Does your brand strategy include traditional marketing? In recent years, many restaurants have replaced their customary marketing with social media to promote their businesses and grow their brands. Putting all your eggs in one basket may be a mistake, though.
It’s important to embrace a diverse approach to marketing, engaging your customers on different levels to build relationships and encourage customer loyalty.
With social media getting a lot of attention, restaurants may find it difficult to cut through the clutter and stand out from the crowd. Some marketers are finding that going back to their roots with traditional tactics is an effective way to distinguish their business from the rest. While online advertising is also an effective way to reach your target market, in a recent survey, 75 per cent of Millennials said that personal mail makes them feel special. To get attention, you may need to try something different, even if that looks like your tried-and-true marketing efforts.
Get creative with your approach to stand out from the competition! If you have a budget, feature your restaurant on a billboard or bus to attract local traffic. Or you might want to get on the neighbourhood radio station with some commercials or a spotlight. Think about ways to people talking about your restaurant so they think of you next time they head out.
Today’s customers are looking for authenticity. In fact, 70 per cent of consumers say that they spend more time with authentic brands. While social media offers restaurants the opportunity to show what’s happening in the kitchen, engage with customers, and promote their distinct voice, so much of that content is curated. It can be difficult for your audience to trust true, original content, and that can deter them from supporting your business.
In addition to your social media posts, look for ways to show off your brand and reach your customers so they have no doubt about your authenticity.
Achieving genuine connection with customers is becoming more difficult in the social media space, so some marketers are adopting “guerrilla marketing,” as a more grassroots approach, targeting local customers and engaging them to encourage more visits. Building a community connection is a great way to get to know your customers – and vice-versa.
Consider sending out direct mail to addresses in your area to encourage local traffic. You could also partner with other businesses, participate in local events, or get together with a charity to help your community and raise awareness for your business. Hosting charitable events like local food drives or participating in holiday parades can also help your restaurant get recognized while helping your community at the same time.
While you may not have the real-time data that online advertising offers, there are certainly ways to ascertain whether some of your traditional marketing methods are gaining traction. Ask customers to bring in that mailer when they visit, or to include a code when they order online, so you can track the reach and redemption of your efforts.
For events, track traffic, booth visits, or any other metric that makes sense. As you get to know your customers, you will know whether they are returning and you’re building that loyalty.
No one way of marketing is a guaranteed winner. It’s important to engage with your audience, get to know your customers, and attract attention for your restaurant. Use all the tools you have – including traditional and online marketing – to maximize your results and raise your revenues.