According to the recent reports and surveys, there are more than three million small restaurant settings around the globe, in the formal sector alone. And it’s a number, that’s increasing fast. When there are so many restaurant options available to the consumer, restaurants must try out innovative ways to stand out in the crowd.
Whether you have a restaurant already, or if you are thinking about opening a one, will want to learn a few inexpensive, simple, yet proven techniques to help create a brand identity of your restaurant. But keep one thing in mind: the same tricks and tactics will play a great role in sustaining momentum as your restaurant business grows.
A restaurant owner must design their marketing plan to start and grow their restaurant business. Here we identify the seven most important online tactics that will help you build a marketing strategy for your restaurant. Have a look!
1. Update Your Restaurant in The Google My Business Listing
Brand visibility is defined as being available where your customers are. In the past, brand visibility was about having your business on the billboard of a busy street or an ad in the Yellow Pages or a Sunday newspaper. But with the advances in technology and competition, that is not enough. So, get your restaurant listed on the Google My Business as this is a great platform to market your business.
One thing that makes this marketing strategy a perfect one is that it is free and it’s just a matter of few clicks to get your business/restaurant registered. Once you have signed up on the listings, update the restaurant information, add the pictures of your menu and food, create posts that attract the potential audience, and always reply to the reviews. And the best thing is that you can edit or add anything from your phone, laptop, or a tablet.
2. Increase your Brand Visibility: think Mobile
In this era nearly everyone likely to eat in restaurant has a smartphone and uses it frequently. Over 50% of internet searches are conducted on mobile devices, with over 40% of transactions also on mobile. Narrow that down by sector and in excess of 90% of your potential customer base is likely to use their smartphones to search for nearby restaurants and cafes. So, thinking of your online presence just as your desktop website is not enough. Your website must be mobile friendly. Without a strong mobile presence, you are losing customers on a daily basis!
When the online presence of a business is not responsive, the search engine positioning suffers, with an adverse effect on your business. Google’s algorithms make sure that if your online presence is good, you are at the top of the chart. However, if Google doesn’t land you on the top, they do not mean to discourage you, they just want to see a better offer – greater relevance, more useful information – for their users.
So, make sure that your restaurant’s online presence is well-optimized and searchable along with the user-friendly experience.
3. Manage Your Reputation
Brand visibility works great only if it is glowing, clean, and filled with a satisfied client base. Brand visibility where customers aren’t satisfied and their queries and complaints go unresolved is damaging and could be disastrous for your reputation.
Make sure that you always deal with the reviews in most innovative ways possible. If you get positive reviews, make sure that you maintain the services and quality to make long-term customers. However, if the reviews are on a negative side, first do your utmost to satisfy that customer and then try to take it as constructive criticism – it will eventually help you and shows your customers that you work on resolving their issues.
Never make a mistake of neglecting the reviews as it can cause long term damage to your restaurant and its reputation. We are saying this because 90% of people tend to choose the places which have good reviews. So, one good review goes a long way!
4. Optimize the Local SEO
Whenever your potential customer types “find the restaurant near me” on Google, it must be you who pops up on the screen rather than your competitor. Search Engine Optimization is a mandatory step to take if you want to increase your online presence. There is no point of being online when your restaurant business doesn’t show up on the first page. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the best way to advertise the restaurant in the most inexpensive and organic way possible.
So, now is the time to create a local SEO strategy for your restaurant to get it recognized in your area.
5. Create a 360o Virtual Tour
People wish to know everything about the place they are planning to go to. If you think your potential customers wish the same, give them a virtual tour of your restaurant so that they know what to expect when they come through your restaurant door.
Many potential customers tend to choose the place which helps them recall what they will be getting and what the restaurant looks like. This is just a psychological effect that people tend to have, but it’s a win-win when your restaurant is generating a positive brand identity.
According to the conclusions of market research, restaurants that had added virtual tours and photos to their profile generated twice the profit compared to those who did not.
Work on building the trust of your customers and potential customers – give them a taste of what’s to come when they dine with you.
6. Up your Social Media Marketing Game
This is the era where everyone owns a smartphone and everyone is using social media platforms to connect with the people. Influencers, food bloggers, social media branding, and customer-driven content is the key to up the level of your social media marketing.
However, you do not need to try all those above-mentioned social media tactics. Experiment to find what works best for you. Try one or two and see what is best and what doesn’t work. In addition to that, consider using the influencers and bloggers from the area where your potential or target market lies.
Facebook has recently launched a cover video feature which has proven to be a good starting point.
7. Consistency is The Key
Make sure that whatever marketing platform or strategies you are using, they must be understandable to the readers and viewers. You need to hook them simply and quickly, not bore them with unhelpful information.
Your goal is to keep your content engaging yet simple; you want to intrigue your customers, entice them into learn about your restaurant rather than alienating them. Make sure that you stick to one slogan, one logo, and one idea throughout the process.
Become Virtually Impossible to Compete With
More positive visibility is directly proportional to more sales volume. We are forcing on this because research concludes that a strong virtual image for a restaurant can lead to up to 30% more customers and sales volume than without a good online presence. So, get ready to take leaps and bounds above your competitors.
You must make sure that you are working on all these marketing strategies to enhance your restaurant’s visibility and profitability.
We hope that this blog post has given you some ideas how to work out and implement the best marketing strategies for your restaurant – and if you would like us to assist with your restaurant online presence, get in touch. We can help!