This time of year is all about fresh starts and making plans for a successful year ahead. For restaurateurs, this time of year can be a layered, complex affair with many unknowns in the picture. To overcome these unknowns, you need a solid plan that will help you deal with most contingencies. A fantastic method for getting your marketing organized for this upcoming year is to create a content calendar for your digital marketing. Here are some ideas for what to put on your content calendar once you get your year mapped out:
Why Do I Need a Content Calendar?
Progress is not measurable without goals and a plan. Making a content calendar details the marketing/content-rich materials you plan on posting or sending out via email each week. Using your calendar to establish a timetable of measurable, achievable goals can make a tremendous difference in how well you implement your digital marketing campaign over the course of the year.
It should be noted that sticking to a schedule and generating genuine and original content over time can be challenging to accomplish consistently. Provided you can overcome this drawback, a content calendar will help to ensure your marketing dollars and content generation create a positive impact on your business.
How To Build Your Content Calendar
Follow these steps to build a content calendar that will help you get where you want to be:
Step 1: Brainstorm ideas by looking at ideal customer profiles and brand persona. Get started by asking yourself the following questions:
- What is your brand’s persona online? (Are you a good-time restaurant? Sports bar? Old-school pizza shop on the corner?)
- Will all of your marketing content reflect that brand persona? How?
- When you first opened your doors, what were the question you had? What answers would you give yourself now looking back?
- What issues would your ideal customer want addressed first?
(Think about this question from the perspective of customers who dine-in, order online, order takeout or order delivery.
- As food and restaurant trends come and go, how do you adapt to meet new demands? What is your primary source for this information?
From your answers, you can generate content on a consistent schedule that fits your restaurant’s brand persona and ideal customer profile.
Pro Tips: Type of content to include?
Here are some ideas for content:
- Theme posts on a weekly basis (#WenesdayWarmup for featured soup of the week, etc.).
- How-tos on preparing the dishes you serve or sourcing fresh ingredients and seasonings the way your kitchen does.
- Videos of your chef preparing simple parts of meals, making seasonal dishes or showcasing your chef’s knife-work and kitchen techniques.
- Curate your customer generated content from social media and encourage them to share by using your hashtag or tagging your handle on social media.
Step 2: Plan One-to-Six Months at a Time
For the sake of convenience, plan no more than six months ahead at a time. Following this guideline allows for flexibility to keep in line with the changing trends on social media, the food service industry and seasonal menu options. Social media posts, live events and videos should be planned and shot as far in advance as possible. If you are planning a major event like showcasing a new menu item or hosting a tasting event, put these items on the calendar as soon as you have locked down a date.
Step 3: Test Content Prior to Adding it to Your Calendar
Before adding any content to the calendar, test it via SEO and SMO metrics. The built-in analytical tools provided by Google and Facebook should be more than sufficient for your needs. Ask yourself the following questions about your content before committing to publishing it:
- Does this content match the brand profile I have established?
- Is this content interesting and engaging to me?
- Would I like, share and comment on this content?
If you can answer affirmatively to these three questions and you’ve performed an SEO/SMO check, your content is ready for publication.
Step 4: Watch for New Trends and Changes and Adjust Accordingly
As with any marketing strategy, keep an eye on new and trending on social media trends throughout the food service industry. Your marketing efforts should be aligned with what your customers are looking for, and you should be providing dining experience your ideal customer craves.
It is important to understand and monitor what customers love and appreciate about your restaurant, as well as the other establishments they frequent on a regular basis. Adjust your calendar and content accordingly, and you will ensure that your brand and your content will always hit the mark with customers and delight them with every new picture, video and blog post.
If you need help getting your content calendar ready, contact Orders2me today. We can get you going in the right direction.