How to Leverage Digital Marketing for Restaurants
The food service industry has been growing exponentially, and competition is stiff. The restaurant business is now closely intertwined with technology, with most people using their smartphones to decide where to eat. Add to this the fact that food delivery has become so common, and you can’t ignore the importance of restaurants having an online presence. In this article we will cover why digital marketing for restaurants is essential and how to make the most of it.
Here’s Why Digital Marketing for Restaurants is Important
1. It Develops Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity is unique to you. It is how you separate yourself from the competition. With the help of digital marketing, you can display your restaurant’s personality to a much wider audience. Having a digital presence lets you share your restaurant’s story with potential customers online. They can look at your website or social media profiles and instantly know whether it is a good fit for them or not.
2. It Builds Customer Loyalty
When you use digital marketing – specifically social media – your customers always have a way to reach you. It is an excellent tool to engage with your customers on a personal level and make them feel valued. If you respond promptly and professionally, your followers will have a good impression of your brand and will be more likely to visit your restaurant.
3. It Lets You Keep Your Information Up-To-Date
While looking for a place to eat, most people perform a quick google search to find out the location, cost, phone number, and opening hours of a restaurant. If any of these is out-of-date, your customers will naturally be frustrated. You can also include pictures of your menu, food, and the restaurant itself so that people will know what to expect when they enter your establishment.
4. It is Great for Handling Feedback
Customers may leave feedback for you in any number of ways. They might write a google review, or post about their experience on a social media platform. This feedback is public and can act as a marketing tool to bring in new customers. If you receive negative feedback, you can publicly apologize to say you are working on fixing their issue. On the other hand, if you receive nonsensical feedback, you can respond to it to ensure that new customers are not fooled by it. Now that we understand the “why” of digital marketing for restaurants let us move on to the “how”.
7 Useful Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants
1. Create a Good Website
Even though you provide a service that is not digital, your website (if you have one) is the face of your business. (If you don’t have a website creating one should be your priority!) You need to make sure that your website is both professional and user-friendly. It should be easy to navigate and find information such as menus, opening hours, and the addresses of different branches. You should also include professional images of your restaurant space and the food you offer. This will make your establishment seem more appealing to prospective customers.
2. Optimize Your Web Pages for Search Engines.
An essential aspect of digital marketing for restaurants is search engine optimization (SEO). This ensures that people will be able to see you in search results. More specifically, you want to engage in local SEO so that people can find you when they search for phrases like “restaurants near me”. You can boost your SEO by using localized keywords and delivering engaging content to those who visit your website.
3. Grow Your Social Media Presence.
There are many ways to direct people to your website. SEO is one method, but social media is just as important. You can build a following of people who have enjoyed your restaurant, making them more likely to become repeat customers. Social media also gives you numerous opportunities to partner with other brands and build your network.
4. Reach Out to Influencers.
Social media influencers are highly credible people who have extremely large followings. Partnering with them will help you target a much wider audience. You can reach out to food-specific influencers in your area and ask them to create a post about your restaurant. In return, you can pay them a commission or offer them a certain number of free meals.
5. Cultivate Customer Relationships With E-mail Marketing.
This kind of digital marketing for restaurants is targeted at people who have already visited your establishment in the past. You need to first build a list of subscribers, and then send out one or two emails every week. You can get people to subscribe by giving them discount codes and special offers. You also need to make sure that your emails provide your customers with something valuable. This can be anything from offering discounts to recipes that they can try out at home!
6. Make the Most Online Reviews
Online reviews are one of the best ways to get new customers. It’s reassuring for a customer to know that previous patrons of your restaurant have had good experiences. Unfortunately, people don’t often think about posting reviews when they’ve had a good time. Instead, they usually offer their opinion only after a bad experience. You can encourage customers to write reviews for you by offering them a discount or a free drink after their meal. You can also reply to bad reviews, to show your audience that you are willing to make changes to accommodate them.
7. Start and Maintain a Blog.
Blogging is not only a great way to boost your SEO, but it also gives you the space to tinker with your brand’s personality and voice. You can share absolutely anything you want to – from success stories to the difficulties you have faced, to recipes, to amusing anecdotes from the kitchen. You can also use your blog to share important information about your restaurant.
Digital Marketing for Restaurants isn’t Easy
Running a restaurant is a full-time job. When you add digital marketing into the mix, it becomes very difficult indeed. It isn’t feasible to handle everything yourself. Fortunately, you have the option to outsource this work to a digital marketing company for a restaurant business. You will have to make more space in your budget for your digital marketing cost, but it is well worth it to improve your online presence.
If you’re looking for a digital marketing company, you’re in the right place! iTrobes offers its services all over the world, and we will work closely with you to ensure that your online reputation is as good as your food. Write to us today to get started!