With a sector as competitive as the restaurant industry, your marketing techniques need to evolve to stay ahead of the competition. As technology and consumer preferences change, restaurant marketing strategies need to reflect those changes. As the Covid pandemic changed people’s eating habits and their approach to eating out, the food service industry had no choice but to rely on digital marketing to keep their businesses afloat.
While traditional marketing strategies still have their place, digital marketing has taken center stage as the way for restaurants to engage with their target markets. Keeping that in mind, here are five online restaurant marketing strategies that will set your restaurant up for success in 2022.
1. Engage Your Customers on Social Media
Since most internet users pay close attention to reviews and comments, your restaurant needs to establish a strong social media presence. Whether you use Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn to promote your business, you should always monitor your engagement with your audience.
When a customer interacts with your brand on social media, your goal should be to meet their needs whether they want information or to resolve a problem. For this reason, your content needs to be relevant and personalized to maximize customer engagement.
For instance, you can try geotargeted advertising to reach local clients. You can also post about recent events or promotions at your establishment. Social media marketing is a great way to get the word out about your restaurant. For this reason, you need to concentrate on the best social channels to engage with your audience and generate excitement for your brand.
2. Email Marketing
Email marketing is a relatively low-cost way of increasing sales by targeting local customers. Through email campaigns and newsletters, you can touch base with existing customers while targeting potential customers.
For example, you can email consumers about your latest promotion or event. If you personalize your content, you can really separate yourself from the competition. For instance, you could send customers a birthday card with an offer of a free dessert on their birthday. Anything you can do to establish a closer relationship with your customers will help you out in the long run.
The process behind improving your website’s search engine rankings, search engine optimization or SEO, is the key to gaining website traffic and new customers. Good SEO involves using keyword phrases in your content that customers would search for when looking for the type of food you cook.
For example, the phrase “middle eastern restaurant in Morristown” will help you get found in searches for this type of food in this area. It’s important, however, to make sure the content flows naturally and isn’t merely stuffed with keywords. By providing informative and helpful content to your customers, they will have a reason to remain on your site longer and make a reservation or to visit your establishment.
Another important aspect of SEO involves getting other websites to link back to you. It helps if you can get listed in local directories or on websites that mention your restaurant and what it offers. If you create engaging and authoritative content, other sites will be more inclined to link back to yours.
4. Google My Business
Google My Business is a must for any local business owner. Moreover, it’s both free and easy to use. A Google My Business listing enables merchants to manage their online presence across Google, including both Search and Maps.
A restaurant can use it to make sure that the right information will appear when a potential customer searches for their business’ name or their Google Maps location. Having a Google My Business listing also adds to your business’ credibility. After you create a free Google account, you can log in and claim your business. In addition to company information, you can post your menu, use Google’s online ordering system, or even schedule reservations.
5. Online Delivery
Both younger and older people are getting used to the convenience of ordering food via a phone app or by clicking away on their preferred restaurant’s website. Online food delivery is a trend that grew by leaps and bounds due to the pandemic. And for all intents and purposes, this trend is here to stay. As a result, you need to offer online ordering if you want to keep up with your competition.
In fact, an online delivery system that holds a customer’s attention and is easy to use can boost sales and bring in more regular customers. Indeed, studies show that users that have downloaded your app or tried to order from your menu have the highest purchasing intent.
If you are looking to expand your restaurant’s customer base in 2022, try these digital marketing strategies to help you attract new customers and establish stronger relationships with existing ones.