Online Marketing for Restaurants: Digital Marketing Explained

 

Online Marketing For Restaurants

 

With online marketing for restaurants, gaining momentum day by day, there is no denying its effectiveness and how it can boost your business.

Even though traditional marketing tactics are still helpful, online marketing for restaurants goes a long way and can quickly fill in all the seats with comparatively fewer efforts. It’s more affordable and easier to strategize as well.

If you want to attract your target customers to your restaurant, then you should advertise and market your restaurant where your customers are.

As we live in the digital era and more than two-thirds of the population is hooked to their mobile devices, it’s imperative that you make your presence felt online.
You need to explore the best ways to market your restaurant and its features through the proper channels.

While there are a lot of strategies you can follow to make your restaurant’s aroma felt online, it’s crucial that you stick to methods that suit the mission and vision of your business.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to marketing your restaurant business online in the most effective way possible.

You can jump to the links you want to read about below:

 

1. Create a website, if you haven’t yet
2. Be active on social media
3. Try out email marketing
4. Organize live events at the restaurant and create buzz about it online
5. Influencer marketing can give you a head start
6. Keep an eye on the online reviews
7. Try partnering with Bloc
8. List your restaurant on relevant listing apps
9. Continuously monitor your progress

 

1. Create a website, if you haven’t yet

 

Whether you have a single outlet or multiple outlets for your restaurants, having a fully updated website can help you with all your marketing efforts as it acts as a central hub.
To start with, the website should reflect your restaurant’s theme and should give the visitor the vibe that your restaurant offers.

Make the user interface extremely friendly and try out some interesting layouts.

 

Restaurant Website

 

Regularly update the coupon codes or promotions you are running in the restaurant. Manage reservations via the website and make everything look neat and professional.
This not only gives you good word of mouth but also improves the customer experience.

Upload only high-quality photos, and if the guest permits, post their photos as well.

Give a glimpse of the restaurant and what your regular and special menu looks like. Try organizing some contests through the website to improve the traffic to the site.

 

2. Be active on social media

 

If you might have noticed, most restaurants don’t only own a website but have an active fan following on their social media channels.

Since you already have established a good website, it’s time to conquer the social media space.

Social media is where the real deal is.

Everyone, including the elderly and the youth, share pics of their meals and brag about the places they hang out.

There lies your opportunity.

If you have an item on your menu that is pic-worthy, promote it on your social media account and create a new hashtag for that item.

Create buzz around the item by encouraging the guests to post their pictures along with the food item or the restaurant.

 

Social media for diners

 

Another way to be active on social media is to respond to your followers as if you respond to your friends.

Interact with them and never leave a comment unnoticed. If anyone tags your restaurant ID in their posts or story, repost it and show your followers you value them.

Always celebrate the important days. Before starting with social media, create a calendar of the special days upcoming in a particular month or week.

Try creating creatives that link to your restaurant, its food items, or heritage to the theme of that particular day.

Share the posts actively on all social media channels and make the most of the traffic generated through that specific hashtag.

Another way to get noticed on social media is to create memes or posts that urge the followers to respond.

Try out some funny memes related to your food menu or tease your competitors a bit.

 

3. Try out email marketing

 

Since you have a website, it would be quite easy to collect your visitor’s email addresses. However, remember, never spam their email or don’t send any kind of promotional content if they haven’t given you the consent.

The plus point with email marketing, when compared to social media, is that you need not rely on the algorithm to deliver the content to your target audience.

Once you have the email and their consent, you can regularly send them the deals, offers, newsletters, or any content related to your restaurants directly to their inbox.
Although, make sure that the content you send them doesn’t seem spammy or misleading.

 

Email advertising for restaurants

 

You might list the subject as a free meal, and if the content of the email doesn’t offer them a free meal in anyway, they are surely going to unsubscribe from receiving future updates.

Even though email marketing has its benefits, it’s difficult to grab your audience’s attention with it.

The trick is to make the subject line seem less spammy. Instead of always sending them the coupon codes with many terms and conditions attached to them, offer a completely free meal or drink and notify this through their email.

From then on, the customers would pay close heed to your emails as they would know it isn’t a tricky or misleading email.

 

4. Organize live events at the restaurant and create buzz about it online

 

This tactic requires the combined efforts of both traditional as well as digital marketing.

Organize an opening event or a special occasion and spread the word both via online and offline marketing mediums. Try to set up an online form or survey to measure the participation and offer some exciting offers.

As a restaurant, the food and the experience should be equally good.

By organizing an event and offering great food and ambiance, you can create a strong impression in your target customer’s minds.

 

Live events at restaurant

 

The event should be limited to a certain participant and make all the entries via online form submission. This way, you can get the email address of interested customers and also create buzz online.

Start a countdown and, if possible, organize contests to gift the entry to the event.

Once the event is over, try marketing amazing pictures captured during the event that tell the audience about the vibe, food, and experience offered by the restaurant.

This is surely a big move, but when organized perfectly, it can gain your restaurant a good status among the online as well as the offline followers.

 

5. Influencer marketing can give you a head start

 

Influencer marketing is gaining momentum like anything, and there is a wonder why it does so.

It’s one of the most effective ways to attract people to your restaurants. People usually check reviews when they do any kind of shopping.

By opting for influencer marketing, you are actually giving an influencer the real-life experience of your restaurant and how the food tastes like.

They can then promote the experience to their followers, and then it’s only a matter of time people come waiting for that particular food item the influencer marketed.

 

Online Marketing for Restaurants

 

Further, you can invite food bloggers and organize tasting sessions so that they can put out a detailed review on how your food tastes, how well it was served and how good the ambiance is.

However, there is a tricky part to this kind of marketing as well.

You need to find an influencer with genuine followers and whose followers are loyal to their social media idol.

If the influencer has a previous history of promoting anything and everything, their followers will not believe in the claims the influencer put forward, and everything can backfire.

 

6. Keep an eye on the online reviews

 

A single negative review can do a lot of damage than hundreds of positive reviews. Thus, keep an eye on the social media channels, review sites, and even Google reviews.

If you find any kind of negative comment, immediately address the issue. Try to reach out to the user and ask where your service went wrong. Offer them a free tasting session or similar incentive to give you an opportunity to improve the services.

 

Gordon Ramsay Review

 

If you find out the review is bot-generated or meant for defaming your business, then report it to the concerned admins and get the comments removed as soon as possible.

However, try to be polite with both the negative and positive reviews. Even if the person tries to humiliate or defame your business, remember that these reviews and interactions are watched by millions, and a single wrong move from your side can cost you a great deal.

 

7. Try partnering with Bloc

 

Online marketing for restaurants can be quite a daunting task for beginners. You might find it difficult to focus on various channels and drive the required traffic. In that case, you can try out Bloc.

Bloc is a location-based app and shows its users amazing locations or places nearby their current location.

Once you partner with Bloc, the app provides incentives to the customers who choose your restaurants.

 

Bloc Online Marketing for Restaurants

 

This would motivate the customers to use the app more and more, thereby driving traffic towards your restaurant and its website.

Unlike other platforms, you don’t have to pay every time a user clicks on your restaurant listing.

You pay only when the user actually visits your place in person and converts to a paid customer over there. This means you don’t have to spend a great deal just for listing your place on the app.

 

8. List your restaurant on relevant listing apps

 

The WWW world is a big one.

There are a lot of listing websites or apps that act as directories.

List your restaurant in those spaces and include breath-taking images of your food and ambiance.

 

TripAdvisor Directory

 

Often restaurant owners forget to include relevant images of their food, menu, and ambiance offered by the restaurant. This can cause the loss of a lot of customers.

Try including the pictures of your interiors, the menu, guest and event photos, and snapshots of the food taken by your customers. This can go a long way.

 

9. Continuously monitor your progress

 

Just because you are active on social media doesn’t ensure that people are going to visit your restaurant and convert to a paid customer.

All the marketing efforts are to be measured and analysed for their effectiveness.

If you post a pick on social media, check for the post reach, impressions, and engagement rates.

 

Venue Marketing Analytics

 

Your goal is to increase the engagement rates, and for this, the content should provide some sort of value to the users.

All this can be understood only if a team constantly monitors all your online marketing efforts.

 

Summing Up

 

Online marketing for restaurants can be tricky for beginners, and therefore, you need to start from the basics and built your way up.

If you feel that mastering all these marketing channels or techniques can be an impossible task, select any two or three, and try to excel in those mediums.

If it’s social media marketing, then actively contribute to it and interact with the audience there to build a strong community that craves your food.

 

Online marketing for restaurant

 

If you were to rely on the website, then focus on the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) part to make sure that your website is visible whenever a hungry person in the locality searches for it.

The ultimate goal of online marketing for restaurants is to be there where your hungry customers are.

Serve them the right post at the right time to cater to their hunger. Surely, you are going to see the effects of your marketing efforts sooner or later.

About Josh Wood

Founder | Writer | Tech Enthusiast