Search Engine Pros Presenting At IAPA (Independent Automotive Professionals Association)

Search Engine Pros Presenting At IAPA (Independent Automotive Professionals Association)

Santa Barbara, CA – May 15th, 2013 – Local marketing strategist Taylor Reaumewas invited by Ayers Repairs to speak at this months IAPA Independent Automotive Professionals Association meeting on Wednesday, May 15th • 7pm Mulligan’s $23 Per Person Taylor Reaume, SEO Expert – How To Make Your Advertising Work For Free and in JUST A FEW MINUTES A DAY!

IAPA (Independent Automotive Professionals Association) is a trade association comprised of highly professional automotive repair specialists.  IAPA provides business resources for its members and promotes professionalism in the automotive service industry.  They strive to create goodwill between the motoring public and the automotive profession.  This creates an atmosphere of personal responsibility to clients.

Taylor Reaume is the founder of Santa Barbara marketing company Search Engine Pros.  Automotive industry professionals attending the event will learn new ways to promote their automobile business using Google and online marketing methods.  

“Generally, we have found the automobile repair industry to be behind the curve when it comes to online marketing methods.   There is less competition on Google in the automotive space when compared to other industries.  My advice is to get online. Get ranked. Before the rest of the pack starts to catch up and saturate the market with competitive web strategy. ” says Reaume, owner of Search Engine Pros, a Santa Barbara internet marketing firm.

Finding a marketing company with a full range of marketing services, including SEO and social media, is a smart move for automotive professionals today.  With Google being such a large part of the marketing mix today, marketing agencieswhose core focus is SEO marketing are emerging as particularly attractive to business owners.

Reaume walks the talk and has built a successful Santa Barbara marketing company through educating and empowering locals at his weekly Santa Barbara Web Design and SEO Workshop (offered Thursdays at 5:30pm-6:30pm at 629 State Street). Reaume covers topics such as Google Adwords strategy, WordPress design, search engine optimization (SEO), SEO campaign management, branding consulting, and social media marketing.  Reaume adds, “Web marketing and social media are the lowest cost tools for building a business today.”

Restaurant Marketing in 2013: Why Storytelling Matters

Restaurant Marketing in 2013: Why Storytelling Matters

Restaurant marketing consultants everywhere are talking about the power of social media and local SEO.  But very few restaurant marketing consultants are talking about the power of storytelling.

There are some very empty restaurants out there serving good food. There are also some very crowded restaurants serving OK food. Why are some restaurants busier than others? Did they hire a restaurant marketing company?  What’s their secret restaurant marketing sauce?

Just as there are many flavors of ice cream, there are many flavors of restaurant marketing. When it comes to marketing a restaurant, there’s a particularly effective flavor, called Storytelling.  Restaurant marketing ideas, trends and strategies are helpful, but the secret sauce to powerful restaurant marketing is about great storytelling.

Great food and great beer is a pre-requisite.  But what does your restaurant offer that others don’t.  Marketers call this your unique selling proposition, or USP. Forget about “lowest price” or “best quality”, how are you REALLY different? The best points of difference are remarkably subtle. 

Shaping perceptions in the mind of the customer base is where many restaurant owners tend to get lazy.   Smart bar owners are constantly focusing on their points of difference and storytelling in a smart way to win over the influencers.

restaurant marketing influencers

Not all bar flys are created equal.

There are two types of bar flys.  You want the “influencer” type.  Not the loner type.  Influencers are the cool kids…the class clowns.  They typically have a large influence over a large circle of friends in close proximity to the bar. Usually these influencer type bar flys are great storytellers.

Last year, I spoke to a bar owner who estimated that his “influencer” bar fly added $100,000+ to his bottom line at year end. (This  puts the cost of working with a marketing agency into perspective. )

What’s your restaurants story?  What do you stand for?  Are you clear about it?  Is your staff clear?  It’s true you can’t be all things to all people, so don’t try. However, certain brand traits are non divisive and appeal to the majority without diluting the brand.  For example, are you supportive of animal shelters? (animal loving bar flys) Do you love bicycling? (bicycle loving bar flys) Do you provide free, helpful information about the local music events in town? (music loving bar flys). A professional marketing agency can help you gain clarity.

Santa Barbara Marketing Online Web Design Branding Strategy

How do I market my restaurant cost effectively?

After clearly defining your brand, it’s time to choose a “platform” from which you can speak your brand messages.  Let’s talk about communicating those points of difference to the masses. I’m not talking bumper stickers people!

social media marketing

Unless you’re a chain, direct mail, radio, television are often too expensive.  Locally owned restaurants owners are competing on a different level.  Smaller fish need to swim faster with a sophisticated social media, SEO and web marketing plan to stay competitive.

Social media, search engine optimization and email marketing are newer, better, more cost effective ways to spread the word.  By using these lower cost online marketing platforms to communicate your unique selling proposition, bar profits, and bar flys will increase.

Advanced restaurant marketing plans require critical thinking sessions with a marketing consultant every week.  The world of online marketing moves fast and staying current is crucial to success.  The marketing consultant should ideally have a degree in marketing and many years of experience in the field.   Testimonials are a good indicator of their track record.

restaurant marketing Ideas

“Break the illusion of separation with your customer base, one story at a time.”

The best restaurant marketing ideas tell stories about the people who work there, about the food, the patrons, the thinking behind the food. Like any good story, these are elements that help potential customers identify in some way with the restaurant. More connections = more likability.

restaurant marketing trends

Facebook just happens to be one of the easiest, and most effective platforms for storytelling in 2013.  So USE IT!  However, keep away from political commentary. Restaurateurs making divisive political comments on Facebook or Twitter will lose more customers than they make.

Google Reviews Restaurant Marketing

Local SEO with keyword research, directory submissions and reviews are three additional focus areas for restaurant owners. These are specialized marketing tactics that restaurant owners should consider allowing professional marketers to help with every month.  Staying competitive in business requires specialization of roles to keep operations running smoothly.

Optimize your web site for local search keywords your customers, and tourists, type into Google when searching for your business. Use your blog to add value to the reader.  Websites aren’t just for large companies; now more than ever, small local businesses are realizing the importance of having a website and implementing an Internet marketing strategy. Engage in local SEO practices and be sure you get a keyword research report from a reliable online marketing company before you start optimizing your site.

Internet directories are the new yellow pages.  Since the internet is the #1 place people go to find a restaurant now, it makes sense to get listed in as many local directories as possible.  There are 100’s of local directories in your area – find them and get listed.

Yelp Restaurant Marketing Tips

Yelp and Google reviews are the black swans for restaurant owners today. Online restaurant restaurant reviews are perhaps the most overlooked area of restaurant marketing today. It’s important to get creative and find ways to increase the number of positive reviews on Google Plus and Yelp.  Consider teaming up with local food bloggers and turn them into brand ambassadors. Woo local food bloggers into reviewing your restaurant in return for a free meal. The back links will increase Google rankings, and the positive review will help your reputation.

Grow your email database and you’ll grow your restaurant business. Compared to direct marketing, email marketing is a less expensive way to stay top of mind with those bar flys.  Keep customers informed with educational, entertaining, engaging information through your email newsletter every month, tie the content into social media and blog.

Restaurants need to market themselves – how they tell their story and explain why customers should give them a try is critical to long term success. Restaurants need to communicate consistently and creatively to their audience, and not go broke in the process.  Get with a smart marketing company that’s familiar with the low cost, effective marketing tools and tactics.  There are literally 100’s of no cost ways to market a business with the internet today. Learn them, and execute consistently.

restaurant marketing ideas

Can I do it all by myself?

Can you cut your hair all by yourself?   Well maybe yes, but how do you think it will turn out?  Smart bar owners stay focused on what they do best, running the bar, and let a professional marketer do what they do best, shaping perceptions and winning the influencers.

Execution is everything. A tennis player does not have time to stop mid swing and figure out how to swing the racket.   You have to go fast and stay consistent each month with your messaging.  Brand building is all about being ubiquitous in the mind of the customer base.

The need to improve perceptions about your restaurant hasn’t changed, but the mediums for doing so have changed dramatically in recent years (social media, blogging, email marketing, SEO press releases, online reviews).  Smart bar owners are using these new mediums to “influence the influencers” with smart brand messages.

Always remember, you could have a better product or service than your competitor, but if they’re telling a better story than you are, they’ll outsell you all year long.  It’s all about GREAT storytelling. This is an ancient truth in marketing, and it’s especially relevant for restaurants and bars.

Above all, stay consistent with your marketing every month and your restaurant business will be more successful this year.  Good luck, and here’s to capturing more market share and more bar flys in 2013.

Taylor Reaume

Founder/e-business Coach

Santa Barbara Marketing Founder Taylor Reaume