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How retargeting ads can level-up your restaurant marketing game

Melanie Birtles

If you run a restaurant, you probably use some form of digital advertising. And you’ve likely spent a good chunk of time crafting your online ads to include the perfect messaging,  imagery and those carefully selected SEO keywords. 

These efforts are important in establishing your brand, but they might only be doing half the job. 

What happens after someone clicks your ad, visits your site and then leaves? Are you leveraging the opportunity to market to these visitors again through remarketing and retargeting?

According to Google, you can increase your conversion rate by up to 50% when you combine your existing advertising with retargeting and remarketing. That could mean a significant bump in reservations at your bistro or bar.

Read our blog: How Google ads affiliate location extension can supercharge your sales

What is retargeting and remarketing? 

Retargeting and remarketing efforts are designed to reach audiences who are already familiar with your business in some way — they’ve visited your website, signed up for a newsletter or are an existing customer. Remarketing is delivered via email, while retargeting happens through display ads on Facebook and Google. 

Both have the same goal as your overall marketing strategy: Convert visitors into customers and browsers into buyers. With retargeting, you specifically target visitors who’ve already demonstrated a curiosity about your brand. Deliver more of your ads to engaged visitors and you can create and build more connections with potential customers. 

Have you ever searched for a pair of sneakers and, after browsing a few online stores that sell them, you start seeing ads for those sneakers popping up when you’re visiting other websites or your Instagram feed? That’s retargeting at work.

It’s a fantastic opportunity for restaurants to reach a wider customer base and encourage repeat patronage.

When to use retargeting campaigns

Build brand awareness. Use retargeting to keep your restaurant top-of-mind. Visitors to your site may have arrived via a search, one of your ads or a shared link. They’ve shown an interest. By targeting these on-the-fence visitors with your ads — with your business’s logo, images and messaging — they’ll keep seeing your brand in their online travels. Repetition makes you memorable.

Promote new offerings. Do you have a new menu or house specialty you’d like to promote? Retargeting ads can be targeted specifically to repeat visitors to your website. Show that yummy new entree to customers who already love your restaurant!

Highlight popular items. People like to know what other people like — and it can influence their decision whether to try something new. What are the most popular items on your menu? Show customers your most-ordered entrees and your best-selling desserts. This type of remarketing works for both repeat customers and potential diners who are still deciding. 

Offer a discount, promote specials. Retargeting ads are powerful because they are displayed to viewers who already have an interest in your business. If a potential customer has heard of your restaurant and they see an offer for 2-for-1 appetizers, that’s stronger potential for a conversion. A desirable — and timely — offer might be the catalyst to get that viewer to take the next step and book a table.

Read our blog: Six ways restaurants can dominate voice search marketing & why voice search matters for restaurants

Make your retargeted ads matter

So, what makes a retargeting ad or remarketing email pop? Remember, the audience already has some idea of what your restaurant offers. This is your chance to remind them why your eatery is the best place for their next meal. Engage those foodies and lead them to your door. 

  • Visual appeal: Show people enjoying themselves in your space, eating your delicious food. Help them visualize how much they’ll love the experience of your restaurant.
  • Simple messaging: Keep the overall message simple with one clear theme. Do you have a live music night or special tasting menu? Use a retargeting ad to promote one event, announcement (‘We now serve brunch!’) or promotion.  
  • Clear call-to-action: Give viewers a reason to click. Make it clear what action you want them to take: get a discount code, enter a contest, view a special menu, book a table.

When you want to reach the most diners, you need more than one marketing channel. Retargeting ads and remarketing emails can be a fantastic — and budget-friendly — way to extend your reach and connect with not-yet-converted and existing customers. Both Facebook and Google Ads have helpful guides to get the most from your ads.

Read our blog: 5 highly-effective digital marketing strategies for Canadian franchise

Ready to get started? Our team of digital marketing experts can help you build high-impact retargeting campaigns to generate more leads and new business. Get in touch with Creative Guild today to find out more.

Meta description: Get your restaurant noticed by more potential diners and connect more customers with your fantastic food using remarketing and retargeting marketing strategies.