The Internet has evolved into one of the most effective marketing tools for restaurant owners. In fact, having a robust online presence is crucial if you want to keep up with your industry competitors.
Social media marketing provides an effective way to reach millions of people in your target audience like never before. However, not everyone knows how to go about developing a cost-effective strategy.
Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we've got you covered. Let's take a look at everything you need to know.
Clearly Define Your Goal
Common objectives for restaurant owners include:
- Raising brand awareness
- Driving traffic to your website
- Increasing engagement with your social media content
- Getting more people to visit your location(s)
Once you come up with a goal, you'll be able to move forward with running your ads on Facebook and Instagram strategically.
If you've run a social media ad campaign in the past, that's a great place to compare metrics when you're defining new objectives.
Zero in on Your Audience
This step is vital if you want to get the best results possible for your campaign.
The further you narrow down your target audience, the more likely your ads will be relevant to them. This increases the likelihood of fulfilling your ad objective(s), such as conversions, engagement, etc.
Otherwise, your ads may reach a large number of people who simply don't care about what you're offering. For example, if you only have a few restaurant locations, you'll need to make sure you're only targeting people who live in that specific region.
Factors to include when refining your audience include:
- Geographic location and time zone
- Hobbies/interests (e.g., gaining muscle or losing weight)
- Annual income
- Level of education
Depending on what type of food your restaurant offers, how your menu is priced, and whether or not you serve alcohol will determine how general your audience is.
If you own a casual dining restaurant, your audience won't be as specific as a restaurant that offers high-end steak and seafood.
Consider these factors when choosing your ad criteria. The goal should be to include as many relevant customers as possible.
Choose The Right Time to Run
While it may seem like a simple concept, the time at which you run your ads can play a significant role in how many people see and interact with your campaigns. Many factors influence this occurrence, but you can gain more insights about your audience through social media analytics to become more proactive and precise.
You'll want to go through your content and make a note of:
- the type of content you posted
- the day of the week you posted it
- and the peak times your audience engaged with it
This will help you determine not only when to post your ads, but also what type of content to use in them. If your videos typically outperform your photos, this is something to keep in mind when moving forward.
Regardless of what type of content you choose to incorporate into your ads, you can use the data from your social media analytics to post maximize the number of people you reach.
Set and Allocate Your Budget
Overspending will only cost you unnecessary money. Underspending, though, may cause you to miss out on a significant increase in conversions, sales, and leads.
As a general rule, you'll want to allocate approximately 3-6% of your restaurant's gross sales toward marketing efforts. At least 50% of this amount should be put toward digital marketing and paid ads.
Since a vast majority of your restaurant's audience will likely use Facebook and Instagram daily, if you're not tapping into this resource-you're missing out on thousands of potential customers.
Once you've determined how much you're willing to spend, you can decide how long it takes to spend your ad budget.
If you're promoting an event or another short-term benefit for your customers, you'll want to spend this money reasonably quick. If you'd rather boost brand awareness over a period of seven or eight weeks, this is also an option.
You also have the choice to run your ads indefinitely or only during certain times. If you have the budget for it, you can include both ongoing ads and those that run only during certain hours of the day or evening.Monitor Your Results
After you've run your ads, you'll want to carefully comb through your analytics.
Keeping track of metrics like impressions and how many people engage with your ads is crucial. Your analytics will also allow you to see how much you're spending per result.
In general, you'll want to keep your costs as low as possible. But, this could change depending on what action your customer takes.
For example, spending a bit more for people to sign up for your email newsletter is often worth it. Spending more per click for traffic to your website may not be.
Developing a Cost-Effective Social Media Strategy Can Seem Difficult
But it doesn't have to be.
With the above information about creating a cost-effective strategy in mind, you'll be well on your way to getting the most out of your social media ads and generating revenue for your restaurant like never before.
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