Restaurant Marketing | Local Restaurant FAQ’s

Restaurant Marketing

Because customers rely heavily on the internet to find the best places to spend their money, getting your business in front of customers online has outgrown traditional offline marketing methods. I’d say this is especially true in the current climate when people are at home more and dependant on the internet for getting information for the local businesses in their geographic area.

So, since so many of you are asking about it, we have put together this list of frequently asked questions to help you explore and understand the potential of how adding digital marketing strategies to your local marketing efforts could help you promote your business.

Locally Owned Restaurant’s Most Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What are the benefits of local digital marketing?

Local businesses experience multiple benefits with digital marketing by investing in different strategies, from SEO to PPC; and SMS to website design. Digital marketing helps you reach your target audience online to drive more sales from customers.

Local digital marketing is flexible, cost-effective, measurable, and allows you to reach people at the precise moment they are looking for your products or services. Avoiding digital marketing denies your business access to marketing channels the majority of consumers turn to first when make purchasing decisions.

Q. What is hyperlocal marketing?

Local marketing usually involves marketing on a city-wide basis, but for some businesses that isn’t local enough. Hyperlocal marketing targets customers in a highly specific, geographically restricted area, such as a few blocks or single zip code. This allows for precise targeting of people conducting “near me” searches on their mobile device or restricting who sees your PPC ads to residents of a strictly defined area.

Q. What is the difference between traditional SEO and local SEO?

Traditional SEO (search engine optimization) focuses on the organic search that happens when search engines decide there is no local intent in a user’s search. Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online properties such as websites, online profiles, and business listings (such as Google My Business, social media platforms, and online directories) to rank and generate traffic from the people in YOUR market who are  conducting location-based searches. Local SEO helps businesses promote products and services to local customers (your neighbors) when they are searching for your products or have shown previous interest in your products and services.

Q. How is local marketing for restaurants different?

While many business websites can sell products 24/7 to anyone, anywhere they are willing to ship to, most local restaurants don’t have that luxury. When marketing a restaurant, general digital marketing tips need to be modified. A restaurant has geographical and time-based constraints that many other businesses don’t have to worry about. So effectively marketing a restaurant requires a mix of local marketing, small business marketing, and digital marketing you won’t find in many other business models.

Q. Why is Google My Business so important for restaurants?

Everyone uses Google to find what they are looking for because the search engine has perfected how to give search engine users the most relevant and accurate information available.  Google designed “Google My Business” listings as a tool to gather the exact information it needs to populate search engine results pages with up-to-date local options.

Restaurants need to claim and completely fill out their Google My Business profiles so Google has all the information it needs for search users to find them in online searches. If you want your restaurant to show up in Google results on computers, phones, and Google Maps when someone near you is hungry and ready to order, the only way to get that to happen is with Google My Business.

Q. What is SMS Marketing?

SMS marketing is marketing by text messages to your list of customers who want to know what’s going on at your restaurant.  SMS marketing allows you to tell them about specials you are running, changes in your hours, whether you have outdoor seating, spotlighting your staff, let them know about special events and entertainment you are featuring etc.  Statistics show that text messages are read within 1 minute 80% of the time so it’s a great way to get people in who weren’t planning to come in just by letting them know you’ve got something special to offer them.

Let your customers know you have outdoor seating with an SMS message.

Q. Why does my website need to be mobile-responsive?

Nearly everyone visits websites and performs internet searches from their smartphones and tablets. It is vital that your website be able to support a broad range of devices. If it doesn’t, your website won’t be user friendly and potential customers won’t be able to easily use your website to find what they are looking for. This results in them clicking away from your website to one they can read on their mobile device. Also, with the latest Google algorithm, websites that do not support a mobile experience are being dropped from ranking highly in Google’s search engine results. Additionally, old websites that go for long periods with no updates or new content are unlikely to rank high enough to be seen in search engine results.

Q. What is PPC?

PPC stands for pay-per-click. It’s a way to advertise on search engines, social networks, websites, and apps where you pay only when someone clicks on your advertisement. Search engine advertising with PPC platforms such as GoogleAds or BingAds is the most popular form of PPC, however numerous channels, including Facebook, now offer PPC ad models.

Q. Is social media important for local businesses?

Social media is important if that is where your target customers are.  Chances are your customers are active on one or more of the major social networks. Billions of people spend time daily on multiple social media channels where businesses like yours can boost awareness, interact with customers, drive sales, build loyalty, promote products and services, and make announcements. Outside of paying for ads or sponsored posts, it’s free to promote your business on social networks, so your results with social media usually correspond with how committed you are to consistently posting things people want to see.

Q. What do digital marketers have to do with local marketing?

Digital marketing focuses on channels such as search engines, social media, email, paid advertising, and websites to connect your business with customers. Digital marketers are various specialists who develop effective strategies or implement programs that help you reach your marketing goals. If you’re new to digital marketing or lack the resources, you should consider engaging an experienced and versatile digital marketing professional to provide consistent results that get you the highest return on your investment.

Q. What do local marketing agencies do?

Local marketing agencies provide marketing implementation and service packages to businesses with a local presence who want to outsource their marketing activities. Most local business owners don’t have the time or the inclination to do it themselves and most don’t have a marketing department. By outsourcing some or all of their marketing to a local marketing agency, business owners, operators, and managers can spend more time running their business while leveraging industry expertise to get more bang for their marketing buck.

Q. What’s next?

If you have more questions, we’ve got answers. You can contact us today.

If you are an action taker and you already know you’re ready to take your business to new heights, we’re here to help you.  You can get started right away by completely the information on this page and we’ll get back to you as soon as we have reviewed it. Contact us today to  learn how we help businesses just like yours grow.

Small Business Promotions | The Mystery Giveaway Strategy

Mystery Gift giveaway promotion post imageToday, let’s talk about another idea from our growing catalog of small business promotions.  The “Mystery Giveaway”!

A mystery giveaway promotion is an easy promotion for your small business and provides an element of fun!

As the name implies, the item you’re offering is a complete mystery to the customer.  When the offer is a known item as an incentive, it gives customers the opportunity to decide if they want the free item and is it worth whatever is required of them to get it.  However, when the item is a mystery, you can build up the excitement without the customer passing judgment as to their desire to have said item.  They already want it simply because it’s free!  That makes this technique extremely powerful for any business.

What Kind of Mystery Item Should You Give Away?

There are a few different approaches you can take.  First, you can just give away something small and mildly useful. It should make your customer smile, but be fairly inexpensive.  For example, an odd electronic gadget, or a small book of quotes related to your industry.  If you’re a restaurant owner, free meals for a month or longer (one per week), is often a successful giveaway promotion for a restaurant. Or, on a grander scale, you could give away something that’s extremely useful, slightly more expensive and very impressive. The idea is to exceed the customers’ expectations. This generates a lot of goodwill and gets people talking about your business.

Mystery giveaway items can often come from stock piles of merchandise or leftover discontinued items.   This is a great way to make space for new products. It may be a good idea, before sending your old merchandise out as freebies, to make sure that the customer hasn’t actually purchased that item in the past.

Free Giveaways versus Purchase Bonus

You can use your giveaway in many ways. Generally speaking, you don’t want to just offer a mystery giveaway item to just everyone. You could limit your contest to regular customers, or to a specific group of people depending on the specific promotion. This kind of giveaways usually cost money to create.  So, you will want to be a little selective.  You can use it as a feeder for a sweepstakes, a contest, or even as a way to grow your list. For example, everyone who gets 50 likes on their contest page gets the mystery bonus.

You can also use a giveaway promotion as a purchase bonus. Whenever someone buys your product, they get the mystery item as well. Perhaps, you can even have a random rotation of mystery items.  This is a teaser because people never quite know what they’re getting.

Multiple Mystery Items: The Grab Baggrab bag image
Finally, you can give away multiple mystery items, grab bag style, by giving away a bunch of small things instead of one big thing.

The mystery item can add a great deal of style to your free giveaways. It can be used to build up excitement about a product or a launch or simply to clear your space of older merchandise. There’s a lot of room for creativity when you’re using this technique.

More Small Business Promotional Ideas:

If you are looking for more ideas on promoting your small business, be sure to download our free ebook: How to Increase your Local Businesses Sales.  You can find it by clicking here or completing the form on the left side of the top of this page.

Happy Marketing!


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