Updated: Mar 10
Our marketing agency is very familiar with all the latest marketing strategies for catering companies, and it’s one of our favorite industries to market. In this blog post, we share some great strategies you should keep in mind as you prepare your marketing strategy for your new or existing catering business.
Here is a quick outline of all the topics we will cover in this blog post
• Advertising strategies to help you generate 6-figure revenues
• The best management tools & CRM to use for your catering business
• How to close more deals by using proposals
• How to write blogs for your business
• What kind of website you should get
• Best directories to submit your business listing
• Importance of reviews
• Why you should get a brand story video for your business
• And much more
Let’s get started.
A CHEAP WEBSITE WILL COST YOU MILLIONS IN LOST REVENUE
This is by far the most important topic we are going to cover, that’s why we decided to have this as the first paragraph in our blog post. Most entrepreneurs when they start their business, they try to find the cheapest website designer they can find. They settle for an average looking website, thinking that it’s not that important. This is why most businesses fail within the first year.
If you cheap out on your website, chances are your website designer is not going to spend a lot of time making this site look fancy and beautiful. They are going to spend minimal amount of time and just give you a plain looking website. This is where it all goes wrong.
Let’s say you get a cheap looking website and you come to us and hire us for your marketing, we are going to create ad campaigns for you on Google, were are going to drive lots of traffic to your website. You know what’s going to happen? Customers aren’t going to contact you. No calls, no emails. Why? Because your website doesn't look good. Doesn't impress your audience. They are going to go on Google and search for another catering company. Once they see how awesome your competitor's website looks, they are going to book with them. You just wasted your advertising budget, and your website just cost you money and lost revenue.
Here’s how to do it right.
Hire a great website designer, who is going to build you an amazing looking website. So that when it comes time to do advertising on Google, all the visitors we generate for your website will convert into solid leads for your business. Your website is going to be your most powerful lead gen strategy; most businesses often ignore the importance of having a good website, and this is the reason why only a handful of companies dominate any given niche while the vast majority struggle to grow their catering business.
Don’t just hire a website designer, try to find an agency that can build you a great looking website and also create marketing campaigns that will generate you qualified leads for your business. Our agency specializes in website design and online marketing, so this is something we can definitely help you with. We decided to specialize in both services since they go hand in hand. You need a great marketing that will generate lots of website visitors, and you need a great looking website that will convert those visitors into customers.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU HAVE NO PORTFOLIO
Most of the time when we meet with entrepreneurs, we often hear them say “we don’t have a lot in our portfolio to show on our website. If you are in this position, we recommend you to use stock photos to make your site look great. When you use stock photos on your website, make sure you actually know how to prepare the food in the photos, so that when customers ask you, you can confidently say that you can make the same dish in the photo. If are just starting out, use stock photos but as you grow your business and get more catering projects, make sure you take some professional photos of your own and slowly start replacing the stock photos on your website with your own professional images.
Here are links to some of the best stock photo websites.
PAID STOCK PHOTO WEBSITES
FREE STOCK PHOTO WEBSITES
JOIN INDUSTRY FACEBOOK GROUPS
No matter what industry you are in, you can always find networking groups that are relevant to your business. If you are a caterer, consider joining a wedding networking group. In these groups, you can meet other vendors in the event industry who can potentially refer clients to you in the future. Take some time to meet wedding planners, photographers, venue owners and start making friends with them. Not only can you recommend clients to them when you are having consultations with your clients, but they can also refer clients to you as well and you both benefit. Here are some links to wedding Facebook groups in the Toronto area. If you live somewhere else outside of Toronto, you can go to the Facebook search bar and type in “city name + wedding group” or “city name + wedding networking.”.
FACEBOOK VENDOR NETWORKING GROUPS
Say hello to everyone’s favorite search engine. Why Google Ads? Well, its one of the first marketing strategies we use for all of our new clients. Google is probably one of the most reliable advertising strategies in the world. It is the best bridge that connects you to the exact audience that is most likely to buy your services.
HOW IT WORKS?
Let’s say you have an event coming up, and you need someone to do the catering, but you have no idea how to find one. What do you do? You are probably going to go on Google and type in “catering company Toronto” or any other city name. Let’s say you are in Glendale California; you will probably type in “catering company Glendale.” Google is going to show you 1 page of all the local catering companies in your area, and you are probably going to figure out which one to choose for your next event. If you noticed that your website is nowhere on the first page, you are missing out on a lot of potential customers who should be doing business with you. Get in touch with us. Our team can help you get more traffic with Google advertising.
GOOGLE REMARKETING ADS
Have you ever visited a website and noticed their ads seem to show on every single website you visit, that is called remarketing. When you visit a website, the Google ad platform keeps track of all your visitors through your ad campaigns by using cookies. Then you as an advertiser can show ads again when they leave your website and visit other websites on the internet. Instead of text ads, you now have the ability to show banner ads to your previous visitors when they visit other websites. You can give them another added incentive to visit your website or to follow up with them contextually until they are ready to make a buying decision. Catering leads will typically take a few days until your visitors make up their minds and take action by contacting you. So it’s well worth it to have a remarketing campaign that does all the following up for you until they are ready to buy.
Using Facebook ads to get more leads is another great strategy if you are a local business. You can target all the top companies in your area and have a promo that talks about your catering services. You can also create ad campaigns to promote lunch catering to businesses in the area that need food for large corporate get-togethers.
Some of the top catering companies in your area are already using it and you should too. The benefit of Facebook ads is the lower cost of advertising than Google Ads. You can buy a lot more clicks on Facebook for less cost than Google. However, as more businesses start advertising on Facebook, the cost of advertising will rise. However, if you have a great strategy, great service, and a good brand. You can stand out in your local area and stay on top of the competition, regardless of how competitive it gets. Here are some campaign ideas that could work well with Facebook Ads.
• Ad campaigns to promote lunch catering to businesses in your business area.
• Wedding catering service targeting couples who are “engaged” on Facebook.
• Party catering ad campaigns targeting people that are having upcoming birthdays.
• Ad campaigns targeting corporate companies in your area to promote your catering services.
If you visited a website that takes their online marketing very seriously, you will notice that as soon as you visit their website and leave. The next time you check your Facebook app, their ads will show up in your news-feed. This is called Facebook Remarketing. We typically see large businesses take advantage of this marketing strategy or local businesses that are proactive about their lead gen strategy. Be sure to take advantage of remarketing; this gives you another way to impress your website visitors, so they choose you over the competition.
GET REVIEWS OR TESTIMONIALS
Getting positive reviews is one of the greatest assets you can have as a catering company. Since catering is a high-priced service, it does take a lot of convincing to get customers to sign a contract with you or other catering companies. One of the best ways you can decrease your time spent selling is by having lots and lots of great testimonials. If you are in a position where you have 150, 5-star reviews and your 2nd best competitor only has 20, 5-star reviews guess who is going to book more events? Probably the one with 150 reviews. Customers are spending a lot of money on their catering; they just want to know for sure that the company they hired is going to deliver on their promise and give them great service and of course, great food. Work on getting those reviews, it will make booking easier, and the ad campaigns we create for you will work a lot better.
When we do Google ads for our clients, once they visit your website, the second thing they will do is check your reviews, once they see your reviews, they will contact you for an appointment, and you will find that the consultation goes a lot smoother. This is because they know you are a trustworthy professional and they treat you with the respect you deserve. On the other hand, customers that have consultations with competing catering companies who don’t have a lot of good reviews will find themselves working extra hard to close deals.
Because customers are worried if they can trust this business or not. Make it easy for you and your customers by having lots of great reviews. We recommend you to get lots of reviews on Google over any other review platform. Another reason why you should get all of your reviews on Google is that when we start doing SEO for your catering company, your website will rank much faster if you have tons of reviews on your Google local listing account. The search ranking algorithm looks at many factors when deciding how to rank websites, and one of the most important ranking factors are the number of reviews a website has on their Google maps page.
If you are a catering company that wants to offer their services for weddings. You should definitely get your website listed on wedding directors. Having a business profile on some great local wedding websites can help you get free clients, and if you are happy with the quality of leads you are getting, you can always go for a paid membership profile. Go for a trial before you enter a long-term agreement with any directory. As they fluctuate on their own marketing spend.
USE CRM SOFTWARE
As your business grows and you have tons of clients and lots to manage, you should look into getting a CRM software so that you can keep your business organized. Here are links to the top CRM software we found. Have a look at their features and see which one you like best. Most CRM software are very affordable and perfect for start-up catering companies.
GET A BRAND STORY VIDEO
One amazing way you can stand out from the competition is to have a video on your website that acts as an introduction to your brand and your business. Your brand story video should have an introduction of the founder and the story of why they created the business, intro of all the amazing staff members in your organization along with a highlight reel of all the events you worked on with shots of the food you cooked for your events. If you go to YouTube and search for “catering company” you will see a lot of great examples and ideas you can learn from. Have a look at what’s out there, and it will give you an idea of how you would like to introduce your company in video format. If you would like to have a brand story video produced, get in touch with us and we can recommend you some of our friends who can help you.
Here are a few links of videos we found that you can look at for inspiration.