Digital Marketing is more crucial to your operation than ever before with the paradigm shift occurring in the foodservice industry. Whether you have an online presence or not, we have some tips on how to optimize and perfect how your customers find you and what they see once they do.
There’s no doubt about it, consumers eat with their eyes. Regardless of the platform being used to digitally market your operation online, the way your food is visually represented is vital. When representing your food through photography, you’ll need to make it look as delicious as it tastes, while also giving the consumer a realistic expectation of the dish they’ll be served. If you’re unable to hire a professional photographer for your food photos, there are terrific options still available. One possibility is to have online photo contests for gift cards to the winning photographer of each dish. Another is to take advantage of all of the free options available with smart phone app photography filters. Set the time aside to properly plate and present, and then get photos from several angles to select from the best. The more delicious your food looks visually; the more consumers will crave it.
If you don’t currently have a website, there are affordable options to get one set up with built-in search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a term thrown around a lot in the digital world, and that’s because it’s the number one way that you can make sure you’re found online. By having the appropriate keywords that your operation is known for, built into your website, consumers can easily find you and make a decision about buying from you.
Your website should be professional looking and represent your brand appropriately. Provide a story about your operation to better connect consumers to your restaurant. Incorporate your delicious menu options in photos and mouth-watering descriptions. Integrate your social media accounts and positive reputation management postings, so customers can see how popular you are, and what other customers like best about your operation. Make sure everything is easy to navigate, and make placing an online order for pickup and delivery easy as well.
Social media platforms are an excellent way to connect with current and potential customers. It’s also a great way to push consumers to your website to collect online orders. Consider the use of a social media manager and scheduler, like the one offered by Marketbyte. It allows setting up posts for multiple social media platforms months in advance, so you don’t have to manage postings on the fly. It also keeps social media interaction from followers on multiple platforms, organized all in one place.
Advertising for any limited time offers, promotions, holiday specials and more can all be communicated to a large pool of customers via social media. Consider running contests for sharing to exponentially multiply the number of consumers you’re able to reach. Be sure you’re including your delicious photography in posts as well, and always provide a link back to your website.
Social media is also an excellent tool for communicating your brand voice. As consumer needs in safety and sanitation become more important than ever, consider using your social media as a platform to convey what your operation is doing to keep customers safe.
SEO numbers for review management sites like Yelp & Trip Advisor are high, making them one of the first sites returned in searches for restaurants, and 80% of restaurant customers make their decisions by shared reviews and opinions online. Monitoring and addressing reviews on these sites is very important for gaining new customers. MarketByte offers a review management platform that monitors these sites, while also alerting you to any reviews that might need addressed, and it houses all of the review management sites in one place for easy access. Taking control of your reputation by constantly staying on top of reviews is an excellent way to manage your brand in the market.
Customer Engagement Tools
Finding new and innovative ways to engage current and new consumers will not only increase your profitability, but it will assist in creating a very robust database of customers. Consider creating loyalty programs for your regular customers, email clubs for communicating limited item offers and coupons, and utilize your social media to release contests and promotions to the masses. All of these marketing avenues can collect consumer data for future push marketing. You’ll also be able to see what coupons, promotions and contests attract the most customers and create the best results for your operation.
MarketByte is once again a great tool for restaurants when it comes to creating this customer database through customer engagement. You’ll have access to all of the data collected for your promotions, and you can use the platform to push out additional marketing campaigns to increase patronage all in one place.
If your operation isn’t full utilizing all of the possibilities for digital marketing, you may be missing out on a whole world of additional profit opportunity, and there are definitely consumers that are missing out on you.