (such as name and email address) thus requiring them to only press “submit” should those be the only questions you ask. You can even customize the questions based on the information you require through your lead generation.

If this seems too complicated, you can either choose to go with Tip 1 or contact us on hello@wordsmithsgroup.co.za for a step-by-step guide on how to use Facebook Lead Generating adverts.