We’ve come a long way since the days when word-of-mouth and Yellow Pages advertising were the go-to choices for marketing your restaurant. Today restaurant marketing has evolved, bringing with it several much more effective options and new ones always on the horizon. Vigilant trend watching is absolutely necessary – so is an open mind. Don’t be slow to embrace new trends, to do so may be to your detriment. Successful restaurants are savvy to the reality that they must use a combination of new online trends as well as tried-and-true traditional marketing approaches. Let’s take a closer look at what I’m talking about.
The Yellow Pages are dying a slow death. In recent years there have been fundamental changes in customer behavior and how they want and choose to receive information. Voice-activated Internet and mobile phone searches simply out perform and are more convenient than the antiquated Yellow Pages. This said, you’d be wise to invest your marketing dollars in creating and cultivating a strong online presence that is an extension of your existing brand.
The power of word of mouth is a traditional marketing vehicle that isn’t going anywhere. If anything advancements in technology have made word of mouth even more powerful. Your potential customers go online to read reviews of what your customers have to say about the food and service they received at your restaurant. It’s like the old day’s word of mouth on steroids. Do the necessary work to make the word of mouth on your restaurant positive.
Your website is akin to a virtual dining experience at your restaurant. Make each visit count. Potential customers judge your restaurant by what they see on your website. And, they REALLY want to see a menu, so make sure you include one. Special online offers are always a hit.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a powerful tool that affects the visibility of your website when a potential customer does an online restaurant search. You want to make sure that your website can be found in order for you to have an impactful online presence.
Pick one or two social media platforms like Facebook, Foursquare, Google+, etc., and invest the time necessary to use these mediums to communicate regularly to your current and prospective customers. Always provide an offer or a contest – anything to engage your audience and make them want to come to your restaurant.
Select your traditional print advertising mediums wisely, getting the most exposure for your dollar. And, always include an offer to drive customers to your restaurant. This traditional advertising can still be very effective as part of a comprehensive marketing plan.
This option is simply more cost-effective than print advertising while being highly effective at delivering your message to a very targeted audience, whether they be Baby Boomers or Millennials. Your choices are varied and include: e-mail campaigns, banners on social media sites, and ads on relevant websites or blogs. Always include an offer as well as a link to your website.