Many local businesses struggle to take their digital marketing strategy further than a company Facebook page. However, there are so many digital channels that local businesses can use to drive results.
Catering, in particular, is a great industry for leveraging digital marketing because the conversion funnel is very well defined.
Understanding The Catering Conversion Funnel
A conversion funnel always starts with the awareness phase, in which the potential customer is “problem aware.”
For catering, this is set off by a trigger event, such as business gathering, birthday, or wedding, that prompts the potential customer to seek out catering services.
Next, the customer moves into the consideration phase, in which they weigh out their options and compare different catering companies.
Only after these two steps have occurred will they make their decision and complete the conversion funnel by taking action.
So, while your digital marketing strategy can’t make more business gatherings, birthdays, or weddings occur, it can help you capture potential clients in the consideration phase and turn them into happy, well fed customers.
Here’s how to create a digital marketing strategy for your catering business.
Start with Analytics
It may sound backwards to start with analytics, but the first step in any strategy is determining your goals and your KPIs (key performance indicators). What do you want to achieve, and how will you measure it?
As a catering company, your biggest goal for a digital marketing strategy is to get more potential customers- most likely through a phone number or contact form on your website.
Make sure that you are tracking phone call clicks and contact form submissions as goals in your Google Analytics. Once you are tracking these actions in Google Analytics, you can optimize your digital marketing strategy to make sure you are hitting these goals.
Catering is a business that is completely reliant on the local community, so having a strong presence in localized searches is central to your success. After all, most people will find you through Google, so you want to make sure you are showing up on the top.
Improving your search engine ranking for location specific searches, like “best catering company near me” or “best catering company in Leeds” is called Local SEO. Here’s are a few ways that you can optimize your search engine presence on a local level:
Get Listed with Google My Business:
Start by getting your business registered with Google My Business. This will ensure that your business is being registered on the map and side bar with a small business profile.
Signing up is simple, and you just have confirm your business address by receiving a letter in the post from Google.
Get High Quality Reviews:
Good reviews not only shine a positive light on your business and add trust to potential factors, but they actually help increase your ranking. Reach out to all previous customers who enjoyed your services and ask them to write you a positive review. This will make a big difference to your organic visibility in the long run.
Enrich Your Listing with Photos and Additional Info:
Add as much content as possible to your business listing, such as hours of operation, photos from past events, and a menu if you have one. Like reviews, this kind of information is highly beneficial to prospective customers, but it also helps improve the quality and visibility of your business listing.
Make Use of Paid Search Ads
SEO is important, but it takes time to rank on the top page of Google organically. Paid Search ads allow your company to climb the results on the ranking page immediately and position yourself ahead of your competitors.
Since your potential customers are actively searching for catering companies, it is clear that they are already in the consideration phase. Paid Search Campaigns give you the opportunity to show up for the specific keywords that these users are looking for and highlight your company’s unique benefits.
You can increase the number of phone calls you get from your Ads by adding Call Extensions. Call Extensions allow people to call your business directly from the Ad, therefore shortening the conversion funnel.
Content is Key (Lime Pie)
Catering has one huge advantage over many other service-based companies, which is that it naturally lends itself to quality visual content. Content creation can be a struggle for brands who don’t sell physical goods, but food always makes for juicy content.
Credit: Juicy Lisboa
Take advantage of your events and take lots of pictures. Use these shots to flesh out your social media profiles and website with mouth-watering content. This creates the social proof that potential customers are looking for when choosing the perfect catering company for their event.
Make Sure to Have an Optimized Landing Page
Whether your company is catering only, or you are a restaurant that also caters, it’s important that you have highly optimized landing pages.
Your landing page should contain quality, colorful visuals that illustrate the quality of food your company provides. The text should be clear and simple, and accompanied by additional trust signals like reviews and links to your social profiles.
The most important factor to an optimized landing page is having a clear Call to Action. It should be easy for users to submit their information and get in touch with you. Make the contact form the highlight of your landing page so you can increase your conversion rates and get more client requests.
Get Started with Your Catering Digital Marketing Strategy
Now you know where you need to go, but getting there can be a challenge. Contact the Codedesign Team to support you with your strategy.