Upgrading Marketing Strategies for Restaurants, Bistros, & Bars to Get Through Hard Times
Restaurants & Bistros – Coming Back Online
As the world comes online again, restaurants, bistros, and bars are filling back up. Demand for in-house dining is skyrocketing. Folks are taking the opportunity to go out and spend time with friends and family over their favorite meals and craft cocktails at their most prized locations. On any given night, lines of people are stretched out of doors and down blocks waiting to get into the most popular venues in the city.
This is awesome news for the businesses that are seeing this accelerated foot traffic. But what about the businesses that aren’t seeing the huge uptick in numbers? How do restaurants, bistros, and bars that are struggling to pick up momentum find the right recipe for bringing in new (and old) customers?
In this latest article from Auction Masters, we are going to give you a roadmap that will help you drive awareness about your business and hopefully improve your engagement with potential customers on many levels. If you begin to follow this roadmap, you will surely see benefits beginning to happen.
Giving Help Where We Can
During the pandemic our team at Auction Masters researched and reported on tactics and strategies to help a variety of businesses navigate the unknown and unprecedented territory of doing business during a complete shutdown.
We placed a major focus on coming up with creative ideas for restaurants because of just how detrimental the shutdown was for so many food establishment owners. We provided as much insight and as many strategies as we could find and dream up. We modeled best practice examples after industry leading organizations and scrappy start-ups that were thinking outside the box and bringing value to their customers with innovative services and perks.
We tried to help our readership who owned businesses so that they had a fighting chance against one of the toughest, most unexpected scenarios ever encountered in the modern world. Now we are bringing that same strategy of helping businesses to the post-pandemic world with strategies and tactics that we hope can help folks who own restaurants, bistros, and bars. In this article, we’ll briefly explore the most booming channel of outreach that exists right now – The Digital Marketing Universe.
Digital Marketing Redux
Over the course of the last 2 years, people have been interacting digitally more than ever. Some reports claim that digital interactions are up more than 75% across the globe. There are amazing opportunities in this sort of number and there are also great challenges.
Marketing in today’s highly competitive environment requires a smart plan, accurate metrics, creative thinking, and implementation that is capable of changing direction at any moment. You want to always be challenging your teams to upgrade and elevate your marketing campaigns. This gives you the best opportunity at showing up in the right place at the right time when your potential clients are making decisions about where they plan to visit for dinner, drinks, and other social activities.
As technology evolves and consumer preferences continually change, marketing strategies need to be deployed, tested, and adjusted based on consumer response. Your digital footprint should be highly regarded in the overall marketing strategy and other creative campaigns that you and your team might think about deploying.
Let’s first dive into some most valuable, cost effective concepts around your first point of contact with a potential client. As we stated earlier, digital interactions are at an all-time high. So that contact may easily end up happening through a digital device like a phone, computer, or tablet.
In the digital realm, the term “search results” is considered very important. There are 3 basic ways your establishment can show up in search results. They come in the following order:
- Digital ad
- Google or Bing listing
- Website url
Digital Ads are what fuels the internet. They are an extremely valuable tool that can be daunting and be deployed inexpensively if done properly. For now, we’ll quickly cover the 2 basic forms:
- Search Ad
- Display Ad
A Search Ad is made up of only words related to the topic a person is searching. These typically show up at the very top or bottom of the search result page (the first page of search). You see them with a tiny “Ad” to the left of them.
A Display Ad is a graphic ad that is displayed across all of the network of websites that participate in advertising on the internet. Have you ever searched for something and then soon after (in a totally different place!) seen an advertisement pop up related to that search. This is display advertising.
You can use digital ads to show special events you are hosting, discounts, and specials. Digital ads are a great way to get people to interact with your business through a compelling offer of some sort with a clear call-to-action.
Google and Bing Listings
Google and Bing Listings are free and easy-to-use search tools for you to boost your online presence across Google and Bing, including Search and Maps. Like businesses with websites, businesses with verified listings are much more likely to be considered reputable by consumers. It’s easy to create a free Google or Bing listing (if you don’t have one already), simply search for ‘set up free Google/Bing business listing’, log in with a Gmail or Microsoft account and then create and/or claim your business.
You’ll immediately be able to enter all of your company information. You can even create events and posts about specials you are offering that will appear in your search results. If you are going to market a restaurant, bistro, or bar, this is an integral part of your marketing strategy.
It goes without saying these days that a website is vital to your restaurant, bistro, or bar’s existence. Many marketing experts would debate that a company “virtually does not exist” without a website. There are also 2 basic concepts to consider for a website:
- User Experience
User Experience is how a person interacts with your website. You want to make things quick, easy, and understandable in this arena. The old adage K.I.S.S, “Keep it simple, stupid” is a great way to think about user experience. Help the person find exactly what they are looking for as quickly as possible. For a restaurant, bar, or bistro, you’ll likely want the menu, hours, address, the look and feel of your place, and a way to contact you – very easy to find.
SEO is a hotly debated and misunderstood topic. SEO refers to search engine optimization. This means your website is well-tuned to perform on the internet. There are technical and organic content elements that contribute to this.
A good way to look at the concepts around a website, user experience, and SEO is compared to a race car. Generally, race cars are beautiful pieces of machinery that deliver amazing speed and performance. Under the hood is a vast network of mechanical operations and the driver is easily making all of those operations go.
This is the relationship you want your website to have with yourself and the people who visit and use it. They’re the drivers and the race car just “go’s”.
A smart way to think about SEO is to always be pushing towards publishing entertaining, educational, compelling content that people will enjoy and benefit from.
Social Media and Email Marketing
Social Media has also become an essential tool to use for customer outreach and engagement. Especially for restaurants, bistros, and bars, which are built around the element of social interaction, social media is a tool that should be embraced. From making offers, discounts, and specials available to driving foot traffic and sales, customer engagement through social media is imperative when you market your establishment.
Email Marketing is also a great way to interact with customers. If you’re not building a customer list with contact information, you could be leaving money on the table. A great way to begin is by placing a form on your website that allows people to sign up to receive email updates about offers, events, and other specials you offer. Send out a consistent email newsletter to your subscribers that provide relevant, compelling content. It has become a common, very effective tactic for businesses to include coupons or specials in their email campaigns.
Auction Master’s Continued Commitment
As always, Auction Masters is committed to helping businesses in any way we can. We strive to provide as much insight and as many strategies as we can. As we mentioned earlier we model our best practice examples after industry-leading organizations and scrappy start-ups that think creatively and add value to their customers with innovative services and perks.
If we can help your business in any way, don’t hesitate to reach out to one of our expert team members. You can email us at the address below or call us directly. Thank you, for reading this article on digital advertising to help your restaurant, bistro, or bar. We are wishing you the best of luck!