Restaurant owners in Melbourne, it’s time to step up your online marketing game!
We understand that developing digital marketing campaigns for your restaurant can be a challenge. There are a lot of different areas to consider, and it can be difficult to know where to start.
But have no fear! In this guide, we’ll go over some of the basic digital marketing strategies for restaurants. We’ll cover topics like social media marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), email marketing and more.
So let’s get started…
Why Restaurants Need Digital Marketing
In this section of the article, we’ll be covering the many benefits of digital marketing for restaurants.
Reach More Customers
Digital marketing allows restaurants to reach more potential customers than traditional marketing methods. With the internet, social media, and mobile devices, restaurant businesses can target their local audience quickly and easily, as long as the proper online marketing strategies and tactics are in place.
Increase Brand Awareness and Stand Out From the Competition
With so many restaurants competing for attention, it’s essential to stand out from the crowd. And a restaurant’s digital marketing campaign can help differentiate itself from other competitors and attract more customers. Using various online marketing channels is just one part of the entire campaign that is aimed to help you reach a wider audience and create a more well-known brand. Later on in this article, you’ll know more about the other avenues, tactics and strategies that you can best utilise for your restaurant.
Boost Sales and Profits
The proper execution of a restaurant’s digital marketing strategy can help in boosting sales and profits. For example, efforts such as increasing online exposure or tactics to drive more traffic to a restaurant’s website and physical location either through social or search engines, need to be done strategically in order to yield favourable results. You’ll also need to do some testing and experimenting to not only determine the effective marketing strategies but also to understand which strategies can provide a significant return on investment and actually help grow your business.
Connect With Customers
Because the online world can serve as a bridge that links individuals from different locations, digital marketing allows restaurants to connect with those customers on a more personal level. Take, for instance, social media. Establishments can interact directly with customers, understand their complaints and suggestions and build relationships. This can not only lead to more repeat purchases and strengthen loyalty among patrons but also pave the way for establishing excellent customer service.
Save Time and Money
Digital marketing is a more efficient and cost-effective way to market a restaurant business compared to traditional marketing methods. As there is an option to go organic and still achieve desired results or come up with a mix of paid and organic tactics.
Easily Be Found Online
In today’s digital world, it’s important for restaurants to be found online, as everyone uses the internet for searching things. This is especially true in the world of food and beverage. Customers are more likely to search for restaurants online before going to a physical location. By using digital marketing, businesses can improve their chances of being found by potential customers.
Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants
Create the Perfect Website
A website is a must for any business in today’s digital world. Customers use websites to find information about certain restaurants that caught their interest and ultimately they make decisions about whether or not to purchase from a particular establishment after browsing its site.
So make sure your website is designed well, easy to navigate and is mobile friendly (since everyone’s glued to their mobile phones). Include pages such as About Us, Menu, Gallery and Contact Information with your restaurant’s operating hours and the address of your restaurant.
If you don’t have a website, it’s worth taking a look at the other restaurant websites and checking what lack in your site, then adding that to your marketing plan.
Utilise Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is a process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results. This can help you attract customers and more visitors to your website and improve your chances of being found by potential customers. For restaurants, your SEO approach should include:
- Choosing the right keywords
Keywords are one of the most important elements of SEO. They are the words and phrases that potential customers use to search for businesses like yours. It’s important to choose keywords that are relevant to your business and that you think potential customers will be searching for. You can use keyword research tools like Google AdWords Keyword Planner to find the right keywords for your business.
- Optimising your website content
Once you’ve chosen your keywords, you need to make sure your website content is optimised for those keywords. This means using the keywords throughout your website content, including them in the title, headings, and body text.
- Building backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. They help improve your website’s SEO by increasing the amount of traffic coming to your site. You can build backlinks by creating high-quality content and sharing it on social media or through guest blogging. You can also use backlinks to increase your website’s authority and improve your chances of ranking higher in search results.
Consider Pay-Per-Click Advertising (PPC)
PPC is a form of advertising where you pay for each click on your ad. This can be an effective way to drive traffic to your website and generate leads. You can choose from multiple objectives for your campaigns, curate your target audience and target them based on devices, location and more.
We actually have a comprehensive guide on how to maximise your opportunities with paid ads on Google, which you can check out here.
Use Social Media Marketing to Your Advantage
Social media is a powerful tool that can help you connect with customers and promote your restaurant. There’s more to using a social media platform than just creating a professional-looking business account or Facebook Page with multiple posts a day or using paid advertising and sticking to a posting schedule. Digital marketers know that there are quite a lot of things to consider for each online platform in order to run a successful strategy that restaurants can re-implement later on.
In the following sections, we’ve listed some tactics you can use for your chosen social media platforms.
When posting on your social media platforms, it’s important to use hashtags and add the location of your restaurant. Hashtags can help your post reach a larger audience and the location can help potential customers find your business.
Contests and Giveaways
Many restaurants use contests and giveaways to connect with new and existing customers and boost sales. Contests can be a fun way to get customers involved with your business and can generate a lot of excitement. Giveaways are a great way to reward customers for their loyalty and can help promote your business. Make sure to choose prizes that are relevant to your restaurant and that will appeal to your target audience.
Respond to Comments
Restaurants that engage with people who comment on their social media posts can create relationships with those potential customers or strengthen existing relationships with long-time customers. Additionally, being interactive on social media posts can help a restaurant stand out from the competition and maintain a restaurant’s reputation in a positive light.
Showcase Behind the scenes Footage
Many restaurants are choosing to show their audience a behind-the-scenes peek at their business. This can help customers feel more connected to the restaurant and get a better understanding of what goes into running a restaurant. It can also be a way to show off your establishment’s exceptional culinary skills and give customers a taste of what they can expect when they visit. As a restaurant owner, it is important to have a good mix of professional pictures and videos as well as edgier ones when showing behind-the-scenes footage.
Experiment with Email Marketing
Email marketing is a great way to stay in touch with customers and promote your business every now and then. Here are a few ideas on what you can send in your next (or first) email:
- Special offers
- New food items
- Industry news about certain ingredients
- Restaurant events
- Important updates
Be Thorough With Your Content Marketing
With content marketing, you can write blog posts, create videos, and share photos that showcase your food and restaurant. The trick is to understand what kind of content your target customers want to consume, so try to test out different formats to see which type of content will work best. Below are a few tips to focus on when crafting your content strategy.
Hop in on Trends
Restaurants that want to stay relevant in today’s market need to be active online. This includes joining in on food trends on social media as a means to connect with customers as well as attract new ones. By joining food trends, restaurants can be part of the hype and increase the chances of their content being seen and consumed which in turn gives restaurants exposure.
Showcase User Generated Content
By sharing photos and videos from customers, restaurants can show off how amazing their establishment is, as well as give customers the proof they need that ensures that the restaurant can deliver a great dining experience. Take note that interactive user-generated posts can help a restaurant stand out from the competition.
Add Engaging Call-To-Actions
Adding call-to-actions (CTAs) in your content is important as it directs customers to take the action you want them to do. Make sure that your CTAs are clear and straightforward but are also not too pushy.
Some common call-to-actions include:
- Visit our website for more information
- Follow us on social media for updates
- Check out our menu to see what we offer
- Come in today and try our special
As seen above, including a call-to-action can increase website traffic, social media engagement, and sales. So if you’re looking for a way to add an extra boost to your business, consider adding call-to-actions to your content.
List Your Restaurant on Google My Business
Google Business Profile or formerly known as Google My Business, is a free listing service from Google that helps businesses improve their visibility in local search results and in Google Maps. It’s important to make sure your listing is complete and up-to-date as this will help with local SEO.
To create a listing, you’ll need to provide some basic information like your restaurant’s name, address, contact information and more. You’ll also need to choose a category for your business as well as undergo the verification process. Once your listing is created, you can start adding more photos, videos, and information or have other individuals leave a review.
Getting Listed on Review Sites and Restaurant Apps
Listing your restaurant on restaurant apps and review sites can dramatically improve your visibility and reach more customers. Be sure to complete your profile and include all the necessary information, such as your address, phone number, hours of operation, and menu. Including photos and videos is also a great way to attract attention and showcase your food. Keep your profile updated regularly to ensure customers have the most accurate information.
Some of the most popular restaurant apps include Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Zomato. These apps allow customers to search for restaurants near them, read positive reviews and negative ones, and view menus.
What’s great about digital marketing is that it provides restaurants with the ability to track results and measure ROI. With analytics, businesses can see which digital marketing strategies are working and are able to apply changes accordingly. So make sure your restaurant marketing plan includes tracking results.
When it comes to branding, this includes using the same colours and staying consistent with your tone in the captions, in your content and in your overall messaging across all your digital marketing channels. You want the personality of your brand to be felt and understood by your audience. Consistent branding can help customers recognise your restaurant and feel more connected to it.
Reviews and Feedback
Reviews are a great way to show your potential customers what others think about your restaurant. They can also help you improve your restaurant business by showing you what you need to work on.
When you ask for reviews, be sure to include a link to your Google Business Profile. This will make it easy for customers to leave a review. You can also set up an email marketing campaign where you send emails to your customers after they visit, asking them to leave a review on your Google Business Profile.
Finally, don’t forget to respond to both positive and negative reviews. This shows that you care about your customers’ experience, which in turn will help in building trust and credibility. And, if you do receive a negative review, responding in a positive way can turn that customer’s experience around.
Build a Community
Restaurants can build a community online by using Facebook groups or Discord. These platforms allow restaurants to connect with customers and followers on a more personal level.
By creating a community online, restaurants can engage with their customers by sharing recipes, tips, photos of their food, and offer discounts and special deals specific to that particular online community.
Provide Discounts, Loyalty Programs and Rewards
Restaurants can offer loyalty programs and rewards to their customers as a way to thank them for their patronage while encouraging them to keep coming back. These deals can be offered for a limited time period, typically a few weeks or months, and can include:
- Discounts on food or drinks
- Free items
- Special offers
Digital marketing is an essential part of any restaurant’s marketing strategy. By getting started today, your restaurant can reach more customers, increase loyalty, and boost profits.
Book a FREE consultation today and let us show you how we can help your restaurant succeed using digital marketing!