Dallas Restaurant Marketing: 5 Innovative Digital Channels

At Red Herd Media, we are often getting asked how to make a small budget go a long way. Many of our clients are restaurants, attorneys, breweries, and bars looking to get their feet wet in paid advertising. We believe in the concept of “building to test” which means testing lots of different platforms, measuring results, and then reallocating based on performance.

We also believe that every good marketing plan should be 70-80% “vetted avenues” and 20-30% test platforms. These vetted avenues are the ones that everyone has heard of – Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, Yelp, and the list goes on.

Where do you begin with your experimental spend? We’ve got 5 recommendations to get started.

1. Snapchat Geofilters

As a restauranteur, you probably already have a loyal fanbase that comes to your restaurant often. One of the ways you can tap their individual reach is by purchasing a Snapchat Geofilter. Snapchat Geofilters cost $5 per hour and can cover your whole location. When customers are at your store, you can either encourage them to utilize the filter for some incentive (a free soda!) or setup and wait for the people to use it. As people share their Snapchat with their friend base, you will reach customers who are friends with / similar to your customer. Snapchat is one of the fastest-growing and cheapest ways to reach your customer base on the internet today.

2. Food Bloggers / Influencers

Food bloggers and influencers are a new(er) rage. They carry followings that typically focus around a specific city or geographical region. Finding influencers can be tough but you can start by combing people who mention your restaurant by name. These people likely will accept some type of incentive (whether that is a fixed dollar amount per Instagram post or an in-store discount or freebie) to post content about your restaurant or its food. You can then work with these creators to get their permission to use their content on your own social feed. These users can be a great way to reach users who are in the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area.

3. Waze Competitive Takeovers

One of our favorite tactics is actually using the popular navigation app Waze to takeover navigations to your competitive restaurants. You can actually serve ads to users who have inputted a restaurant or another location near you. It comes at a relatively high price at $20 per 1,000 impressions and a minimum of $15K per month but the power of redirecting their intent to your restaurant can definitely be worth it.

4. Location-Based Mobile Advertising

You might have heard that 2014, 2015, oh wait… 2016 is the “Year of Mobile”. The truth is that now ~56% of all internet traffic is coming from mobile devices. There are tools out there now where you can target a user’s precise location and previous interests. You can even go as far as targeting people who have been in your store before (or even one of your competitor’s stores). These users will see your ad when they are navigating a mobile browser or are in-app and are within a close proximity (as close as 1/2 of a mile at times) of your store. You can use these ads to incentivize them to take a step inside your door and have lunch or dinner. Bonus points go for if you use an attribution product like Foursquare’s new location-based attribution tool to track users who actually do enter your store.

5. In-Store Beacons

If you are a restaurant with an existing customer base that uses your mobile app, you can utilize tools like beacon advertising to convey your message. Beacon advertising takes location-based mobile advertising to the next level by actually being able to send a push notification to a user when they step within proximity of the device. These devices communicate via Bluetooth with users who have your app installed on their mobile device. That means that you have to: (1) make sure that your user base has an incentive to download your app, (2) install an SDK (software development kit) within your app to communicate with the device, and (3) pay a monthly fee to the beacon provider for the software / hardware. This can be an expensive investment and is only reserved for restaurants that have a large marketing budget as it can cost in upwards of $10K per month.

So, what does this mean?

The world of digital marketing is growing and technology partners are each an individual task to manage. If you use the proper mix of traditional digital efforts (AdWords, Social Ads, SEO, etc) and more innovative, “growth hacking” procedures, you can expand your restaurants footprint and stand out from the rest of the Dallas’ restaurants.

Need help with your Dallas restaurant marketing?

Contact Us