The internet came and with it a new way to reach out to more people. Digital marketing took the marketing world by storm and it will continue to. The internet levelled the marketing playing field for both online and offline companies. This means that you –a brick-n’-mortar business owner – stand an equal chance at reaching more people like your online counterparts.
The question is…
Are you making the most of the internet for marketing your restaurant?
In this post, I have outlined top 10 digital marketing tips that restaurant owners can use to reach out and get more customers.
- Capitalize On Social Media For Marketing
I can safely say that social media is the best thing that happened to many businesses. It created a channel that enabled brands reach out to millions of people. A goldmine, you might say. So here are a few tips on how to effectively use social media to market your restaurant:
- Create an account for your restaurant on social media, preferably Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. These three platforms hold the highest number of users and so they expose your business to a larger crowd.
- Use clear, crisp photos in your social media posts. Professionally taken pictures of dishes can get people running to your restaurant to their bellies. You should also post pictures of your staff, kitchen customers, dining area, and aspects of your business you think might excite your audience.
- Videos are an excellent form of content. They are more engaging than photos. Your videos could be about your staff, your dining area, or a customer review. You could also make a video on how to prepare a type of dish.
- Include a call-to-action in every post you put up. Tell your audience what you want them to do.
- Leverage Text And Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the most powerful forms of digital marketing. It serves as the foundation for all customer relationship management platforms. And it is still the most effective to communicate with your customers. You can collect customer email at your restaurant using your POS system or a Wi-Fi marketing & analytics platform. Here are a few tips to use email marketing:
- Segment your customers in different categories. These categories could be based on data points like gender, age, new subscribers, loyal customers, inactive subscribers, churning customers, etc. Doing this helps you send personalized messages that speak specifically to the customers’ needs.
- Send discount codes to customers just before they make a purchase. This works well with first-time subscribers who haven’t dined at your restaurant. A 30% off their first meal can help make their buying decision.
- Make every line count, especially the first 2 to 3 lines. Your customers may lose focus if your opening lines aren’t catchy or exciting.
- Use it as a channel to announce upcoming events.
- Organize Loyalty Programs
Loyalty programs work like a dream. Research has shown that nearly 1 in 4 adults in the US participate in a loyalty program. Your regular customers are important to the sustenance of your restaurant business. Creating a program that rewards them for their loyalty is a great way to keep excited about your brand.
- Offer points or scores for every purchase your loyal customers make. These points or score can be used to get a free item or a discount on their subsequent purchase.
- Reward them for referrals. You could make this a percentage discount for every person referred.
- Offer incentives to customers who share posts, photos, or videos of your restaurant.
- Expand Your Digital Presence
Being on social media platforms is good. But sometimes it’s not enough. You need to expand your digital presence. Here are a few tips:
- Get your restaurant on review sites like Swiggy and Zomato. These sites are food aggregators and they allow you showcase your restaurant brand pretty much without restrictions.
- You should include these sites in your promotional strategies in addition to your regular platforms.
- Remember to use crisp and clear photos, and useful content to get your customers to come dine at or order from your restaurant.
- Make sure all menu changes are reflected on your restaurant website.
- Get Your Restaurant On Online Listings
To extend your digital reach, consider getting your restaurant on local online listings. These platforms have ample amount of traffic daily and would give your business some solid exposure. A few of them also provide review pages for customers to provide feedback about your restaurant. Examples of listing sites include Google My Business, Yelp, and Bing.
- Consider Using Paid Ads
If you have a sizeable marketing budget, you should consider paid ads. They allow you to target a specific set of people. Paid ads on social media like Facebook are cost effective and will let you reach a really wide audience for only a few dollars. A few helpful tips to make your ads convert well:
- Make sure your ad copy is persuasive enough to compel your viewers to click on it.
- Use pictures and colours to tell your viewers where to look.
- Include a strong call to action on your ads.
- Create A Blog For Your Restaurant On Your Website
Want to let people know what’s going on in your restaurant? A blog is a great way to go. Create a blog page on your website. There you can write about your restaurant and get your customers excited about your menu and upcoming events. Here are a few tips to get the most out of your blog:
- Write posts on relevant – restaurant/food related – topics only.
- Provide a comment section below your posts where your visitors can engage with your content.
- Include share buttons to major social media platform to allow your customers to share it online.
- Work With Social Media Influencers And Food Bloggers
No matter how much advertising you run online, you simply can’t reach everyone. Some people may only listen to you when you speak through someone they admire. This is where social media influencers and food bloggers come in. these people usually have a large following and could give your traffic a boost when they talk about your restaurant to their audience. A couple of helpful tips though:
- It is important to find a social media influencer or food blogger that suits your restaurant.
- Be sure that any influencer or blogger you intend to work with is passionate about your niche.
- Organize Events
Organize local events based on food or the restaurant industry to attract fresh eyes to your business. Such events could be wine tasting, cooking competitions, or food sampling events.
More so, you could take a step further and get on TV shows like stand-up comedy shows, poetry slams, karaoke nights, and more.
You should also participate in local events like food festivals and get to be food sponsor for local event, too. The goal is to get your brand out there and build awareness.
- Organize Contests And Give Freebies
Everyone loves something for nothing. Your customers do, too. When your customers visit, give them some freebies. Make it special for them. People love to go to places where they are treated specially. They will automatically become brand evangelists for your restaurant. Online contests on social media also creates buzz about your brand. But read these tips before you start giving gifts:
- Make sure what you are giving out is both of quality so that your customers value it. But they should not be expensive so that you don’t bankrupt your business.
- Tie your freebies to a purchase. For instance, you could offer free coffee on every meal purchased or free mints on every soda bought.
So there you have it, 10 digital marketing tips to boost your restaurant business. These tips are easy to apply and not overly expensive, only be sure to work within your budget.
Oh, and one more tip…
Offer free Wi-Fi. A free Wi-Fi sign outside your restaurant door is sure to get people walking and placing orders who may never have.
A landing page on your free guest Wi-Fi can help you collect valuable customer data that will help improve your marketing results. Contact us to know more.POSTED ON October 10, 2019