How to Use Ads to Get More Catering & Events Clients



No matter if you want to add revenue to your existing events business or launch a catering business, you must learn about advertising and promotion. During the wedding season, catering is an incredibly lucrative venture. When people are looking for planning or catering for summer or holiday events, these are also excellent opportunities to tap into their needs.


These business ventures beg the question, “How do I get started with ads?” That’s an excellent question, and one we’re going to answer by explaining how to clarify your message by determining who you’re selling to and the solutions to their pain points. When you figure that out, you can apply our pro tips for Facebook, Google, and Instagram.


Launching your business involves choosing your niche and creating a menu. However, you must figure out your market and how to promote it using advertising strategies. That's why I'm sharing information with you about how I get more clients for catering businesses by analyzing my marketing funnel and implementing ad strategies.


Clarify Your Message

Analyzing and understanding your marketing funnel involves determining your ideal customer avatar. Before you can do figure out who you’re selling to, you must clarify what you’re selling. Otherwise, you can’t meet your ICA’s pain points adequately.


What Are You Selling?

I love to attract more clients by being clear regarding what I’m selling. When you’re reading marketing tips for catering businesses, you’ll often see advice regarding determining your niche. Then, using that niche to expand your marketing and advertising efforts.


That’s when you’re in the beginning stages of creating your business plan—you’re deciding if you want to if your signature specialty should focus on occasions, like holidays and birthdays, for example, of if you want your business to be all-inclusive. That would mean you're providing wedding services, catering corporate events, and so on.


I love to get and keep clients by breaking down the niches my company is servicing. That way, you can use niche marketing efforts to reach them better because you’re making it clear what you’re selling. Examples of niche marketing efforts include:


Sending Anniversary and Event Reminders

When I'm trying to determine how to get more clients for my business, I implement a broad range of tools to help keep my business organized and reach my target audience. That's where event reminders like these come into play. Set up a calendar consisting of your existing client's anniversaries, birthdays, and other repeat events. Then, use this information for sending targeted messages reminding your current clients about your business and how you served them previously.


Create a Referral Program

I love using referral programs to attract more clients. When your existing customer base refers you a new client, why not reward them? Instead of depending solely on word-of-mouth referrals, consider passing around a list of your ideal customer avatar targets and seeing if those who are in your marketing funnel has or can make contact with these individuals. Then, reward them accordingly each time you close those deals.


Embrace Your Newsletter Campaign

Each time I see marketing tips for events business, creating a powerful newsletter campaign is there. Not only is this an excellent way of staying in touch with your existing clients but also an optimal way to attract more clients. You can achieve that goal with a high-quality lead magnet that showcases your expertise and helps your target audience solve a problem.


Who's Your Target Audience?

Gone are the days of depending on word-of-mouth referrals to get and keep clients. Instead, you must conduct research and develop a marketing plan. That involves creating an ideal customer avatar. I love using these personas to dive into who my target audience is, what their pain points are, and how my business can best serve them.


When I’m trying to figure out how to get more clients for my business, I use the following strategies for creating an ICA:


  • Naming my customer avatar and giving them a face. I look online for free images of who my target audience might be and add that to the persona I'm creating.

  • Determining where they live. For example, if your catering or events business focuses on a specific geographic area, that's where you'll find your target audience.

  • Listing their occupation and income. These two pieces of information will help you understand if you're serving those who need corporate events and so on, as well as how much they can afford to pay for services.

  • Figuring out their pain points. Understanding your target audience's pain points not only helps you figure out their specific needs but also if your catering or events services can solve them.



Facebook & Instagram Ads Overview & Pro Tips

As of September 2019, 2.45 billion monthly active users logged into Facebook worldwide. Instagram isn't far behind with over one billion active users monthly who spend an average of twenty-eight minutes on the platform daily. Learning those statistics told me one thing—these are excellent platforms when I want to get more clients forb your catering business.


When you post on Facebook and Instagram, those who are following you can comment, like, or share your content if they choose. That's how you're using "organic reach" without having to pay for advertising while simultaneously increasing the number of people following your pages.


However, this strategy may not be enough when you want to grow your audience quickly and close deals. That's when it's beneficial to convert organic content into paid content using page promotions and "boosting."


  • Expanding Your Reach: Expand your reach by creating ads that reach more targets that are outside of who is currently liking or engaging with your pages.

  • Embracing Post Boosting: Market your services by creating and "boosting" an organic post that showcases your catering and events business's services.

  • Page Promotions: You'll reach more targets and increase engagement if you promote your pages.

  • Local Marketing: Embrace local social media marketing by creating ads that make it easier for those living nearby to find you.

  • Page Advertisements: Increase traffic to your website by creating advertisements on your pages.

Ultimately, your goal is to reach the right people at the right time. That way, your target audience has a better chance of becoming a customer. Use Facebook and Instagram advertisements for marketing your business's message to your target audience. Depending on your goals and budget, your advertising budget can be as high or low as you want.


Google Ads Overview & Pro Tips

With approximately 246 million unique visitors in the United States, it's no wonder you see marketing tips for events business advising business owners to embrace Google ads. Not only is Google a powerhouse, but the company makes advertising straight forward.


Google Ads falls under what many refer to as PPC (pay-per-click). That means that you, the advertiser, must pay for every click or ad impression. Using Google Ads helps your catering or events business:

  • Experience a boost in traffic

  • Receive more targeted phone calls

  • Have more clients visiting your business

When you're implementing Google Ads into your marketing strategies, you can create and share mobile and desktop ads that are well-timed. That timing means your advertisements will show up on SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) each time your target audience is looking for services like the ones you're offering.


I love using Google Ads because I know my target audience is seeing my ad when it makes sense for them. With over two billion searches (and counting!) happening daily, Google is your target audience's most-used search engine.

  • Embrace Affinity Audiences: Much like your ideal customer avatar, affinity audiences are based on interests that generate according to a searcher's browsing behavior. Then, you can use this information to create targeted ads.

  • Quality Scores: Don't forget about the Quality Score Google uses. The company uses this score to determine if the advertising is relevant to your landing page and beneficial to your customers.

  • Analyze Google Ads Audience Insights: I love analyzing this data to learn more about who my business is reaching, as well as who my potential targets are and how I can reach them.

  • Implement the Observation Setting: I find that, when I want to attract more clients, I can achieve that goal better by monitoring how specific criteria is performing on my ads. I love to use this setting when I don't want to narrow my advertisement targeting, but I want to learn more from these insights.

Now that you know to use ads to get more catering and events clients, it’s time to get to work! I’m looking forward to seeing your implementation all of this knowledge to help grow your business.


If you feel like the ads you’re trying aren’t working, I suggest taking this quiz to determine if other issues are occurring.


I also recommend subscribing to my Growth Guide weekly email. That way, you can receive targeted strategies and insider information regarding how to take your business to the next level.



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If you can set aside 2-3 hours per month to learn and implement these high converting strategies into your business, you will get and keep more clients.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Aleya Harris is the owner of The Social Media Pantry and Growth.

She is a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef who also happens to be an award-winning, data-driven marketing strategist, change leader, brand manager and creator, content developer, and storyteller. She has a background as a marketing professional on the leadership teams of large foodservice organizations and has also been a private chef and catering company owner.