When you think about “an event” for your restaurant, you probably think about something on the order of a “Grand Opening” or “Mardi Gras Week” or “Valentines Day Dinner”—something really, really big! Of course you want to marketing the heck out of something that big but event marketing really just means marketing some aspect of your business as an event.
When you market an event your purpose is to create buzz and generally hype the event. But anything you’re doing at your restaurant can be treated like an event and can provide you with an opportunity to reach out to your customers and prospects.That’s the beauty of the new online channels and social media. You can practically make an event out of Tuesday and market the daylights out of it!
Traditional marketing—direct mail, newspaper advertising, Yellow Pages, TV, etc.—all were very expensive and required the combine efforts of owners, graphics artists, account reps, and others to make happen. Not anymore!
Let’s go back to the example of making an event out of Tuesday. Maybe Tuesday is a typically slow day for you and you’d like to generate some additional Tuesday business. First, you create something that only happens on Tuesday…maybe a chef’s special, or a seasonal item special, or a Tuesday-only entree.
The first thing you can do is email you loyalty club members (You DO have an email list, don’t you? If not, why not??) to watch for the upcoming Tuesday “whatever” event to begin at some date in the near future. You can then mention it on your blog as well as your Facebook page. As the first date approaches, you amp up the information and describe the “event.”
You will be amazed by how something so small can increase your traffic on a given day for not really doing anything different than you were probably going to do anyway.
So you see how important it is that you participate in the online community. It opens up a whole new world of virtually cost-free marketing opportunities for you. If getting started sounds like a job beyond your time or expertise—relax! None of it is that hard and I’d be happy to help you get started.