A catering business can grow monumentally with digital marketing. Because it’s one of the few service business models that doesn’t require a permanent storefront, the possibilities are limitless. Here are some aspects to focus on in order to make your catering business thrive.
Your website should be your business’s bread and butter and your top lead-generation tool, but it’ll only work well if it’s well-designed and user-friendly. Don’t take this lightly – if you don’t know how to build a website yourself, hire a web developer. You’ll want to include pricing, photos, and don’t be too text-heavy. Check out DD Mau’s catering page for some pointers. Note the playful, engaging design, clear pricing, and user-friendly order form at the bottom of the page. Furthermore, it’s essential that you make your website responsive – people may want to make orders from their phones, so it’ll have to be optimized for mobile devices.
2. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Do some research into which keywords are the most relevant and effective in your industry. You’ll be able to find this by looking into what users typically use in search queries to lead to your website, or by noting what usually comes up in frequent questions from clients. By including these keywords on your website, you’ll get more hits on your website from people seeking your services. Check out Clementine’s catering page to see how they optimize SEO keywords.
Give your customers the option to purchase directly from your website. By automating your sales process, you’ll make things far more efficient for both you and your customer. Be sure to offer a wide range of customization options so your customer is able to get exactly what they want without needing to ask for help if necessary. This way, you’ll save time, and all you’ll have to worry about is making and getting your customers’ orders to them. Square has made grabbing catering orders incredibly easy for Pickles Deli.
4. Pay Per Click (PPC)
If you’re on a tight ad budget, you can optimize it with this strategy. A Pay Per Click campaign only puts your ads on websites that use relevant keywords, ensuring they get seen by the right people with the highest potential to become customers. You will only have to pay if a customer clicks an ad, and otherwise, you pay nothing. This is a great strategy to employ especially with newer businesses with a smaller budget.
Most customers trust the word of their fellow customers over advertisements, so you should include testimonials from happy customers. This way, you can build your business’s credibility, as well as strengthening your relationship with your customers. Nothing is as credible as a rave review with photos and specific recommendations, so encourage your customers to write reviews if they’ve had good experiences! You can even offer incentives like coupons.
6. Social Media Presence
Make sure you have a strong social media presence. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, etc., aren’t just social networking platforms anymore, but powerful marketing tools. These platforms will be your best chance to engage directly with potential customers. Make your social media page engaging, fun, and photo-heavy.
7. Eye-Catching Photos
Speaking of photos, never underestimate the power of a good photo! Hire a professional photographer to take high-quality photos of your food, staff, and especially visually appealing catered events. Don’t leave it up to your customers’ imagination! Show them exactly what they’re getting, and that they’re getting the best quality possible. Consider what you’d want your business to be known for, what your customers seem to like the most, and feature dishes with the most visual appeal. Check out Pickles Deli’s website for examples of mouth-watering food photos.
Give your business a clear and unique visual voice. You’ll want every social media page, website page, and other collateral to scream your catering business’s name! Display your logo prominently, and work with a consistent visual language and color scheme. You’ll want your business to be instantly recognizable to your customers and potential new ones.
9. Know Your Audience
Get to know your target audience’s interests, demographics, location, and budget. This way, you can better tailor your marketing materials to best fit their needs. Your customer base can include offices, families, schools, etc. What would they need? Which marketing platform could best appeal to them?
10. Customer Communication
Make sure you’re always communicating with your customers to increase chances they’d return! Be sure to personalize your messages to make them feel valued and share useful information instead of only promoting sales. Repeat business is much cheaper than converting new customers, but you have to keep them interested!