As long as there have been restaurants, taverns, bars, and diners in the United States, there have been people who love visiting them. And in the United States especially, we love our dining-out culture. 39% of adults, in fact, would prefer to eat out more often, and 61% of adults responded that they would rather spend their money on experiences, like restaurants, than on things.
When a large, homestyle diner chain with a loyal fan base approached us with questions about optimizing their marketing for the future and attracting new customers, we knew we were in for a fun partnership. Together, we mapped out a robust, proactive plan for the future that tackled issues with reach, digital footprint, customer demographic, and more.
While this diner chain boasted a large, die-hard group of devotees as their customer base, they nevertheless struggled with brand identity. Their logo usage, color schemes, fonts, and messaging were inconsistent, and promotions lacked cohesive themes.
Most potential customers require, at minimum, 5-7 “touches” with a brand before they remember it, so consistency in branding is truly key in attracting new customers.
Additionally, their marketing was siloed and reactionary – they lacked a comprehensive marketing plan for their day-to-day digital strategy, and their specials and promotions were announced haphazardly. Contributing to this struggle was a near-constant flood of messages from patrons that had to be addressed in a timely manner, but without ample manpower, it was an all-but-impossible task. This restaurant chain was growing rapidly, and it was no longer efficient or effective to handle all marketing in-house.
The diner chain’s loyal patrons skewed on the older side – which was not a critical issue. But the diner was concerned that they wouldn’t be able to attract a younger crowd as their current patrons aged out of regularly dining with them. Their concerns weren’t unfounded – almost half of Millennial food budgets were spent on meals outside the home, and since Millennials were poised to be the largest demographic in the United States in the coming decades, it only made sense for this restaurant chain to adjust their strategy.
Digital marketing wasn’t going anywhere, and this diner knew that. They struggled with reaching the right audiences and making the most of the digital space, resulting in frustration and stagnancy in growing their digital footprint.
Our first order of business was to align their voice, tone, messaging, and brand across all channels. We standardized logo, color, and font usage, and we established a “voice” for the brand to be leveraged across the digital space.
Next, we crafted a holistic approach to align their limited-time offerings and specials with their general social media posts and engagement. This involved creation of collateral and specific campaigns for promotional use in addition to monthly calendar strategy. We built out calendars using tactics built to boost engagement and impressions across platforms with the goal of growing the restaurant chain’s digital footprint. In addition, to capture the attention of a younger demographic, we built out a robust Instagram presence for them.
We also worked to target specific pieces of digital advertising to different audiences to drive different conversion goals. Whether our goal was to drive growth of the social platforms, encourage visits, boost engagement, emphasize an upcoming special, or announce a new store opening, we were able to segment and appropriately target the correct audience for maximum conversion levels.
To address their issues with message volume and customer interaction, we implemented a robust community management program. This streamlined approach helped customers resolve their issues or sing the restaurant’s praises with the expectation of an efficient response.
Lastly, we crafted marketing initiatives driven by analytics and tracking. By taking a deep, holistic look at content performance and digital footprint growth, we were able to make strategic decisions and adjust our approach with agility.
This restaurant chain saw meaningful results within the first several months of working with us. Because of strategic, mindful growth of their social channels and digital footprint, their web traffic increased by 257%, and there was a 123% increase in social media traffic year over year.
In the first thirty days alone, this restaurant chain added 4200 members to its loyalty program.
By targeting specific groups and tailoring content to help drive conversions, we successfully reduced this restaurant chain’s cost per click to $0.03. Maximizing the budget here allowed for more flexibility in other promotions and marketing initiatives, which have seen substantial success.
Today, this diner boasts 118 locations, and it’s still growing. With our continued efforts, this company has seen consistent growth of their social channels and digital footprint. Since we first began their Instagram presence, we’ve grown the platform to more than 15.2 fans. Their main Facebook page boasts nearly 200K likes, with hundreds more added each week. With the right strategy, budget, and analytics-based content creation, this restaurant chain will see continued success in the ever-shifting world of digital marketing.