Let’s say you’re a restaurant owner and you recently launched a new brunch menu. How do you get the word out about this new menu and the fact that you’re now serving brunch? Do you rely on advertisements in the newspaper? Word of mouth? Or maybe you’re thinking of handing out flyers?
We’re going to stop you right there. Why? Because these methods are much less efficient than marketing in today’s digital era, especially after the latest events that happened in the world. If you want to attract new customers and maintain a loyal fan base, you’ve come to the right place!
Let’s start with some basics, what is digital marketing? Digital marketing is all marketing involving the internet or electronic devices. To gain new contacts or prospective clients, businesses use digital marketing that involves social media, emails, websites, etc.
Compared to traditional marketing efforts (i.e. phone communication and print ads), digital marketing offers endless possibilities. Another great factor about digital marketing is the fact that it offers businesses like restaurants many creative options and strategies. For example, a restaurant can track its return on investments (ROI) using analytical tools to monitor how successful its campaigns were (i.e. emails and chatbots attracting new clients who redeemed an offer).
As you can see, digital marketing can be leveraged to a business’s advantage. Benefits to digital marketing include: retaining current customers, gaining new customers, growing your business, targeting an audience, and of course increasing your ROI.
Here are 10 tips for restaurants on leveraging digital marketing:
- Connection: Show the personal side of your business. Do a “behind the scenes” of your restaurant and present your staff. People follow people, not companies. Build a connection between your audience and your business. To do this, you can take a picture of a staff member on their birthday and share it on your social media. When your customer visits the restaurant they will feel like they already know your staff.
- Engagement: Increase the engagement on your posts. Try posting something different than what you normally post. For example, you can post a picture that your customer took at your restaurant (giving them credit for the photo of course). It’s a win-win because the customer will feel valued and it’s “proof” that individuals enjoy dining at your establishment.
- Google My Business: A lot of businesses don’t take advantage of “Google My Business”. They tend to add the basic information but don’t add much else. Make sure to post on Google My Business (same as if you were to post on social media). Every seven days, the post expires, so it’s important to be continually posting on this platform. You can also post about any offers or events you have on here.
- Delivery: You can offer a delivery option by working with different delivery apps. You should definitely consider this option, given the fact that 4.3 billion dollars worth of food was ordered in 2018. That’s a lot of cash that you could be missing out on! A large portion of that revenue came from Uber Eats, Foodora, and Skip the dishes. We partnered up with Google and provide a customized app for every restaurant.
- Loyalty Systems: This is how you can retain current clients and attract new ones. For example, you could offer a punch card- buy 9 gelatos and get the 10th one free. If you own a fine dining establishment, you could offer a free appetizer for individuals who are eating at your restaurant for the first time.
- Wi-Fi Marketing: A lot of establishments already have wifi (usually password protected). So when clients want to log onto the wifi, you can give them the password in exchange for their email or check-in through Facebook. When they do log in through Facebook- it will show that they were at your establishment (this is a free advertisement for you)!
- Websites: make sure that your website is mobile optimized. Why? 60% of people are using their cell phones when they’re looking for something (like somewhere to go and eat). Create a website that is not only optimized for cell phones but one that is simple and easy to understand.
- Chatbots: Use Facebook Messenger to build a database, this is useful for let’s say when you run a promotion on social media. When people see this, they can click on the link or leave a comment. Whenever there is a comment, the chatbot is triggered- asking them questions and gathering information (i.e. phone number, email). With this information, you can build a lead nurturing campaign- by adding them to a weekly newsletter list.
- Online advertisement: Social media channels like Facebook and Instagram are great places to advertise your business. You can advertise an offer to a target audience and track the results from the campaign. For example, you can track how many people went to the landing page or even the restaurant, in turn, you can track your ROI. This is great because it will show you what worked and what didn’t work.
- Content creation: When it comes to creating content, consistency is key. Try and have a goal for how much you’re posting. Ideally, it should be once per day. If that’s too difficult, try to aim for four times a week. Make sure to use relevant hashtags and include the location of your restaurant as well.
With all of these tips, you have no excuse not to use digital marketing to leverage your business.
We know a thing or two about digital marketing for restaurants and have increased our client’s ROI using these methods. If you have any questions or want our team to help you with results-driven marketing simply book a discovery call with us today!