Facebook Advertising: What Every Restaurant CMO Should Know

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Whether you’re a fast casual or QSR brand, your restaurant’s target audience is most definitely on Facebook. Not only are they on Facebook, but they’re using it everyday. Yup, even millennials. As a matter of fact, millennials still make up the largest percentage of active users on Facebook by a long shot.

Of Facebook’s 1.65 billions users, 1.05 billion of them are now mobile only. For restaurant marketers, that’s a major plus. As younger consumers shy away from cable TV, and phones take hold as the primary source of entertainment, brands have the opportunity to play a more integral role in their customers’ lives.

facebook media buying agency denverThe average person spends around 55 minutes per day on Facebook. That’s a lot of valuable attention.

With Facebook’s powerful targeting and tracking capabilities, brands can become a part of their customers’ Facebook time at just the right moment and place for optimal conversion rates. It’s a concept that should have every CMO chomping at the bit, yet many have been slow to fully embrace Facebook’s ad capabilities.

In an age where data is king and marketing execs are under growing pressure to show clear results, Facebook is rapidly advancing in it’s ability to attribute leads (and even foot traffic) directly to ad dollars spent. Take Facebook’s newer Offline Conversion tracking as a testament.

To those who aren’t already comfortable with Facebook’s ad platform, it might seem like a budget-sucking black hole of complex algorithms. While that can prove true for the less experienced, it’s no reason to write off the effectiveness of what Facebook offers.

How Restaurant Marketers Can Leverage Facebook Advertising

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img src: mediapost.com

There are plenty of success stories when it comes to restaurant brands using Facebook Ads to drive sales. One campaign in particular was noteworthy enough to receive a shoutout from Facebook during their Q2 earnings report in July, 2016:

In the beginning of the year, Jack in the Box used Facebook’s Canvas Ads to boost awareness around their new Double Jack burger. Through clever creative and savvy audience targeting, Jack in the Box saw purchase intent for the new burger increase by 44% during the campaign, not to mention a 200% increase in hits to their “find a location” web page.

The ads targeted millennials, frequent QSR customers, and re-targeted a couple warm audiences: people who visited JackintheBox.com, and users who’d previously watched Jack in the Box videos on Facebook.

With the Canvas Ads, Jack in the Box drove Facebook users to their own website where they captured emails in exchange for coupons. It drove immediate foot traffic into stores while providing the ability to directly re-market to their most interested customers long after the campaign had run its course.

Below is the video Jack in the Box featured in their Canvas Ads:

Where to Start with Facebook Advertising

Admittedly, the devil is in the details of setting up and managing these types of campaigns. But here’s the beauty of Facebook Ads: It’s possible to incorporate the same concepts for any brand, even if you don’t have the marketing budget of Jack in the Box.

Whether you’re working to grow your email list or looking to drive measurable foot traffic, it takes a fraction of the cost of traditional advertising to get started (at least for now).

Can Facebook Ads be a little intimidating? Sure. Is it possible to spend money and not get the results you want? Of course – as is the case with all advertising.

Since Facebook campaigns are extremely flexible, it’s not only possible to start with relatively small budget, it’s the most prudent approach. At the end of the day, an experienced employee or proven media agency can make all the difference between blowing your budget versus getting results.

As with Jack in the Box and so many other companies who are doing it right, Facebook advertising can be an invaluable marketing tool for restaurant brands. At the moment, the value Facebook Ads provide is grossly undervalued, which may not be the case forever. As more brands catch on to Facebook Ads, prices will be bid up, and effectiveness per dollar will fall.

For the time being however, brands who quickly adapt their advertising to the new reality of how people are consuming content will benefit at the loss of companies who don’t.

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Blue Bear Creative is a Denver social media agency focused on helping food and beverage brands market to millennials.

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