Business development · 9 February 2017

TripAdvisor boosts business offering with new restaurant marketing feature

More than 10,000 new businesses are added to the TripAdvisor website and app eeach week

Continuing its efforts to become a one-stop-shop for all the online marketing needs of accommodation and restaurant business owners, TripAdvisor has launched Storyboard – a new tool to help restaurant owners advertise online.

Available to the travel platform’s premium restaurant business subscribers, Storyboard helps owners create promotional videos for their restaurants, by combining the images and reviews already posted on their page.

Restaurant owners can give potential customers a more powerful first impression, without having to spend time and money producing expensive promotional videos.

Storyboard is designed to take the static photos on a restaurant’s page and turn them into a colourful presentation that will showcase the its best features.

Speaking exclusively with Business Advice, TripAdvisor’s senior vice president for restaurants, Bertrand Jelensperger, said that Storyboard may prove particularly useful to UK restaurant businesses – as the country is one where TripAdvisor users are most active.

“Ten years ago, you had to open a business in the right part of town to be a success – location was everything,” Jelensperger explained.

“Now, it doesn’t matter so much where a restaurant is located, if you’re popular on the ‘virtual high street’, you will attract customers. Our vision is to become the most important virtual high street for restaurants.”

Last month, TripAdvisor launched two further online marketing tools for its premium small business owners.

Premium subscribing restaurant owners gained more advanced user analytics, 24-hour email support and priority phone support via their accounts, while Business Advantage was launched for hotel owners, showing off their best guest photos and reviews in a formatted, colourful way.

More than 10,000 businesses are added to the TripAdvisor website and app every week, with more than 6.8m businesses now listed across the globe in total.

“The way people interact with restaurants and hotels on TripAdvisor is very different,” Jelensperger added.

“Part of the difference is we have more independent, smaller restaurant businesses, which don’t have the marketing budget or expertise to create good marketing campaigns.

“Features like Storyboard are easy-to-use tools that will help restaurant owners make better use of their assets.”

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Fred Heritage was previously deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and international relations from the University of Kent and an MA in international conflict from Kings College London.