With the advent of the digital era and the world at our fingertips (literally!), almost half of businesses and restaurants have no web presence at all. This is a significant deal-breaker, especially for the Millenials and Gen Z, whose first impulse is to Google everything. Digital marketing for restaurants is a huge deal when working on developing an online presence. It may seem as easy as adding a few photos, videos, and blogs from your restaurant, but without strategic planning, it can be a waste of time – and yielding with no promising results. If you are a novice to the world of SEO, digital marketing, and social media advertising, then you need a guide to help you navigate the deep waters of online marketing. The following five tips will ensure that your followers turn into returning customers as fast as you can, say, enjoy your meal!
Be Smart With Your Social Media Presence
If your restaurant doesn't have a website, then you are missing a significant opportunity to invite customers, due to the lack of online restaurant marketing. If you are present on the web, then what are you doing that makes you stand apart? Social media is filled with restaurants that post images of their best dishes, but that's been done and over with. If you want to make a difference to the norm and attract traffic to your restaurant, then you need to dedicate someone who can market you in the best and fruitful way possible.
To become prominent in a sea of websites and images, it pays to be natural and as close to being real as possible. Share your story, the path you took, the lessons learned, appreciate people who supported you while giving people a chance to glance into your life as a restaurateur. An inspirational post has a more profound impact than images of dishes and makes people relate and connect. A couple of short videos about your staff, preparation, and serving of food, interaction with happy clients, and other real-life examples will attract people and create loyal customers.
Interact with customers online and accept feedback, which helps you grow as a person and as an entrepreneur. Showing such dedication to your work and clients, reinforces your image as authentic and build strong customer relationships.
Search Engine Marketing
The trick to getting new customers is to end up high in their search results. This entails including keywords embedded as often as possible for a successful digital marketing strategy for restaurants. Inculcate local keywords along with generic terms. This ensures that your restaurant shows up when searched in your local areas, attracting nearby customers to boost business. Creating blogs about new dishes or posting recipes can help direct traffic to your website by using your keywords.
Video Is The Boss
Almost half of the users spend an hour watching videos on social media every day. That's a horde of ten to sixty seconds of clips over a day. It may sound easy enough, but videos, no matter how short, should be professional looking. The content you are trying to convey will dictate your production value. If you are showing the everyday working of your restaurant, then a personal video made by your phone will be much appreciated. On the other hand, if you want to showcase a new product, then hiring professionals will go a long way in maintaining authenticity. Marketing a restaurant involves insight and keeping up pace with the changes happening to ensure that you can relate to the customers at their frequency.
Use Influencers For Cross-Promotions
A personal referral has always been preferable over everything else. The fast-paced world of social media allows for views to be heard within seconds, which means you don't have to wait while customers talk about your food to other people. Restaurant marketing strategies involve some sort of cross-promotion, i.e., if you use ingredients from a local vendor, then you can promote each other through blogs and other social media posts. This shows camaraderie and how loyal you are to in dealing with people.
Inviting local social media influencers and bloggers to your restaurant is a great way to show off your latest dishes and ask if they will write about you. There are a lot of choices for paying people with substantial social media following to talk about you. This investment is worth the hype since people trust word of mouth more than pictures or videos. There is a world of choices out there, be creative, and make meaningful connections that can be symbiotic.
Email And Text Messages
Gathering information through comment cards is not just for the sake of it, but that could be put to good use as a restaurant marketing strategy. The list of emails and phone numbers are materials for your digital marketing. Offer deals if people sign up with you or leave their business cars and create a spreadsheet of this information. Target people through email and text promotions, since keeping yourself in their minds will surely bring them to you. Offer a free dessert or a drink if you anticipate a slow night ahead. It is much quicker than waiting for users to view your deals and offers online. Whether they come in or not, this will surely keep them alert to your presence.
Juggling a full-time business and becoming an expert at digital restaurant marketing all at once is quite a challenge. It can seem daunting and intimidating. But if you want a successful business and stand out, then marketing a restaurant in this tech-savvy age is one niche you have to conquer. It's not just smart advertising, but it can provide something that clicks with your customers and makes them return countless times. Reinforce your values by showing how important your clients are for you and that delivering what you promise is what keeps you going. Success depends on consistency and long-lasting relationships built on a foundation of trust.