Restaurant owners and operators face a tough challenge. Not only do they have to budget for a restaurant marketing campaign, but they also have to determine the best places to spend their valuable dollars.
In the 20th century, restaurants would’ve been wise to spend money on local business publications and out-of-home advertising. Now that we live in a digital world, your money can be spent even more efficiently on online advertising and social media marketing.
Additionally, your restaurant's online details, online menu and search results have to be clear, since discoverability depends so much on local SEO. While not everyone loves the platform, having a social media presence—particularly a Facebook business page—is a crucial first step to starting your social media marketing campaign, identifying your target audience and finding new customers.
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In fact, one of the best ways for new customers to discover your restaurant is through Facebook ads served to a target audience that isn’t aware of your restaurant.
Once new customers with no awareness of your social media presence become engaged followers, Facebook ads will deliver a much higher return on investment than traditional advertising efforts. Your Facebook page will become a good source of information about your restaurant, too. You can use it to link to your online menu, highlight local events near the restaurant on your feed, reward loyal customers with gift card giveaways and more.
With targeted social media marketing campaigns, you can look at people who live within miles of your restaurant as well as people who have searched for similar restaurants or were looking to dine out recently.
The power of social media—through both organic and paid campaigns—can have a huge impact on your marketing strategy as well as local SEO and search results.
As you’re budgeting all of the costs associated with running your restaurant, don’t forget about your marketing budget. Spending time and dollars on developing a social media audience is important, but so is focusing on search results and other digital marketing strategies.
A loyalty program is a straightforward way to get more loyal customers coming in regularly. Focusing on your restaurant's online presence instead of print advertising will make a tangible difference in the number of customers you see coming through the door. Make sure your restaurant's brand identity is the one new customers will understand and remember.
And don’t forget about the power of personal relationships—network and identify individuals and organizations who can help spread the word about your restaurant. You never know when a small paid budget with a friendly partner can turn into free promotion for your operation.
For more great restaurant resources, head to https://www.ncr.com/restaurants.