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The 10 Most Effective Ways to Market your Café or Restaurant in 2020

As a new year and decade begins it’s time to reflect on what has been the most effective way to market your café or restaurant in 2019 and what will work in 2020. As the digital landscape continues to consistently evolve, so too does the best methods for marketing your business online. Being social media marketing specialists for the hospitality industry for over six years helping market over 100 Sydney cafes, restaurants, bars and pubs, we have experienced vast changes in the strategies required to be effective. Below, we have developed an essentials list of what we consider to be the 10 most effective things you need to be doing to effectively market in 2020.

  1. Exciting and engaging content. Your business needs to look the part on Facebook and Instagram to attract potential customers. Investing in professional photography to ensure your brand looks amazing online is first and foremost. They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this couldn’t be truer in the hospitality industry. Stand out from the competition with visually engaging content that makes customers want to visit you. Food photographers know the best way to capture the food in an engaging style, that makes you stop scrolling on social media. You can read more about this in detail here

Source: Alder Inn by Kera Bear Eats

  1. Paid advertising. It is no longer enough to simply exist online and post organically. Your follower count may be high, but that doesn’t mean that your audience is listening. Allocating sufficient budget toward paid advertising can allow you to reach customers within a direct radius of your business, as well as speak to audiences that may have an interest in your offering. It can be one of the most efficient ways to align yourself with prospective customers if you are willing to allocate a decent spend and considered strategy. Read more about the importance of this here:

  2. Online presence. Being across a variety of websites has the ability to not only improve your Google ranking but your brand’s credibility. Your consumers use the internet to search for businesses and so being across a variety of platforms is important for heightening your visibility. Beyond Facebook and Instagram, listing your café or restaurant on Google Business, Zomato and Trip Advisor increases your exposure and allows you to connect directly with prospective customers. New customers from out of the area are most likely to find you on these 3 platforms before Instagram and Facebook so make sure you stand out and your ratings are good!

  3. Influencers Instagram influencers and food bloggers have emerged on the marketing scene as a cost-effective method for promoting your cafe or restaurant. There is a bit of controversy about them at the moment, love them or loathe them, there’s no denying that influencers and food bloggers can affect customer opinions and reach large audiences. With accounts solely focused on food photography and sharing of dining experiences amassing upwards of a thousand likes per post, and hundreds and thousands of followers, the proof is in the pudding (literally). With the ability to reach the multitudes in a single post, partnering with food bloggers and influencers to promote your venue is a highly effective marketing tool for your business. You can read about how to use them in detail here:

  4. Public Relations Keeping your business in the press is important for retaining the public’s interest. If you’re being spoken about in the media – people are listening. Both online and print media are read by hundreds and thousands of people on a daily basis, therefore articles written about you are one of the most powerful marketing channels there is. Constructing well-crafted stories to share with the media can give your business maximum exposure, put you in the limelight and increase your customer base exponentially. A well-written press release and many follow-ups are what is usually needed to cut through the hundreds of submissions the publications get each day.

  1. Chinese Marketing Given that over 10% of Sydney’s entire population is now made of up Chinese civilians and with the rise of the Chinese middle-class that loves food, this consumer segment is becoming an important group to talk to in any marketing strategy. The average Chinese tourist spends an average of $8K per visit to Australian shores, compared to $2.5K for a non-Chinese tourist, emphasising the lucrative potential of this market. Targeting Chinese-speaking customers via their preferred social media channels is a smart marketing move for attracting this key market segment as most are not very active on Instagram or Facebook and use We Chat instead. We have recently tapped into this market by partnering with specific agencies that specialise in Chinese marketing.

  1. Attractive Deals Consumers are price-conscious and the market is competitive therefore offering them attractive promotions that set you apart from the competition keeps the customers coming. Determine products that are popular with your customers and bundle them with less popular items for a reasonable price point, have a birthday month promotion, bottomless brunch, happy hour, half-price deal – the possibilities are endless. Launch frequent promotions to keep your customers interested in what you have to offer. You should also spread the word of your promotions through online channels to increase visibility among your target market. Media are also interested in news-worthy deals so brainstorm an unforgettable deal and the subsequent press and media hype that could ensue will bring customers straight to your door.

  1. Measuring and Analysing Campaign Results Throughout the course of your marketing campaign, it’s imperative to consistently analyse how your strategy is tracking and adjust it accordingly. Look at what is working well and what isn’t, and tweak it so you can get the best results out of your campaign. When you analyse what is working, push more time and budget into that to get traction and build your audience.

  2. Consistency To be successful in your marketing campaign, you must not only be consistent in your brand messages but also the effort that you’re putting in. We suggest a daily Facebook and Instagram posting, stories and paid Facebook ad campaigns. While sometimes it might be difficult to see your efforts translating to real-time results immediately, interacting with your consumers consistently will eventually pay off.

  3. Traditional forms of marketing While it is evident that digital marketing has completely transformed the industry over the past decade, traditional forms of marketing still have their place in any campaign. For example, a letterbox drop in your local area can be effective at attracting customers in your direct vicinity. Flyers with strong calls to action, especially in conjunction with deals are really effective. Signage in your venue is also a simple yet effective way to inform your customers when used in conjunction with digital marketing techniques.

Looking back over what worked in 2019, it is evident that effective café and restaurant marketing cannot be deduced to simple Facebook and Instagram posting alone. It is instead a combination of marketing techniques (both digital and traditional) that work in cohesion to deliver the best results for your café or restaurant. Hopefully, this essential guide will help you get your marketing spot on for 2020 and beyond! 

If you are interested in improving your marketing strategy for your cafe or restaurant, contact


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