• Aleya Harris

Top 10 Ways to Grow Your Catering Business with Online Ads

Sharing cuisine, helping people plan special events, and creating unforgettable memories is your passion. Spreading the word about your love for culinary delights and capturing memories with potential clients is your goal. I will show you the top ten ways to grow your catering business with online ads.

Reaching your audience using Facebook and Google ads is easier than ever—especially when you want to grow your catering and events business. Use paid ads to help spread the word about your delicious offerings and services. The lead magnet in your ad will help attract more customers.

Using the tips and strategies I outline below, you’ll get more customers quickly and grow your catering and events business. Working in the food industry doesn’t mean solely depending on word-of-mouth referrals. I can show you how to embrace the power of digital marketing and understand how much it can work to your advantage.

Marketing Funnel Explained

You may wonder why your catering of event business needs a marketing funnel. If you have one, it automates the system for targeting your ideal client. Then, your marketing funnel drives these potential clients to your business and converts them. Here’s a breakdown of how a marketing funnel works:

Step One: Create an Ad

We will get into Facebook and Google ads in more depth later. However, this is the first stage of your marketing funnel strategy. The ad should lead to your website’s landing page or contain a lead magnet.

Step Two: Develop a Landing Page

Your website’s landing page is critical. I suggest using high-quality imagery and illustrations featuring your best dishes and previous events. That way, potential clients can see what you’re offering and your services in action.

Step Three: Your Lead Magnet

Here’s where you’re creating an offer potential clients can’t refuse. I love seeing colorful digital cookbooks, cooking demonstrations, and webinars about how to plan an event here. Other suggestions include checklists, how-to videos, and workbooks.

Step Four: Nurture Your Email List

I can’t stress enough the significance of your email list. You may already have a list started, but are you using it to its fullest extent? Here’s where you have opportunities to dive further into targeting your clients.

Facebook Ad Overview

With 96% of social media marketers turning to Facebook advertising, it's no wonder many in the food industry are trusting it for their marketing. Because users enter valuable information into their profiles voluntarily, Facebook can serve up targeted advertising to them based on their age, interest, location, and so on. Every Facebook ad features a "call to action" (CTA) button, unlike other newsfeed items. That button may say things like:

  • Book Now

  • Contact Us

  • Use App

  • Play Game

  • Show Now

  • Sign Up

  • Watch Video

There's a predefined set of CTA buttons on Facebook for their paid ads. These ads are easy to spot throughout the platform because they have three primary features:

  • Each has a "sponsor" signal below the site's name.

  • You'll see a prompt in the top right corner to "Like" the page.

  • In the bottom right corner, you'll find the call-to-action.

Advertising on Facebook isn't aggressive, which is optimal for your food business. You can take advantage of five types of paid ads:

  • Desktop: inside the newsfeed

  • Desktop: right-hand side of the sidebar

  • Mobile: inside the newsfeed

  • Mobile: audience network

  • Using Instagram

5 Facebook Ads Pro Tips

Creating Facebook ads doesn't mean they'll always convert. The main reason is that, even though you're testing demographics and images, you may not be writing copy that speaks to your potential client. Working in the food industry is an excellent opportunity to appeal to your potential client's senses in a variety of ways. I have five pro tips to help you create compelling copy that converts.

1: Sell Without Selling

My first pro tip is to create an ad that is not only attractive but also makes your clients feel like it's their idea to convert. No one likes to be "sold to," so that means writing your advertising, so it offers something free, a trial, or promotion.

2: Ignore Vanity Metrics

We all love to see how many people are clicking on or sharing our ads. However, that's not where you're going to experience revenue. Truthfully, if your ads aren't converting into sales, it doesn't matter if you get thousands of clicks or shares. So, stop the campaign and analyze the problem. It may be your lead magnet, landing page, or audience.

3: You Must Build a Successful Ad

There's a difference between creating and building a successful ad. What I mean is, building a successful ad includes splitting your ad into different categories, optimizing your ad's creative elements, and testing optimization.

4: Determine Your Client's LTV

Do you know your potential client's LTV (lifetime value)? If you're not determining this value as part of your Facebook advertising strategy, you're missing out. Don't focus on quick sales. Instead, look at how you can build campaigns around how potential clients can help your business bring in higher revenues in the long run.

5: You Must Have Measurable Goals

The best way I can suggest for setting goals for your catering and event business is by working backward. What I mean by this is, think about how much revenue you want to bring in annually. Then, break down that "big picture" goal into small chunks. Then, if necessary, as you analyze your monthly paid ad strategies, you make modifications.

Google Ad Overview

In 2018, Google transitioned from Google AdWords to Google Ads to help streamline things for marketers. I like this much better because, instead of trying to integrate a clunky system, you're working with unified paid ads. The rebranded strategy includes three new platforms. I'll explain:

  • Google Adwords is now Google Ads: here, you'll find the same PPC for marketing whereby marketers can manage ads, campaigns, and keywords.

  • Google Marketing Platform: you'll find a unified platform that integrates Google's DoubleClick advertising with Google Analytics 360.

  • Google Ad Manager: this integration involves DoubleClick Ad Exchange and DoubleClick for Publishers. In doing so, things become much easier for publishers and advertisers.

5 Google Ad Pro Tips

Because you're paying for each click, I suggest using the following pro tips for attracting more customers and growing your business. Google ads allow you to use "target and bid" or "bid only" settings.

1: Focus on a Single Campaign Type

I suggest getting to know the difference between the cost per click, conversion rates, CPA goals, Display Network, and Search Network before diving into ad creation. That way, you're not developing PPC marketing that looks like a slot machine. Focusing on a single campaign type prevents you from limiting your success.

2: Individual Ad Groups and Keyword Grouping

My next pro tip is to keep your keywords organized into individual ad groups. Each time your potential clients click on ads leading to your landing page that converts to the same topic, you'll receive a higher Quality Score. As a result, you see a lower charge for each click and your ads will show up in results more often. That's because Google wants relevant ads to show up in your audience's results. So, improving your Quality Score is never a bad idea.

3: Sprinkle Keywords in Your Landing Pages & Ads

Sometimes turbocharging your Google ad strategy means ensuring there's keyword continuity among your ads and landing pages. For example, if potential clients search for your catering services, and they appear in their search results, you wouldn't want your landing page to mention corporate event planning.

4: Optimize Using Geotargeting Strategies

Do you understand the benefits of geotargeting and adjusting your bids according to cities, counties, and states? You'll see lower marketing costs when your focus is on a specific geographic area and demographic.

5: Ad Extension Optimization

You'll take your Google ads to the next level when optimizing extensions. Here's an opportunity to add 25-character blurbs to your ads. They call out important features and offers in your campaign.

Ad Retargeting

If you have potential clients that are window-shopping your services, ad retargeting converts them. Under most circumstances, 2% of your visitors will convert the first time they come to your site. If you implement ad retargeting, you'll bring back the other 98%. As potential clients visit other places online, retargeting keeps track of them and displays retarget ads to them.

Retargeting is simple to use. If you place a JavaScript tag at the footer of your website, that code will place anonymous "cookies" into their browsers and create a list of people visiting your site. That list allows retargeting vendors to display ads to your potential clients while they're visiting other websites.

I love retargeting because it generates a significant amount of sales by keeping your brand in front of potential clients. In doing so, those who are "window shopping" come back to your site when they're ready to take advantage of your offer or services. Every time your potential clients see your ads, your brand gains more recognition and traction.

Don’t forget to include a clear call-to-action. That’s the best way to ensure your retargeting strategies will be successful, and you get more customers quickly.

SEO + PPC: The Perfect Combination

Even though SEO and PPC operate as separate marketing mechanisms, they both have the same goal, and that's attracting visitors to your website. That's why I suggest using them in combination with each other for the highest conversion rate.

Remember, PPC ads are for more than promoting services. Use them to amplify your brand. I suggest achieving this goal by thoughtfully preparing blog posts that convert and PPC text. Each time you run paid ads, you attract more customers who have an interest in what you're offering.

Don't worry if your ads don't receive clicks immediately. If you’re occupying SERPs (search engine results pages), that means potential clients are using relevant keywords and becoming familiar with your brand and its meta descriptions.

As you can see, many strategies exist for using Facebook and Google ads to grow your catering and events business. Before diving in, be sure to spend time researching branded keywords and understanding how each ad strategy works.

If you need any help throughout your online ad journey, I suggest subscribing to our Success Recipes weekly email. In doing so, you’ll receive my strategic know-how and advice for taking your catering and event business to the next level.