Your restaurant won’t be the only food venue on the block, as there will be competitors opening up all around you, each one hoping to get a slice of your customer base. To fight back against your nearest rivals, and to keep your customers on your side, you can implement a range of digital marketing strategies within your business. Here are just a few of them.
#1: Leverage The Power Of Social Media
Many of your customers will be using social media on a daily basis, so be sure to keep in touch with them. Create Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter accounts for your business (and open up accounts on other popular social media platforms) and update your customers with information about your business. Post your latest menu online, include pictures of the foods you are serving, showcase any upcoming events, and use call-to-action buttons, such as ‘order now’ to link your readers to your website.
#2: Use Email Marketing
You don’t want to spam your customer’s email inboxes, but whenever you have something of value to them, let them know with a message or a newsletter. You might want to send out discount codes for your restaurant, for example, or ‘buy one get one free’ incentives to encourage your customers to return to your business. Be sure to use some of these personalization techniques within your email marketing, as you will do more to win the loyalty of your customers if you do.
#3: Encourage Customer Reviews
There are loads of restaurant review sites online, including Yelp and Zomato, so encourage your customers to write positive reviews about your business. Not only will you make new customers this way, as many people turn to such websites when considering where to eat, but you will bring your old customers back to you if you incentivize them with a discount or another reward for writing a review about your business.
#4: Register Your Restaurant On Listing Sites
Google My Business, Bing Places, and CitySquares are just a few of the places to list your restaurant online. These are the websites people refer to when looking for businesses such as yours, and we are also including your previous customers within this equation, as a reminder that your business still exists is always helpful to both you and them.
#5:Create An Online Loyalty Program
You could do this the old-fashioned way with stamp cards, but if you partner with a foodie app, such as LevelUp, your business (and your customers) will benefit from the integrated loyalty programs that are included. You could also build your own restaurant app, or seek the help of a professional developer. Whatever route you take, be sure to attract your customer’s desire for something free or discounted with the loyalty programs you use, perhaps with the offer of a free glass of wine, a discounted meal, or any special privileges that you might be able to offer them.
#6: Promote User-Generated Content
Encourage your customers to share pictures of the food they are eating on their social media channels and blog sites. Or host a photo contest, and encourage people to vote for the best foodie photo on your blog or social media page. This is an effective way to encourage new customers to your business, as they might be tantalized by the photos they see online. Its also a way to stay connected to your customers, as they might remain loyal to you if you offer them discounts for sharing pics, or prizes for winning your photo contests.
#7: Include Guest Posts On Your Blog
It’s probably a no-brainer to suggest that your blog is a useful way to attract new customers to your business. If it is set up for SEO and kept up to date with new posts, you will attract more traffic to your website. However, you don’t have to write every blog post, and neither do the freelance writers you hire. You could encourage your customers to write posts for your blog too, with an account of their experience at your restaurant, and a review of the food they have eaten. You might win the trust of new customers this way, and y rewarding your customers for their help with your blog, you might encourage their long-term loyalty to your business.
#8: Time Your Tweets
Don’t send out your tweets last thing at night or hours before mealtime. Send them out when you know your customer’s bellies will be rumbling, with messages that target their smartphones just before breakfast, lunch, or dinner time, or whatever other hours suit your business. Include a picture of the food you will be serving, alongside any special deals that are only available during certain times of the day.
#9: Go Live!
Live-streaming is a big thing these days, and you can do this from Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, or any one of these live-streaming tools. You can encourage your customers to live stream when they’re sat at your table, but if you’re holding a special event, you can ask one of your staff members to live stream it for you. What does this mean for you? Well, you will generate more interest from those poor souls who are watching from home, and you might encourage them to return to your restaurant in the future so they don’t miss out on what is happening within your business.
#10: Update Your Website
Think of this in two ways.
For one, be sure to update your website in line with any changes in your restaurant. Include your latest menus, showcase any upcoming events that are due to take place, and feature up-to-date pictures of your decor and any other cosmetic differences. You will renew interest in your customers this way, so keep working on your site.
Secondly, update your website with the latest design trends and features. You will continue to stand out online if you do, and your competitors won’t have a chance to steal your customers away from you. Check out these website design examples, and make the necessary changes yourself, or hire a web professional to do all of the hard work for you.
We hope these tips were useful to you, but to really make the most of your digital marketing efforts, speak to us about the services we can offer you. Our skilled and experienced team has what it takes to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level, so let us help you with your marketing strategy, and benefit from our consultancy services.