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An effective digital marketing strategy for your catering business

Your digital marketing approach can help you catch potential consumers during the consideration stage

Although almost everyone understands that in today’s day and age, a digital marketing strategy is necessary, a lot of companies do not know where to start. Some businesses struggle to go beyond a Facebook page for their brand. However, there are many channels that businesses can use to their advantage to drive results and sales. 

The catering industry, in particular, is a great industry for leveraging digital marketing due to its well-defined conversion funnel.

A conversion funnel specific to the catering industry

The awareness phase of a conversion funnel always begins with the potential consumer becoming ‘problem aware.’ In the case of catering, a trigger event, such as a special occasion, a get together between friends, or a cosy night in, causes the potential consumer to seek out your restaurant/take-out service. The customer then enters the consideration phase, where they analyse their opinions and compare several catering businesses. They will make their decision and complete the conversion funnel by taking action only once these two phases have occurred. Your digital marketing approach can help you catch potential consumers during the consideration stage and convert them into happy, well-fed customers.

The ideal digital marketing strategy fit for your catering business 

The key to any successful business, including in the catering industry, is knowing how to market your product to your customers. You need to answer important questions like ‘How will your audience distinguish you from the rest?’ and ‘How can you attract new customers to your restaurant?’

Your answers lie in how effective your digital marketing strategy is. Here are my top digital marketing strategy tips for businesses in the catering industry. 

Do not neglect your analytics 

Starting with analytics may seem backwards, but identifying your goals and KPIs is the first step in any approach as they are the key performance indicators. As a catering business, what are your goals and how will you measure them?

Your primary goal for a digital marketing plan is to increase the number of potential clients that contact you via a phone number or contact form/booking engine on your website. In Google Analytics, remember to track phone call clicks and contact form submissions as your main goals. Once you’ve set up Google Analytics to track these actions, you can fine-tune your digital marketing plan to ensure you’re meeting your objectives.

Focus on local SEO 

Perfecting your search engine optimisation is one of the most crucial phases in restaurant digital marketing. When it comes to driving organic traffic to your website and, ultimately, people to your seats, SEO is key. Your SEO ranking will impact how quickly people find you when they put in ‘Italian (or whichever cuisine your business can relate to) restaurants near me.’ You need to make sure that your local SEO is top-notch for both locals and tourists. You can fine-tune your SEO by: 

  • Blog posts on your site with relevant and engaging content.
  • Make sure your website pages makes use of local keywords and other forms of SEO such as metadata embedded in imagery, videos, good use of headings, etc. 
  • Use both internal and external linking. 
  • Create a Google My Business account and update it regularly with the correct information and photos from recent events. 
  • Make sure your contact information is easily accessible from every page of your website.
  • Aim for high quality reviews from customers. This step is underrated but reviews can highly affect your ranking on Google. 

Do not underestimate paid search ads

SEO is crucial, but ranking on the first page of Google organically takes time. Paid search advertising allow your business to jump to the top of the search results page right away, putting you ahead of the game and your competitors.

Because your potential consumers are actively looking for restaurants, it’s safe to assume they’re already thinking about it. Paid search campaigns allow you to appear for the precise keywords that these customers are searching for while also highlighting your company’s distinct advantages.

Influencer marketing 

Throughout my career, I have always had resistance to this point. Whether or not you’re pro or agains influencers/content creators, the bottom line is…they can be your missing puzzle piece and give you a push in the right direction. 

Reach out to food-related influencers and invite them to dine at your restaurant for free. If they accept your invitation and are happy with your service, you might be able to work out an influencer marketing package. You can pay them a set fee or give them a number of free meals in exchange for their creating content on their social media accounts promoting your business to their thousands of followers.

Keep up the momentum 

Consistency is key in everything, including digital marketing in the catering industry, You must make an effort if you want your audience to remember your name when it’s time to grab a bite to eat. A once-a-year advertising effort is insufficient.

This does not, however, directly mean that you must spend a lot of your budget  to keep customers coming back to your restaurant. It’s the little things, like frequently updating your website, putting fresh content on social media a few times a week, and promoting new menu items. However, keep in mind that you must keep your audience engaged by promoting new offers online, holding competitions which can increase your social media reach, and giving back, sometimes for free! 

Feel free to ask for my help! 

If you’re a catering business and you need assistance with the creation and setting up of a digital marketing strategy, I am here to help. With my years of experience, with the majority of the years spent in the hospitality industry, I specialise in creating digital strategies proven to deliver results. 

My goal is to be an extension of your team by bringing in innovative ideas, sharing knowledge that will bring in positive results, and building a digital marketing strategy that your business is looking for.

Let’s talk! Feel free to get in touch via LinkedIn or alternatively drop me an email at [email protected] 

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