How do you actually do restaurant marketing?
Having run restaurants ourselves and now a restaurant marketing firm (our CEO graduated from founder into the fully fledged role of restaurant marketer, to fill the seats day in day out!), we have put down some of our key digital marketing learnings that will help you increase your website traffic, gain repeat customers and woo new customers online.
Watch your online reviews.
Search engines loooooovvve reviews, and especially positive reviews. But they also like negative reviews, if they are handled properly.
These reviews are very important to hospitality brands, to gain traction with a local audience. If you are a restaurant owner or operator, be sure to take time for reputation management.
Not only do you want to see positive reviews, you also want to monitor how your staff are interacting with reviews and complaints to ensure it is done in a positive way and that your replies are up to date.
Social media marketing strategy.
Yes, you need to have a strategy for your social media marketing.
Hospitality marketing is about constantly keeping your business front of mind. Constantly touching tables with your social media audience and using data driven insights from the likes of Google analytics to help you decide what strategies, when and where to post and what style of content gets the most customer engagement.
Using fresh content weekly, as well as pillar content that has a little ad spend behind it and runs continuously, well as influencer marketing are great strategies to keep your customers engaged.
Incentivising loyal customers to create user generated content, such as photos or videos of their food and drinks that they post online for you, can be a great way to build rapport and gain more customers.
Run paid ads.
Paid media is a great restaurant marketing strategy to get leads to hospitality businesses and to also speak to your customer database.
Although at the start for a new business, ad spend may be difficult to come across so this may be one of the restaurant marketing strategies for when you are local or bricks and mortar business.
Google Ads, Instagram Ads and Facebook Ads can be used really effectively to target a local audience and drive business. Be warned though, if you have little digital marketing expertise, it is probably best to leave social media advertising to the digital marketing agencies, as this can quickly become a financial black hole, especially for the hospitality industry.
3 Restaurant Marketing Ideas.
We often get asked if we were starting a restaurant now and build a strategy for it, these are the 3 areas we would focus on:
Google My Business.
Google maps is a great way to drive traffic from a local audience and help you harness the power of the search engines. Get your customers online to gibe you a review on your profile and watch how the phone will ring off its hook.
Email marketing is not dead.
Yup, it is still very much alive and really focusing your marketing efforts on this area is important for restaurant owners.
Think outside the box here, creating a joint venture to promote services to each others lists with other businesses that are similar to yours (like your butcher) is a great way to harness your food marketing strategy to the next level.
Creating competitions on platforms such as Upviral can be a great way to also increase sales and attract potential diners.
Optimise your site.
When we were running bars and restaurants, our websites were rubbish. We didn’t understand that web design should be a core pillar in helping to drive sales.
Use a tool like Surfer SEO to optimise your website so you show up when people are searching for the cuisine or style of food your restaurant serves.
Does all this online marketing stuff sound a bit much?
We get it, this is a lot to take in from digital ads, social media accounts & email marketing strategy. You don’t need a full service agency, you need a strategy.
If you want a bit more clarify on how to build a plan for your restaurant, bar or hotel book your free 45 min call here. We are a specialist restaurant marketing agency and look forward to helping you get more customers!