Consider how much restaurant marketing has changed in just the last five years. Take inbound marketing for example. The average budget spent on company blogs and social media has nearly tripled over the last three years…TRIPLED!
But what exactly is inbound marketing? Does it deliver value for money? Is it applicable to your restaurant? And is it worth changing your current marketing approach to incorporate it?
Now more than ever, as a busy restaurant marketing executive, you need some answers to these questions and a whole lot more. We hope this quick, comprehensive guide can help get you started.
First, understand what inbound marketing is all about. Buying patterns have changed. Prospects once relied on you to give them information about your restaurant. Now, they conduct background research on their own, with 60% of buying decision made before they speak to anyone. So what does that mean?
It means you have to really start using your website.
It means you have to get serious about your blog.
It means you have to fall in love with social media and fall back in love with email marketing.
In short, you have to be there to respond before they make up their mind.
People love pictures and they really love pictures of food. You want to encourage your patrons to take as many pictures of your incredible entrees and desserts as they want and post them online. The more the better. Make your experience a social one that extends into cyberspace.
Invite influencers, especially the Yelpers. I know many of you cringed just now (Yelp...NO!!!!) but you have to respect their power and recognize how influential Yelp is. Turn it to your advantage.
Focus on repeat customers. Reward these people. Help them brag to their friends about how well you treat them. Give them the discounts they deserve and encourage them to spread the word.
Redesign your tired menu. Look at it. It’s old. You know it and your customers know it. Spice up your menu design with some clean design and clever copy and watch your sales rise.
Upsell. Craft beer pairings anyone? This is a tried and true tactic for a reason. Don’t blow it off.
Go green. OK, everyone’s doing it. But they’re doing it for a reason. This generation wants to know where their food is coming from. Climb aboard because this train isn’t about to stop.
Create fun contests. This is a hard one and that’s why nobody does it. Most people aren’t creative enough to come up with something that will excite people and get them to participate. Call us if you need help (see below).
Host Events. This is another one that is well worth the effort. People who go to events are usually social and influencers. Make them your best friends and reward them with a special night out. They will remember you for it and put you at the top of the list for their next corporate event.
That's all for now. We hope this has helped you. If you need more restaurant marketing ideas, give us a call at (951) 479-5411.