Restaurant marketing is essentially communicating what your restaurant, cafe, bakery, pizzeria, etc has to offer to potential guests. It is a way of inciting interest and describing the unique features of your menu, of your service, and of your location. However, as valuable as marketing can be, it presents serious issues when it comes to reaching the intended consumer.
Conventional marketing (including restaurant marketing) is all about broadcasting or printing the message where a lot of potential consumers will be able to see it, but only few will find it relevant. For greater efficiency, marketing slowly has become more centered on specific demographics, enabled largely by improvements in communication.
For instance, it is relatively easy to create restaurant marketing campaigns that focus on a particular geographic area, like advertising in a local paper. You can also target a particular “psychographic” group, such as advertising your healthy menu options on a healthy living website. However, it can still be very difficult to reach viable consumers, those that turn into guests and into food sales.
Location-based online marketing is the answer. If it’s not in place, over 90 percent of ad impressions are wasted on potential guests who are outside your geographic area. Luckily, technology has advanced to allow geo-location marketing. For instance, smartphones allow marketers to obtain device-location data and modern search engines, such as Google, enable consumers to find what they need based entirely on the geographic location they are in and what’s near it. Better targeting means better conversions and more food sales.
These are the steps to take to make a geo-targeted campaign work for you:
PICK A SPECIFIC TARGET FOR YOUR RESTAURANT MARKETING CAMPAIGN
Make sure that your campaign is targeted well to the area you operate in. Major search engines like Google, allow you to target your restaurant marketing campaigns based on City, ZIP codes, neighborhoods, or even a specific street intersection.
This way, when you advertise your coffee shop, you can be sure that most of the consumers exposed to your message are within a range that would make sense for them pay you a visit.
BE A GOOD NEIGHBOR
You can use your restaurant’s geographic location to your marketing advantage in promotions by focusing on providing consumer incentives at a hyper-local level. For instance, you could create a time-sensitive coupon to those who live within a few mile radius of your foodservice establishment.
EXPLAIN HOW TO GET TO WHERE YOU ARE
With geo-location, you can also explain your location, to make it easy for your first-time guests to find you. (People are lazy and most would rather go to your competitor than spend time looking you up in the directory.) It’s very important that you provide a map. Even better is offer directions from the person’s location (walking, by car, or by public transportation).
CAPITALIZE ON THE NEW AND COOL
There some very interesting “new and cool” tools available to you as local marketer. Many coffee shops (and we can’t not mention Starbucks here), are using programs such as Foursquare and Facebook Locations to turn location into a game. Consumers can “check in” at your location, allowing you to provide incentives for consumers to visit a specific location more frequently by offering status (e.g. mayor status, badges), points, or incentives based on the number of visits (e.g. free appetizer on your fifth visit).
Geo-targeted online marketing is a key part of growing your restaurant business and brand, to attract local customers.
Local Internet Marketing is much more than just slamming together a website. The real restaurant marketing work is about becoming “findable” in multiple places when a local consumer is searching for your type of product.