Customer loyalty is changing as connectivity and accessibility make it easier than ever to find more alternatives. For restaurants, this means that it’s even more important stay in front of the customer with creative marketing strategies that maximize brand exposure. Traditional advertising can be expensive, but thankfully that same connectivity have opened up several creative alternative to supplement your traditional advertising. So, what avenues for marketing prove the most meaningful and effective? Here are several paths restaurants can take for a greater ROI and beneficial marketing.
Display Advertising on Restaurant Packaging—Maximizing your brand awareness is about getting your logo out and around town as much as possible. Anything that leaves your restaurant is a potential advertisement. Make use of your to-go boxes and coffee cups by printing your restaurant’s name on any bags, cups, coffee sleeves, or any other item likely to leave your establishment. Think about printing logo stickers as well. These can be added last minute to any items you wish to label or can be handed out as take-aways to customers. If you have a delivery service or corporate vehicles, consider displaying your logo on these as well.
Utilize Video for Advertising— Online videos are a dynamic tool to supplement any advertising strategy. Today’s online video platforms mean this is an economical way to grab the attention of a modern audience. Videos can easily show atmosphere and culture of your restaurants to personalize your brand in the market. YouTube is a great first stop for your video advertising platform. This site boasts roughly 1 billion unique users each month. Beyond your main video, think about creating YouTube ads. These work as a pay-per-view setup, which means you only pay if people watch your advertisement. These videos can be used on other platforms as well. Post them on your company website, social media platforms, and other avenues.
Incorporate Search Engine Marketing— The internet is one of your main sources for new traffic. Maximize your online visitors by optimizing your restaurant’s placement in search results with Search Engine Marketing (SEM). This works by bidding for specific keywords in Google so that your restaurant appears in the first position of Google search results. Make a list of words you would search for as a potential client, then check out where your restaurant is in the search results. If you are not as high up as you would like, put those key words on your list for bidding. Be specific in your keywords to maximize your investment. For example, if you own a Mexican restaurant in New York City, you might bid on “best Mexican restaurants in NYC.” Bidding on “Mexican Restaurants” alone wouldn’t get you the desired outcome. Google’s Keyword Planner can assist in your keyword research or consider hiring a professional to help create and implement your SEM strategy.
Target New Customers with Facebook and Instagram—Social media, and Facebook in particular, can be a low-investment marketing opportunity for your restaurant. With a little bit of time you can easily build a presence to connect with existing clients and target new opportunities. Promote events, special occasions, and other brand related news so that you stay fresh in the minds of your clientele. You can also create ads on these social media platforms with targeted delivery to your desired demographic. Facebook’s algorithms are a robust way to target customers based on interests, behaviors, and location make. Maximize your time by using your ads across multiple platforms. Facebook and Instagram are particularly convenient since they are under the same ownership and you can manage your ads on the same platform.
Don’t Forget Traditional Mail—Email may be the main method of communicating these days, but don’t ignore the marketing potential of a traditional mailer. Flyers and postcards are a great way to improve brand awareness. Including coupons in these mailers is a smart way to get customers in the door. In fact, more than half of customers say that they would use coupons received by mail. When you cash out a customer, consider requesting their mailing information. As an incentive, offer to mail a coupon for their next meal.
Sponsor a Local Team—Whether it’s a high school sports team or a local intermural club, your city is sure to have a variety of leagues where you can display your restaurant’s logo on uniforms and equipment as a sponsor. These opportunities will get your restaurant’s name out and build goodwill. Consider aligning your restaurant’s mission with these endeavors. If you are not familiar with teams in your area, ask your area’s Chamber of Commerce for recommendations. As each sport has a season, you may want to advertise across several sports teams so you have continuous advertising all year long.
Brand awareness is vital to expanding your clientele and retaining your customer base. There are many creative outlets to consider that are more cost-effective than traditional advertising. With the advance of technology, your restaurant’s logo can appear in far greater places. Competition is stiff online and in media, so make sure you are reaching out with as many different platforms as possible. A little bit of creativity can go a long way to creating a unique and effective marketing strategy.
About Restaurant Magic
Restaurant Magic Software has been providing advanced software solutions to the restaurant and hospitality industry for over 20 years. The robust Management Suite, the flagship product, is a powerful and flexible application that takes advantage of the latest technology trends to offer premier processing and analytics. With advanced forecasting, predictive scheduling and mobile technologies, Restaurant Magic has something for every problem. To learn more about Restaurant Magic Software and its products, call us at 1(800) 933-4711 or visit the website at RestaurantMagic.com.