We already know the majority of people who are looking for a new product, service or experience are searching online for what they want.
People looking for a new restaurant to enjoy aren’t an exception. In fact, it has become common practice for people to search for restaurants online. According to a survey done by Adweek, in 2016, it was discovered that more than 25 percent of people have at least one restaurant app installed on their phone. So, if you want your restaurant business to flourish you cannot underestimate the power of online marketing.
Here are 9 digital marketing ideas that can help you get in front of this online audience.
- Restaurant discovery platforms – the first step: The very first step you should take is to get your establishment listed on every restaurant discovery platform possible. There are a number of sites and portals available. Zomato, Swiggy, Binge are a few of the most popular examples. And, the best thing about them is you can get listed for free or for a small charge.
- A SEO campaign? Yes! How many times have you searched for a place near you that provides a service you need? A bank, a store, a plumber, etc.? People search like this when they’re looking for new places to eat, too. The search query “Restaurants near me” is more popular than ever. Do not let your restaurant lose the opportunity of showing up whenever these searches take place. Implement a successful local SEO campaign and get your establishment listed in local search results.
- Social media – your best advertising agent: Social media is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to connect with customers. So, take advantage! It’s a good idea to think about your target market and what social platforms they’re utilizing. Claim profiles on the networks that your customers are using and get in front of them with brilliant content on a consistent basis.Share information about your restaurant, like your location, your hours of operation, your contact info, and so on. Get high-quality photos taken by a professional photographer of your food, your restaurant ambiance, satisfied customers and so on. Post these photos on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and other social networks. Also, share information about special events, special offers and menu changes, etc.
- Get a professionally designed website – A well designed website is one of the best assets you can utilize to attract customers, and it’s the basis for any effective online marketing campaign. Get a website that looks good, loads quickly and works on all types of devices including laptops, tablets and mobile phones.
- Emails and newsletters are indispensable – Reach out to your customers by sending newsletters and emails from time to time. Ask your customers’ email addresses via the website, social media and even within your restaurant. Keep a track of the visiting behavior of customers, send a note of thanks with a special discount to your recent visitors. And to the ones who have not visited you recently send a welcoming note, with message like “Missing your presence”, “Hope to see you soon”, and so on. Furthermore, announce a certain special discount/offer for them to persuade them to visit your restaurant.Offer to send e-newsletters to your visitors. Grant them some exclusive deal on subscribing to it. Make it a point to sent newsletters on monthly basis discussing your success, any add-ons to the menu card, special discount for the particular month/day and so on.
- Turn to Youtube – We all know videos speak a thousand words. It makes a direct impact on your mind. It can be of great use when it comes to marketing your restaurant online. Make videos to tempt your would-be customers to drop into your restaurant.Make videos of your restaurant ambiance, highlighting the part which is most beautifully and/or differently decorated. Upload live videos of your chef cooking your signature or any other yummy dish straight from the kitchen. Upload videos of any out of the box talent of your staff members, like, some of the chefs can roll chapatis in such a way that is a joy for the eyes to watch, some have the caliber to carry and serve many dishes at a time, and so on.
- Understand the power of online reviews – It has become a common practice of people to upload photos and reviews about their visit to restaurants. Ask your customers to review your restaurant on their visit. In your restaurant software module include a form for reviewing your restaurant services. Encourage your customers to post these reviews of your restaurant online. Offer them some dish/service free for every positive review done for your restaurant. Offer a certain percentage of discount/ any special service/ complimentary dish to them if they tag your restaurant online.On the contrary, if they have posited some negative review, take it courageously. Try to rectify that loophole. If they visit your restaurant the next time tell that you are sorry for their bad experience last time and make it a point to provide you the best food and service this time. This will surely incline them to post something good about your restaurant once they go back.
- Go for geo – targeted ads: Just imagine you are looking for a restaurant in a certain part of the country and an icon pops-up with a name of the restaurant in any other part of the country. Obviously, this is annoying and on the restaurant owner’s hand, he is paying for an ad which is going waste. It is a good practice to switch for geo-targeted ads. Whenever a person searches for a restaurant, your restaurant will only show up if it lies in the area approachable by that person.
- Tie-knot with Delivering service providers – It is seen many times that the food-lovers do not want to take the pain or they do not have the time to travel and visit the restaurant. But, they love delicious food getting delivered to their doorsteps. Do not lose the opportunity of business with them. Partner with the various food delivering service providers to get your food delivered on an online order.
Remember, many of your potential customers are searching for their next restaurant experience online. If you don’t have a plan in place to get in front of this audience then you are missing out on revenue and growth opportunities. Use the tips above to get started with an effective online marketing strategy. If you need help taking action, then reach out to us at ClickFirst Marketing.
Divyanshu Jangid is a Editor at Hyper Drive Solutions. His interests include reading books, researching and reading about new technologies . When he’s not working, he enjoys spending time with his family, friends and playing billiards.