Christmas is near, and if you own or run a restaurant, the best way to boost sales and brand awareness is to begin thinking of how you can get more bookings and foot traffic in the door using PR marketing strategies.
You’ve probably bought a product just because you heard about it or read about it online. How often have you done that? Is it better than the alternatives without knowing what it does? All the time, consumers make emotional decisions based on recommendations from their friends and family.
And that’s how PR works.
It is essential for restaurant businesses to use marketing strategies that ensure that dishes remain at the top of consumers’ minds. To become the ‘go-to’ site for products in your category, you need a strong online presence. As a result, consumers will not be forced to search for your products on Google, thus exposing them to competition. Public relations is the most effective way to accomplish this goal.
It takes a lot of time and effort to plan and host a promotion. It’s important to work every day and night to get the event ready, but if no one shows up, all that effort is in vain. That’s why a public relations campaign can turn an unmemorable event into a huge talking point for months after it takes place.
Creative PR and marketing methods can attract customers in a variety of ways, but they can become overwhelming. There are several public relations ideas restaurant owners and managers can choose from this year, but we have outlined five you can use in your restaurant that will generate attention and allow you to focus on your day-to-day duties.
What is PR?
It is a strategic communication process that allows organizations to establish mutually beneficial relationships with their target audiences. Through earned media, you can communicate how valuable you are to your audience.
Here PR means public relations, not press releases. However, if you want to write PR, considering these rules might give you better exposure.
Most startup companies ignore public relations, according to business case study experts. Their main goal is to promote their brands and reach as many people as possible, which is one of the solid reasons they fail. Restaurant businesses survive due to their relationships with customers, and a strong public image translates into increased sales.
The power of publicity to reach a broad audience provides businesses with a larger platform and more credibility, yet it’s frequently overlooked. Some companies have never understood the full benefits of PR and may not know how to integrate it into their marketing mix. Here are several advantages restaurant business can avail from PR marketing,
- Enhance credibility
- A low-cost option
- Helps with SEO
- PR has a wider reach
Some marketers mix PR with marketing, but it has nothing to co-relate. Before diving into the PR strategies for restaurants, let’s understand how it differs from marketing; it will help you understand the overall concept more clearly.
PR vs. Advertising – Know the Major Difference
A business’s marketing strategy would not be complete without advertising and PR (public relations). Providing information about your business on social media platforms and driving traffic to your restaurant website are both ways to make your business known. Despite their similarities, however, they are two very different marketing channels.
- Public relations uses non-intrusive techniques in order to establish a positive reputation on your behalf. While advertising utilizes pushy and promotional messages that maximize your brand exposure.
- A paid advertisement is one that secures placements on selected outlets (such as popular websites), and it is usually more expensive. The goal here is to get clicks and show off how extraordinary your brand is.
- As opposed to pushing a promotion, PR is more focused on showing your human side rather than telling a story about your brand. You want to establish a reputation as a sympathetic brand that addresses a serious problem for your target audience.
Advertising relies heavily on paid tools, and its content is often labeled as an advertisement, while PR focuses on earned media to achieve its goal. The online reputation these days plays an important role, and thus, it is a way to get other media companies to talk about you honestly instead of putting ads on your website.
Therefore, while advertising and PR are scalable customer acquisition channels, the goals and strategies are entirely different.
PR Strategies Restaurants Can Use for Quick Results
A good restaurant PR strategy is essential for a restaurant to build its credibility and maintain its good reputation. By communicating important information about the brand, business owners and management are able to influence consumer behavior. Several PR strategies can help restaurant owners establish and maintain a positive public image with the rise of social media, and let’s go through some of them for better results.
Create Quality Content, Not Bombard with Promotional Ads
Public relations is not advertising in the traditional sense. Instead of pushing your product or service on your audience, focus on creating content that adds value to them. Engage your target audience with inspiring content to create loyal followers and regulars for your restaurant.
Make your audience happy by creating articles, stories, and videos that they want and need. Often in restaurants, this requires a strong creative team. Provide your audience with the content they are looking for by distributing it through the right channels and publications. Your search engine optimization efforts will naturally benefit from this strategy as well.
Shake Hands with Influencers
Digital awareness is most effectively created through influencer marketing in the age of social media. Bloggers can enjoy a complimentary meal at your restaurant in exchange for an honest blog post and social media posts, allowing you to reach their followers while showing them firsthand what you have to offer.
If they have a great experience at your restaurant, you can expect that they will promote it on their social media platforms and encourage others to try it themselves. It is essential to vet the influencers first to ensure that your restaurant is appropriate for their brand and that their follower base is compatible with your target demographic.
Create a Distinctive Promotion Tied to Local News
Since the James Comey hearing in 2017, the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2018, and the World Series in 2019, Washington, D.C. restaurants have had multiple opportunities to drive traffic thanks to big national news events. Restaurants created special promotions tailored to each event to attract community attention and, ultimately, customers.
In fact, restaurants and food delivery business owners deploy powerful digital solutions such as E-Delivery, Getswift, QuestTag, etc., to streamline promotional activities. It can help restaurant owners and managers stand out from the crowd by paying attention to national holidays, sporting events, local news, and other popular community happenings.
Collaboration with Similar Restaurants
The strategy involves targeting businesses that serve the same audience as your own – not competitors. Combo offers are run by collaborating with other restaurants or cafes. As a result, both businesses will increase awareness of their brands and ultimately gain more customers.
For instance, if your restaurant offers takeout, a good idea would be to team up with grocery stores, bakeries, and other food establishments where you, for example, can provide a complimentary dessert with the purchase of an item.
Tempt Diners through Coupons
In addition to sending amusing or heart-warming cards to keep diners in the loop, restaurants are increasingly sending out promotional codes which can be redeemed online. Do not be shy about offering shoppers coupons (read: discounts) during the holidays. Retailers have been beginning to discount their inventory well in advance of the post-Christmas shopping season over the last ten years.
Restaurants have used discounting strategies to win shopper loyalty because so many brands are competing for revenue. Retailers who make shopping easier for shoppers are appreciated.
During a financially vulnerable time of year, consumers perceive restaurants that discount during the holidays as not greedy brands. Coupons that can be shared easily will be worth their weight in gold, so consider referral discounts. Use coupons in creative ways.
Leverage Social Media
There is nothing better than social media when it comes to connecting with customers. There should be an active restaurant profile on all the major platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Moreover, your Google My Business profile should be up to the mark.
After learning about your restaurant, many customers will check out your social media profiles. The site should provide reviews, sample menus, and pictures, among other things. You can reach new customers with social media using very little time, effort, and money, making it the most effective way to distribute messages.
Press the Right Button and Grow Incrementally
With the development of the internet, PR offers more chances than ever before. Almost anyone can be a publisher in the digital age. The downside is that you cannot access a lot of resources, but the upside is that you can tap into an abundance of them.
If a restaurant is hoping to use PR effectively, it must have a strong marketing message, branding, and assets. No matter how great a restaurant’s story is if a strong PR strategy does not back it, it will never be shared with your audience. By achieving good PR, your brand will become more authentic, will gain more credibility, will receive more exposure, and subsequently will start to gain more sales.
Brijesh is the tech activist, blogger, and internet marketing officer of Elluminatiinc.com for more than three years. My major concern is to educate people who are interested in technology. I am fond of writing useful and informative content that helps brands to grow business.