Marketing is both a science and an art. But you don’t need to have a marketing degree to put your restaurant on the map. In fact, the internet and social media have made it quite easy to spread the word around and feature your restaurant on the most popular platforms at a fraction of the cost other traditional media advertising would charge you. But in the overcrowded market and with a lot of competition you need to know what you’re doing if you want to stand out. The following 7 marketing strategies will help you get the attention of your customers and increase your business.
Have a marketing budget
One of the first rules of sound marketing is to establish a marketing budget. Without a budget, you won’t be able to set a feasible plan to target the media outlets that you want to feature your restaurant on. A budget, on the other hand, will help you pace your marketing campaign so that you don’t run out of funds pretty quickly and miss out on peak seasons. No matter how big or small your budget is, setting aside resources for marketing is always a great idea to start your advertising.
One of the main things that get customers to pay attention to your message is to have a unified voice. From a catchy slogan to having a mascot, your message should be identifiable, easy to recognize and have a common theme. That way whenever and wherever customers and potential clients see your ad they will associate it with you. It’s also a good idea to respond to online reviews to show that their opinion matters.
In this day and age, interactivity is desirable. Not just on your website but on the online menus. Give them an experience where they get to click around and see what each menu item contains, what makes it special. Also, consider online ordering. It opens the market for a wider audience and brings more business than in-house service.
Rewarding returning customers should be a priority to show them how much you care about them. Offering them coupons and discounts is another way of thanking them and also making sure they stay loyal. On that note, consider sending out newsletters and emails about major events, special occasions, promotions, and discounts. Customers need reminders that they haven’t been to your restaurant for some time.
Utilize customer data
Learning about your customers is the best way to offer them a unique experience and make sure they’re satisfied with the food and the service. What they order, where they prefer to sit, how they like their drink, and how long they like to stay. These are all valuable information that you can use to give each customer that personal touch that makes them feel valued and special.
Blogging is one of the best and most affordable ways to reach new customers. Blogs are platforms that can be read from anywhere; especially if people read blogs on their phones (which explains their popularity). Also because bloggers talk about their personal experiences, it makes their word real, unbiased (usually) and more trustworthy than ads. A blog entry talking about what a fabulous time the blogger had at your restaurant will go a long way bringing new clients to your doorstep.
Ask guests to spread the word
Much like blogging, word of mouth is a lot more convincing than the most lavish advertising campaign. Social media will work to your advantage if you ask your customers to talk about their experience at the restaurant. In fact, your clients sometimes won’t need an invitation. On their own, they’d snap selfies with the food and post them to their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. So the happier your customers are at your restaurant the more positive the messages they send on the internet. It’s free publicity and works like a charm.
Marketing your restaurant is not as a complex process as you think and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg either. Following those steps will get you the results you seek.