Online Matters, Offline is Essential: Marketing Your Restaurant
15 Apr, 2015 |
Most of the marketing experts out there will tell you that, if you want to succeed in today’s world, you need to pay attention to your online presence. And this is as true today as it will be tomorrow – social marketing and putting efforts into building your online social networking profile will get you a long way in approaching potential customers.
There are, however, certain industries in which online presence is simply not enough to make a difference, especially if you would like to reach maximum visibility of your product or service. This applies mostly to service industries in which live communication with clients is the most important ingredient of success, such as catering industry (restaurants), tourism and hotel business.
In this article, we will pay special attention to restaurant marketing and try to give a couple of useful pointers on how to plan your marketing strategy if you are a restaurant owner.
A restaurant is a place where people go not just to eat and drink, but, perhaps more importantly, to socialize. This is why some sort of presence on all major social networks is a must. Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus – these are the “places” where people meet to discuss where to go and eat next, and if you are not around for them to check you out when they make their plans, you will hardly even be considered. It is also recommended that you search for and create your profile on niche websites which offer people opportunity to rate their favorite places to eat and drink. Of course, your success on those websites will depend on your service (so you need to manage day to day tasks efficiently, What time do I work can help you with that), so make sure you have something good to offer before you get into marketing.
Let us now direct our attention to the “real world” and see what’s to be done if you want your restaurant to be talked about. One of the greatest ways of advertising your place is creating custom promotional products. Pens, post-its, planners, and more original things like stress balls or Rubik’s cubes with your brand name on them can go a long way in increasing your visibility on the market. These are the things your business partners will always love to have, but the best thing is that, as a restaurant, you have customers ready to promote your business as well. Every little thing your customers come into contact with can be a promotional product, and if they decide to carry that branded sip straw or a stirrer home with them, the benefits for you are obvious.
Newspapers and magazines
Despite what you think if you are one of those tech savvy people who forgot what paper looks like, people still read newspapers and magazines. Paying for advertisements in the press is always an option, but there are other ways to appear on those pages. Probably the best of them is to be a useful and contributing member of the community. This way you will both be doing good to the people of your town/city (which is a reward in itself) and to yourself and your reputation. If, say, your restaurant decides to prepare meals once a week for homeless people, this idea is sure to attract attention of local journalists who will write about you and promote your business for free.
Hosting events like conferences (if you own a big restaurant) or book readings and lounge music gigs (if your restaurant is small) is always a good idea because anywhere the event is promoted, your restaurant will be mentioned as well. You will be able to attract some people who would otherwise never consider visiting your restaurant and, if you offer them good service and pleasant atmosphere, there is a possibility you will be able to turn them into regulars.
Ariel Bellamy is a curious and open-minded thinker – finding solutions where needed and writing them when needed. She hopes to be an inspiring online voice one day, so follow her on the way there – on @BellamyAriel