There are a ton of marketing tactics that restaurants, bars, and coffee shops can use to get more customers in the door. Some of these restaurant marketing ideas are tried and true and some are very new. In this post, we are focusing on restaurant marketing tips that get the most bang for your marketing buck and will continue to help your restaurant in the foreseeable future. We help multiple restaurants in the Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky area and we can vouch for the following restaurant marketing tactics…
Best Restaurant Marketing Tactics…
- A Customer Loyalty Program
- Customer Contact Information Collection via Guest WiFi Marketing
- Online Review Collection
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media
- Email Marketing
- Non-Competing Partnerships with Businesses and Organizations
A Customer Loyalty Program
This one is pretty simple. It’s easier to get a happy customer to come back then it is to attract a new prospect to give you a shot. You can easily give your happy customers a reason to feel appreciated with a loyalty program. The best loyalty programs are simple and easy to use. We feel that the best loyalty programs are simple punch cards. A punch is given for a certain action by the customer and a certain number of punches are worth a reward. Simple! Now… lets make it even easier by having the punch card be something that is kept in your mobile phone. Hey businesses!… we don’t have any more room for key chain tags or room in our wallets for paper cards! We will have our phone with us so please make it easy to use in an app or in our phone’s wallet. THANK YOU! 🙂
Customer Contact Information Collection via Guest WiFi Marketing
Guest WiFi is an expected free service in your bar, restaurant, or coffee shop so why not get something back with your investment? WiFi Marketing is a way to collect customer contact information with your customers approving it in exchange for using your guest WiFi for free. Hey restaurant owners… it’s time to get rid of your illegible signup sheets and dusty business card fishbowls.The best WiFi Marketing programs can also automate messaging to customers based on their behaviors. Good WiFi marketing can send a reward to customers who have visited a bunch and rescue previous customers who haven’t been back for awhile. Good WiFi marketing can ask for an online review after say… the 2nd visit or send push notifications to customers when they are near certain geo-locations.
Encourage Online Reviews
People now trust online reviews on trusted platforms like Google, Facebook, and Yelp as much as if they were talking to their friends in the same room. Online reviews are also very important to search engine optimization. Google’s online reviews are tied to their maps. If you search for “great steak houses near me” Google will put restaurants closer to the top of their map pack who have the most online reviews.
We’ve also seen time and time again, restaurants who thought they were killing it find out that their customers didn’t agree. The reviews allowed the restaurants to pivot quickly and keep their business growing. Customers want you to prove you are as good as you say you are. Reviews prove it. Once you’ve decided you want to prove it, make sure to answer good and bad reviews quickly and honestly. Transparency is key to the new economy.
If you are not having a party or event each Holiday like Valentines, St. Patrick’s, Labor Day, Halloween, and Christmas then you are missing a great marketing opportunity. Other then events being great for your marketing, they make your customers feel like the have a place where they belong. If you space and theme are good for sports, promote local, regional, and national sporting events to get butts in seats 2-3 hours at a time! And don’t forget people love live music. It’s well worth it to have acoustic players during dinner and bands when it’s time to let loose and have a couple of drinks. What about some custom events like wine or bourbon tastings? How about cooking lessons as a nice way for your customers to meet and learn from your chefs/cooks. If you have a private party space, events are a great way to promote that space!
Search Engine Optimization
Google is the number one method customers use to find restaurants. If you are not updating your site consistently and haven’t search engine optimized your website, social media, and Google My Business listing, then you are going to have hard time show up well in search results. You also need to know that this isn’t a one time task. Restaurants have to work on their online presence weekly to keep good search rankings. Blogs, events, page titles, meta data, content, social media, back links, online reviews, and much more go into staying on the first couple pages of Google for the keyword phrases that will help your business. Search engine optimization is something that is better left to online marketing professionals.
Social media is where an online relationship with your restaurant can be created. Create a relationship and business will naturally follow. Social media allows 2 way conversations, likes, comments, and shares. This engagement will open up your posts to a wider audience than you can achieve on your own. Social media is a great places to showcase images of your food, promote your events, and offer a behind-the-scenes look at your restaurant. The comments, likes, and shares are the social proof that people need to give your restaurant a try.
Liking a Facebook page is a somewhat passive action but agreeing to give your contact information to a business is more of a commitment. Social media gets all the buzz these days but your email list is still one of the best marketing channels to inform and get specific actions from your customers. A form on your website can ask for contact information and add customers and prospects to your email list but offering Free WiFi or a Loyalty program in exchange for it makes it a much easier transaction. Once you have the contact information, the emailing can start. We suggest you send a monthly enewsletter that contains the last month’s worth of blogs and a weekly eblast of upcoming events. An introductory email that is sent out right after a customer joins the list can be automated to send more email campaigns based on what they click on. This is true email marketing automation that works 24/7 for you.
Main Street Marketing helps restaurants with all 7 of these vital restaurant marketing tactics with our Internet Presence Package and Brick & Mortar Package. If you have a restaurant, bar, bar & grill, or coffee shop, we’d love to help you also!
Contact us (859-904-8035) today to get started!
ABOUT MAIN STREET MARKETING
Since 2006, Main Street Marketing has been creating Internet Presence Solutions for small businesses mainly in the Cincinnati – Northern Kentucky area. Main Street Marketing uses internet marketing, search engine optimization, social media, lead generation, and video to create a true Internet Presence for its clients. When integrated correctly, this core group of services provide results together that none of the services could provide on their own or in phases.
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