If you want to make your restaurant or coffee shop profitable, make sure you're planning for and marketing for reservations and private events. This article discusses the best and most sure-fire ways to ensure a greater amount of restaurant private events.
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Facebook ads for restaurant private parties
(Revisit Part 1 if you need to: How I built $6800 private events by using Facebook ads for a restaurant with a measly $180 in ad spend)
In the last post, I discussed creating a simple landing page that would help you generate leads for private parties for your restaurant. Today, I’m going to take it a step further to teach you how to set up your Facebook ads. I’m not going to go into detail on what your ads should say as of yet. We’ll get to that in another post. This is just some of the prepwork you’ll need to do before you set up your ads.
This probably deserves a video, but I’m just going to break it down assuming you’re already familiar with the Facebook Ads platform. If you’re not, well then maybe I’ll just save that for another video and blast you with the basics in a post another time. I’ll update this post with a video or something in the near future if I hear from you all on how to make it happen. Just bear with me now and pretend you know what you're doing. ;)
How to set up Your Facebook Ads for Restaurant Private Events
So let’s break down the research that it takes to get a decent Facebook ad for restaurant private events up and running.
Determine the targets. Go back to the information gathering phase and use audience insights and client surveys to set up the relevant insights and demographic info. For example, if your campaign and restaurant’s landing page is aimed at restaurant catering and private parties for baby showers, you’ll build your audience interests in a way that is reflective of your targets.
Gather your photo and video assets. Normally what I would do is take a bunch of photos at the restaurant itself, or ask the venue for photos that would be relevant to the campaign I’m running. In this instance, ask them for a few dozen photos of the venue that may have been taken back in the day. Then search out for mentions of them on Instagram and save those photos related to private events at the space. Example: This particular venue had a photo of a bridal shower. I reached out to the woman who posted the photo and asked for her permission to re-post the photo. Then I used that photo for this particular campaign.
Install The Facebook Pixel. I’m making the assumption that you’ve installed the Facebook pixel. If you haven’t, it’s super easy to do and necessary if you want to do any sort of retargeting with ads to people who visit your website. Install the Facebook Pixel from your ads account to the header of your landing page. You’re going to use this to re-target your ads to your chosen audience, so gathering this info is critical to the success of your campaign.
Create your custom audiences. Again, this might cause me to do another series of blog posts on this subject just to refresh you all on how this is done. But basically in your ads manager there is a way to create custom audiences of people you want to see your ads. That’s done in a bunch of different ways, but the most basic of which is these: engagement audiences, pixel (web traffic) audience and emails audience.
Emails audience. Take your email list and create a custom audience. Again, this is in the audiences section of the Facebook Ads manager. If you have separate email lists for private events and that sort of thing, even better. Basically you’re asking Facebook to match up it’s users with your email list. For me that usually means
Pixel (web) audience. If you’ve just recently created a pixel and added it to your site, it will take some time to create an audience large enough to create a custom audience. But do it anyway. What this means is that Facebook will take anyone who has visited your website in a certain time period and put them in a pool of people you can target your ads to.
Engagement audience. An engagement is defined as anyone who has liked, shared or commented on your posts. In the the audiences tab of the ads manager once again, create an engagement audience by selecting the Facebook page engagement option. I usually set that time of up to 365 days, but depending on what you’re trying to do and the level of traffic that your site gets, you’ll want to create a list that fits your needs.
Using your custom audiences, create a Facebook lookalike audience for your restaurant's private events Facebook ads to increase the likelihood of success.
In the audiences tab, you’re able to create lookalike audiences of people who look similar to the custom audiences that you just created. (Again, this is going to have be be an entirely new blog post because there are so many exciting things that you can do here. But for the time being, just bear with me). Facebook ads are so incredibly awesome that they can actually match you up with an audience that looks and acts similarly to the data that you’ve just created in your custom audience. For example, the Engagement audience that you created will be populated with a certain number of people that are more likely to engage with your content because they look and behave similarly to those who are in the engagement audience. I don’t know what sort of voodoo that the Facebook algorithm uses, just know that by creating lookalike audiences, you’re going to reduce the cost of your ads and give yourself a much higher likelihood of success.
In the next post, I’ll discuss what your posts should look like to ensure the best possible outcome for the Facebook ads for your restaurant private events. Remember that I’m largely a Facebook ads guy who specializes in restaurants, so that’s why I’m writing it from that perspective. Keep in mind that these tactics can work for almost any industry, so feel free to contact me if you have any questions about how to make these work for your industry.
Okay, so Facebook ads! Hooray! You love them, am I right?
Wait. No? You don’t love them?
That’s a crying shame, sir or madam.
Facebook ads are the most underappreciated and undervalued pieces of marketing out there. Doesn’t matter what you’ve heard about them. I know this about you, because you still check Facebook more than you check any other website. Facebook ads are undervalued, because after passing 2 billion users this year, they’ve gone ahead invested more and more money into their ads platform to ensure that it runs efficiently for its advertisers. Even if you decide to hire someone else to do your ads on your behalf, you should take a few hours to learn the basics and maybe teach your Facebook ads rep a thing or two.
What if I told you that you could advertise private events for your restaurant with Facebook Ads by only spending $3 per ad per day? And similar $3 per day ads have yielded one restaurant I work with on average of $6,800 per month Yes, now I have your attention, don’t I Mr./Ms. Facebook ads doubter?
Before you learned about advertising with Facebook Ads for your restaurant catering and private events, you were all…
And now that you know there exists a way to get ridiculous returns on Facebook ads for not much money at all, you’re all…
So let's break it down. Here’s my secret to winning more private events for your restaurant. Like the whole enchilada. (Do people really still say that? Just me? Hmm...) Ready?
Edit: I decided I didn't want to write a book tonight, so instead, I'm going to break this monster of a topic up into about 4 or 18 different posts. I'll just make a new one every day until I decide that I don't want to write anymore.
Step 1. Create a simple landing page. Luckily, there are literally dozens of great tools out there to create landing pages for your restaurant’s website. I’m assuming you already have a website. And I’m assuming that because you’re reading this, you probably have a couple skills at setting up a website. (If you don’t, don’t sweat it. We’ll cover that at another time.)
Why is a landing page important instead of just having people click over to your website and fill out a contact form? Because you want to track those visits as you go. You’ll be able to prove that people are coming from your Facebook ads to your landing page. You want to track your marketing dollars, right?
1a. RESEARCH. What I like to do is figure out from the restaurant owner which private events are easiest to book and manage and which ones create the best return. From my experience, these are usually company holiday parties, baby showers, wedding bridal showers and wedding rehearsal dinners. Once I determine which private events are the ones that they’re looking to promote, I do a few things:
- Gather photos: Grab as many relevant photos related to the specific event as possible. Go through the restaurant’s instagram account, Facebook page, and have them zip you over as many as you can get your hands on.
- Demographic Information. Get information on the demographics of the people requesting the party. I have a questionaire that I use for this purpose. I try to get as many relevant audience insights as I can from the Facebook Page if I have access to it. This will help you build your page around the audience you are using for this purpose.
1b. Build your landing page. Once you have this information gathered, you can grab a couple ways to make sure your landing pages and ads convert at a higher than average clip.
- Clear headline: Make sure it’s exactly what you said people were clicking over to in your ad. If your ad says “Host your next baby shower at Flo’s Restaurant and Grill” then make sure you have the same title in the landing page.
- Consistent images: Images that match the images in the ads. If your ad has a pregnant lady at a baby shower, make sure the same image is in the landing page. Aim for 4-6
- Easy Contact Form: Make sure people know what they’re signing up for. Try not to give them more than 4 or 5 fields to fill out. Make it as easy as possible so they don’t bounce.
- Testimonials: Put as many testimonials as possible on your page. I don’t know why this is, but for whatever reason, the more testimonials I put up on the landing page, the higher. Just like the other stuff, make sure you’re being consistent. You can put a testimonial about a tasty dinner, but if you’re trying to push private parties for baby showers with Facebook ads, make sure to get a testimonial or two from people who had a good experience at a private party for a baby shower.
You can still rock a pretty decent landing page for your restaurant private events without breaking the bank. I’m going to let Miles Beckler do the honors of discussing how to save thousands of dollars versus ClickFunnels by building a decent page on WordPress. I personally use Squarespace for my restaurant landing page, so if you decide to go with a site like that or Wix, the same principles still apply. However, if you’re working on a budget, wordpress could be your jam. Here’s the formula that Miles uses to determine how much people could save by using Wordpress + Thrive over ClickFunnels:
WordPress + Hosting + Thrive (200,000+ visits/mo) = $328 per year. Clickfunnels up to 20,000 visits/mo = $1164 per year
Step 2: Build Your Facebook Ad for Restaurant Private Events
So let’s break down the research that it takes to get a decent Facebook ad for restaurant private events up and running. Tomorrow we'll actually get into building your ads.
- Determine the targets. Go back to the information gathering phase and use audience insights and client surveys to set up the relevant insights and demographic info. For example, if your campaign and restaurant’s landing page is aimed at restaurant catering and private parties for baby showers, you’ll build your audience interests in a way that
- Facebook Pixel. Install the Facebook Pixel from your ads account to the header of your landing page. You’re going to use this to retarget your ads to your chosen audience, so gathering this info is critical to the success of your campaign.
This is going to be a 4 or 27 part series that will probably be a novel of some sort where I get to play the hero or something similar to stroke my ego. Anyway, stay tuned for tomorrow's segment, which has to do with the whole rest of the enchilada.
(Oh and you could substitute pretty much any industry in there instead of just restaurants... more tomorrow... )