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When you’re running a food and beverage business, location matters. The ideal is converting foot traffic into paying customers.
For restaurants, bars and stall owners, location-based marketing (or geo-marketing) is often a good investment.
Put simply, it’s marketing to people based on where they are right now. You can do this the old-fashioned way with flyer drops into letterboxes of apartments near your outlet or with billboards and physical signs. But evolving technology allows you to target people in new ways that can really optimise your business spend.
Here’s six location-based marketing techniques that can improve your food and beverage sales.
Optimising your website for local SEO is number one on our list. When people nearby are googling “Best hot pot”, you want to be on the list (if you serve hot pot, of course). You can ensure this by managing your business Google listing and, best of all, it’s free!
Add photos of your storefront so customers can easily find you and lots of photos of your food to get their mouths watering. Update your opening hours and add your Facebook page or website address. And once it’s live, encourage frequent customers to write reviews so other locals know just how good you are.
Whenever you post an update to your Facebook, Instagram or Twitter page, add a location tag – the pin that shows exactly where an image was taken or a post written. Social networks love putting local content in front of their users so it helps increase the visibility of your posts and your brand awareness.
While you’re there, make sure you optimise your social networking pages by keeping your business information up to date, including any changes to opening times over public holidays, regularly posting updates filled with photos, engaging customers in conversation and requesting reviews.
Online ads on social networks, news sites and blogs, and Google searches can help you target hungry customers. For these ads, you usually either pay per click (PPC) – that is whenever a prospective customer clicks on your ad to learn more – or per impression – whenever someone sees your ad.
When it comes to customising your online ads, you can be more targeted than ever before. Not only can you choose who to advertise to based on their location, you can also target customers by age, interest and behaviours – like past purchases or whether they’ve checked-in to restaurants in your area.
This one’s a bit more expensive but it allows you to better target customers based on location and time. If things are a little slow one night, you can quickly send out a notification to customers as they enter a designated area, inviting them to come visit you for dinner.
There are two ways to do mobile notifications: with your own mobile app or using beacon technology. Beacons are physical devices installed to send out signals to mobiles no more than a couple of metres away. There’s no need for customers to have connected with you previously – they just enter the beacon’s range. They’re often installed in large shopping centres so if your storefront is somewhere else, they may not be an option.
If you have a mobile app, by requesting access to your customers’ location data you can send notifications whenever they enter certain places as tracked by their own GPS. The problem here is you’re relying on repeat customers and it’s harder to target new ones.
It’s tried and true. Pamphlet drops have been happening for longer than any of us can remember because they work. You can print flyers yourself or take them to your local print shop to have them done then wander your local neighbourhood, dropping them into letterboxes.
While it doesn’t guarantee customers will think of you when their stomachs start growling, it does remind them you’re nearby for next time they want to head out for a meal with family or friends.
If you’re not on GrabFood, it might be time to sign up. With GrabFood, you’re opening your restaurant or stall up to millions of customers whenever they’re near you and feeling a bit peckish. Grab’s huge network of drivers will deliver food to your customers’ doors so you can focus your energy in the kitchen. You can also encourage more foot traffic with pick-up options for customers.