Last Updated on February 11, 2024 by Ali Hamza
The marketing world is constantly evolving, but in today’s world, you need a healthy blend of physical and digital media to cover all your bases. The tightrope walk of effectively balancing your marketing efforts is a daunting task from the outside, but with some planning and strategy, you can start marketing like a pro. Learn to know about Balancing Digital and Print Marketing.
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Creating Your Balance
Finding the correct spread between digital and physical marketing is the first hurdle in planning a marketing strategy. Instead of simply trying to pick a balance at random, there are a few deciding factors you can consider to figure out where to focus your efforts.
Focus on Your Audience
When creating a marketing strategy, ensure that you’re keeping your intended audience in mind. Generally, older diners respond better to physical marketing, and middle-aged and younger guests are more likely to respond to digital media. Physical marketing materials like flyers or coupons can be handed out with checks or printed in local publications, which are more likely to end up in the hands of your older guests. By contrast, social media posts and Instagram stories are more likely to bring the attention of your younger audience.
Decide on a Budget
When planning marketing strategies, remember that conventional wisdom states that print marketing will be more expensive than digital. Social media accounts are largely free, and users can generate posts quickly and easily. Additionally, websites themselves are reasonably cheap to purchase and upkeep. For smaller (or younger) businesses, prioritizing digital marketing might be best, but putting information in someone’s hand can be remarkably effective if you have the money to spend.
Keep Your Message Consistent
However you choose to split your marketing budget, it’s essential to maintain consistency in your message. If you’re advertising a specific promotion, like a happy hour or lunch special, make sure that both your digital and print media focus only on that promotion. If you use any slogans or logos, ensure they’re the same in print as on social media. The last thing you need is branding confusion based on your marketing campaign; if anything, your brand should only grow stronger in your efforts.
There is a multitude of different options when it comes to digital marketing. You can set up a simple website with just a few hours of work, restaurateurs can whip up social media accounts in minutes, and email lists are more accessible than ever to automate. Regarding specific marketing, a couple of tried-and-true strategies do the heavy lifting when it comes to digital marketing: social media posts and email blasts.
Social Media Posts
Instagram posts and stories are crucial for spreading the word about your business. Instagram, in particular, has over a billion users, and over 80% of those users follow one or more businesses. The takeaway is that your restaurant’s posts and stories will catch the eye quickly, and you might be losing business by not capitalizing on that built-in audience.
Not an Instagram pro? Don’t stress – lots of websites exist to make social media marketing easier. Grab an eye-catching template from MustHaveMenus, plug in the information you want to spread, and post. Here’s a quick pro tip: post right before regular meal times. Anyone opening the app before deciding where to eat might find your post.
Email blasts have been a staple for years now. Dozens of email services like MailChimp and MustHaveMenus allow you to regularly output marketing material to a large audience in the blink of an eye.
Email blasts work best for big promotions or holiday events, so don’t overuse them. Planning a holiday meal kit special and want to get preorders rolling? That’s an email blast. Advertising happy hour? Leave that one for Instagram. If you don’t overuse them, email blasts have the added boost of putting your marketing directly in front of your regulars. An email will generate excitement when your guests see your restaurant’s name pop up in their inbox.
Putting your restaurant’s info into someone’s hands is still a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. Having a physical object allows their mind to create a sense of memory that might motivate them to seek you out. This is especially true if your print marketing contains things like coupons. If you offer potential diners a free appetizer or a discount on a meal, they’re more likely to head your way come dinnertime.
Flyers and Handbills
Flyers can be a little pricey to print, but they’re easy to make with MustHaveMenus, and they make it easy to spread the word locally. Pass them out in highly trafficked areas, drop them off at coffee shops, post them in windows, or even have them printed in local publications.
Due to the cost factor, it’s best not to advertise anything particularly time-sensitive in flyers. Happy hours, long-running promos, or lunch specials are your friend here. If you want maximum bang for your buck, a flyer’s info should be valuable weeks or even months after printing. If you want to encourage maximum return on your investment, make the flyer a coupon – something to the effect of “present this for 10% off your meal.”
Promo cards are an excellent tool for restaurateurs in a variety of situations. Everyone loves a free appetizer, and if you pass the cards out at events or businesses, you’re almost guaranteed to see an upswing in your guest count. They can also be uniquely helpful in resolving guest complaints or frustrations during their visit. In addition to helping with their problem, handing them a card for one free appetizer can incentivize your diners to give you another try for a better experience. Lowering the threshold for that repeat visit might lead to future return trips, and all it costs you is printing the cards.
Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop
There’s no reason to limit yourself to these options! The possibilities are limitless, and as long as you approach your marketing with a strategy in mind, you’re bound to see a boom in your business. Marketing is only scary until you take the plunge, but before you know it, you’ll have a line out the door with folks who found you online and in person.