AQUA Forte is an authentic Italian fine dining restaurant that opened in the Galle Fort in May 2019. Highly passionate about traditional Italian cuisine and culture, the team at AQUA set forth to provide its niche customer base with a truly authentic Italian dining experience.
The main objective was to generate a performance-driven, holistic digital marketing campaign in order to transform a virtually unknown culinary brand into one that was well recognized within six months.
Since AQUA Forte was a brand-new restaurant, the brand required a significantly high level of advertising investment to create sufficient brand visibility.
One of the main challenges faced by Antyra during the planning stage was the search for lower-cost channels to market AQUA Forte and push its organic visibility. When it came to some of the brand’s competitors, it was noted that the term ‘authentic’ was being used ambiguously among some Italian restaurants in the market. Hence, AQUA Forte had to affirm its truly authentic processes as a value driver among the other casual and fine dining providers within Galle Fort.
Furthermore, as the Italian fine dining restaurants in Colombo are considered secondary competitors, AQUA Forte needed to be established as a ‘brand experience’ beyond its authentic cuisine offering.
Additionally, the aftermath of the Easter Sunday attacks on Sri Lanka’s tourism industry had a significant impact on footfall.
Antyra Solutions began working with the brand in April of 2019. The following key objectives were outlined at the start of the engagement:
In the market, where meaning of ‘authentic’ can be ambiguous and blurred due to market noise, it was up to digital marketing campaigns to reach the demand of the audience and affirm that AQUA Forte is a truly authentic Italian restaurant establishing it as an aspirational brand.
In order to achieve this we started from the branding strategy itself. From the visual communications on how the brand needs to be portrayed on our social media communications and other advertising methods was discussed and finalized. With a clear vision about the brand we started working on delivering this message to our target audience through multiple channels.
With a limited budget at hand we focused on creativity and content as a key pillar to push out content. The social media channels for AQUA Forte gained fast popularity through carefully curated content along with a content marketing strategy that featured detailed blogs and articles on AQUA Forte blog.
Antyra engaged in a multi-channel marketing strategy that utilized social media communications and advertising, search engine marketing, content marking, email marketing and SEO, targeting different points of the customer journey.
How Antyra targeted the customers at each stage of the buying journey:
This is the initial point of contact where the customer discovers the brand. As a new brand, it was essential to engage heavily in the marketing aimed at brand awareness building.
Considering that AQUA Forte was a new brand with little to no brand footprint, Antyra recommended a holistic approach that established a brand footprint. This was conducted through pre- and post-launch campaigns to increase awareness as well as the utilization of offline PR opportunities.
The values of AQUA Forte were highlighted and used as a base for all marketing initiatives.
The objective at this phase was to maintain top of mind awareness among potential customer segments by driving engagement and building audiences. Antyra engaged in multiple paid channels such as Google ads and social media advertising to drive traffic to the website. Content marketing was used to increase organic reach (virality) as well as to provide unique and engaging content for the visitors from paid channels. Influencer marketing was used to stimulate the brand’s affiliation with potential customer segments. In addition, SEO was optimized to improve AQUA Forte’s rankings on Google map listings while maintaining a steady stream of evergreen content to improve organic visibility.
AQUA Forte required a campaign that can generate revenue in the short term (in order to ensure that it reaches break-even point as soon as possible). This was done using tactical campaigns that can generate immediate revenue and by nurturing the funnel (buyer’s journey) for sustainable revenue growth.