The digital marketing space is growing and expanding each day. Digital marketing campaigns are one of the most successful ways to reach potential customers at scale, have you seen how easy it is to go viral these days?
Covid19 came with a lot of challenges and changed a lot of what we had previously known as dining out, private culinary experiences and sharing a good meal with friends and loved ones. The food and beverage industry has since suffered including private chefs who run their own kitchens due to safety guidelines. The industry is moving to digital or rather adapting to more “non touch” strategies. It is essential that chefs jump onto the digital marketing bandwagon to help with their brand awareness, customer loyalty, SEO, engagement and overall ways of growing your business through digital marketing tools.
In this article we will highlight steps to go about creating a digital marketing plan for chefs.
- Create a Blog or Website:
To make it easier for your customer base to identify your brand from others it is essential to have a blog or website with important information that sets you apart from the rest. A website helps your customers or potential customers get to know you better, it is essential to have one, so that you showcase your recipes, previous or current work to potential customers, brand logo, location, business card information and customer reviews thus building trust towards your brand. When creating your logo, you can work with a professional graphic designer or start with a basic and simple logo. You can also create your own logo using graphic design platforms such as canva.com
It is understandable that not everyone may be able to afford professional graphic designers when venturing and investing into digital marketing tools, there are applications such as canva.com a graphic design platform, used to create social media graphics, logos presentations, posters, documents and other visual content.
It is recommended that after creating your website, one should have their personal account on Google Analytics so that you can track the presence of your online business. Create a professional email account that clients can reach you on. Google Workspace offers to personalise your email account connecting your domain with its servers to use Google services like G-mail, Drive and etc.
- Focus on Your Local SEO:
Create a Google My Business profile with the opening hours of the restaurants, the reviews and directions to get there. Ensure that your contact information and address is listed multiple times and is easy to find. These factors optimize your SEO and improve your ranking in the SERP (first Google search page) and to be competitive in your niche. There are few main points you should consider when working on boosting your SEO strategy:
- Ad scheduling
Select keywords that describe and identify your website/blog and services best. These should be the words that people use when trying to find your site or product. The more keywords you use, the more visibility your page has. Make sure every page of your website utilizes local keywords and other forms of SEO coding. Ad schedule by using Google Analytics to observe the most productive time for your ads. It’s all about knowing your audience.
There are services that can find keywords for you.
If you are new to SEO, and want to learn more about this highly effective and powerful digital marketing tool, please check out our article .
- Create Social Media Accounts & Gain Followers :
Social media presence is very vital for your brand. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and Twitter are one of the world’s biggest social media platforms! Your digital presence should be professional, clean and interactive with its audience. There is a huge niche of food lovers and one thing is, there will never stop being a market for food. Utilise your social media by promoting your food content and engage with your audience through lives where you have a cook along with your followers or even run one on one cook-off competitions, that is one of the many ways you can grow your audience. People love to be entertained. One of the great perks of social media is how you can gain effective networking opportunities, look at how easy it is to go viral today? The key is consistency. Encourage your followers to like, comment and share your recipes and posts.
- Host an Event and Use Influencer Marketing :
People love exclusiveness. How does this sound? A candle lit fine dining experience, a few selected popular influencers in your area in exchange for content creation during the event. Ask them to review your food and have a branded hashtag. Make a live on the evening of the event following all the proceedings so that your followers who aren’t there don’t feel secluded and they can engage from home. I don’t know about you but everyone loves a free meal! This will draw traffic to your social media pages, wanting a piece of the action. And that is one of the ways you can grow your audience and expand your digital presence. Influencer marketing agreements could also work. Whereby you give influencers a number of meals in exchange for food content posts and reviews about your food.
- Collaborate with other local businesses and delivery apps:
A part of expanding your business is networking and affiliating with similar small business owners in your area. You have the same audience of food lovers , so utilise that by interchanging followers. You can work with one another by guest-posting on each other’s blogs, Instagram and Facebook lives, recommending their services, and more. Collaborate with local wines in your area, have a food pairing picnic, expose your food brand to other clients who love different cuisines. This will broaden your brand awareness. If you are based in South Africa, you may be aware of the food delivery apps called Mr Delivery, UberEATS, OrderInn on those nights when you don’t feel like cooking? Thank you to digital innovation we no longer cook when we don’t feel like it. You just click on an app and look at all the varieties of restaurants, the options are endless! Use these platforms, see them as a valuable marketing tool to expand your business through promoting your business through their platform to reach many more customers.
- Promote Your Content & Customer Reviews: Always Keep Online Engagement High.
Lastly, remember that consistency is key in digital marketing.
When users see your name or logo while strolling a few times a week on their social media, they automatically think food! What’s updating your website regularly, posting new content a few times a week on social media, and promoting new items on your menu? Think of the ROI long term. You have to keep your community engaged by hyping up new recipes, high quality content, running competitions and giving back. Promote your posts and customer reviews about your meals to expand digitally and gain more followers. 83% of businesses feel that video marketing boosts their ROI. Create Facebook video ads to gain more trust. You can promote your video ads using Google Ads. But note that, you need to sign up for a Google Ads account to start with and then link it to your YouTube channel.
In conclusion, digital marketing is an essential marketing tool for your business, invest in it.
Written By Siyabulela Kosani