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8 Digital Ads Restaurants Should Try

Digital advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry and for good reason. By the end of 2019 digital ads are expected to account for approximately 42% of global ad spend while traditional ad spend has dropped or stagnated.

This can be attributed to the effectiveness of digital ads across multiple industries. When compared to traditional advertising methods like television, digital ads are more measurable, better targeted, and have higher conversion rates. They also offer the ability to quickly pivot a campaign based on data.

The vast majority of restaurants are engaging in some kind of digital marketing and that isn't anticipated to change any time soon. According to Toast, 84% of restaurants planned to spend the same or increase their ad spend in 2017. Don't miss out on a good opportunity to gain new restaurant customers! Here are 8 digital ads restaurants should try and why they work for restaurants.

1. Facebook Ads

  • Why? Facebook ads are a great way to increase brand awareness. Facebook has a large reach that is easy for Facebook marketers to take advantage of. In 2017 there was a 17% increase in restaurant ads on this social media platform.
  • Multiple objectives. Facebook offers ad options to satisfy whatever the objective of your ad may be. Restaurant marketers can grow their social media following, get sign ups for their email newsletter, encourage app installs, or drive traffic to their menu to name a few.
  • Targeting options. Through Facebook, restaurant marketers can precisely and cost-effectively reach their target audience. Target the demographics of your ideal restaurant patrons. More importantly, target a radius around your restaurant to reign in hungry smartphone users.

2. Instagram Ads

  • Why? Since Instagram is part of Facebook, restaurant marketers are able to take advantage of the same precise targeting options to increase brand awareness or promote specials.
  • Foodie culture. People love to share and view delicious looking food pictures on Instagram. Ads featuring you best entrees draw in potential customers and and possibly to your website.
  • High location based engagement. Location based digital ads are important for restaurants. 89% of internet users research restaurants online prior to choosing a place to eat and the majority of them are looking for something nearby. That research process often includes Instagram. On this social media platform, location based ads get 79% more engagement than those without.

3. Google AdWords Search Ads

  • Why? Restaurant marketers are able to bid on keywords that are used by their ideal customer. 2017 saw an increase in use of AdWords search ads by 17%.
  • Visibility. These ads are highly visible because appear near SERP results when users search for certain keywords.
  • Data. Google collects a myriad of data that restaurant marketers can use to modify campaigns or take into account when building new campaigns.
  • Options. Google allows restaurant marketers to keep their ads simple or expand to include extensions. This allows marketers to increase conversion rates by adding a phone number or display location information at no additional cost.

4. YouTube Ads

  • Why? While YouTube isn't heavily used by restaurant marketers, it is being quickly adopted by many. As much as a 27% increase in use my restaurant marketers is expected in 2017.
  • Data. YouTube's ads are run through the Google AdWords network so restaurant advertisers have access to the cornucopia of data Google has, enabling restaurant marketers to get their video ads in front of the right person at the right time.

5. Twitter ads

  • Why? Even though Twitter has a smaller reach than Facebook, it has proven to be an effective digital advertising tool. Twitter users who convert on that platform's ads tend to be more qualified than those who convert on other social platforms.
  • Mobile users. The vast majority of people debating on what they want to eat are on a mobile device. 85% of Twitter's users are on mobile devices rather than a desktop.
  • Keywords. Target potential customers who are more likely to convert through the use of keywords. Restaurant marketers can target people who have used a specific word or hashtag in their Twitter update or people who have interacted with tweets containing those words in the last seven days.

6. Yelp ads

  • Why? Yelp ads are proven to be a major referral source for a restaurant's website and can increase website traffic by as much as 25%.
  • Word of mouth. Yelp is where a large number of people go to learn what others thought about a restaurant they are considering. An astounding 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. With Yelp ads, restaurant marketers can capitalize on this by placing an ad on a competitor's Yelp page.
  • Location. Yelp offers location targeting so that restaurant marketers can target people in a customizable radius around their location.

7. Snapchat Ads

  • Why? Snapchat is a great platform to use if your goal is to reach young audience as 53% of its users are under 34 and there are 173 million daily users worldwide.
  • Geofilters. People use Snapchat as a means of communicating who they are with, what they're doing, and where they are. Users communicate much of this information through geofilters (image overlays for that can only be accessed in certain locations). Restaurants can create their own paid geofilters for users near or in their restaurant. Although they're technically an ad, paid geofilters can be a fun way to get users involved in spreading brand awareness.
  • Multiple objectives. Restaurant marketers also have the option to create ads that appear while users are watching other stories of other users. Snapchat offers advertisers various options to help them reach their goals like driving traffic to their menu.

8. FourSquare Ads

  • Why? FourSquare has accumulated over 12 billion check-ins worldwide as of August 2017 and 50 million active users.
  • Exposure. Those who place ads on FourSquare get their listing bumped to the top, getting it in front of more users.
  • Prospecting. Get in front of new ideal potential customers by targeting customers who have visiting similar restaurants or who are located in a certain area. This platforms has 1.3 million users who are constantly sharing their locations with them. In turn they are able to use that data to better help advertisers understand and reach their audience.