Nothing provides an escape from the pressures of the world quite like our favorite restaurants can. Whether they’re hole-in-the-walls or fine dining establishments, restaurants continue to push ahead despite the numerous challenges facing the industry.
Restaurant Facebook ads are one of the best ways for these businesses to remind locals of how much they offer the community every day while filling their seats.
But restaurant Facebook ads need to look a little different from all the other ones we see in our feeds or messaging. Effective Facebook advertising for restaurants requires the right strategy and imagery to convince people to dine with them.
How to Create the Most Impressive Restaurant Facebook Ads
Your Facebook ad game plan needs to be solid if you run a restaurant. There is a ton of competition, and it takes genuine effort to get people through your door.
Put these tips to work with your campaign to make the most of your marketing budget and time.
1. Start with a Goal
When it comes to Facebook advertising, you have to have a clear goal for your campaign. This means you know exactly what kind of message, offer, and call to action you want a Facebook user to take.
The reason why this step is so important is because it sets the tone for the entire campaign. Without this, you do not know which audience to target, you won’t know what images to use, and your offer will not be clear.
What are some examples of a goal a campaign can have? Here are a few to start with:
- Advertise your curbside or delivery option
- Highlight new items on your menu
- Promote your new hours
- Showcase an amazing employee who goes above and beyond
- Offer a special to increase foot traffic on a slow night
Remember, you will likely be running more than one Facebook ad campaign, so it’s okay to have different goals for each set of ads.
Some goals may involve simply getting the word out and building brand awareness. Other goals may be more direct and involve time-sensitive events you are advertising.
2. Target the People Most Likely to Eat at Your Restaurant
When defining your target audience, circle back to the goal of your campaign. If you’re promoting grab-and-go family packs, you will want to target parents who are busy with children’s activities and school.
With Facebook ads, you can select target audience members based on demographics, interests, recent purchases, and behaviors. You can even target people who have already interacted with your Facebook page.
Use this option wisely as you go to select your target audience. Your target audience could shift as your goals change.
For example, if you offer catering services for large events like weddings, then you would likely select a slightly younger demographic versus other types of campaigns.
3. Pinpoint the Location
As a restaurant, you are most likely to pull from the zip codes closest to your address when you are choosing the location of your audience. Be very precise with selecting your location to avoid wasting money advertising on people who are on the other side of the country.
You can do this with Facebook ads by simply entering the zip code of your own restaurant and then allowing Facebook to use the location targeting.
4. Use High-Quality Images or Videos
Restaurants are in a unique position because not only are you competing with other Facebook ads for attention, but you’re also competing with other food pictures in people’s newsfeeds. This is one of the many reasons why high-quality images and videos are a must.
We all know people like to eat with their eyes first, so the saying goes. If you’re trying to showcase your award-winning desserts or family recipes, now is not the time to use blurry, one-color images.
Invest the time into taking quality photos for use in your ads and your website. Your engagement levels will undoubtedly reflect the impact.
5. Create Memorable Copy
As much as visuals matter with ads, words do as well. But don’t worry! You don’t have to be a creative writing expert to convey the right message.
Restaurant Facebook ads need clear, compelling copy. This means using words to get your point across in the most efficient manner possible.
Again, going back to your goal, make sure your copy aligns with your goal. Make it easy for readers to understand.
Once you combine this with your enticing pictures or videos, then you have the makings of a great Facebook ad.
6. Make the Offer Obvious
The other critical point with copy is to make sure the call to action is clear. What do you want your customers to do? Do you want them to learn more about your menu, download a coupon, or sign up for a rewards program?
Whatever your offer and call to action involve, spelling them out and making them simple for your potential customer to understand makes it easier for people to engage with your ad.
7. Rely on Reviews
Reviews are becoming increasingly popular and can make or break the foot traffic to your business. While this can be incredibly frustrating, you can also use it to your advantage.
If you have a particularly glowing review from another site, such as your Facebook page, Yelp, or Google, then put it in your ad. People want to know others have had a good experience and like the food, so this is an easy way to promote your business.
8. Be Your Own Public Relations
Not only are reviews a fantastic way to build up your reputation and entice people, but using your Facebook ads for your own public relations goals is another option.
Restaurants are typically involved in the community, whether it’s donating meals, sponsoring a 5K run, or hiring people who need a second chance.
Use your Facebook ads to highlight the incredible work you are already doing in the neighborhood. This is what may set you apart from the other competitors in your area.
9. Create a Test
With Facebook ads, there’s an amazing feature where you can run tests with two different ads. This is often referred to as A/B testing.
You simply run one ad to one audience while simultaneously running another ad to another group. Then you have the data to show you which ad performs the best.
Since there are many different messages and goals a restaurant needs to convey, running a test is a cost-effective and fast way to see which message resonates the most. When going through a test, the feedback and insights are almost immediate, so you can adjust right away.
If something is working, build on it. Otherwise, if an ad clearly isn’t performing well, switch it up to avoid wasting any more time or money.
10. Define a Strategy for the Long Run
While it’s tempting to only concentrate on one campaign at a time, setting up your marketing goals for the longer term will end up saving you time later on.
What does this mean? You need to outline your big events throughout the year or goals you need to achieve so your Facebook ads can support these efforts.
For example, if you know you offer pre-packaged Thanksgiving sides every November, then go ahead and mark it in the calendar.
As a restaurant owner, you likely have events and specials occurring on a weekly or even a daily basis. By planning ahead of time when possible, you can create ads that are not rushed and clearly communicate your message.
Real Restaurant Facebook Ads Examples
Here are a handful of recent restaurant ads that hit the mark for various reasons.
1. The Glaring Goal
This ad works because it is clear the goal is to promote the catering business, no matter the scope or size of the event. The copy is easy to follow, and all you have to do is click to learn more about having your special event catered.
2. The Obvious Offer
In addition to great photography, this ad works because the offer is easy to find. Who could resist Mid-Week Mussels with this ad?
Better yet, it lets you know exactly when the offer is available and how much it will cost for you to enjoy it. Plus, it gives you all the details on what’s in this fabulous-looking dish.
3. The Enticing Imagery
This ad screams “happy hour” and uses the image of the margarita to accomplish it. The quality is great, and the details of this special are easily seen. This is an ad where the food (or, in this case, the drink) does all the talking for you.
The Final Word on Restaurant Facebook Ads
There’s no denying restaurant owners have faced unprecedented challenges in the last couple of years. Luckily, Facebook advertising for restaurants is one way to help overcome some of these obstacles and show what a vital part of the neighborhood our local restaurants truly are.