Small food and beverage businesses contribute to the local economy and social well being. Launching a small restaurant or café with new menus/products/services can increase revenues and maintain financial stability.
However, if your target audience is unaware of your business, products, or services, you won’t achieve your goals and will experience a financial loss. Marketing is essential for small food and beverage companies to improve their online visibility.
It helps you reach your target audience, engage your existing and potential customers/guests, collect valuable data, and analyze the information to gain insights. These insights help you make informed decisions.
Digital marketing is the backbone of your restaurant/café strategy, allowing you to use various tools and software applications to evaluate customer satisfaction levels. However, digital marketing evolves rapidly, making it challenging for small food and beverage companies to align their strategies with new technologies.
Before explaining small food and beverage brands’ mistakes, let us highlight the significance of marketing for restaurants, cafes, distributors, and suppliers in the hospitality industry. Read on!
The Importance of Marketing for Food/Beverage Brands
According to Toast, online food orders have grown in popularity because 57% of consumers order food from a restaurant/café’s website. Brandon Gaille reports that marketing is integral to a business strategy because 40% of consumers learn about food menus and items through websites, blogs, apps, etc.
Another study highlights that 85% of users use online platforms, including search engines like Google, to search for local businesses. According to Mashable, a reputable digital marketing platform, 49% of people use Facebook to find local food and beverage services.
Bright Local highlights that consumers are likelier to read reviews on cafes and restaurants than businesses in other industries. According to Forbes, food, and beverage companies that respond to their target audience/customers on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, improve their word-of-mouth marketing by 71%.
Kiss-Metrics states that social media marketing is an excellent way for food and beverage businesses to increase online visibility. The report highlights that 93% of local food and beverage companies that use Instagram marketing successfully influence their target audiences’ purchasing decisions.
According to Track Maven, food businesses, particularly fast food restaurants, perform better on Instagram with a whopping 21-4 engagement ratio than full service restaurants with an 18-4 ratio.
Moreover, IMM reports that 60% of young individuals, including college students, buy food products from brands that offer discounts and coupons through Snapchat. Another report highlights that local restaurants focusing on video marketing achieve higher customer engagement levels, leading to increased sales and higher ROIs.
However, the report shows that 50% of consumers watch videos on smartphones, meaning you must tailor your marketing approach/strategy to mobile users. So, these statistics confirm that marketing is of utmost importance to small food and beverage companies to:
- Reach the target audience
- Increase brand identity
- Develop brand recognition/reputation
- Boost sales and revenues
- Stand out from the competition
Although digital marketing is an integral component of your business strategy, not developing and implementing it correctly can take a toll on your company’s overall bottom line. Let us now discuss small food and beverage brands’ primary mistakes while developing or executing their marketing strategies.
Not Defining Marketing Goals
The primary goal of digital marketing for small businesses is to develop their brand awareness, drive traffic to their websites/apps, and encourage audiences to purchase food.
However, you can’t streamline or execute marketing without defining goals. According to Content Marketing Institute, 65% of successful small businesses use a documented marketing strategy with a step-by-step approach.
In addition, 56% of businesses rely on software systems and tools to analyze and understand their audience’s preferences, desires, and behaviors. Therefore, setting marketing goals is essential to streamlining its efficiency and producing positive outcomes.
For example, follow the S.M.A.R.T strategy to create specific, measurable, attainable, realistic/real-time, and time-bound marketing goals. You can start with creating ideal buyer personas, develop a keyword list with search terms relevant to your local food or beverage company, and create content that aligns with your business goals and customer requirements. Common marketing goals include:
- Increasing brand awareness
- Generating high-quality leads
- Acquiring new customers
- Driving more traffic to the restaurant website
- Standing out from the competition in the local market
- Providing valuable content to customers
- Boosting brand engagement
- Increasing returns on investments (ROIs)
Not Restructuring the Brand Image
Another marketing mistake most local businesses in the food and beverage industry make is not restructuring or revamping their brand image. Bear in mind that customers’ behavior and demands change from time to time, requiring businesses to stay updated with their target audiences’ interests.
So, you must revamp your brand, products, or services to attract your target audience or existing customers and encourage them to engage with your brand. We recommend focusing on:
- Change your brand logo or color to give it a fresh feel
- Modify your marketing or advertising campaigns based on collected data
- Invest in new packaging to match Gen-Z and millennials’ interests
- Follow new branding trends and send the updated information to customers
- Use creative branding designs to stand out from local competitors
- The inclusion of new trends in the market to keep your customers updated.
Neglecting a Mobile-Friendly Website
Research shows that an average American checks their smartphone at least 262 times daily. About 52% of mobile users say that spending time without a smartphone for more than 24 hours makes them anxious.
Likewise, 54% of people who use smartphones experience panic attacks and anxiety when their mobile battery is below 50%. These stats show how important smartphones are for consumers.
If you haven’t optimized your website for mobile users, you have don’t the most significant mistake. The good news is that you can rectify the mistake and invest in reputable web design services to make your business site mobile-friendly. A responsive web design:
- Drives more traffic to your website from mobile
- Increases delivery orders from consumers
- Increases website speed for better customer experience
- Ensures better SEO and higher conversion rates
- Boosts social media sharing among consumers to build the brand reputation
According to Internet Live Stats, over 1.8 billion websites exist; among them, more than 500 million are blogs. However, less than 200 million sites are active. Although having a functional website is essential to improving your online presence, not having a blog section, or updating it can leave you behind in the race.
HubSpot reports that companies that update blog content achieve more than 68% of leads every month compared to businesses that fail to publish blog posts regularly.
Therefore, not updating your blog on your business website is a substantial mistake, meaning you must invest in content marketing to streamline the process. Blogging increases organic web traffic, allows consumers to share content on social media platforms, and enables businesses to increase their online presence on Google and other search engines.
Focused blog writing offers numerous benefits for small food and beverage brands, including increased authority, better publicity, and boosted SEO results. Blog posts tell your customers about your business and products (new food items or menus), learn about events, and provide a human connection.
Not Creating a Tailored Email Campaign
According to Statista, individuals and businesses send and receive more than 319 billion emails every day. Email marketing is an excellent approach for small food and beverage companies to streamline engagement with existing and potential customers and encourage them to purchase their products/services.
However, food businesses make one mistake not customizing their email marketing campaigns based on their target audience’s needs. We recommend following the 80-20 rule, meaning 80% of the content is educational and 20% is promotional.
The 20% of emails you send your customers contain a call-to-action (CTA), such as clicking a link to order food items at a discounted price. According to Litmus, every
$1 spent on an email has a $42 return. Likewise, when you tailor your email marketing campaign, you can achieve an ROI of $70 per $1 investment.
Not Offering Discounts/Coupons
Business Wire highlights discounts and coupons are an excellent marketing strategy for businesses to attract customers. For example, when you send a coupon to your customer, it will increase a 38% of oxytocin hormone level, encouraging them to feel happy and purchase from your restaurant or café.
Coupons and discounts can make your food or beverage company more accessible, welcoming, and convenient for your existing and potential customers. However, we recommend offering discounts to your customers on the app they use for ordering food.
Not Gaining Insights from Marketing Analytics
Marketing analytics are technology tools that allow food and beverage companies to measure the success of their campaigns. The purpose is to study and manage various metrics and determine the ROIs of your marketing efforts, including social media, email CTAs, PPC ads, and organic traffic via blog posts.
On the other hand, if you fail to use marketing analytics, you can’t track the campaigns’ performance and optimize your strategy in real-time. We recommend choosing a marketing analytics tool based on predictive modeling, AI, and machine learning algorithms to forecast changes in consumer behavior and tailor your campaigns with more likelihood of converting leads into loyal customers.
A growing body of research evidence highlights that 56% of companies source data and information from sales/financial transactions. However, not using marketing analytics can prevent you from generating valuable insights.
Companies are 1.5 times more likely to apply insights to their digital marketing campaigns in real-time than businesses who fail to implement a sophisticated analytics tool/software/platform.
Small businesses in the food and beverage industry that make the mistakes mentioned earlier fail to stand out from the competition or generate higher revenues. Marketing is a critical part of your business strategy, and using it correctly based on the tips above can streamline your operations and increase sales.
KEXY is an all-inclusive platform for businesses in the food and beverage industry. It offers different packages/programs/tools for companies to optimize their operations, allowing them to develop targeted marketing campaigns and increase ROIs ten times more than their competitors. Contact us today for more information!