Marketing is an essential part of running any successful restaurant as it exposes your business to more prospects and leads. If you manage a restaurant, marketing online is one of the best approaches you can take towards better visibility and sales. There are various ways to market online and most restaurants own websites where customers can find information or make orders. However, it doesn’t stop at that. There are various effective ways to market your restaurant online and we discuss some of them below.
Benefits Of Marketing Online
According to studies, more people order food online or at least browse the net to compare restaurants. People also spend a significant amount of time online, in social media platforms, discussion forums, business websites and so forth. If you want to reach more customers today, online platforms offer a unique opportunity. Here are some of the key merits of marketing your restaurant online:
- Wider customer base – You can reach both local and foreign markets through websites, social media platforms and online adverts.
- 24/7 marketing – With online platforms, you can market the restaurant 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
- Affordable – Online marketing strategies are relatively cheaper to deploy compared to other forms of marketing, such as TV, radio and billboards.
- Data collection and analysis – You can gather crucial data and feedback from customers through social media, customer reviews and onsite comments
- Diversification – There are various approaches to marketing your restaurant online, including direct emails, websites, social media, landing pages, directories and many more.
- Instant services and transactions – With the help of third-party integrations and partnerships, you can provide improved customer experience and swift service to edge your competition.
How To Market Your Restaurant Online
Here are five things you can do to promote your restaurant online:
1. Create A Compelling, Well-Organized Website/Landing Page
You need a website or landing page to market your restaurant online. The site will include information about your restaurant, address, contacts, services, recipes, promotions and anything else you want to share with your customers. You need sleek, user-friendly website customers can visit to browse your specials, order meals, or see what you offer. Making the landing page attractive and compelling will help keep visitors coming back. You should also optimize the website for search engines, especially local searches. This will boost organic traffic from real customers looking for restaurants in your area.
2. Add Your Business to Google Maps and Online Directories
Google maps offer an effective way to market your restaurant online. By adding your business to Maps, you will benefit from the separate ranking Google has for sites added to Maps. You still need to optimize the website for Google maps, so your restaurant can appear in visible positions. This requires keyword optimization, link building and several other practices that SEO encapsulates. Adding the restaurant to online directories is another great way to increase your presence. Various top directories list businesses for free while others charge a small fee. You should strive to have your restaurant listed in at least five local directories.
3. Promote Your Restaurant on Social Media
Social media platforms, such as Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, have millions of users. Approached strategically, you can use social media to attract new leads to your restaurant. These platforms allow you to create a business page, share stories, pictures and videos, send direct messages, run campaigns and achieve various things that increase your online presence. You can share memorable and inspiring stories about your dishes, chefs, restaurant and community to draw more people. More importantly, social media allows you to offer customer service and follow up. Being on social media is also great for your SEO.
4. Integrate Online Ordering Systems
Online ordering systems allow customers to visit your website, order their favorite meals and wait for the delivery without having to show up at your restaurant. If you are looking to branch out and grow your business online, it helps to integrate online ordering. Besides streamlining the ordering process, these systems allow you to collect data and track your restaurant’s performance. They separate your restaurant from others, resulting in more convenient experiences. You can also benefit from the extended network and partnerships, allowing you to reach more customers.
5. Loyalty Programs, Coupons and Discounts
Coupons, discounts and loyalty programs offer an incentive to try your business and many industries use these techniques. You can run online campaigns and giveaway contests to get more people talking about the restaurant. Promo codes and discounts can provide seasonal traffic boost to your website. On the other hand, loyalty programs will keep your customers coming back to the restaurant. You can allow customers to earn points on all orders they make online or giveaways for referring new customers. Customers can then redeem the points for various discounts and advantages.
There are various other ways you can market your restaurant online. Some examples include reaching out to influencers, sending email newsletters, integrating a sleek online menu and investing in mobile ads and PPC, among others. It is essential to monitor how your approaches are performing and determine strategies you should drop. Not all methods will work for your restaurant, so you must understand your unique needs and goals before choosing to market your restaurant online.