Promoting your restaurant online can help your business grow tremendously. In the last few years, most restaurants have made the shift from using offline modes of marketing to relying more on online marketing. Forget billboards, flyers and newspaper ads, today, powerful restaurant marketing on search engines and social media is how you really get closer to your customers. Of course, this holds even more true in the current scenario. As people all across the world have been forced to quarantine in their homes, there’s been a massive rise in the hours of screen time we all get. Naturally, this is a great time to step up your online marketing game.
Why Offline Promotions are a thing of the past
So why do we emphasise on online? Offline promotions have serious disadvantages. For starters, huge set-up costs. Putting up a big banner over the billboard might cost you a fortune. Besides, it may be impossible to measure ROI. Also, it may be impossible to target a specific audience type. Online Marketing is effective because it allows you to:
- Start small- Investment can be as low as a few currency units
- Experiment at low costs- Run multiple versions simultaneously and test what runs best
- Measure ROI- Understand revenue generated as a ratio of currency spent
- Target a niche audience- Pick and choose the audience you wish to target with the wide set of options present on social and search engines.
7 Tips To Effectively Promote your Restaurant Online
While online marketing’s growing popularity is justified, the question that you want the answer of is- How can restaurants make the most out of online promotion strategies?
In this article, we’re going to give you just that. Here are 7 tips of efficiently promoting your restaurant online.
Push for Reviews on Aggregator platforms like Ubereats, Zomato and Swiggy
With today’s tech savvy generation, it is extremely rare that an individual orders food from a restaurant without first checking out its ratings and reviews on the internet. Swiggy and Zomato are the two apps that people use the most to order food. You need to work hard at ensuring that your existing customers leave positive reviews on these apps. This improves your credibility and would encourage new customers to order from you too.
Build Attractive Menus
Customers usually scroll through the menu of a restaurant that they aren’t familiar with. If you have a bland, black and white menu without any jazz, they’re not going to be impressed. It is important to have a menu that is vibrant, appealing and matches your brand image. Try to pick an appropriate colour scheme and use creative ways of promoting your products and combos. Mouth-watering images of food are a great way to attract customers too. So don’t shy away from trying segregations or flashy images- they definitely help!
Taco Bell neatly segregates its top items at the top- Tacos, burritos, quesadillas and more! Here is a screenshot from their online menu.
Collaborate with Influencers
Instagram influencers are individuals with thousands or millions of followers. For every post or story on their profiles, you have a huge number of people who tune in to see this content. Partnering with influencers can increase your visibility. It can help you boost your number of followers too. If you’re looking to collaborate with an influencer, you should do some research and find people whose profiles would fit in with your theme. For instance, a popular food blogger or a health and fitness enthusiast are two kinds of influencers you can partner with. Their followers are usually people with the same kind of interests. Hence, this can be extremely beneficial for you.
Do Social Media Promotions
Instagram and Facebook are two social media giants that you need to get the most out of, in order to make your restaurant successful. Every minute, there are millions of people scrolling on these two apps and browsers and consuming content. First, you need to gain a large following. Then, you need to make catchy and relevant posts frequently to remain connected with your followers. This can help your restaurant’s image a lot. If you are unable to generate followers, no problem. You can still target customers via ads and reach out to the audience of choice. Instagram, Facebook – allow you to target a specific area/age group or gender. In just a few clicks your advertisement will be shown on the screens of your preferred audience. Other features you can use are Instagram stories, polls- you can share clips from your restaurant kitchen…all of these are great options to engage with your audience. Post high quality photos of your dishes to tempt your customers even more.
Increase Search Engine Visibility
One of the main ways you can grow your online presence is to do Search Engine Optimisation. You can hire a restaurant SEO specialist who will analyse your website and give you pointers on the things you need to change to generate more online traffic. All in all, your goal is for your website to rank higher on Google than your competitors’ websites. You’ll have to tailor your content around a few specific keywords. In addition to this, you also need to update your business profile on google. Choose attractive images and make sure that customers can reach you easily, using the information you provide.
Promote Health and Safety Practices
Given that we’re in the middle of a pandemic, the general public is worried about their health and safety more than ever. As social distancing has transcended over all parts of our life, we constantly have to make sure that operations take place in a safe manner. Your customers need to be assured that the food they’re ordering has been made while following the guidelines laid down by the WHO and the government. You could use your social media to put up videos of your kitchen set up, with sanitisers in every corner. Post pictures and videos demonstrating how employees’ temperature is checked multiple times a day. Use your platform to increase social awareness about COVID-19 too. In this manner, you come off as more responsible. This will boost your brand image.
Run SMS and Email Communications
Email marketing is an excellent way to reach your customers. It is low cost, effective and helps you promote what you got to offer. You need to make your content unique and catchy as there are tons of emails flooding your prospect’s inbox. Give discount offers, referral codes and loyalty points to your customers. Weekly giveaways are also a fun way of engaging with them. Similarly, you can use SMS to do all of these things too. You do need to make sure that your emails and SMS messages aren’t very frequent. This puts off customers. Instead, limit your emails to once a week and make them short and irresistible.
Online Promotions plays a huge role in determining the success of a restaurant. These tips can help you grow your business tremendously. Even if you’re just starting out in this industry and looking to build a solid online presence, these points are all important factors you need to keep in mind.