Once upon a time, in a grungy basement, someone had an idea to start delivering pizzas. The pizza lover went on to design a website revolved around his from-home business and it began thriving and has now become an international franchise – while this story might not be entirely factual, it is neither far-fetched nor impractical.
Technology has allowed people to find success in their own backyards, selling the things they love and on their own terms. However, the one element many forget to dream about is how to get the people into their store. The build it and they will come mindset is no longer the prevalent mindset. People pass storefronts all day long and may remember a specific store when they get home or in a spare of the moment thought. That is where marketing becomes a focus. Getting those people who pass by your storefront to remember your business. Customers remembering you is what keeps the business running and growing. Let’s take a pizza ria as a case example:
Create a local listing online for your business. There are more and more people searching the internet (search engines) for the terms like pizza in their area. Local listings make it easier to filter the results of businesses within a certain radius, city, zip code or neighborhood making it easier to be found in a search. Adding at least 1 photo of the categories of what you sell and the storefront gives a potential customer a visual of what to expect. Online listing also gives you an ability to tell your hours, where you are located, and even price point. When you choose to upload your photos they should be of stock photo quality, and a video of the place or a group of photos will help customers recognize and choose your business.
Go mobile. This includes two areas: mobile messaging and apps. Let’s explore each separately. Mobile messaging is sending customers (with their approval) messages, notifications and email. This is a good choice to further your marketing because people tend to read the short messages a lot faster than email. With this method you can tailor it to meet the needs of a large customer base as well.
A mobile app allows customers to interact with you before actually pulling up to your storefront. Through a well made app you can offer your customers the ability to create an order and then pick it up if they choose.
Actively use social media. Many times a business will post about a special and that is it. You need to engage the customers. For example, read feedback answer questions and tell them of specials or new menu items. Through social media you can invite new customers to come and try out your menu, have current customers to like, follow and or share your social media.
The best social media platforms to use for pizza business marketing are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. All of these platforms allow you to share photos of your food, physical location and gives you a place to connect with current and potential customers as well. Most search engine searches include these in the results so when customers want to connect through social media they will see you as well. Besides most people check out the social media profiles of businesses as soon as they hear of the name.
Another advantage to using social media is for advertising. You can offer contests, and giveaways and use social media to spread the information around the users or visitors of a particular platform. All of this without having to spend money on commercial print ads. Many companies still use both. You can also buy advertising on these platforms as well to attract customers within your region.
Use contests effectively: Stores offer contests and giveaways all the time. Think about what you want the customer to do. Is your contest to inform customers of a new menu item, a new location, or even a holiday? All these make good reasons to hold contests. Is the contest going to be giving away a huge prize or a small or even food prize? Who are your winners going to be? All of these topics should be considered as you plan the campaign.
In the 21st century, it is no longer practical to rely solely on traditional means of advertising or promotion, but rather, using the extensive digital platform available to all.