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Generating leads is a marketing term for getting the attention of any individual or organization who is within reach of your marketing and has the potential to become a customer. As a catering business, you’re always looking for new clients so you can increase your revenue and expand. Building leads is the primary way you can do that.

To build revenue, your catering company might focus on business-to-consumer (B2C), business-to-business (B2B), or a mixture of both. To target your audience, you’ll need to adopt certain strategies that help you catch their attention and make them feel your catering company is worthy of their business. 

6 lead generation tips for catering businesses

The following tips will help you generate leads for your catering business and boost your lead conversion rates. When more customers convert, your revenue will increase and your business will enjoy more success.

1. Connect with new venues

Your catering business may rely on partnerships with venues to collect leads, so it’s important to always keep an eye out for new venues opening their doors. Even small businesses can bring valuable leads to your catering company, so networking with these venues can be enormously beneficial. Doing so early can ensure you get a leg up on your competitors.

2. Encourage word-of-mouth advertising

As a local or national catering company, you shouldn’t discount the impact word-of-mouth advertising can have on your business. When your customers promote your brand to their friends and family, it acts as a reliable stamp of approval and often encourages them to convert.

To encourage word-of-mouth advertising, you can offer discounts for customers that give referrals to other clients and even special offers for repeat customers. These promotions encourage new clients to sign on and give incentives for existing customers to come back again and again.

Another type of word-of-mouth advertising is influencer marketing, which you can also leverage to grow leads for your catering business. For small catering companies, finding prominent local figures to promote your services will likely be most effective, but you can also target other relevant influencers like:

  • Popular local venue owners
  • Celebrities
  • Event bloggers
  • Food critics 
  • Sports teams

3. Optimize your website

Getting your name out there is important, but to generate as many leads as possible for your catering business, you’ll want to optimize your website so you appear on the search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone types specific keywords into the search bar.

One way to increase your SERP rankings is through search engine optimization (SEO). With this marketing strategy, your website content will target certain popular keywords that search engines use to provide users with results. If you fulfill other SEO best practices, like mobile-friendly web design and good linking practices, you can improve your rankings and get your website to appear in more searches.

Another optimization strategy is to use pay-per-click (PPC) ads to bring users to relevant landing pages. PPC ads mean you appear at the top of the SERPs, making users more likely to click on your link. For example, someone searching for the keyword “wedding caterer” will be more likely to click your result if it’s one of the first few options that match their query.

This strategy will involve building out landing pages that target specific audiences. Be sure to design these so they’re easy to navigate and have clear calls to action (CTAs).

4. Engage with customers on social media

People often reach out to businesses on social media before contacting them through more official means like email and phone calls. Engaging with these leads is important for your catering business. Social media sites offer some fantastic opportunities for generating leads through strategies like:

  • Fun posts and videos: Social media is great because it allows businesses to have a little fun with the content they post. You can create humorous videos and post fun photos of your events on your pages. You might also feature artful photos of your menu offerings to draw attention to your business.
  • Paid advertising: While posting regularly can increase your social media reach, you’ll see more impactful results with paid social media advertising. When you invest in sponsored posts, these platforms can use analytics to put ads in front of users who are most likely to convert.

Responding to comments and direct messages (DMs) is also essential to connect with your audience. Have someone at your company who is responsible for responding promptly to your social media comments and DMs so potential customers feel taken care of.

5. Target specific niches

There are many reasons an individual or organization would hire a catering company. You’ll be more successful in your lead generation if you target many specific niches in your advertising. Using SEO keywords like “catering for weddings” or “business catering” allows you to build pages and other content that target a specific audience.

This marketing strategy is called content marketing, and it’s often hugely successful in helping businesses generate leads. By creating valuable content that speaks to what your audience needs, you can build trust and establish yourself as an authority in the industry. 

6. Nurture leads with email marketing

For many consumers, the decision to purchase a product or service doesn’t happen instantly — most of the time, it takes a while for that decision to take place. Getting your audience to sign up for your emails is a great way to nurture leads when they eventually decide to convert. 

Send regular emails like a monthly newsletter or seasonal menu updates to keep your customers in the loop. You should also send emails detailing any promotions or discounts you offer, as those will catch your audience’s attention.

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If your catering company wants to do more to generate leads and improve your search engine rankings, contact the professionals at WebFX. We have many digital marketing services that can help your business boost revenue, so contact us today!

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