As an independent restaurant owner, you should know how to leverage the digital platforms to make your business stand out. It is crucial to have an efficient social media marketing strategy to attract more customers to your restaurant.
Digital marketing can be a valuable asset to your business’s growth and helps you establish an authoritative online presence. In fact, according to WebFx, 89% of marketers say methods- like Search Engine Optimization and Pay-Per-Click Advertising are highly successful to make your business rank better in the digital space. These methods help in increasing the brand awareness by as much as 80%.
Questioning every step in the customer journey like,
- How will the new customers find your restaurant online?
- Is your website optimized and does it offer an optimal user experience?
- How do you keep loyal customers coming back for more?
will help you know your marketing game and where you need to level up!
Here are 7 pointers you should optimize to get the best results from your digital marketing efforts:
1. The Pre-Planning
The digital marketing action plan should ideally start in the months and weeks leading up to the grand opening of your restaurant. This is a proven marketing opportunity to create buzz for your upcoming new restaurant. You can target your potential customer groups by creating hype on social media or outdoor avenues. Campaigns like “New Restaurant Coming Near You” or teasing the audience with glimpses of your food or ambience have been very successful.
In this era of digital age, having your brand’s personal website is vital for your online presence. It creates a more interpersonal connection with your audience and you can directly engage with them. You can tell your restaurant’s story and journey, announce new offers, get online delivery orders, and interact with your customers, through your website. Getting direct orders on your websites also significantly reduces your dependency on aggregators like Zomato or Swiggy.
You can also add Blogs to your website to interact further with your customers. Blogging is a powerful sales driver that provides customers with valuable information about your industry. Your blog readers are your potential leads which can visit your restaurant. In fact, blogging frequently can increase your leads generation by 89%.
3. List your restaurant on Google
In the first 90 days after you open your restaurant, focus your attention to increase local visibility and your brand’s awareness. Set up your restaurant on Google My Business; the key benefit to this feature from Google is a prominent box on the right side of the search page when people try to look for your restaurant on Google. This is a good way to increase your brand visibility. Google My Business offers a visual layout, with buttons for directions, your website, and reviews, among other things.
4. Social Media Platforms
Next, you can set up your Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages, to start building an online audience and establish your brand’s social media identity. This is a good opportunity to interact with the local community, and begin to find your voice. You can post interactive stories, customer reviews, food pictures, staff celebrations, launch special deals, host giveaways or contests, etc, to make your audience feel valued and attached to your restaurant brand. Putting up authentic content is the only way to differentiate your restaurant from your competitors, so be as authentic and real as you can be.
Use Instagram features like reels, polls, questions, reposts, etc, to engage consistently with your audience and increase your brand’s presence on the platform.
5. Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a raging marketing tactic to reach out to a targeted audience. The local food bloggers of this internet-driven age understand what you’re trying to do, so they’ll go all out to help you.
Most of these local food bloggers have built up a strong following on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. They can help amplify your marketing efforts – and drive more customers to your restaurant. You can host blogger meets, invite them to try out your new menu, promote your unique dishes, and much more.
6. Events & Special Menus
To survive the cut-throat competition in F&B segment, it becomes crucial that you keep experimenting and innovating. You can host live events like music nights, open mics, match screenings or launch special any festival or occasion–themed menus. Promoting such tempting events on your social media can help you garner more customers and also gives your business the needed marketing boost.
7. Loyalty Programs
Loyalty Programs are special programs that restaurants use to build deeper connections with their customers, drive sales and increase customer lifetime value. A relevant customer loyalty program can be a solid foundation for a successful customer engagement strategy. Customers enjoy fantastic discounts and offerings as per their purchases, and your brand enjoys lower churn rates, more organic acquisitions and higher profitability.
Marketing is not a sprint. but a marathon.
This is the most important thing to remember.
There are plenty of resources available for your help, so keep experimenting until you find your golden egg. And if you’re slightly off on your timeline, don’t sweat it. The important thing is to work hard, stay consistent and do everything you can to market your restaurant favorably.