Restaurant marketing is essential as it is one of the critical aspects can make or break a restaurant business. Simply starting a restaurant will not help you to attract customers result in profit, unless, you market your restaurant well enough to reach to all the potential customers out there. You must also remember, it is not that only new restaurants need aggressive marketing. Since new restaurants are cropping up every day, if you don’t market your 2 or 3 years old restaurant well enough, you will go out of sights and hence out of mind for your customers.
Smart Restaurant Marketing Guide For 2018
Knowing that marketing is essential, you must try and find innovative ways to attract the attention of your customers. Here are some smart moves that you must insert into your restaurant marketing plan of 2018.
1. Have a Marketing Calendar
Merely thinking about all your marketing strategies and not following up on them will not help you; hence you should have a comprehensive content calendar. This marketing calendar will help you to organize everything from your social media posts, blog posts, podcasts, PR efforts, PPC and more.
Your marketing calendar should be crisp, with clear marketing goals and objectives. Have a clear set of actionables that you need to achieve along with their respective timeline and budget. For instance, for your social media marketing, you should have a content plan for what you are going to post every day.
Your Marketing Calendar should be designed to be in sync with the seasonal events. You can try at the very beginning of the year consider doing a different theme every month to keep things interesting. For example, in January, which the temperature will take a severe dip you can focus on drinks, be it alcohol or hot beverages, in February, you can concentrate on couple offers and help the couples out in the Valentines’ month, and the next month you can focus on featuring your staff member action. Your main focal point should be to survey your competitors and to keep things interesting to engage with your guests. Also, remember to include festivals in your marketing calendar.
2. Email Marketing
We presume that most of the restaurant owners these days are tech-savvy and have already indulged in the lucrative domain of email marketing. However, in 2018 we are to see even more importance given to this sector. Studies show over and over again that email marketing works excellent if you want to keep your restaurant’s deals, offers, and events in the spotlight and right in your customer’s inboxes. A data from global consulting firm McKinsey shows that email marketing remains almost 40 times more effective than social media marketing at acquiring customers.
The various ways you can harness the immense potential that email marketing has to offer.
- Develop an email newsletter: A newsletter is a great way to share updates about awards and honors, menu offerings, company culture and more. It is also an excellent vehicle for a customer loyalty program. Loyalty deals do not go stale.
- Offer Money-Saving Coupon Codes Exclusively To Your Email List: You can offer a variety of codes, for example, there can be different codes of the seasonal menu, new menu items, attending a special event, signing up for the newsletter, celebrating a subscriber’s birthday or anniversary and many more. Primarily the main reason to provide offers is to entice the customers to make another visit to your restaurant.
- Use Mouth Watering Images In Your Emails: You cannot ignore the power of the right images. Use tantalizing photos that will compel your customers to visit your restaurant.
3. Launch Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs have done great in the past years, and it is estimated that the importance of loyalty programs are going to increased ten folds in 2018. Hence, can you afford to ignore it? Obviously not!
Make your loyalty program easy, so that your customers can sign up quickly. Through the loyalty program you can provide your loyal customers with incentives, be in touch with them, seek their feedback, in all these will make your customers feel needed and this will compel them to visit your restaurant often. Mostly all corporate restaurants offer loyalty programs because they are proven to drive additional covers and forces your customers to come back more often.
4. Video Ads
Videos these days are working not only on television, but they have also made their presence felt on the social media platforms as well. Videos have evolved to be essential for capturing the eyes and interest of the customers. Get yourself an in-house videographer, and post videos of how things work in your kitchen, a video of your restaurant on a hectic day, your chef preparing a dish can be some examples of videos that you can prepare. You can even ask your customers to give their feedback and video it before they leave the restaurant; doing so will automatically increase the credibility of your restaurant to all your potential customers. All major restaurant chains from Taco Bell to Dominos has started using this winning marketing strategy. This makes it very clear that if you don’t keep video marketing in your restaurant marketing plan for 2018, you will definitely miss out on a lot.
5. Give Due Importance To Google
While we have seen restaurants trying hard to make their presence felt on the social media pages, they are hardly spending time and money on Google Adwords. Pay Per Click can be expensive, but it can without a doubt be tremendously beneficial. It is all about tapping on the weaknesses of your competitors and capitalizing on them. Since, when people decide to go out and dine or order out, they look for all possible restaurants on Google and not on social media pages like Facebook. Hence, if you are not correctly placed on Google, you will miss out on a lot of potential customers.
6. You Are Responsible To Take Part In Social Activities
Since you are a part of the society, you need to take part in certain social activities that will assert you as a credible body in the community. While having social media accounts will definitely help you reach out to people, not everyone you wish to reach to are present on social media pages. Hence, if you are taking part in charitable events, all those who live in the town or the city would at least be a part of one of your events.
As per the National Restaurant Association, in 2010 restaurants gave nearly $3B to charity and since there has been no looking back. Hence, this is expected to be one of the most critical restaurant marketing strategies that all restaurants must venture into, quite rigorously, in 2018.
There are several mistakes in marketing that you must avoid making or else it will hamper your restaurant business immensely. We hope that after reading this, you have garnered knowledge well enough to understand the various restaurant marketing strategy that you can apply in 2018 that will help you to attract new and retain your existing customers.