Advertising on cable television is a great way to reach customers and increase your restaurant's popularity. The major advantage of television advertising over radio or newspaper advertising for a restaurant is the fact that television is a visual medium. Potential customers can see a visual presentation of your menu items on the television—this is impossible with radio advertising, and the reach of print advertising among consumers is not as great as television's reach.

The downside of television advertising is that it's the most expensive advertising medium. However, there are some ways to reduce your advertising costs by smartly targeting viewers who are more likely to dine at your restaurant. This lowers costs because you're not reaching as many people overall with your commercials and will pay lower rates. Here's how to reduce television advertising costs by focusing on the correct demographic.

Target Cooking and Travel Shows

Cable television advertising allows you to purchase ad slots on specific networks at specific times. By airing your commercial spots during cooking shows or travel shows, you'll be reaching a demographic that already has an interest in new dining experiences.

The other benefit is that the programming on these channels creates the right mindset in potential diners—watching travelers dine at foreign restaurants or watching chefs work with exotic ingredients will prime viewers to be more eager to seek out new dining experiences.

Reduce the Geographic Scope of Your Ads

With broadcast television advertising, you're limited to preexisting broadcast media markets. This can be frustrating if the media markets don't line up with your needs. For example, your restaurant may be near the border of two major media markets. You're forced to choose one or the other or advertise on both. A broadcast media market may also cover a broad geographic range, leading your commercials to broadcast in homes that may be one or two hours away from your restaurant.

You can advertise on a narrower geographic range with cable television. Limiting your advertising campaign to nearby towns reduces the reach of your commercial, which lowers the price you pay per advertising spot. For a local restaurant, targeting an area within reasonable driving distance will minimize your cost per commercial while maximizing impact.

Create Commercial Spots That Fit in a 15-Second Window

Commercials that can fit inside a 15-second slot are popular among small businesses, since the cost of a slot is usually less than half of a usual 30 second slot. This allows your restaurant to have a television presence with lower up-front costs. Your commercials should be short, should show off your menu items and your restaurant's decor and should be professionally produced. You can often receive a low professional production rate from affiliate stations if you agree to buy advertising time on their network.

Television has broad reach and allows restaurants to narrowly target consumers who are most likely to become diners, boosting revenue and increasing market visibility. Contact an advertising agency such as Television Ad Group if you need help with producing your commercial or negotiating rates and time slots with broadcasters.