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Fast-casual restaurants certainly have their own unique needs when it comes to online marketing. Since your objective is to reach a certain type of audience, you may learn toward certain digital marketing strategies.

If you’re a fast-casual restaurant, here are five proven marketing strategies that will help you meet your core objectives.

Explore Your Options

There seems to be a never-ending amount of new and emerging digital marketing technology and tactics for different businesses, including fast-casual restaurants.

For example, geo-fencing allows you to target audiences within close proximity to your restaurant and serve them ads on social media that entice them to stop in or order online.

You can also take a look at what your competitors are doing and use it as inspiration for your digital marketing strategy. Take it a step further by doing a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) of the current state of your online marketing efforts and use it to brainstorm ways to get a leg up on the competition.

Use Data to Create Compelling Campaigns

Perhaps one of the most sure-fire digital marketing strategies to increase your return and contribute to your bottom line is to learn from the data you have about your customers including both transactional and behavioral data.

Since all the work of capturing that data is done by your customer engagement platform, you can quickly and easily create compelling messages and offers to keep guests loyal and engaged. You can send targeted offers via email or text that are completely relevant to customers’ past purchases and interests. When creating future online marketing campaigns, you’ll have critical insights that will allow you to reap much higher return and engagement.

Create a Loyal Customer Base

It goes without saying that customer loyalty is easily one of the most critical digital marketing strategies a fast-casual restaurant can implement. In fact, a 2017 HT Restaurant Technology Study found that past consumer engagement is a top strategic goal for the industry.

Creating a loyal customer following means building a database of your best customers, engaging them through personalized and targeted experiences, and acquiring more valuable customers like them to grow your business. It gives your fast-casual restaurant a competitive edge by allowing you to directly communicate with an owned audience where you own the data, own the experience and own the results.

Invest in Good Content

Fast-casual restaurants have the unique duty of stimulating the palette while also providing good service, all in a timely manner. While that’s typically achieved, customer perception tends to differ.

Fortunately, your online content can provide the opportunity to manage those perceptions and get customers in the door. You can do this by making sure that the imagery of your website and menu is high-quality and accurately portrays the product. You also have the opportunity to get creative with the copy. Describe mouth-watering details of menu items or talk about the fast service and excellent experience your guests will have.

Remember the “Strategy” Component

Although it’s easy to create a digital marketing strategy and roll it out, the truth is that a large part of “strategizing” is stopping and looking at what worked and what didn’t.

Restaurant operators should pencil in time for an annual review of what marketing strategies worked and what didn’t. Then use this information to plan ahead. It rings true that one carefully devised fast-casual restaurant digital marketing strategy is more valuable than several, haphazard or “stale” strategies. The key to fast-casual restaurant success is understanding what excites your customers and using that to connect and engage them in memorable ways that set you apart from the competition.

Wrap up

At the end of the day, there are many fast-casual digital marketing initiatives you can try. However, the best place to start is with the data you have about your customers so you can create loyal, engaged customers that love your business and return over and over again.