There are many different marketing tools available to help small businesses. There's also a lot that are a waste of time and money. For a small business, a "shotgun" approach to marketing will require a lot of "ammo", also known as money. There are very cost effective ways to market your business to the specific demographic suited to your product and brand. We present examples of low-cost high-yield methods that you can use to bring people in, and at the same time create long-term customers.
Restaurants can benefit greatly from the use of social media if an owner has the time or a third party service that can utilize the different platforms that are available. Trends within each of the social media platforms at any given time can dictate return on the time and money invested.
Review sites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and others are generally not well liked by restaurant owners, managers and employees - unless of course, they're actively being used as a marketing tool and bringing people in! We've worked with and disliked reviews sites and there are three ways of dealing with it: Ignore it, fight it or work with it. We present what we think creates the most business and return customers.
Dining guides, Best-of-the-Best annuals and other business specific marketing media can help your business bring in customers, for sure. Everything has a cost and in this section, we present and discuss documented results from various specialized media publications.
Interacting with the press is an effective way of getting brand awareness in your community and beyond. The press is considered to be local newspapers, radio and TV news outlets that report news of interest. How you interact with the press, the format and specific content is important if you want to connect with an editor and increase your chances of getting coverage.
Your business needs a website to convey its brand message, menu and other pertinent information. There are websites that work great and those that don't. An attractive website is fairly easy to create but there must be a perfect balance between design and content. In this section, we discuss resources that can help you get started, revamp an existing site or create a new image that ties in with your brand, flavor profiles and personalities. We also address the issues surrounding online merchant services.
Customers that come into your restaurant on a regular basis are excellent salespeople (not necessarily knowingly) for your products and services (restaurant and catering). But, you shouldn't be constantly leaning on these customers about promoting your business. In this section, we present customer loyalty programs and benefits that encourage them to keep coming and promote your business, without (you) being obvious.
Marketing specials, events, catering and other items to your existing customers is a MUST! There are many great email marketing tools available to make this process really easy - but there are rules you should follow. There's a point where any type of "push marketing" (emails, texts, etc) can become unwanted and when you cross that line, you may become unwanted, or not as desirable as you once were.