The Complete Guide to Marketing Agencies for Restaurants and How They Help Grow Business - H2H Digital Marketing

The Complete Guide to Marketing Agencies for Restaurants and How They Help Grow Business

Introduction: How do Marketing Agencies for Restaurants Work?

Marketing agencies, also called advertising agencies, are organisations mainly committed to handle their clients’ brand, basically communicate with the client’s clients and make sure that the client’s product and services are thoroughly promoted, reaching the target audiences and thus creating a loyal clientele as well as attracting new clients, both being equally important parts of maintaining a business.

Now owning a restaurant business is difficult in any case, and the recent Covid-19 pandemic only made things more complicated. Although its effects are now receding, and people are healing from its consequences, its presence can still be felt. There are still new Covid cases every day, and people are still dying. In times like these – as well as in any crisis – the daily running of a restaurant becomes tough. Daily running that includes goals such as keeping up the quality of the food, dealing with picky customers, most restaurants having an unstable income, keeping employee – and personal – morale up when business is slow, adapting to changes in season and economic situations, managing hospitality, among many other things. It is stressful and will require most of the owner’s time and attention, demanding a neglect of every other aspect of their life – that is why a clever restaurant owner will delegate. That includes creating efficient systems that others can manage as well as hiring professionals to do the tasks that are outside one’s area of expertise.

This is where restaurant marketing agencies come in; how does a marketing agency work, you may ask? Well, they take over the advertising and marketing of the business. Whether it is offline in terms of banners and pamphlets or online in by promotion on social media, creating websites, partnering with influencers, it is all the marketing agency’s responsibility.  

If you own a restaurant business, for example, and your online ordering portal is down, that could cause loss but worse, it will ruin your reputation. You will most likely lose that client, as well as the potential clients in their environment through word of mouth; one might or might not leave a positive review if they like your product or services, but a displeased client will definitely let it be known. Hence it is of utmost importance to let a marketing agency for restaurants handle this side of running the business – either paying them for maintenance or getting them to train the restaurant’s staff to handle the system.

Marketing Is Dead. Long Live Marketing! Why You Need a Marketing Agency For Your Restaurant

There are numerous reasons why a restaurant owner would need a restaurant advertising agency but the most important one probably remains that people will open a restaurant for every reason except for the marketing aspect of it; because it is easy to get into, it is cheap to buy, no need for a degree, for the money, for their love of good food, they have been led into it by the glamour or the romanticization of the business. Hardly anyone gets into it because they are eager to start promoting it, and hence will often have zero experience of knowledge on how to go about the marketing. There is no real time to learn with experience in an industry that is constantly changing, and the restaurant’s image is everything; the owner has to dedicate every second of their day to payment of bills, negotiating, quality control, ensuring hospitality among many, many other things. On their own, they might get overwhelmed and forgo the marketing aspect, which is the biggest mistake one can make; a lack of marketing campaign is what dooms small and independent restaurants.

Why a marketing agency then? Well, they have expertise, they have contacts, they know social media trends, language and statistics: when most people are online, what is the best time to post and reach the maximum of people, what graphics will attract attention, what audience to target, optimised website creation, update and maintenance. A marketing agency – if you hire them to do so – will take over your business’ socials and create a posting schedule to reach the maximum audience and gain the maximum engagement. The agency will also have trained and experienced staff who are familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – the process of modelling your business’ website so that it gets easier to find by search engines. They will know how to abide by Google – the most used search engine – and its Google Search Essentials so that your website ranks higher and appears more often in google searches.

If you are starting out in the food and beverage industry, or you are already the owner of a restaurant and you need a boost, a marketing agency will help you come up with an effective marketing campaign that will allow you to rise above your competitors as well as building a strong connection with your customers and potential customers, especially when they are not physically present in your restaurant. 

Now that it’s been decided that your restaurant needs a strong marketing campaign, the question asks itself; what is a good marketing campaign, exactly? Well, a good marketing campaign will have a target audience to reach, it will have goals to achieve, a set duration of time for which it’ll last and of course a budget to stay within. Last but not the least, the marketing campaign will need Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) – sets of data to measure the success – or lack thereof – of the campaign. Once again, the importance of hiring a marketing agency is highlighted; doing all of the above can be difficult or provide inaccurate results if done by an amateur. Your business needs people who have the expertise. They will analyse your data and provide you with marketing campaign examples and options – whether it’s boosting your business on social media, SEO, sponsoring events, attending food festivals, organising contests, obtaining reviews from food critics, changing the menu or giving out coupons. This is just a few from what could be a very long list of options and it’s up to you as the owner to work with the marketing to find the one that will work best and make sure it is executed properly to gain you the maximum benefits while keeping your expenses in check.

Why Your Restaurant Needs a Professional Digital Marketing Agency in 2022

Developed in the early 1980s, the internet made progress over the decades to reach its current level. The 2000s and 2010s represent a big percentage of that progress; according to Our World in Data, the number of internet users went from 413 million in 2000 to more than 3.4 billion in 2016. It increased tenfold and with 27,00 new users every hour, it is sure to continue increasing. With this huge traffic on the internet, the simple way to get your business seen is to put it online. 

In this age of technology, where most people will do a quick google search to find the best place to eat, will decide which restaurant to go eat in based on online reviews and how attractive the website and social media page is, it is most important to keep one’s business online presence aesthetic and user friendly.

The problem is that there is a specific number of ways and strategies to gain traction on the internet and not everyone is well-versed in those ways. Being a business owner won’t automatically make you a pro with posting on social media in a way that will catch potential clients’ attention and hence why it is in a restaurant owner’s best interest to hire a professional digital marketing agency.

Someone from 2022 – aka a person who has suffered the trauma of the Covid 19 pandemic and the varying number of lockdowns for different countries around the world – would understand exactly why any restaurant in 2018 would need an online platform so that, for example, their customers can order online and have their food delivered. Whether its social media platforms or a full-fledged website – or both – you need to make sure that your restaurant is available at people’s fingertips. A professional digital marketing agency will do that for you in a way that will integrate technology and its use seamlessly into your business.

But even in a world that’s free of pandemics and their consequent lockdowns, we have millennials. The generation that is generally agreed to be made up of the people born in the early 1980s to late 1990s, they are the first generation to have grown up with the internet and hence the ones that made it such a vital part of our lives today. As of 2022, the oldest of them are in their 40s and the youngest in their 20s, and a majority of them use the internet. And as it turns out, millennials do not like phone calls; they dislike receiving them as much as making them. According to an article on EU Business school’s website, millennials have telephonophobia, where they feel anxiety when making a phone call. To them, being able to order food online is a blessing and will probably gravitate towards restaurants that have the facility. Having had experience with the internet, they will have an eye out for an aesthetic and user-friendly website, so its super important to have the website be so to rope them into ordering. Professionals will get the job done the best.

A big one among all the features that the internet allows us to access is Google Maps – Google’s satellite map service. With more than 10 billion downloads on Google Play Store and more than 1 billion kilometres being driven with Google Maps every day, it is safe to say that the app is popular. These last few years have seen the app getting a lot of popularity, especially in Mauritius. When looking for a place to eat, people will often open Google Maps on their phone and search, for example, ‘pizza place near me’ and they will be given a list of all the places that sell pizza in their surroundings. Sounds fun, doesn’t it? Letting your customers find you? Not so easy, actually; you will need to get your business on the Map first. The way to do that and make sure you have control of it is having a Google My Business account linked to a Google Business profile. Sounds like gibberish to you? Don’t fear, you can always get your digital marketing agency to set it up for you and train your staff to use it effectively.

If I can’t find a marketing agency? No problem, I just have to open my Google Maps app, type in ‘digital advertising agencies near me’ or ‘digital marketing agencies near me and it will list all the digital marketing companies near me!

The Power of Using an Experienced Online Advertising Agency to Grow Your Business

Setting up a business is no easy feat, keeping running smoothly with a decent profit margin is even more difficult. And the one tool that can make or break your business is marketing; it is so important to communicate with your customers and potential customers, keep them interested and be better than all your competitors since there is rarely any business you can open that will have zero competition, certainly not a restaurant. Not even an advertising agency! As a business owner, the onus is on you to decide how you will manipulate the marketing magic wand.  

It’s not impossible to do all your marketing on your own, hire staff to do it or even train your existing team to handle the marketing. But this can bring lacklustre results, be time consuming, expensive, risky or all the above at the same time! To avoid going into that territory, just hire an online advertising agency. 

How will an advertising agency help your business grow? I’m glad you asked. Well, first and foremost it helps in the most obvious way, the reason most people do business; money. The agency’s fees may look like a lot but it’s certainly cheaper than paying a monthly salary to a person, including benefits such as paid leave and new tools for them to work with. And that’s if you’re hiring the one person – online marketing requires a wide range of skills (SEO, social media management, photography, editing, copywriting, content creating, web design among many others) that is rare to find in one person. Even if you manage to find someone, they will be a ‘jack of all trades master of none’ type of employee and that will only produce half-baked results. If you’re leaning on the side of training your existing staff, that will be  time consuming and piling the marketing work on top of their regular duty will either cause burnout or half-hearted work. Neither of which is good for any business.

On the flip side, hiring a whole new marketing team, which can include anywhere between five to ten people, will be way too expensive, especially for the smaller businesses. Let’s not mention the time it will take to send out the job ad, receive applications, sort through them, conduct interviews, send out job offers and finally train the team to adapt to your business. 

An online marketing agency not only comes with a fixed, relatively decent price but also brings along its team of experts in all fields of online marketing. All of them will be specialised – the SEO will have done so much of website optimization that they’ll know exactly what to do, the social media manager will be in touch with trends and language that will attract attention, the photographer will be a professional – and will have industry experience. Basically, a one-stop shop for everything online marketing. They will know how to pinpoint a target audience – aka potential customers – and find the best ways to attract them. Just like they made sure that their business appears in the results when internet users search ‘online advertising company near me’ or ‘online advertising companies near me’ (they better have!), they will ensure your business is as close as possible to the top of results when people are looking for a business providing your goods and/or services. You save time and money, and on top of that, you get precise and productive results.

An online marketing agency also means your business’ marketing campaign will be lent the help of the latest technology. The internet and the ways to use it are constantly evolving, new technologies arriving every day and not all of it is free – you might have access to the free demo – or beginner friendly, being complicated to use. The IT team from the marketing company will not only be up to date on the latest technology, but they will also have full access to it and have knowledge on how to use it effectively. 

As well as keeping up with marketing trends, a professional online marketing agency will have a fresh and new perspective. As the owner of the business, you know it like the back of your hand. Your staff probably does as well, especially if they have been working with you for a long time. This of course helps the day to day running of the business but from being so close, you and your staff might get stuck into one specific perspective of it. A team of pros who do creative content creation for a living, who have been doing marketing round the clock will see the bigger picture, all aspects of your business and will bring out the best for your customers to see. 

It will only help if you find an agency that has worked with businesses of your industry before, they will already have the ins and outs of the trade and know how to stand out.

So, help another business out by helping your own business; open Google and type in ‘online advertising agencies near me’, find the one that suits your business and budget the most and contact them to get started on boosting your business.

Conclusion: Final Thoughts on the Importance of Using Experienced Marketing Agencies for Restaurants

As much as you want to handle every aspect of your business, feeling like no one can get it done as well as you can. It’s not only impossible to do it all on your own but simply not true; there are definitely other people who are better trained than you to handle certain aspects of your business. There are too many things to do for the smooth running of a business for you to do it on your own – trying will only stretch you thin, robbing you of all your free time and peace. The best way to go about it is to delegate – first to your staff, who you will train and then to professionals for the tasks – such as marketing – that are outside of your field of expertise. Improvising in an attempt to save money will provide inadequate results and fail to attract customers which of course means losing money. That defeats the purpose.

The smartest decision would be to hire an experienced marketing agency who will provide good quality work that will put you on the map and get you new clients as well as solidify your impression with existing ones. By paying the agency, you’re just indirectly investing in your business.

Experienced marketing agencies will have all the appropriate tools – skills, experience, knowledge, staff, technology, ideas, fresh perspective – to boost your business to new heights. Hiring a marketing agency takes one burden off your shoulders and leaves you time to focus on the proper running of your business.

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