About 50% of small to medium-sized restaurants fail within the first five years of their existence. However, with effective digital marketing, you can generate more traffic to your restaurant and achieve your goals. There are many ways to find and engage more customers; you should, therefore, pick the advertising efforts that best suit your budget and are most likely to attract your target market.
Digital Marketing Channels For Your Restaurant Business
Google My Business (GMB) Profile
To start, create a Google My Business (GMB) listing for your restaurant. Google offers a restaurant-specific listing on mobile known as the ‘Local 3’ pack. This feature provides a place to provide your restaurant’s phone number where customers can click to call. There is also a spot for your establishment’s address. People can click this address and will automatically be given directions to your restaurant. Finally, using GMB, you can upload your menu to the listing so potential patrons can review it before visiting.
Build a Website for Your Restaurant
Treat your website as a digital extension of your physical storefront. Your website is often the first place a potential customer will interact with you. You should, therefore, ensure that your site meets the same level of quality as your physical establishment. Create a website that is aesthetically pleasing and up-to-date. Here are some tips to get started on a successful website:
- Stay on brand using logos, colours, and tone in your writing
- Keep it simple
- Pay attention to local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Optimize for mobile use
- Allow people to reserve online
- Keep your site up-to-date
Develop A Social Media Presence
In the digital age, you need a social media presence to create awareness of your restaurant. If you haven’t already, consider expanding to platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Social media is an opportunity to extend your relationship with customers by engaging in conversations and answering questions or complaints through this channel. If you are just beginning to expand to social media, focus on a few key platforms like Instagram and Facebook before going to others that are less relevant to your industry (like TikTok).
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ads are a digital marketing tool your restaurant can use to succeed in this digital age. Combined with Google My Business and social media marketing, PPC ads can ensure your restaurant is a top result in Google searches. When customers conduct a Google search, your ad will appear before all non-PPC results.
For PPC advertising, you decide on a limit for spending per click. Unlike other display ads, Google only charges you when someone clicks on your ad, not just for views. Using this channel you can easily manipulate how much you want to spend on digital advertising.
Once you have implemented Google My Business, social media, and PPC ads, and you’re looking to expand your reach or increase your following, incorporate influencer marketing to attract a wider audience.
You can pay or incentivize influencers to endorse your restaurant and promote it online. Influencers typically have thousands to millions of followers and can leverage their credibility in niche demographics or industries to attract customers for you. If there is a food-specific influencer in your area, reach out to them through direct messaging and invite them to try your restaurant free of cost. If the experience is positive, you can propose an influencer marketing contract with them.
Digital Marketing Channels That Grow Your Restaurant
Digital marketing can create significant benefits for your restaurant whether it is well established or just starting out. When you create your digital marketing plan, remember that you should always seek to communicate a consistent message to achieve a specific goal, and ensure that you’re always creating content that your audience will find helpful and interesting.