Marketing restaurants not only means having social media presence and a website for it, and then hoping that your customers will come to you on their own. Whether your customers are dining in or ordering online the success of your Digital Marketing Plan depends on targeting the right audience, at the right place, at the right time.
Here are the 5 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Restaurants in 2021.
As we all are aware of the fact that the restaurant business is one of the most difficult industries to break into because nearly 40 percent of them fail within the first three years.
No Restaurant – new or established – can expect to grow or even survive without a solid digital presence and an engaged audience.
Your website and social media channels provide a sneak peek into your restaurant experience, so its important your online presence is inviting and builds excitement to encourage people to have a look at it and at the end visit it.
1. Creating an SEO Optimized website
A Restaurant must have a functional and up to date website. There are dozens of companies that provide high-quality drag-and-drop templates with all the tools that you need to take reservations and online orders on. One key aspect of your website is search engine optimization. Having a website that completes all the SEO criteria, and allows Google and other search engines to crawl and index the website. The higher the ranking of SEO the more chances there are that your Restaurant will appear at the top of Google searches, and it is more likely that people will be willing to come and order online.
An ideal restaurant website should consist of these-
- A Theme Page that reflects the brand of your restaurant.
- A menu page that lists all your delicacies.
- Gallery page which showcases the beautiful interior and décor of your restaurant.
- Feedback Form where your customers can share their experience of dining at your restaurant. Apart from gathering feedback that allows you to grow and improve, it also works as a great marketing tool, as your website visitors would view your customers’ reviews.
- An About Us page where you speak about history and culture.
Another great feature to implement on your website is providing a virtual tour of your restaurant. By clicking on the virtual tour button, the visitor can see the decor and ambience of your restaurant. You can also allow your customers to choose a table of their choice, and book their table in advance.
2. Social Media
This is something you can’t ignore if you are running a restaurant business. Social media helps you to build your reach and earn more customers. Of course, all social media users are not your potential customers, but the real fact is that your prospective customers are present on social media. To engage people with your restaurant, you must offer amazing deals, delicious food platters, show them a sneak peek of the new food cuisine in your kitchen, distribute giveaways, discounts, relate food with memes, share your real staff images and more. You can do a lot on social media for your restaurant. Pay attention to the post timings and post regularly. It should be shared at the right place, at the right time, with the right people.
3. Google My Business Listing
While creating your restaurant digital marketing strategy, don’t forget to create a Google My Business Listing for your Restaurant. Google provides a special listing for restaurants on mobiles called ‘Local 3 Pack’. It has many benefits:
- First, if you provide a contact number in the GMB Listing, customers can directly call your Restaurant.
- Customers can easily locate your restaurant and get driving directions if they wish to visit.
- It appears before the search results with a map, thus gives more visibility to your restaurant.
- Restaurant Owners who have a GMB Listing can easily upload their menu which would be displayed in the listings.
4. Monitor Ratings and Review Websites
A large number of consumers make choices for where to eat based on the reviews they read online. They look specifically on these sites to find their next meal. Ratings solidify buyer intent and add that layer of credibility to your business. This makes these kinds of review sites very influential and an important part of any restaurant’s digital marketing strategy. Any restaurant should make sure they are registered on as many of these sites as possible to attract reviews. This helps to build their online presence and can advertise the restaurant to new customers who may not have heard about the restaurant otherwise. Once the listing is set up, it’s also important to check back regularly and respond to all reviews, both negative and positive. That will help you both build and protect your restaurant’s reputation.
5. Try Influencer Marketing
When a celebrity recommends your brand to their audience, the outcomes are overwhelming. They have the power to influence people’s buying decisions. People will check your website and consider making an order or visit your restaurant. The followers/fans of celebrities blindly trust them. Influencer Marketing is a big yes for the restaurant & food industry overall. The influencer need not be a celebrity only. It can be anyone in your niche with good connections, interactions and relations with their followers. Connect to the food bloggers, influencers with moderate or mass followers and start your restaurant promotions. Go for it!
For Restaurants, effective digital marketing is the key to success.In a highly competitive industry like the restaurant business, digital marketing is essential to be able to build a successful business. Important digital marketing strategies for restaurants include a strong website optimized for content and SEO, as well as presence on review sites, and locally-targeted online advertising. Doing these things, and executing them well, will let you stand out from your competition and will help your business to be successful in the long run.
Written By: Ankit Bohra, Brand Marketing Analyst at THE DIGITAL MARKETING INSTITUTE™