6 Ways to Market Your Restaurant Business in 2018
As the year nears a close, it’s time to look forward and plan a smart marketing strategy for your restaurant in 2018. When it comes to marketing, it’s always a good idea to begin with
As the year nears a close, it’s time to look forward and plan a smart marketing strategy for your restaurant in 2018. When it comes to marketing, it’s always a good idea to begin with the end in mind, and create your plan around your goals and objectives for the year.
The following marketing trends can put your restaurant ahead of the curve in the coming year…
Micro-influencers. Every guest dining in your establishment is a potential micro-influencer with the power to help your business grow, and people with a large social media following can be even more beneficial to your brand.
“Increasingly, consumers rely on word-of-mouth, recommendations and social proof as opposed to advertising. If you serve 50 guests per day and each of them communicate with 3 people about your restaurant, in one year, these micro-influencers could spread the word to more than 50,000 people,” explains the Marketing Director for ShopAtDean, a restaurant supply company.
Use social media creatively. Take a proactive strategy to bring key micro-influencers to your restaurant. Find local, active social media users with at least 2,000 followers, but not more than 10,000. These social media users tend to have their followers’ trust, and may carry a great deal of clout with their online community. Engage with them and invite them to your restaurant. Make sure they have a wonderful dining experience so they will tell their online friends about your restaurant.
Get personal. Consumers who feel you truly care about them are likely to be loyal to your business. Present guests with cards to fill out and leave at their table, indicating their birthdate and email address. Keep this information and when their birthday nears, email them a gift certificate for a free meal or offer to host a party for them at a discounted rate. Procure quality party supplies to make the experience stand out in their minds.
In a world where so many things are digital and impersonal, giving that personal touch can really go a long way.
Improve your website. Guests want convenience and ease. Your restaurant website should make information such as menus, hours of operation and contact number easy to find. If you accept reservations, offer the ability to book reservations at your website. Think about what matters to your target consumer. If they are health-conscious, list ingredients on your website. Put your gluten-free selections on digital display. If they value elegance, highlight amenities and experience. Test your website on mobile devices because many guests will access it from smartphones or tablets.
Partner with aligned businesses. Seek out local businesses with a similar target consumer and partner with them for cross-referrals. Event planners, hotels and business convention centers are examples of aligned businesses with whom you can establish cross-referral relationships. You could also create special offers with aligned businesses, such as stand-alone discounts or packages.
Create your marketing plan now to be ready for the new year. A consumer-centric focus will likely continue, and a successful restaurant is one who anticipates the marketing trends.