Small Business Marketing For Your Restaurant, Pt. 2

small business marketing for your restaurantThis is part two of the article entitled, ” Small Business Marketing For Your Restaurant”.

Small Business Marketing Ideas Continued…

During the meeting, work out a promotional scheme that benefits both you and the band. In addition to free food, you and the band can combine funds to have t-shirts printed with both your restaurant’s logo that you both can offer for sale–or even to give away if you like. Promotional flyers can have both your contact information and hours, as well as the band’s upcoming schedule. The band can attract new fans from your regular clientele, and you can attract new customers from their fan base.

If you use your creative energies, there are almost infinite possibilities for partnerships. Custom printers who work with a variety of businesses can usually offer helpful advice on forming strategic partnerships with other businesses. After all, promotion is their business.

Harness the Power of Social Media

Of course, your restaurant has a Facebook page. But do you update it often? Invite your customers to contribute content? If not, you are missing out on a key aspect of social media—the social end of things. People feel a sense of pride in projects in which they are contributors. If you have not taken your Facebook page to the next level yet, start by inviting your customers to participate in the conversation.

While you are at it, create some coupon offers to entice them to come back to your restaurant. Make sure you put an expiration date on your coupons—you don’t want them to click away and forget your offer. An expiration date will give them a sense of urgency.

Don’t forget about other sites such as Yelp and Foursquare. Make sure that your restaurant’s listing is current and has your contact information listed correctly. Potential customers who look for your restaurant in last year’s location won’t be coming back.

Search Engines are not Just for Geeks—They’re How Customers Find Great Food

Google Places listings number among the top results in a search for your restaurant by name. Make sure that you are listed on Google Places—and that your contact information is current. Create a blog, and link it to a double opt-in mailing list that your customers can subscribe to. Reward subscribers with a coupon now and then, and with superb content every time your newsletter comes out.

If you can write, great. If not, you can probably find a hungry university student or two who will write blog posts for a free meal now and then.

Make sure that your restaurant’s posts include the phrases that best characterize your restaurant. These are called “keywords,” and are used by search engines to rank search engine results. Make them as precise as you can to make sure that your restaurant’s website (You do have a website, don’t you?) numbers among the top search results. For example, if you own a steak restaurant in west Dallas, you want customers searching for the “best steak in West Dallas,” “most juicy steak in West Dallas,” or “best West Dallas steakhouse.” Make sure that your blog posts and web content contain a few of those terms. Don’t go overboard, though. Like fine seasoning, a little goes a long way. Search engines penalize sites that practice “keyword stuffing.”

Having the neighborhood’s best eatery is not only about making great food. Getting customers to step into the door of your establishment is a key ingredient for restaurant marketing success. Try these ideas, and you may have a packed house every day of the week.