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Adding new revenue streams to your restaurant — like merchandise or subscriptions — can help you reach new customers and grow your business. Sixty-five percent of restaurateurs view non-core offerings as necessary in order to diversify revenue and grow their brand, according to our 2023 Future of Commerce report. But in order for new products and services to reach their full potential, they must be marketed effectively.
With so many marketing avenues at your disposal, introducing new revenue streams to customers might appear daunting, but with the right marketing, you can easily give your products an opportunity to shine. Here are seven methods you might try to market your new offerings:
1. BOGO promotions
A buy one, get one (BOGO) offer where a customer buys a popular staple item and gets one of your new offerings for free or at a discounted price can help ease your customers into new products and services because they’re packaged with a customer favorite at a lower price. BOGO deals can also sweeten the buy for customers who are eager to try your new offerings.
Use your Square Dashboard to understand your popular items and get an idea of where to start. Keep in mind the time of year to help shape when you launch the offer. You can also use prior data from your Square Marketing campaigns to see the types of BOGO deals your customers gravitate to the most.
Whether you’re promoting your BOGO offer or simply preparing to sell your new items online, tools like Square Photo Studio can help snap and edit photos of your items to ensure that you’re presenting your products in the best light.
2. Events and activations
Not only does event marketing bring people into your stores, it can help improve how customers view your brands. Pop-up shops, in-person activations, or even free samples allow customers to experience your products and ask questions, which may simplify the purchase decision and create positive associations that can increase brand affinity and loyalty with customers.
When you’re planning experiential marketing, keep in mind your core values; if you’re having trouble coming up with something, look for inspiration from how other brands have brought their business to life.
And keep in mind that events and activations can also take place online. Livestreaming events, for instance, can be especially beneficial because they create another, more accessible avenue for you to answer customer questions and zero in on key details in real time.
3. Loyalty programs
You can use your store loyalty program to offer exclusive deals around new products to loyal customers. Whether it’s a price reduction, a free gift or sample, or a bundled offer, utilizing your loyalty program to promote new offers or services can encourage more sign-ups and more interest. Square Loyalty can help you reward loyal customers directly from your point-of-sale system or online site, making it easy for customers to sign up and get started.
4. Cross-sell and upsell opportunities
Upselling or cross-selling new products or services allows you to leverage the popularity of existing products and services with a segment of your audience that may find your new offerings attractive. For example, if the sauce on your sandwiches is what customers love most about your restaurant, running a special where customers can purchase a more expensive combo that includes a bottle of sauce can encourage them to buy and continue the indulgence. Similarly, if a customer places an order for a lone order of fries, you can also use this opportunity to market your packaged sauce for dipping.
Think about what makes the most sense for your business and how you can implement this in a natural yet enticing way. Use your Square Customer Directory to gauge a better understanding of opportunities to upsell or cross-sell products or services. Look for trends around items that customers purchase most and determine ways your new items can add value. Then use that to rethink how you position your combos or even your website structure as a starting point.
5. Contests and giveaways
Similar to BOGO offers, contests and giveaways also work well for marketing new offerings because they create buzz and excitement. For example, you might encourage customers to submit user-generated content (UGC) with a specific hashtag on social media for a chance to win your new product. With your business and products surfacing around the internet in a fun and engaging way, your restaurant benefits from word-of-mouth marketing, boosting interest and potential traffic to your store.
To get started, look at how your favorite brands use social media to run contests and giveaways and get up to speed on popular social media trends to help strengthen the appeal to customers. Once you’ve come up with an idea, create a series of content to promote the promotion, making sure you communicate any necessary terms and conditions to your audience.
Creating collaborative marketing campaigns with partners can help expand your brand’s reach and give your business access to a new customer base. For example, if your restaurant is adding new packaged products to its lineup, consider a collaborative campaign with a brand that serves complimentary items. Launching a new specialty cheese? Find a neighborhood winery with a selection that would pair well with it and discover ways you can approach marketing together.
These collaborations can serve as a seamless way to introduce your business to new customers and help foster relationships with neighboring businesses so you can build each other up.
Influencer marketing can also be an impactful way to market new products and services. Hearing the impact of a new service or product from a trusted voice works as a powerful product review and introduces your items to new customers in a way that feels natural.
You don’t need to engage influencers with tons of followers to achieve your marketing goals; influencers with 5,000 followers can be just as impactful as influencers with 5 million. Examine the audience of the influencers you have in mind against the target audience for your product and determine what makes the most sense for your brand and your products.
Deciding to diversify your revenue streams is a big step for any business. Effectively getting your new offerings directly in front of customers can often be a delicate balance, but implementing a mixture of the methods above can help you understand your opportunities and determine the best place to start.
Regardless of the route you take, Square Marketing can play a key role in helping you spread the word. With email and SMS options, you have the flexibility to reach your customers the way you want, when you want. If you’re more interested in softly launching your new options, you also have the opportunity to segment your marketing toward loyal customers and test different messaging that can help you ease into this new territory.