It seems to be that time again. Time to do a little spring cleaning. Time to reinvent yourself as a company. Time for some Cafe Marketing. If you own a cafe you know you are a little different than your average restaurant. You don’t often have a large staff of waiters and chefs. You have a guy in the back who puts together some entree’s, someone working the cash register, and someone to serve the food. That’s it, you don’t need much.
Most of the time you get your customers from passerby’s, walk-ins, and word of mouth. But it’s time to get new people with new ideas. So what’s the next big idea? Online marketing. It’s the next big step in branding and advertising your cafe. It may sound crazy at first, but thousands of restaurants have put the Internet to the test, and have had positive results.
The first step you take is to get a website. Everyone has a website so it must be easy- right? A website can be as easy or as complicated as you want it to be. It can also be as extremely cheap, or it can be so expensive that it eats up your yearly advertising budget. The important thing to remember is quality. What your website looks like says a lot about you and your company. Think about your target audience. If you were a customer looking for your cafe online would like to stop in an browse for a while at yourcafe.com? Or is hard to navigate and read? Does it have nice graphics? Does it show menus and prices? Is there a daily or weekly special that is updated and current? Small details like these will make the difference in how well you will do online.
The second step is to actually market your website so you can be seen and placed in front of traffic who are looking for you. First you have to think of keywords that people might use to find you. Something someone would type into a search engine like Google, Yahoo or Msn. A phrase like “Smoothies in downtown La Mesa, CA” or “Best cafe in Portland”. It’s crucial to target people in your local area so your online traffic will actually be able to get to you.
Next you need to do some SEO or Search Engine Optimization. If you have never heard that term before or don’t know what it means, don’t worry- it basically means that you will be on the first page in every search engine. When people type in your keywords, you will come up first every time. There are several tricks you can use to get ranked. Article writing, blog posts, back links, videos, sub-domains, etc. The list can seem endless. Within the past few years there have been several companies popping up, who know the system and know what it takes to get your business on top. Do some research, talk to them and see what they have to offer.