No cheesy gimmicks here! Just effective marketing tactics to help get the word out about your pizzeria and bring in more paying customers.
Ready for the understatement of the year?
The restaurant industry has changed since before the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a Deloitte study, diners are placing more to-go and delivery orders in the name of convenience, even though shelter-in-place policies are no longer in effect.
So how can you attract and retain more business in this new environment? You’ll need a mix of classic and out-of-the-delivery-box ideas.
Here are 11 pizza restaurant marketing ideas to get you started.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
For most people, when they’re on vacation or traveling for business, the last thing they want to do is cook.
Reach out to owners of local short-term rentals, like hosts on Vrbo and Airbnb, to see if they’ll let you leave flyers or menus for their guests. You can offer them free or discounted pizzas in return.
Partnering with an influencer might sound expensive (and it certainly can be), but most local micro-influencers with less than 50,000 social media followers should be willing to post about your restaurant for $10 to $500 per post.
Some may even visit your store and share pictures with their followers in exchange for a free meal. You can host an influencer event where local bloggers and social media stars come in to share delicious pizza and create content.
Just be sure that the influencers you work with have healthy social media engagement rates (ie. they don’t pay bots to interact with their posts).
What do your website, menus, in-store posters and social media channels all have in common? They all have photos of your food.
Photography can make or break the way your pizza not only looks, but also sells. Professional photography is a small investment that can make your food more enticing. Find a local photographer to capture shots of your pizza, as well as how it’s made.
A buzzworthy limited-time offer (LTO) can bring in huge amounts of business, especially if your offer gets picked up and reported on by food bloggers.
Line up your offer with seasonal events. For example, if you’re running an LTO in November, you may consider creating a cranberry stuffed crust.
Whatever idea you come up with, the key is to make sure no competitor is already offering something similar (or that yours is better). The more exclusive and innovative your menu item, the easier it will be to intrigue customers.
While it may sound gimmicky, creating a special menu item can help set your pizzeria apart and give customers something to look forward to all year (like pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks).
One effective channel for running pizza marketing campaigns is text messaging, also known as SMS marketing. The reason SMS is so popular among restaurant marketers is that it works on every mobile device.
There’s no app needed for customers to download or complicated sign up process to go through (seriously, who wants to download another app in 2023?). All users have to do is text in a keyword to receive updates from your pizzeria.
Use a business texting service to send out info about your latest offer and quickly respond to questions. You can even coordinate deliveries and arrange reservations by text.
The easiest way to invite customers to join your texting list is to ask them at the point-of-sale kiosk. Just be sure they understand that you’ll be sending them deals and promotions so you comply with SMS marketing industry regulations.
According to a survey by BrightLocal, 77% of consumers “always” or “regularly” read reviews when browsing for local businesses (up from 60% in 2020). Positive reviews build trust and help your restaurant rank higher in search engine results.
Use email, text messages, and in-store materials to ask your customers to leave your business an honest review.
Pay-per-click (PPC) ads let you place ads on search engine result pages and only pay when a user actually clicks through to your website.
The benefit of running PPC ads is that your pizzeria can target specific keywords that users search for when they’re on the hunt for a great slice.
Include the name of your city, region or town in your PPC keywords. For example, you could run an PPC ad for the phrase, “Pizza delivery in Wake Forest.” These highly specific keywords are less expensive and more effective than general keywords such as “good pizza.”
As a restaurant operator, you’ve probably seen your customers take out their phones at the table to capture the perfect picture for social media. This type of content is known as user-generated content (UGC).
Don’t let this free media go to waste! Search for UGC taken at your pizza shop on social media and cross-post it on your accounts.
Another good idea is to add table tents with a call to action that encourages customers to tag your social media accounts in their photos. This can boost your restaurant’s visibility and increase sales.
Imagine walking into a restaurant and finding out you have to go on a scavenger hunt just to see the menu. You’d walk out immediately and find somewhere else to eat.
If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you’re losing customers. Make sure your online menu is easy to find and legible. Users shouldn’t have to dig around your site navigation or zoom in to read what type of pizza your restaurant offers.
Pro tip: Add your menu to your Google My Business listing so people looking at your reviews can see what kinds of pies you offer.
According to Zippia, 21-30% of U.S. food sales comes from third-party delivery services. Don’t miss out on this stream of customers.
Partner with delivery services to make it as easy as possible for people to find your pizzeria from their computers or phones.
Consider teaming up with the most popular food delivery apps:
To attract new customers on these crowded platforms, consider running special promotions, like free delivery or a percentage off an order.
It’s impossible to help every organization that needs contributions. However, becoming a regular sponsor for a nonprofit, school, or sports team that aligns with your pizzeria’s values is good for the community and your business.
After choosing the right organization, offer to cater their next fundraising event. Better yet, take a day off with your employees and volunteer. This will help to position your brand as community-focused and generous.
Anybody who’s worked in the front or back of the house knows that running a restaurant isn’t an easy job. Dedication to customer satisfaction and clever marketing can go a long way.
Try out these 11 pizza restaurant marketing ideas to start making some serious dough.
Alfredo leads the marketing team at SimpleTexting. In addition to writing about SMS, he also talks about it—literally. He narrates our how-to videos.More Posts from Alfredo Salkeld
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