A business can’t thrive without customers and that’s why customer acquisition is a never-ending process for most companies. Having an ideal customer acquisition strategy in place is how you can be sure that you’re bringing value to your business.
However, not all companies have an established customer acquisition strategy. As a result, they end up missing out on potential customers by avoiding certain channels or not investing enough money.
The best way to go about the customer acquisition process is with a clearly defined strategy. This blog covers six customer acquisition strategies and how to create one for your restaurant business.
Customer Acquisition Strategy Meaning
A customer acquisition strategy is a plan designed to help a business bring in new customers to help improve profitability. Each company has a common goal and that is to have a steady flow of customers, both new and existing.
In order to ensure this steady flow of customers for your restaurant, it’s important to have a proper customer acquisition strategy in place. This strategy should also keep up with current restaurant industry trends.
Acquiring new customers is part of running a successful restaurant business. It helps you increase profits, and it’s proof that your business is growing.
During the customer acquisition process, businesses increase their brand awareness and consumer interest in their offerings. At the same time, consumers are deciding if they want to become paying customers at your business.
Key Takeaway: Acquiring customers in one or more unique ways will make your company or brand stand out. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your customer acquisition strategy and ensure it’s effective.
6 Steps to Create a Customer Acquisition Strategy
A solid customer acquisition strategy will keep customer acquisition costs down. This is ideal because you’ll be able to gain customers at a cheaper cost.
Here are six steps to creating a customer acquisition strategy:
1. Determine Your Ideal Customer or Niche Market
The step for creating your customer acquisition strategy is understanding your customer base. Establish who your target customer is or the niche market. Also, consider studying your competitors and doing market research.
For businesses in the restaurant industry, you may have to test out different niches before you find the right one. Try different restaurant marketing strategies and evaluate the results after a given period to determine if they were effective. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your strategies if things don’t seem to be working.
Niche marketing can change the way you do business. Once you successfully find the right audience, you can start working on customer retention strategies. With customer retention and CRM tools, you work towards having a consistent flow of customers.
2. Establish Your Goals
Define and establish your company’s goals while keeping your ideal customers in mind. This will allow you to develop a restaurant customer acquisition strategy that will guide you through the process.
The goals you set for your customer acquisition strategy should account for current customer growth and customer churn. It’s possible to determine if your marketing efforts are working by measuring your customer acquisition cost.
3. Identify Your Customer Acquisition Channels
A great start to creating a customer acquisition strategy is to identify your customers and your goals. However, you also want to consider the channels you plan to use to market your business. To do this, it’s best to conduct research and determine what type of content performs best in each channel.
A customer acquisition channel refers to a place where a customer meets your brand for the first time. These include organic search results pages (SERPs), social media, or paid advertisements. These channels are how businesses bring in new customers.
Common customer acquisition channels include:
- Search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is written, long-form content that includes white hat practices such as internal linking to rank on search results pages. Examples include eCommerce content marketing and choosing the right SEO terms and keywords.
- Paid advertisements. These are short and compelling advertisements on social media platforms and search engines. Make sure you have a budget allocated for ads before starting, as you typically need about $20 to $100 per day–minimum–to see valuable ROI.
- Facebook. Common marketing efforts include live video streaming, advertising, and one-to-one messaging. It’s possible to utilize organic posts or paid advertisements on Facebook.
- Instagram. On this platform, the most effective posts include visually appealing pictures and graphics, and short videos. You can take advantage of free marketing efforts on Instagram, as well as paid ads.
- YouTube. This is the platform to post longer, entertaining, and more informative video content. It’s ideal to link your YouTube channel to your other platforms and websites for more engagement.
- Referrals. Word of mouth has always been a solid marketing channel, if not the best. A way to enhance this is through a loyalty program or discounts.
4. Establish a Unique Marketing Strategy for Each Channel
It’s common for a new business to want to explore each and every customer acquisition channel. However, this can interfere with your customer acquisition strategy because each channel has a different ideal audience.
When it comes time to create your marketing strategy for each channel, consider the type of content the audience interacts with. Looking into what your competition is posting is a great place to start.
Conduct research to determine the best strategy for each channel so that you can get the most out of your customer acquisition efforts. Don’t be afraid to test different channels and make changes according to the results.
5. Communicate With Your Customers
Both customer feedback and customer satisfaction are crucial for any business. At the end of the day, you want to know how you’re doing and if you should make changes.
In order to collect feedback and valuable information, you have to request it from your customers. This can be done through customer interviews, surveys, social media posts, email contact forms, and blog posts.
Communicating with your customers should be part of your customer acquisition strategy. It's a way for you to understand their needs, wants, and expectations. With this information, you can make changes and improvements as necessary.
6. Evaluate and Improve Your Strategy
Running a successful restaurant business doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s tough to do without analytics. It’s important to know what’s working and what’s not. That’s when evaluating your customer acquisition strategy comes into play.
Evaluate the following metrics of your customer acquisition strategy:
- Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
- Churn rate
- New customer growth
- The lifetime value of a customer (LTV)
Evaluate the following factors of your customer acquisition strategy:
- How your customers found out about your restaurant
- The median age of your customers
- Favorite types of menus and items
Developing a customer acquisition strategy may seem tough, but with the right approach and tactics, you can attract high-quality customers. Maintaining your strategy will allow you to keep your customers long-term and grow your business.
Frequently Asked Questions About Customer Acquisition Strategies
Nothing will guarantee a steady customer flow forever, at least without effort and maintenance. However, a solid customer acquisition strategy and efforts will allow you to work towards a steady customer flow. It takes a lot of experimentation in order to find the ideal strategy.
To better understand the importance of customer acquisition strategies, check out our answers to the following commonly asked questions:
What Are Customer Acquisition Strategies?
Customer acquisition strategies are ways that businesses reach out to and engage with prospects or create inbound lead generation methods that bring prospects through a business’s digital doors. Common customer acquisition strategies include:
- Picking the right customer acquisition channel
- Offering a referral or restaurant loyalty program
- Improving website engagement
- Hosting giveaways or restaurant promotions
What Is a Good Customer Acquisition Cost?
A business’s customer acquisition cost will vary depending on its industry and the expenses of its customer acquisition strategy. The ideal way to evaluate your CAC and determine if it’s healthy is to compare it to the customer lifetime value (LTV). A good ratio for LTV:CAC is 3:1.
How Can a Restaurant Acquire Customers?
A restaurant can acquire customers using the following efforts:
- Social media marketing
- Content marketing
- SEO strategies
- Email marketing strategy
- Referral programs
- Video promotions