Online Restaurant Marketing – Facebook Advertising

Learn how to take advantage of your Facebook advertising to drive traffic to your restaurant and generate more sales. Includes a basic restaurant marketing strategy.

Published: 22 days ago

Facebook boasts one of the biggest advertising networks available and is a great way to get more exposure for your business. If you’ve come this far, you’re probably already sold on the idea of Facebook Ad’ so let us jump right into it.

Please note, the information here may no longer be valid at a later date if Facebook changes how things work and this page is not updated.

How Facebook Ads Are Structured

Campaigns

A campaign forms the base for Facebook advertising in a broad sense. The main focus of a campaign is choosing an objective. What are you trying to achieve? Facebook gives you 3 types of objectives to choose from, awareness, consideration, and conversion. Each of these has sub-goals of which you must select one. Facebook will focus on optimizing your ad’s based on your goal. That’s why selecting the correct goal is crucial.

Awareness

Awareness is about building your brand and getting people to recognize it. It’s not so much about selling as it is about becoming known. The two awareness goals are:

  • Brand awareness – focused on reaching as many people as possible who might be interested in your product
  • Reach – showing your ad to as many people as possible

Consideration

This is about building leads, generating more direct interest, educating your customer and getting people to prospect your product. There are several sub goals available:

  • Traffic – increasing traffic to your website or Facebook page
  • Engagement – get more engagement with your social media content such as likes, shares etc.
  • App installs – getting people to download your app
  • Video views – getting people to see your videos
  • Lead generation – generate sales leads such as emails from potential prospects
  • Messages – getting people to contact you on Facebook

Conversion

The direct sell, getting people to buy your product. There are 3 types of goals available here

  • Conversions – getting people to sign up, make a purchase on your site, or take some form of action
  • Product catalog sales – directly sell your products in the form of a Facebook ad
  • Store visits – drive traffic to your physical store location

Ad Set

A campaign is made up of ad-sets. Each ad-set holds a number of individual ad’s that will be shown on the ad network. The reason it is structured this way is so that you can easily track how each ad is performing relative to your ad-set which in turn allows you to optimize your advertising.

The settings for each ad-set will be slightly different depending on what type of campaign goal you selected. For example, if you selected conversion for your goal, you can setup how Facebook will track a conversion. There are some common settings across all ad-sets, there are as follows:

Budget

Your budget allows you to control how much you want to spend on advertising. The beauty of Facebook ads is that you can spend very little and start seeing some results. Spending even $2-$5 a day is enough to get some results and gather some data. The budget settings also allow you to set a schedule for when ad’s will be run or you can run them indefinitely.

Audience

This is perhaps the most important thing you can control. Your audience determines the people that Facebook will be showing your ad to. Setting an incorrect audience can make or break your marketing campaign. You can only do this correctly if you have accurately identified who your customers are. You have the following options available to you when creating an audience.

  • Locations
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Languages
  • Detailed targeting based on demographics, interests, behaviors, likes, purchases etc.
  • Connections, i.e. people who have visited your website, liked your Facebook page, etc.

With the above options, you can get super creative and test many different marketing strategies. For example, you can create an ad-set specifically around promoting your latest offers to people who have liked your Facebook page.

Placement

These settings control where Facebook will be showing your ad. Facebook’s advertising network extends far beyond just the Facebook platform. It also includes Instagram, Messenger and an extended audience network that is part of apps and websites. It’s important to consider whether or not some placements are relevant to your product. Thankfully food is something almost everyone loves and works well across most mediums so you can’t go wrong with most of the placement types.

Potential Reach & Audience Definition

Based on how you configured the above settings, Facebook will calculate your potential advertising reach, i.e. the number of people that will be shown your ad. It will also tell you whether your audience is broad or narrow.

Naturally the more targeting restrictions you place on your ad-set, the smaller your audience size will be. This is known as a narrow audience. The advantage of this is, everyone in your audience is likely to be more relevant to your business and therefore should yield better conversions.

Whereas a broader audience might have a larger potential reach but you also risk showing your ad to people who are less likely to be interested in your product.

If your business only has one location, you can expect your potential reach to be quite small. This is because there’s no point in targeting people who cannot access your product.

Ads

As stated before, every ad-set is made up of ads. Ads refer to the actual media that you want to show to the end user. Every ad consists of the following parts.

Identity

This is the author of the advert and it will be shown alongside the ad. The identity can be any Facebook page that you are an admin off. Your page’s profile picture will be shown alongside the ad along with the name of your Facebook page. You also have the opportunity to link an Instagram account to use that profile pic for adverts on Instagram.

Format

This is the actual type of ad that you want to show to your customer. There are several types to choose from.

  • Carousel – 2 or more images in a slider
  • Single image – create up to 6 individual ads with a unique photo
  • Single video
  • Slideshow – up to 10 images looping
  • Collection – a series of items that opens into a customer full-screen page

Each format is unique and has its own benefits. Generally speaking, customers want to see delicious food and a great atmosphere. A format like a carousel, slideshow, and collection work well for this.
Videos are also great but making a good video will cost time and money. I would advise beginners to stay away from this unless you have someone with experience to guide you through this or a great budget.

You also have the option to configure what Facebook calls the “Full-Screen Experience” which is almost like a compact custom website to showcase some important information. This will be shown when a user selects your advert. They provide pre-defined templates to easily get started and it’s worth considering.

After selecting your format, you will need to upload the relevant images or media. Each format has its own unique requirement in terms of artwork resolution. You will also need to fill out some specific details such as what your ad will say, it’s title etc.

Facebook Ad Requirements

Patience

Seriously, it can take a bit of time to wrap your head around all the different parts. Thankfully google is your best friend, if you get stuck, definitely try searching google for the problem as other people have almost certainly experienced it. The main Facebook business page at https://www.facebook.com/business/ has lots of information and guides for setting everything up. You might find answers there as well if you get stuck.

Facebook Page

You will need a Facebook page to be the identity of an ad campaign. Most business already have one by now. If you don’t have a Facebook page, there are plenty of great guides on to create one. Or if you are logged into Facebook, the arrow on the top right corner leads to a menu with the option “Create Page”. Simply follow the steps to set up your page.

Configure Facebook Business Settings & Your Store Location

Visit https://business.facebook.com and select or create a business manager profile. This interface may be a bit overwhelming at first. You will need to go to the pages section and add your Facebook page to your business manager account.

Then to add your store location, when you are in your business manager settings, select the menu icon on the top left. At the bottom, hover your mouse over “All Tools” and expand out the menu. Then under “Assets” select “Business Locations”. Follow the steps to create your business location. You might need to verify your location. See the following article for Facebooks guide on doing this - https://www.facebook.com/business/help/174184552932540

The benefit of adding your store location is that you can now use the “Store Visits” goal type for advertisements. I’m not exactly sure how Facebook tracks this. If I had to take a guess, and this is nothing but a guess, I’d say they can detect if a user has visited that store using their mobile device location.

Artwork & Images

Keep a copy of all your business artwork handy. Images such as logos, pictures of your store or dishes are all very helpful. It will also be helpful if you know how to resize and crop your images as you will almost definitely need to do this at some point. There are many different ways to do this, you can use Microsoft paint or online tools like https://www.canva.com or https://imageresize.org/. Tools like photoshop are best but they can be expensive and overly complicated for the layman.

A Basic Food Business Facebook Advertising Strategy

Identify Your Most Important Customers

Entire business books can be written on this topic. To keep it short, make a list of your most important types of customers and some of their attributes. An example might be:

Office Worker

  • Age 25-50s
  • Frequently purchases lunch during work break
  • Limited on time
  • Has a specific daily budget and is likely cost sensitive
  • Looking for easy to eat food that is served fast

The more detailed your analysis, the better you will be able to target your Facebook Ads.

Create A Facebook Ad Campaign (Store Visits Goal)

Once you have identified your customers, jump onto Facebook and create your first camping by selecting the “Create Campaign” button under your advertising dashboard or visit https://www.facebook.com/ads/manager/creation/creation/

After that, you will need to configure the entire structure of your Facebook campaign as discussed above. Facebook guides you through the whole process and provides information on each step. You simply need to follow the steps and enter all your information.
Keep in mind, it might take a few sessions before you are actually able to complete all the information and launch the ad campaign. To quickly re-cap the process and what you will need to do the following.

  1. Create a campaign with the store visits goal
  2. Create an ad-set for each of your customer types.
  3. Create the actual adverts that will be shown to customers.
  4. Launch campaign and wait for Facebook approval

Campaign & Advertising Tips

Creating an Accurate Ad-Set

When creating an ad-set, you will need to translate your customer profile into Facebook’s targeting options. For example, going off the office worker example above, you can set the age to 25-50s and set the location to within the major office areas. Beyond that, the 3 major areas that you can filter between and some of their sub filters include

  • Demographic
    -- Income level
    -- Education
    -- Political affiliation
    -- Gender
    -- Relationship
    -- Career
  • Interests
    -- Shopping
    -- Food
    -- Entertainment
  • Behaviors
    -- Purchases
    -- Travel
    -- User’s mobile device choice

Take your time setting the correct filters to match your customer type. Doing this incorrectly will only result in your advert being shown to the wrong people and you will end up losing money with no returns.

Start Focused & Narrow

Don’t try to target every single person near you. It’s very likely there are segments of people who have no interest in your product. Maybe you can educate them and convince them to buy your product but that’s a difficult process.

Instead, start by focusing and your most valuable customer groups until you are no longer able to see returns. Only then should you branch out

Always Monitor, Test & Experiment

Facebook makes it easy to track how well your advertisement is performing. That combined with the fact that you can easily run multiple types of ads means that you can test easily what works and what doesn’t. When you initially start, don’t be afraid to try new ad types, images, wording, etc. You will need to experiment to see what works well.

Facebook Offers

Facebook offers are perfect for promoting new deals and discounts that you have available. They are a type of advert. See their official guide for more information https://www.facebook.com/help/410451192330456

Re-target Existing Customers

Facebook ads can be targeted specifically at people who have liked your page or interacted with your business in some way. This includes those who have visited your website, liked your page or signed up for your newsletter. This is very useful as these are your most interested customers. Focusing on advertising and promoting offers to them is likely to provide a much better return on investment.

Additional Reading & Information

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