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6 Key Digital Marketing Tools for Restaurants

50% of restaurant businesses are failing due to fierce competition and lack of top-notch marketing strategy. Nowadays, the success of a restaurant goes beyond cooking the best dishes.

Due to the advent of technology, the business landscape of the restaurant business has transformed immensely. Apart from relying solely on traditional word of mouth, many restaurants these days are taking advantage of mobile and digital media technology. The majority of the restaurants are struggling to optimize their marketing strategies. Restaurant customers primarily search for the restaurant on their phones, discover restaurants online via ordering and review platforms, or receive marketing messages digitally. People look for restaurant menus online for take-out and delivery but as we reopen even menus for in-house diners will be found online with the capability of ordering directly from the table. Building and maintaining a local presence on Google and Facebook have increasingly become vital for a successful restaurant marketing plan. 

50% of restaurants are failing due to fierce competition and lack of an effective marketing strategy. Nowadays, the success of a restaurant goes beyond cooking the best dishes. It is essential to have a digital marketing strategy. Your business simply won’t be visible if you don’t engage in consumers online. Even if a potential customer is walking by your restaurant, their eyes would be stuck to their phone screens in search of potential dining options. In this blog post, we would be highlighting tips for restaurant marketing by including effective marketing strategies.

Different Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants that you must follow are as follows:

1. Build a Good Website

An attractive website is the source of all your restaurant marketing, promotional, branding, and outreach efforts. Swiggy and Zomato offer less to limited space to showcase your restaurant and this is one drawback. A website gives you ample opportunity to push your messages in a more customized manner. The following guidelines help you to build a website: 

  • Good Placement of Call to Action Buttons
  • Use of great content
  • Check for responsiveness on mobile and other devices
  • Website load time optimization
  • Make it attractive
  • Make and add blog pages
  • Update the website regularly

2. Social Media Marketing

Social Media is one of the most emerging ways to gauge eyeballs with more than 1.5 billion registered users on Facebook. Social Media makes more sense for your restaurant’s digital marketing goals. There is a list of activities for online restaurant marketing:-

  • Online Reputation Management Customer Engagement online across social media platforms is an absolute necessity. You must be responsible for responding to tweets, comments, or posts. You can also get social media managing tools online that allow you to manage all your social channels in one place. Your tweets and posts can be scheduled in advance to maintain consistency. The visibility of your restaurant depends upon visibility; so, maintain a frequency in your posts. Don’t post randomly with huge scheduling gaps between your posts. This might turn off your loyal followers and customers. Try posting something weekly, if not every day. 
  • Video Marketing Videos play an important role as far as digital marketing is concerned. Videos can be visually informative, more share-worthy, and fun to watch. The more your videos are shared, the visibility of your restaurant improves as more and more people keep on sharing. You can create videos of your infrastructure, kitchen staff, hospitality services, customer testimonials, the party life, and food.  YouTube is the best platform for marketing long duration videos. Facebook and Instagram are good for short and concise video marketing where the audiences only wish to see small clips. You can tag certain people and ask them to share it.
  • Run Contest and Campaigns Running contests and campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter can give you a good boost in terms of reach. You can always conduct a check-in campaign or you can start tagging of pictures and this way, you can be visible to the people beyond your loyal customers. It can help you to get in touch with your potential customers other than your target audience.
  • Paid Ads You can opt for social media platforms that let you run geo-targeted ads.  You can select your target audience on the basis of age, preferences, and gender, etc. If you are someone who is running a fast-food restaurant, you can set your target audience under the age of 30. Digital marketing for restaurants offers a great degree of flexibility that cannot be offered by offline marketing channels.

3. Email Marketing

One of the most effective digital marketing methods is considered to be Email marketing. You can do email marketing for your restaurants with the help of your database. You can send a regular greeting and offers to customers along with delivering coupons or discounts. An engaging monthly newsletter is a great way to interact with your customers. You can send personalized emails to your patrons by notifying them about your team, the latest dishes that are available in your restaurant, newly hired chefs, articles about events that took place in your restaurant. Your patrons will feel at home once you introduce them to your culture. An email marketing strategy campaign for effective digital marketing of your restaurant helps to regain your loyal customers apart from gaining them aggressively.

4. Business Listing on Google

It is important to create a Google My Business Listing for your restaurant while formulating a digital marketing strategy for your restaurant. You can acquire a special listing provided by Google for your restaurant called ‘Local 3 Pack’. You get many benefits like:

  • Providing your restaurant contact number in the GMB Listing can allow customers to directly call you.
  • Customers can get driving directions and locate your restaurant if they plan to visit.
  • It provides more visibility to your website by appearing before the search results of a map.
  • Restaurant owners can easily upload and display their menu who have a Google My Business Listing.

5. SMS Marketing

An SMS with a promo code or some offer is an excellent digital marketing strategy that provides maximum visibility to your restaurant. Make sure that your SMS doesn’t appear pushy and it has to be short, concise, or creative. There should always be a Call to Action Button at the end of your text message such as Order Now, Try Our Latest Dessert, Reserve a Table Today with a phone number or a link.

You can always track your Customers through CRM who haven’t visited your restaurant in a while and send them an SMS stating ‘ We miss you’ along with a discount coupon. You can also update your loyal customers about the latest offers and discounts or about the updated menu with a new food item. Through SMS you can keep your customers updated about their order status.

  • Extremely high open rates
  • Minimal cost
  • Send time-sensitive offers and view conversions
  • 2-way personalized communication before the guest arrives, during their meal and after they leave 

6. Third-Party Ordering

Third-party online ordering platforms benefit restaurants more when they are used as marketing tools rather than just order-processing. You want the customer, not just the order.

Platforms like GrubHub, DoorDash, Caviar, UberEats, charge a percentage of each order. The percentage you will pay fluctuates between 15 to as much as 40%. Often, the percentage you are paying will dictate where you appear in the search results, which will impact the number of orders you will receive.

Think of these third-party delivery services as marketing platforms. You can take advantage of their powerful marketing power. Sign up with several, these are great sites as they have an audience predisposed to online ordering located in your geographic area.

Pay the higher percentage to get positioned well on the search return increasing your visibility to new customers. Paying a high fee on every order is not sustainable but it’s a relatively low fee to acquire a new customer. These can be the cheapest source of referrals that you could imagine. 

Invest in your own ordering and make it accessible on your web site, social pages, Google, Alexa, and most importantly mobile as most of the engagement will come through mobile devices. You will pay a flat monthly fee no matter how many orders you process.

Your ordering software should enable you to aggregate all the orders from ALL sources in one place making it easier for your staff to manage and to collect and organize all the customer order data. Use the data and marketing tools to migrate repeat customers from using third-party delivery services to your online ordering and delivery system and take control of the customer relationship, your brand, and your reputation.

When a customer comes through one of the third-party delivery platforms, you pay them once, and if they go back to them again and again, shame on you. You should’ve made them a loyal customer.

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