Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Restaurants

Effective Digital Marketing Strategies For Restaurants

The restaurant industry can be the most difficult to break into, and making your business thrive won’t be easy. But when you do reach the figurative peak of the mountain, the view is spectacular and you’ll be glad you never gave up.

One of the best ways to ensure that your restaurant isn’t a failed venture is by marketing effectively. We live in a digital world, so even though you’re not looking to reach a global audience, you can still benefit greatly from making use of digital marketing strategies.

There are dozens of strategies to choose from and making a decision can seem a bit daunting. Gathered in this article are some of the best strategies that will help you build a strong marketing campaign for your restaurant to launch your successful career in the industry.

Make Your Website Perfect

Your restaurant may be a physical location but if you don’t have a website, you’re missing out on many opportunities. Having a properly designed and official website will introduce your restaurant to new people who may otherwise not have heard of you.

A website can also serve as an effective way to show potential patrons what to expect when they dine with you. With more than 80% of consumers doing online research before making their purchase choices, you really can’t afford to not be digitally visible.

Additionally, you can use your website to share special deals or events with your audience, luring them in by piquing their curiosity. Having an updated and accurate menu to peruse is also a fantastic idea – you can make people crave your food with attractive photos and descriptions.

People like to see ‘behind the scenes’ information about the companies they support. A website with footage of your staff and restaurant will only do you good.

It’s also a good idea to have a mobile app that can be used to access your website with ease or place orders and ask questions. These apps also help in reaching your audience.

Don’t Underestimate Online Reviews

Online reviews are essential and you should incorporate them in your digital strategies. About 72% of customers use Google reviews to find businesses and an estimated 34% of shoppers always read online reviews. 

People need to be assured that when they visit a restaurant, they’ll have a pleasant experience and enjoy quality food. Online reviews have a lot of sway in the restaurant industry and if you’ve got only negative reviews, your business will suffer for it.

Always respond promptly to reviews and remain professional and friendly, even if the reviewer is being unreasonable. The way you deal with reviews is going to be scrutinized by online users, so do your best to keep things civilized. 

Offer assistance and any form of help that reviewers may need to change their bad opinion to a more acceptable one.

Encourage your happy patrons to leave reviews as well, so others can see what it’s like to visit your restaurant.

Local SEO Can Be the Key to Success

Search Engine Optimization is essential in marketing, even if you’re not trying to reach millions of online users in other countries. Local SEO is aimed at the people in your area and you should perfect this strategy for the best chance at successful marketing.

For example, if someone searches for ‘best restaurant in [your city]’, the name of your restaurant should be among the top results. Your SEO rating is what determines how quickly people find you.

There are several ways to get your SEO marketing right, including creating a blog, using internal and external links, and utilizing relevant keywords. You should also create a Google My Business Account to help your restaurant get seen as quickly as possible.

SEO can be difficult to master, so it might be best to hire a professional who can take care of this for you. They can be pricey though, so getting a restaurant business loan could be quite useful in your marketing endeavors.

Use Social Media to Your Advantage

Being active on social media is a brilliant way to not only engage your audience but also offer them a place where they can get quick customer service. Questions and complaints can be dealt with much faster than they would through traditional customer service channels.

It really doesn’t matter what kind of restaurant you’re running, it would be a bad idea to ignore social media platforms.

There are several options; you can use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even TikTok to promote your restaurant and reach out to your audience. Although it might seem like a great idea to get active on all of them, it’s best to choose two or three and focus only on them.

You can host competitions and giveaways on social media and share content that will pull in patrons. You can even use photos taken by previous visitors to show off just what you’ve got on offer food- and experience-wise.

Team Up With Other Local Businesses

Another great strategy is teaming up with other businesses in your area. Naturally, you won’t collaborate with other restaurants, but there should be many other businesses that would benefit from a relationship with your restaurant.

For example, you can connect with a hotel or guest house that could refer tourists and guests to your restaurant. This can be done in person or on the company’s website. You can then give patrons that were referred a discount or special meal and do your bit to promote the hotel or guest house.

You can also offer special discounts to companies that visit your website and book their end-of-the-year parties or meetings and other events at your restaurant. There are many possibilities that will be unique to your area, so give it some thought and don’t be afraid of creative thinking.

Digital Marketing for Restaurants Isn’t Impossible

Restaurants can make good use of digital marketing and it can give them the chance to elevate their business on a new level. These ideas are just the beginning – you should continue looking at ways to market your restaurant and never shy away from using new strategies and updating your current ones.