Do you run a restaurant? If yes, you must already have a digital marketing plan for the restaurant at your disposal. However, if you don’t, or if you’re looking for better strategies – this blog is for you!
The restaurant industry is one of the hardest to break into, let alone prosper in. Small business owners already face an uphill battle, with roughly half failing within the first five years. How do you make the odds in your favor if the restaurant business is even more unforgiving?
Knowing how to sell to your target demographic is essential for every successful organization. You must answer critical issues such as, “How will my community know I exist?” and “How can I get people to come to my restaurant?”
The answer to this depends on your digital marketing strategies for restaurants. To stay on top of the game, you need to let go of traditional strategies and curate a digital marketing plan for restaurant.
Top 11 Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants
1. Develop a Functional Website With Appealing Content and Images
Having a website tops the list of restaurant online marketing strategies. Studies have proven how 88% of the world’s population look up online before making a purchase decision. So, if you wish to be favoured by that majority, you need to start building a perfect website.
Your website needs to have short, sweet and crisp content – people will lose patience with elaborate and tedious content. Pictures are the most effective way to gain your audience’s attention. Ensure that you post quality and professional pictures. Nothing attracts more than an irresistible plate of food!
Here are some more pointers that will help you build a website that can get you maximum leads:
- Your website should be professional, effective, and easy to use.
- Potential clients must navigate your site intuitively to access information like menus, hours of operation, and your address.
- Furthermore, keep in mind that most people use their smartphone to conduct research of this nature, regardless of whether they are at home, in the car, at work, or elsewhere – your website must be optimized for mobile devices.
2. Engage in Local SEO Practices
Perfecting your search engine optimization is one of the most crucial digital marketing strategy for restaurants. SEO is critical for driving organic traffic to your website and, eventually, putting customers in your seats. When someone searches for “Italian (or whatever) restaurants near me,” the speed with which they reach you is determined by your SEO ranking.
Whether locals or tourists, you must ensure that your website’s SEO positions you as a local hotspot.
Here are some tips to boost your SEO ranking:
- Write keyword-friendly blogs for your website. This will increase ranking for your website over the long run if you maintain consistency.
- Ensure that each of the pages on your website has local keywords. However, don’t overuse it.
- Use both internal and external links.
- Set up a Google My Business account.
- Make certain that your contact details and address are posted many times and are easily accessible.
3. Be Present on Social Media
There’s no better way to get people hungry than showing off your delicious dishes on their social media feeds. Here are some tips for making a digital marketing plan for restaurant that leverages social media platforms:
- Choose the social media platform(s) that your target audience interacts with the most. Digital marketing strategy for restaurants generally includes Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
- Keep your posts diverse and eye-catchy on the platforms you choose – Post-professional pictures of your food, post testimonials, photos of your staff, services, etc.
- Consider posting videos over photos since they do a much better job at grabbing the audience’s attention.
- Use calls-to-action (CTAs) in your postings to drive brand engagement. Put an “Order Now!” button, for example, that takes users to your online ordering website.
- Go for it! Instagram and Facebook stories, live video streaming an event at your restaurant, or live-tweeting can be a fun way to expand the reach of your business.
4. Reach Out to Influencers:
Influencer marketing is one of the most effective digital marketing strategy for restaurants. As a restaurant, you can reach out to food bloggers who can taste your food and share their reviews with their followers. This exposes you to even the influencers’ audience – giving you a much larger reach.
5. Implement Email Marketing
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is one of the most crucial methods for getting people to return to your business. Customers’ information collected on your restaurant’s POS system can be utilized to launch email marketing. Ensure that you include Email marketing as a part of your digital marketing plan for restaurant.
While discussing digital marketing strategy for restaurants, you should remember that it’s all about timing. Who doesn’t like getting “Buy 1 get 1 free” right before lunch? If you email promotional discounts shortly before meals, you increase the likelihood of someone placing an order. It’s also essential to use the appropriate language. Marketing relies heavily on content. Make sure your point is evident in the first 2-3 sentences. Customers tend to lose interest if this is not the case.
6. Keep an Eye on your Reviews Online
Most people always opt for a second opinion while making a purchase decision. These days, people depend on Google or other search engines to get reassurance. Hence, you should be very mindful of what you post online.
Begin by asking each paying customer to provide a review on Google, your website, or your social media profile. Most individuals require motivation, so offer a reasonable discount on their next meal once they’ve done the review.
7. Always Engage With Your Target Audience
It is always essential to engage with your audience – reply to their comments, reply to their DMs, and talk to them every opportunity you get. `This will help build a connection between you and your audience and also ensure that your existing audience comes back to you. If you’re struggling with restaurant online marketing strategies, this is your place to start.
8. Create Interactive Videos
As I discussed before, videos are the best way to get your audience’s attention. Post recipe videos of popular meals, behind-the-scenes footage of your restaurant’s Christmas décor, or a two-minute DIY film of your bartender creating a cocktail.
9. Run Targeted Ads and Online Campaigns
You can target a specific audience with paid marketing. Place digital adverts on social media and search engines. Create beautiful adverts that will entice consumers to return to your website. This is an excellent technique to reach out to the younger generation while looking at restaurant online marketing strategies.
You can also make use of sponsored social media marketing, which allows you to specify how much money you want to spend each day on your campaign and your target audience (based on age, gender, location, and more). This also includes analytical data that breaks down the success and performance of your advertisements. You’ll be able to observe how each ad performed in terms of engagement (link clicks, likes, followers, shares, and comments), which can help you fine-tune your ads.
10. Make use of User-Generated Content
User-generated content should be a part of restaurant online marketing strategies because it can multiply your reach. Here are 3 ways in which you can use UGC:
Review sites are a great place to find engaging user-generated content. Look up reviews for your restaurant on TripAdvisor, Google, Facebook, etc. Make a Word or Google document to collect the greatest reviews to use in your branding efforts.
User-generated content abounds on social media platforms. When you receive a notification that someone has tagged your restaurant on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, repost them. Check hashtags linked to your business and location tags in case clients did not directly tag your restaurant.
Food bloggers are always looking for new restaurants and writing about them. You must keep out an eye for blogs that may have mentioned you. They also click great photos to complement their review. You can use this content for your page by reposting them. Remember to always give credits!
11. Provide Online Deliveries
People were last found hosting house parties/ working in/ binging on the new show. In a nutshell, they were found ordering food instead of going out and eating. Ensuring online delivery should be a significant aspect of a digital marketing plan for restaurant. You can either display yourself on food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy or have your own website with delivery people.
Nonetheless, providing online delivery ensures that you are available to everybody. Your service can reach them even if they can’t reach you. Statista’s predictions prove that the online delivery sector was predicted to be worth approximately 13 billion US dollars by 2025. So, ensure that it is a part of your digital marketing strategy for restaurants and you are a part of that billion-dollar industry!
These were our 10 digital marketing plans for restaurant! Do you need help in boosting your online presence? We hear you! echoVME is one of the leading digital marketing agencies in Chennai that have worked with clients across various verticals, including restaurants. You can visit www.echovme.in to find out more.
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