75% of smartphone users access restaurant information on the go, so having an online presence is essential for your business. The decision of where to eat is most influenced by location, price, and the number of good reviews. So where do you start with promoting your restaurant? Digital marketing may be the answer — keep reading to learn why.
What is digital marketing?
Digital marketing is the promotion of products and services using any kind of digital medium. A good digital marketing strategy for restaurants should include a website, email marketing and social media. The best social media platforms for restaurants are Facebook and Instagram, to capitalize on the strong visual appeal that food offers.
Restaurant Marketing Tips and Ideas
A restaurant website does not have to be robust but it has to be well thought out and 100% functional. So many of our restaurant clients come to us with websites that are not optimized for mobile. The phone numbers can’t be clicked, menus cannot be downloaded and there are blurry images. Having a poor restaurant website is like having a bland Bolognese in an Italian restaurant – it’s the cornerstone of everything. You want people to land on your website and make a reservation or walk in; it’s that simple.
Your restaurant website should have vertical sections so people can easily scroll to find pertinent information for your restaurant – contact info, menus, hours and a photo gallery. The restaurant industry is at the top of the list when it comes to the most mobile traffic, therefore it makes sense to design your website through the lens of a smart phone.
Part of targeting the local market is having listings on restaurant review sites such as Zomato. In this case, the type of restaurant business that you have doesn’t affect your marketing strategy so much as your diligence in encouraging your customers to post a review of your establishment. This is the part of your digital marketing strategy that you do not have full control over, but you can funnel your audience by promoting the listings on your social media, on your website, and in your restaurant itself, with signs and flyers.
Just how important are reviews for your restaurant marketing strategy? According to BrightLocal, it is an indispensable component of your digital marketing. Their statistics show that out of all industries, consumers read restaurant reviews more than anything – and 84% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as they would word-of-mouth.
Social Media for Restaurants
A good social media strategy is integral to a successful restaurant marketing strategy. Everybody knows that. What they don’t know is how to execute it. Too many restaurants turn over their social media to whoever wants to do it. This often results in neglected pages, rushed posts, mediocre images and slow follower growth. As I mentioned earlier, social media is way too important to pawn off on someone who likes to do it. You need someone who knows how to do it and has time to do it properly or otherwise hire a restaurant marketing agency.
Share Positive Press
Another major restaurant marketing tip – when you’re mentioned in a news outlet or magazine, be sure to show off your good publicity on your website and via social media. Fans will spread the word, and newcomers will be encouraged to visit in person when they see trusted sources celebrating your restaurant.
Food Blogger Outreach
When you’re a new restaurant, you may find it difficult to generate reviews and hype about your business. One great way to get reviews and press on the web is to invite food bloggers to your restaurant to give you a try, and consider offering a free meal or appetizer to get them in the door. Politely ask if they’d be willing to review your restaurant and share their experience online.
You can’t outright ask for a positive review, as that would be dishonest, but it’s fine to simply ask them for an objective restaurant review. Some bloggers might decline your offer, but the more you ask, the better your chances are of getting some positive feedback and generating more interest online.
Partner Up With Delivery Services
In today’s online-driven environment, ease of use is the name of the game. Many online delivery services streamline the ordering process, and internet-savvy patrons often love taking advantage of such delivery services.