The restaurant business is a fast-growing industry that is getting more competitive every passing day. To be successful, you have to be on top of your game by leveraging the available resources. It is important to note that all proper functioning restaurants may not be successful. But local restaurateurs are often oblivious to the power of the internet and still prefer traditional practices. They are unaware of the benefits that digital marketing can provide to restaurants.
The COVID-19 pandemic has revolutionized the global restaurant business scenario and hence, the online sector has seen a tremendous surge. As a result, today, customers are more comfortable in searching and ordering food online. This is where digital marketing plays a pivotal role in building a solid customer base. Good digital marketing strategy harnessing various channels enables the customers to discover your outlet and order from it.
6 Ways To Boost Digital Marketing For Your Restaurant
Efficient digital marketing promises a strong potential for growing restaurant businesses. This article unveils the primary digital marketing tactics that restaurants can implement to boost their sales. In addition, here are some digital marketing ideas which will upscale your business.
1. Your Website Is Your Brochure
Are you a proud restaurant owner? Sure you are. Do you have your website? No? Then you have a lot to catch up on. Before you dive into this world, make sure you have a simple yet engaging website for your restaurant business. Your website is your business card. People visiting your website are potential customers. A good website, coupled with a great SEO strategy will help generate new leads, thus reaching a larger audience. Try to revamp your website according to the market trends at regular intervals.
If you want to top the competition – be unique and have a blog. Having strong and relatable content on your website blog will ensure building brand value and brand affinity. From write-ups to pictures, to videos and online campaigns – you can use all types of content to make your website attractive and engaging. By regularly creating new content, you’ll deliver engaging content to your users and always stay ahead of your competitors.
2. Search Engine Optimisation or SEO
Your site has to be optimized for search engines, especially Google, as most searches are done here. One can hire SEO specialists for increasing your online visibility. Your website needs to target the right audience. List the right sets of keywords that are familiar to your restaurant’s concept. For example, if you own a pizza joint, the related search keywords can be like ‘pizza joints near me’, ‘eat pizza’, ‘buy a pizza’ etc. Optimize your restaurant website such that it appears on Google’s first page when one searches for anything related to pizza.
Furthermore, do not forget to get your restaurant listed on Google My Business Listing. When customers search for your restaurant, Google provides them with your contact number to directly contact you. Moreover, potential buyers can also locate your restaurant with the driving directions mentioned along with the details on Google’s My Business set-up.
3. Social Media Marketing
Social media on its own is an entire world. If you want to become successful, an active presence on social media is a must. From Facebook to Instagram, you can customize your content, targeting a particular pool of potential buyers. You can appoint an associate for building up your online profile and visibility by frequently posting relevant content. Try some of the listed tricks to manage your social media presence if you’re new at this.
- Use proper and relatable hashtags: Hashtags help potential customers discover you. If you are wondering that you are doing everything right on social media, but still can’t lift your restaurant sales, then maybe you are not working towards optimizing your restaurant’s online presence for customers to discover your restaurant.
- Hop on to trends: If you leverage the ongoing trends, you might be discovered by a large pool of potential customers who follow a particular trend. For example, in 2020, Dalgona coffee was wildly trending and everyone was onto it. Maybe, marketing your outlet around this trend could have been a road to success.
- Promote your outlet: Leverage the paid advertising feature of social media handles to promote your outlet such that your ad shows up in the feed and stories of your target audience. This could result in a lot of qualifying sales.
- Engage your customers in contests and polls: It’s a no-brainer that competition entices people. And so is the same for your potential customers. So, hold contests for your customers on social media and make them appealing by rewarding them with free dishes to increase engagement with your restaurant.
4. Be Vocal About Reviews And Testimonials
People tend to go through reviews and testimonials before trying a particular food outlet. Reviews are more or less a part of social media profiles and ensure traffic to your site through search pages. Come up with a rating strategy, encourage your users to leave an appropriate rating. The type of reviews and ratings define the quality of your restaurant.
Seek feedback from your customers via ratings, comments, etc. about your restaurant and display them on all your social media handles. It is enough to influence your customers and make them believe in your restaurant service and hence, make them order from your outlet.
Sites like Zomato, TripAdvisor, EazyDiner, etc., allow the customers to provide their valuable feedback with respect to food, location, service, ambiance, and much more. Just remember higher rating is equal to more increased traffic, thus more customers.
5. Practice Email Marketing
You can always try email marketing as it has been in the business scenario since the boom of the internet and is highly effective. All you need is to be creative and unique with your email newsletters. For instance, you can dole out irresistible offers to your customers and keep updating them with exclusive surprises, discounts, and giveaways in your emails. Send auto-generated emails with special deals on special days like birthdays and anniversaries.
Email marketing can be used to delight your customers in many other ways. You can start by sending a greeting mail to anyone who signs up with your restaurant. Post that, you can continue sending your regular offers and discounts. In addition, you can also come up with your weekly newsletter that introduces your patrons to your restaurant’s culture, upcoming events, new additions on the menu, recent locations, and other relevant information. However, it is not recommended to overdo email marketing as your customers might feel bugged by the continuous emails they receive from your end.
6. Leverage SMS Marketing
Even though email marketing is an excellent way of marketing, another marketing strategy that is almost three times as efficient as email marketing is SMS marketing. Research shows that the opening rate of SMS is as high as 98%. This means that your patrons are more likely to open the SMS you send them instead of emails. Therefore, this feature needs to be leveraged to its full potential.
You can send your customers promo codes, offers, and discounts to lure them into ordering your great food. Make sure to be precise and adept in your writings with eye-catching phrases so that your texts do not get lost in the multitude of promotional spam messages that the customers usually receive.
Furthermore, besides the discounts and offers, you must end your SMSs with a call-to-action, food instance, “Order now!”, “Book Your Table Now!”. This makes it convenient for customers to access the link and order or book a table instantly.
There is a lot of competition in the restaurant industry. If you genuinely want a thriving business where people visit your restaurant day and night, then make sure they find you online. Essential digital marketing strategies for restaurants can attract potential buyers which will be helpful for your business in the longer run. If you haven’t switched to a robust digital marketing strategy yet, then it’s long overdue.