Top Tips for Promoting your Venue

How to do well and encourage votes in the BRAVO Awards

At Restaurants Brighton we know all about marketing. We’re a small local company with a core team of just six. But, together, we manage to make enough (good) noise online to rival multinationals like Tripadvisor, DesignMyNight and Time Out for local food and drink web traffic. Proving it’s not how big you are that counts, it’s how clever you work.

So here are our top easy-to-do things that can help you win, or become well placed in the Top 20s, at the BRAVOs. These ideas will encourage more votes and more votes means you have a better chance of doing well. 

Winning the BRAVO’s or being placed in a Top 20 will make a difference to your business.

See what the 2023 winners said about winning the BRAVO’s and what impact it had on their business and the staff morale.

1. Make a Plan

Identify the BRAVO categories you think your venue can win and then go for it with a consistent campaign to encourage your voters. 

Your plan should include elements, or all of the following activities:

  • Ask your customers to vote for you when you see them at your venue over the 6 week voting period. Hand them a voting card if you wish or give them a voting link to your venue on the BRAVO website. 
  • Posting about the BRAVOs to your social media accounts daily to encourage your customers to vote for you. this includes Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, Twitter – whichever accounts you use.
  • Send news of the BRAVOs amongst the content in your email newsletter.
  • Insert the BRAVO Icon and voting link onto the home page of your website.

Your venue can only be nominated in five categories, but we recommend going for 3 categories then it means you can be sure to direct your voters to a few categories, rather than spreading the votes across a number of categories. 

2. Use the marketing material we provide.

It is down to you and your team to organise yourself during the 6 week voting window, so you are best positioned to use the resources available. 

Here are all the online marketing material assets you will require:

  • Icons for all categories
  • Artwork (for social media/ website) for all 18 categories so you can
  • The BRAVO logo
  • Bravo animations
  • posters to pin up at your venue

Use the posters we have dropped off to venues, or download and print one here.

Consistently give out the small BRAVO cards we have dropped off for you and encourage customers to vote for you. You must vote too, and your team, and your friends, and your family, so tell everyone!

You can use your unique voting page URL to send your customers directly to vote for you. This can be via your newsletter, a direct email, or via a social media platform. Find your voting URL by searching for your venue here. If you need a hand at any stage with this then email the BRAVO team.

Make sure you’re using strong Calls To Action (CTAs) that tell your customers what to do and why they should do it. A strong CTA looks like this: “Vote for us in the BRAVOs and you could win £200!”

Keep CTA’s simple. People don’t like to have too many actions!

>Here’s a link to your free marketing material once again.

3. Post to social media frequently.

Can you remember a social media post you saw a week ago? Two days ago? This morning? If your post doesn’t get an instant response it will get forgotten, so you need to make sure your message is being repeated. Set yourself a minimum number of posts per week and vary the messages (calls to action) and images so it isn’t spammy.

Maybe you could post about the BRAVOs 3 times a week, for 6 weeks. That is 18 posts in total. Make a plan, put it in your diary so you remember to consistently organise these posts. 

Here is a link to new marketing material for this year. Here you will find category icons, BRAVO logos, BRAGo animation files, posters and much more. 

If there is anything you would like us to help with, then let us know.

Instagram Reels

Embrace the instagram upward curve and try making short videos, edit them on Instagram and then post to your profile. If you can’t make reels, then this is an opportunity that could encourage you to learn how to do it; otherwise give the responsibility to someone else.

> Watch our guide to taking food photos with a smartphone for better social media posts

4. Engage with your customers.

Your front of house staff should be your greatest asset.

It’s the interactions that your team create which will determine whether your customers have had an okay time or a great time and you will know which customers will be happy to vote for you. 

Make sure they’re telling your customers about the BRAVOs and how they’re excited to be nominated. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. 

> Read how the BRAVOs support your business

5.Stay focused.

Pick one, two or three categories to focus your votes and tell your customers how you’d like to be voted for. Remember, it’s not how big you are, it’s how clever you work.

Which categories do you think you can win, remember anyone can win, it’s down to the public to decide!

6.The hare and the tortoise.

You’re probably familiar with the story of the hare and the tortoise who have a race. Hare zooms off from the starting line at speeds Tortoise can’t dream to achieve. Pleased with his progress and confident he’ll win, Hare stops for a rest in the sun. Meanwhile, Tortoise slowly and steadily continues on his way crossing the finish line while Hare is still sleeping.

Be the tortoise, not the hare – you only cross the finish line if you stay in the race!

With six weeks of voting there are lots of customers to convert into voters.

Committing to push your BRAVO nominations to the very end with these simple steps is what will get you on a top-20 list.

7.Use the #BRAVO2024 Hashtag

Whenever you post to social media, please remember to use the #BRAVO2024 hashtag, and this means that the BRAVO team can discover your posts, which means we can share your content wherever possible.

Top tips for posting

  • Use #BRAVO2024 in your social media descriptions. In reels, posts and Instagram stories. 
  • Tag @brightonrestaurantawards on Instagram
  • Tag or mention the category sponsor for your category and this means they will notice you post and possibly share it across their networks.