Whether you like it or not, digital marketing is now part of everyone’s life. And of course, the restaurant and cafe industry is not exempted from this market trend.
Restaurant owners place majority of their focus on their food, staffing, and physical shop. While there is not denying those areas are essential to running a restaurant, many owners neglect in the areas of marketing, particularly in digital marketing, which is more important than ever in 2019.
Here are 4 must-have digital marketing strategies that if you have not yet implement, you need to do it right now!
1. Be Active on Social Media
Every restaurant should at least have a Facebook and Instagram page. If you still haven’t created any social media accounts, you’ve already missed a lot of business opportunities for your restaurant. Social media is one of the ways you can communicate to your customers directly.
Facebook and Instagram are a great start as not only are they the most popular platforms for consumers, their advertising tools are also one of the best out there. Facebook’s Business Manager allows you to narrow down your market and precisely target your current fans or potential customers.
And this allows for a lot of creative campaign eg. Birthday Specials – You can target users who are have birthdays that month, resulting in a very personalised ad.
So, you have created a social media account, what’s next?
Don’t just create accounts and be all done and dusted with them. To start with, you should post LOTS OF PHOTO of your food (people eat with their eyes first), show behind the scenes (videos of your chef cooking and preparing the food), and your restaurant ambiences.
Even just taking photos with your phone is a good place to start. But if you’re looking to go the extra mile and make your viewers drool, reach out to a professional food photographer. They are the expert in taking mouth-watering shots of your dishes to attract customers online. Like us, some photographers also offer social media management and post scheduling packages. That way you can leave the social media stuff to the professionals and focus on your business operations.
2. Keep Your Google Business Page Updated
Having a google business account is as important as having social media accounts (arguably even more important these days).
Many consumers now search for restaurants on Google to find out more about you, check out your menus and read about what others have said about you.
Without a google business page, you’re losing a lot of potential traffic every day since you’re missing out on a channel to let people know where you are and what do you do. However, you also need to keep your page updated. Make sure your holiday business hours are updated (very important during the holidays) so your customers don’t have to second guess whether you’re opened and decide to go to a competitor instead.
Did you know you can also upload photos on your Google Business Page just like on social media? While it is not as impactful as Facebook and Instagram, it is still worth to keep your photos updated.
Foxtip: We do a monthly update of our clients’ photos on their Google Business page. This way they still get the benefit of have fresh photos for customers but without the tedious work of having to do it one post at a time.
3. Have a Functioning Website
Some restaurant and cafe owners put off building a website due to budget limitations and also misconceptions on it’s usefulness. Since the top purposes for going to restaurant sites are to see the menu and make a booking, which can be accomplish on social media accounts that can be created for free, some owners decide to skip the website in the early stages of the business.
Unfortunately, that’s not true. A website is the online equivalent of your front store. It’s typically the place where consumers expect the most up-to-date and reliable information. These days, you can build a custom website relatively cheaply which will have all the functions a restaurant would need. Our website design packages starts from just $699.
Plus, unlike social media platforms which change very frequently (eg. algorithm, formatting, style, and functions), a website is your own property. You can manage whatever you need or want on a site – advertise campaigns or a new menu – all in a place that is designed based on your brand identity, making it unique to viewers.
Other important aspect is coming up on searches on Google, which links to having a Google Business page too.
If we managed to convince you to create a website, don’t forget to make it a mobile friendly too as over 80% of consumers search for restaurants on their mobile devices. We previously wrote about the 6 must-have features of a restaurant website.
4. Engage with Influencers to Promote Your Brand
Influencers having been taking over social media marketing for years. It’s one way for brands to utilise a 3rd party to promote your products since consumers tend to trust other people more than the brand itself.
But before you start engaging with influencers, here’s what we think you should do first.
Research on what kind of influencers you should be working with. Check their style & identity and whether it aligns with your brand image.
Also, check their reach, audience sizes, and their engagement to see if they are your target markets and how they interact with them.
After you’ve done all that, simply send out and invite to try out your menu. But be clear and specify you’re looking to collaborate and for them to share photos on the food and dining experience.
Another way is to offer influencers gift vouchers for them to create their own campaigns with their followers.
We also offer an ALL-IN-ONE Social Media Package which includes food styling and photography, sponsoring high engaging post with precise targeting, creating poster for your campaigns, and more! Click here for more details.