May 16th, 2013 • Posted by Stephany Toman • Permalink
April, per the National Restaurant Association's Chief Economist, Bruce Grindy, was the best month in awhile for restaurants, which is good news.
Even better news? Consumers are ready to eat out even more with an improving economy.
Restaurant sales bounced back from a dampened first quarter to hit a
new record high in April. Meanwhile, consumers’ pent-up demand for
restaurants remains historically high, which suggests they will be ready
to ramp up spending even more when their financial situation improves.
What are you doing to stay present with your diners?
At a minimum, creating marketing that reaches out in various ways, to meet the behavior of your audience, is key.
What does that look like?
Email campaigns that share your expertise, and, occasionally offer up promotions.
An updated website that catches the eye of your return visitors and encourages first timers to browse a bit to learn more about you.
Blog articles. Pick topics that you care about, and write a few paragraphs about them. Pretty soon your audience will be looking for more. Articles on foods, cooking methods, wine, your newest brainstorm, your newest menu, your inclusion of only locally grown veggies and grass fed beef, you name it - as the expert, you're interesting by default. Which is pretty cool.
Facebook and Twitter interaction. Social media is a fabulous way to nurture relationships with your audience and carry on an endless dialogue. The key idea with social media? Building relationships. It's not just one-way communication at an audience anymore.
Mobile presence. An increasing number of your consumers are relying heavily on mobile devices to make dining decisions. Be sure your website it optimized for mobile so you reach them.
Can you do more? Sure. But if you do these things on a consistent basis, and use a little creativity along the way you'll be in a ideal position to benefit when pent up desire turns to dining out.
[Click HERE for the full article that inspired this post.]
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March 21st, 2013 • Posted by Stephany Toman • Permalink
Spending big money on splashy, flashy ads in print publications and local media has become a less than stellar way to get the word out about your restaurant. Returns on big spending have declined dramatically in recent years, which means you need to aggressively pursue other options.
What does that look like to you? Well, you need to use less expensive, more expansive ways of distributing your message, for one. That means harnessing the power of your website, email, mobile, and social media like Facebook and Twitter.
If you create one thoughtful article on your blog, and a snippet of that article appears on your website and piques the interest of your website visitors, and that same article gets rolled into an email that is sent out to your audience, and size appropriate snippets appear on Facebook and Twitter, then you've accomplished a great deal. Easily. And the cost? Minimal.
Now imagine how effective consistent, creative emails, blog posts, social media interactions and an ever-current website factor into that equation. Big reach with modest effort is at your fingertips with your CoverBoom service, so spend a little time creating some good content using tools you already have, and enjoy the results.
Your diners are spending more time online, and mobile, and on social media, than ever before. They're engaging on many levels with the businesses they frequent, yours included. They're looking for interesting information, occasionally a good deal, and mostly to be reminded why they choose you over competition time and again.
Questions? Give us a call! We're always here to help, and to provide ideas and support to help you get the most out of your marketing. CoverBoom also provides services to write it all for you - a way to generate big interest and we do all the work for you!
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February 4th, 2013 • Posted by Stephany Toman • Permalink
Local search has changed dramatically in recent years. While the changes have resulted in better results for the consumer, the path there has been confusing for restaurants. Google's updates, including Panda and Venice, emphasize the need for great, consistent content, and tending to the business basics of keeping your information current at all times.
Simple things we think you can do to improve SEO (that don't require an outside service that may either represent you too little or charge way too much for their services):
- Make sure your address and phone number are current and correct on all online listings. Like your own website, your Google Places page, and anywhere else you appear like directories or organization listings. Inconsistent contact information will make Google think you're not keeping up with your online presence, and they'll reflect that in your ranking over another restaurant that is completely consistent, everywhere.
- Also, you need to generate solid social media content, blog articles, and encourage your diners to review you every time they're in. Google looks for increasing interaction over time, between you and your clientele, so demonstrating that you're actively participating in your online presence will bode well in the ranking process.
Simple steps aren't always effective when it comes to marketing your restaurant, but our experience shows that if you take the time to perform these, you'll reap the benefits.
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