Finding the Best Restaurant Marketing and Advertising Mix for 2018

As the saying goes, “Out of sight, out of mind.” That’s why every restaurant from small mom and pops to corporate chains benefit from ongoing promotions. Over the past 10 years, apps like Yelp, TasteM8, Facebook, and Instagram has become powerful tools for marketing as digital devices gain in popularity. Though, traditional forms of marketing and advertising such as newspaper, direct mail, radio, and TV commercials remain popular as well. Whether a restaurant chooses to use digital or traditional methods of advertising depends on their resources, time, and target audience.

Traditional Marketing

Print continues to be a popular method of advertising as it is a surefire way to reach local customers. Nonetheless, print continues to decline in popularity, making print advertising less effective. Also, print advertising can be costly without any clear metrics of success. A single run in the local paper can cost a business an easy few hundred dollars depending on the size of the ad.

Other traditional methods of restaurant marketing and advertising are TV and radio commercials. Radio ads remain effective especially as people continue to commute. However, both TV and radio is expensive and may require outsourcing to create high quality content.

Even with digitization, there will always be those who prefer more traditional ways of receiving news or entertainment. This leaves plenty of opportunities for traditional advertising to reach local customers. Though, unlike digital advertising, restaurants can expect to cash out on print, radio, and commercial ads without clear metrics of success in bringing in new customers.

Digital Marketing

In the digital world, businesses are able to create advertisements as quickly as typing an email. The popularity of apps also allows them to reach a vast number of potential customers instantly at any time of day. In addition, the “community” aspect of many apps allow customers to instantly share things of interest to their social circles. Digital and social media marketing can be a quick and effective way of restaurant marketing.

In the age of social media, engaging and sharing lies in the core of a successful campaign. Customers can give restaurants instant feedback on their marketing and advertising efforts through likes, comments, and sharing. If the saying, “People eat with their eyes first” holds true, then social media is also a great way to showcase the many dishes a restaurant has to offer.

However, the nature of social media is “to be social.” This means those who choose to use social media can expect to spend up to 2 hours a day posting on their profiles and engaging with followers. Additionally, it is unclear how well “likes” and “comments” translates to paying customers.

Changing the Game

Another platform that’s changing the way customers interact with restaurants is Yelp. Yelp allows customers to rate and share their honest experiences with others. The purpose is to ensure that fellow restaurant goers become knowledgeable consumers. The power of Yelp reviews can make or break new restaurants in the market. This puts additional pressure on restaurants to ensure customer satisfaction. Though, many restaurant owners and managers can remedy a negative Yelp review by replying directly to the reviewer.

Lastly, a platform that combines the positive aspects of digital and social media marketing is TasteM8. TasteM8 allows restaurants to have full control over their restaurant advertising and marketing by allowing them to instantly post promotions onto the TasteM8 app. They can also customize the promotion by date, time, and discount amount! Users can also “Favorite” their favorite restaurants as a way to show appreciation. Best of all, TasteM8 encompasses the main reason for social media’s popularity – it’s free and easy to use!

Restaurant Marketing and Advertising

With the seemingly overwhelming options for restaurant marketing and advertising, how do businesses choose the right path to take to best meet their needs? For many, cost and credibility are the most important factors in addition to a generous ROI. Additionally, owners often want a marketing platform that is fully monitorable as well as customizable.

According to Linkedin, many small businesses have a difficult time surviving without advertising. Foot traffic is still the largest driver of restaurant revenue. A collection of the right marketing tools will help bolster a business’s foot traffic, and in turn, its success. Fortunately, there are more marketing avenues than ever to choose from, whether it be digital, print, or commercial!