26 Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Catering Business

26 Marketing Ideas To Grow Your Catering Business

Wondering how to market your catering business?

Marketing your catering business is certainly not easy, but there are many ways to promote and advertise your catering business.

We put together a list of the best marketing ideas for your catering business, so you can get your small business out there.

Here’s the list:

1. Press Release: Get A Press Release Published

A press release is a marketing strategy that involves sending out a newsworthy bulletin.

Targeting journalists and potential customers, the press release provides a popular approach for getting immediate brand exposure.

For startups, getting more press is an attractive approach to gain traction, so that target customers know who you are, and what you are offering them.

  • Topic: Buzz
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $0-$2,000
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on press release ➜

2. Referral Program: Launch A Referral Program

A referral program is the type of marketing where you state an offer to your existing customers for the act of creating a word-of-mouth referral that converts.

According to SEMrush, word-of-mouth is considered to be one of the top traffic sources for small businesses that practice affiliate marketing.

Launching a referral program is a great marketing strategy for growing a small business. An effective referral program enables startups to increase lead generation and an active audience.

  • Topic: Word Of Mouth
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $10-$100
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on referral program ➜

3. Pay Per Click Advertising: Set Up A Pay Per Click Campaign

Pay-per-click (PPC) is a performance-based marketing method that allows you to show specific ads for services or products oriented to a very defined target, with the goal that the user visits your website or landing page.

  • Topic: Affiliate
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - Average is typically $1 per click
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on pay per click advertising ➜

4. Outsourcing: Business Outsourcing

Outsourcing is an agreement where a business contracts a third party to perform services and job functions that were traditionally performed by the company’s employees.

Any business operations that can be performed from an offshore location can be outsourced.

Examples of business operations that can be outsourced include call center services, bookkeeping services, inventory management, IT services, Payroll solutions, etc.

  • Topic: Automate
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Medium - $100-$2,000
  • Result: Product Quality

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Check out our full guide on outsourcing ➜

5. Affiliate program: Launch An Affiliate Program

Affiliate marketing is a great way to bring in a new revenue stream, especially when you don't sell products or services.

Simply put, an affiliate program is an agreement where a business pays another business or influencer ("the affiliate") a commission for sending traffic and/or sales their way.

The affiliate typically gets a unique link where clicks and conversions can be tracked.

  • Topic: Affiliate
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - $50-$500
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on affiliate program ➜

6. Franchising: Franchise Your Business

Franchising is a business strategy where private entrepreneurs sell the rights to their business logo, name, and model to third-party outlets.

A franchise is beneficial to small businesses that cannot afford much finance and capital investment to operate a business startup.

Franchises often have a higher success rate compared to startup businesses.

  • Topic: Buzz
  • Level of Difficulty: Hard
  • Cost: High - $20,000-$30,000
  • Result: Business Expansion

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Check out our full guide on franchising ➜

7. Geographic Expansion: Develop a Geographic Expansion Strategy

Geographic expansion is a market strategy where an enterprise grows by expanding from its original location to additional geographic regions.

Geographic expansion is one of the preferred business growth strategies.

According to Frost & Sullivan, geographic expansion can help enterprises gain access to new markets and talent pools.

  • Topic: Buzz
  • Level of Difficulty: Hard
  • Cost: High - $5,000-$20,000
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on geographic expansion ➜

8. Handwritten Marketing : Send Handwritten Notes to Customers

Handwritten marketing is a common strategy used by sales and marketing teams that aim to maintain close relationships with their customers.

Sending handwritten notes to customers helps marketers achieve personalized marketing, improve customer loyalty, and improve open rates.

The concept of sending writing handwritten notes to customers is ideal in lead generation, sending thank you message after the customer made a purchase, retargeting abandoned shopping carts, and several other scenarios.

  • Topic: Relationships
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $0-$50
  • Result: Brand Loyalty

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Check out our full guide on handwritten marketing ➜

9. Product expansion: Expand Your Product Line

Product line expansion simply refers to a way of focusing on your customer's requirements and offering them variants of the current products that they already love.

Before undertaking the product line expansion strategy, consider listening to customers' feedback. Focus on understanding their current pain points and look at ways to make your products appeal to a broader market.

It's important to note that adding new products and diversifying may not be in the cards for you right this moment, and that's okay. You can always consider it down the road.

  • Topic: Buzz
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $100-$2,000
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on product expansion ➜

10. Competitor analysis: Conduct A Competitor Analysis

Competitor analysis refers to a report analyzing your competitors' strengths and weaknesses relative to those of your own business.

For startups trying to break into the market, a well-researched competition analysis gives you the tools to reach strategic decisions.

A competitor analysis should be included in your marketing plan, your business plan, and all aspects of your high-level business and pricing strategy.

  • Topic: Sales
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - $0-$300
  • Result: Product Quality

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Check out our full guide on competitor analysis ➜

11. Leverage Third Party Platforms: Leverage Third Party Platforms (Amazon, Etsy, etc)

Running a successful startup requires wearing a variety of hats at all times.

According to Forbes Report, startups should leverage third-party platforms to thrive.

Simply put, third-party platforms involve startups using an existing infrastructure and expertise built by the third-party platform to market and reach your customers.

Amazon, Etsy and Shopify are all examples of third-party platforms.

Startups that choose to leverage third-party platforms save an enormous amount of resources involved in hiring, training, and retaining in-house experts.

  • Topic: Sales
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - $0-$100
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on leverage third party platforms ➜

12. LinkedIn ads: Advertise On LinkedIn

LinkedIn Advertising refers to the use of paid LinkedIn Ads targeting the platform users.

The LinkedIn paid ads provide an exceptional benefit that will help brands to meet the specific business goals.

LinkedIn advertising is ideal for businesses that want to reach customers via a professional network.

  • Topic: Social Media - (Paid)
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - On average: $5.26 per click, $6.59 per 1000 impressions, and $0.80 per send.
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on linkedin ads ➜

13. Yelp ads: Create Yelp Ads

Yelp Ads refers to the placement of promotional content on Yelp with the intention to reach more customers who visit Yelp.

The Yelp advertisements will appear in the search results and on business listings.

Through Yelp ads, you can bring more people back to your Yelp business page so that they learn more about your business and ultimately decide to contact you.

  • Topic: Social Media - (Paid)
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $0-$350
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on yelp ads ➜

14. Business cards: Create Business Cards

A business card is a card bearing information about a business or an individual.

Business cards may seem like an "old" way to market yourself, but they still may be worth it.

A skillfully designed business card can be your best marketing tool especially if you meet many clients in person.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $25-$200. Price depends on how many business cards you order.
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on business cards ➜

15. Corporate gifts: Corporate Gifting

Corporate gifting is the practice of creating a touchpoint with your existing clients and prospects through the use of a gift.

Giving gifts is one of the worlds oldest traditions. Why? Because it works.

According to Destination CRM:

Businesses that send highly personalized and modern gifts at key moments in the customer journey see a far better outcome—particularly with small and midsize businesses, whose customer relationships are crucial.

  • Topic: Sales
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $20-$500
  • Result: Brand Loyalty

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Check out our full guide on corporate gifts ➜

16. Meetup groups: Meetup Group As a Marketing Strategy

Marketing via meetup groups is a strategy to helppublicize a brand during an ongoing in-person or virtual meeting.

Meetup groups offer many benefits for marketing your business, such as finding clients, hosting meetup groups that attract your customers, and learning from like-minded entrepreneurs.

Therefore, if you run a local or global business, meet up groups can be a great strategy for publicizing your offer.

  • Topic: Events
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Low - $5-$150
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on meetup groups ➜

17. Trade Show: Attend A Trade Show

Tradeshows refer to an exhibition where companies in a specific industry display and demonstrate their products or services.

Although this tactic may seem traditional, tradeshows remain an effective and important marketing strategy in business today.

With attending a tradeshow, startups can reach their target audienceand also attract new customers.

  • Topic: Events
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $200-$5,000
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on trade show ➜

18. Webinar: Launch A Webinar

A webinar is an event held virtually and attended exclusively by an online audience. Therefore, a webinar can reach a wide range of audiences from different locations.

Webinars are a great way to build your existing audience and create new customers. Webinars can also help with promotions, establishing clout and credibility with customers, and can help build your email list.

Webinars are a particularly effective marketing tool because they allow brands to connect with their customers.

  • Topic: Events
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $100-$1,500
  • Result: Trust & Credibility

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Check out our full guide on webinar ➜

19. Promotional videos: Create A Stellar Promotional Video

A promotional video is any type of video you record and post with the intention of promoting a particular marketing initiative, sale, or event.

According to Wyzowl, 83% of video marketers say video gives them a great ROI.

Creating a stellar promotional video grabs the audience's attention and draws them to learn more about the featured product or service.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $100-$10,000
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on promotional videos ➜

20. Direct Mail Campaign: Design A Successful Direct Mail Campaign

Marketing through direct mail is a process where a business sends print advertising to their customer using the mail system.

Although this may seem like an old school way of doing marketing, it's proven to create brand awareness and convert customers.

This form of marketing can be done through various different methods, such as brochures, letters, postcards, flyers and much more.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Low - $.50-$3.00 per piece of mail
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on direct mail campaign ➜

21. Checklist Content: Create A Checklist For Your Blog

Checklists provide readers with a concise list of tasks for how to solve a specific problem.

This type of content typically drives your customer to download, use, and share your content - all great ways to improve your SEO and brand exposure.

  • Topic: Content
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - There is no cost to create a checklist.
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on checklist content ➜

22. Brand Story Email: Create A Brand Story Email Campaign

A brand story email narrates the story of how and why your business was started and expresses how that narrative is still apart of you today.

Emails that explain your brand story can be a very effective way to connect with your customer.

  • Topic: Email
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy
  • Cost: Free - -
  • Result: Lead Generation

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Check out our full guide on brand story email ➜

23. Billboard Ad: Create A Billboard Ad

Billboards are large outdoor advertising structures that are usually found on busy roads and high traffic areas.

Billboards are effective because they can reach pedestrians and drivers.

Based on a recent study, 71% of Americans consciously look at billboard messages while driving.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: High - $700-$30,000 - depending on location and size.
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on billboard ad ➜

24. Print Media Marketing: Create A Print Media Marketing Campaign

Print media marketing is a form of advertising that uses physically printed media to reach consumers, business customers, and prospects.

Examples of physically printed media are magazines, newspapers, newsletters, consumer and trade magazines, and direct letters to target customers.

By creating print media marketing campaigns, businesses are able to reach a very wide audience and target different readerships.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $500-$20,000
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on print media marketing ➜

25. Newspaper Ad: Experiment With Newspaper Advertising

Newspaper advertising refers to running an ad for your business in a print publication.

Placing ads in newspapers and magazines has been an effective way to reach a wide range of customers. Advertisers can use newspapers and magazines to run targeted advertising.

To ensure effectively targeted marketing using newspaper and magazine ads, the advertiser must research the interests of the target audience.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Medium
  • Cost: Medium - $500-$20,000
  • Result: Brand Awareness

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Check out our full guide on newspaper ad ➜

26. TV Advertising: Create A TV Ad Campaign

Television advertising refers to broadcasting programmed promotional messages that target potential TV viewers.

Brands use TV commercials to convey promotional messages that market a product or a service.

Throughout the decades, brands have used TV commercials to attract a massive customer base for their products and services.

  • Topic: Print + Traditional
  • Level of Difficulty: Hard
  • Cost: High - $115,000 per 30 second commercial
  • Result: Brand Exposure

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Check out our full guide on tv advertising ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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