Effective digital marketing is a challenge, especially for restaurants. See the 360 degree digital marketing strategy action plan that every restaurant needs.
If you’re in the restaurant business, you (hopefully) know how important marketing is. Remember, you’re far from the only restaurant that’s competing for business. If your marketing strategy isn’t up to date, you could be missing out on truly growing your business.
Luckily for you, we’re here to help you build a 360 digital marketing strategy that’ll blow your competition out of the water.
360-degree marketing strategies are designed to give you the most comprehensive approach to marketing possible. You may already have a marketing plan in place, but we know how you can improve it.
If you want to handle digital marketing for restaurants the right way, make sure you follow these essential tips.
Localize Your Approach
Why waste any of your advertising budget or precious work time reaching people that don’t live close enough to eat at your restaurant? If you want to attract the right customers, you need a good local SEO plan.
Local SEO allows you to target customers that are in close proximity to your restaurant. When you focus on pairing your usual keywords with local terms, you make yourself much easier to find in search. The localized keywords you pick can go on to help optimize your social/website content and PPC terms, and influence your entire marketing strategy!
Get as granular as you want when you’re adding location information to your main keywords. Try the name of your town, neighborhood, or zip code and see what results you get.
Claim Your Profiles
Your social media profiles and website aren’t the only place you have an online presence. Popular review websites and directory listings can have a lot of information on your business without you even knowing it! That’s why it’s important to do what you can to get control over them.
If you don’t already have your Google My Business (GMB) profile claimed, stop what you’re doing and get control of your profile. Having a fully filled-out GMB profile is important since it’s one of the first things people will see when they search for your business online.
Make sure you include important information like your hours of operation and contact information. Also, be sure to supplement that info with your menu and plenty of pictures of food and your restaurant space.
Repeat this process with Bing Places for Business, Yahoo! Small Business, and other popular review sites.
Post the Right Content
Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for restaurant owners. It’s important to make sure that you’re on the right platforms and that you’re posting excellent content.
We highly recommend that restaurant owners maintain a presence on Facebook and Instagram. They’re both highly visual platforms (especially Instagram), and because they’re owned by the same parent company, you can easily run the same ad on both platforms.
The content you post should be as visual as possible. Showcase some of your best recipes and your beautiful restaurant. Feel free to use the pictures you take for social on your website and ads!
The pictures you post will double as content and effective advertising for your restaurant. You don’t need a professional camera to take pictures. If you follow the right tips, you can produce content that looks like it belongs in a magazine.
Embrace E-mail Marketing
Want an easy way to stay in contact with customers, promote specials and events, and potentially bring in new customers? Start utilizing e-mail marketing!
Start off by building your list. Encourage people to sign up for newsletters and deals on your site, and be sure to have signage around your restaurant that tells people how to join.
Utilize your subject lines to advertise specials and deals and entice people to click. Don’t tell people to click to see the weekly specials. Let people know that your awesome chicken tinga tacos are half price before they even open their email.
For extra marketing clout, consider tying your email marketing to a loyalty program. Let people know that by signing up they’ll have access to exclusive deals or diet tips.
Use Social Media for PR
If you roll your eyes when you notice customers spending more time taking pictures of food than eating, you may want to stop. Those “influencers” are some of your best tools if you want to have a truly great marketing strategy!
If it’s used correctly, social media can also be a great subtle PR for your business. Monitor your social profiles for mentions and check-ins. A simple like and comment saying that you hope they enjoyed their food can be enough to turn a so-so customer into an enthusiastic one.
Did someone say that they had a bad meal at your restaurant on Facebook? Did you see an unflattering photo of food appear on Instagram? Don’t ignore the haters. Respond to them and turn things around!
It’s estimated that around half of all diners are influenced by social media. An unappetizing picture of food or bad review can be devastating if it’s not properly handled.
When you respond to a negative comment or post, you could help repair a damaged customer relationship. Just saying that you’re sorry that they had a bad experience can be enough to keep a customer, and offering a discount can help sweeten the deal.
A move like this can also be seen as a positive PR move. Instead of letting people see negative comments and pictures about your restaurant, you’ve taken control of the narrative and are putting a positive spin on things. That can show people that you care about your customers, and could compel people to have a meal or two out.
Embrace Your New Digital Marketing Strategy
Sometimes small changes in your digital marketing strategy can have big returns. When you focus on local targeting strategies, invest in making great social contact, and do a little email marketing, you’ll be surprised at how much you see your business grow.
Are you hungry for more foodie content? We just spent a lot of time talking about strategy. Switch gears and check out some of our great recipes!