We’ve worked quite a bit with restaurants and their owners. It’s an industry that we truly love working in, and we’re not just saying that because we usually get a free meal out of the deal. Restaurants allow creative people like us to really let our imaginations run wild. There are SO many restaurants out there, a lot of people will say to us “The market is so saturated, it’s impossible to stand out.” That’s blasphemy! There is ALWAYS a way to stand out. Here are some of the most successful way we’ve helped restaurants market better.
1) Mouth Watering Images
Probably the best way to promote your restaurant is by showcasing your delicious food. It’s a visual world out there and having high quality, mouth watering photos on your website and social media is imperative in order to stack up to your competition. And here’s a bonus tip: hire a professional! No matter how many filters you put on your iPhone shots, nothing will compare to professionally done images.
2) Use Google Plus
Your restaurant’s Google+ account is as important as having a website.
When someone searches something within Google, Google’s Knowledge Graph (learn more about that here) displays the business’s credentials in the sidebar. The Knowledge Graph gets a lot of it’s info from Google+, so having your business set up on Google+ helps you appear in that sidebar. Basically, being on Google Plus helps your Google Rank immensely.
3) Start an Email Newsletter
Use your email newsletter to show off that new award you just won, talk about new menu items, or give away special deals to your members. There’s no easier way to get in front of people then through their inbox. But go easy, don’t flood them. Once a month is about right.
4) Start Blogging!
The importance of a robust news/blog section cannot be understated.
Most people search Google with the intent of finding a solution for a specific problem they are having. By creating industry specific content on a blog and then sharing it across the web and social media, three things happen:
– You can brand yourself as an expert in your industry. (People seek out advice of industry experts.)
– You can potentially reach more people who need your product or service than you could through traditional advertising at a fraction of the cost. (Free, unless of course you choose to pay to promote your content)
– The website is no longer static and is constantly being updated with fresh content and attracting more visitors and potential customers. A dynamic site helps immensely with Google Rankings. Even if there is a blog post once a month, it is very much worth it.
5) Make Videos
People don’t have the time or the patience to read more than 3 paragraphs these days (if you’ve made it this far in this blog post, congratulations you are one of the elite!). The best way to grab people’s attention is through visuals. And the best kinds of visuals are the moving ones. Start off with a snazzy video to promote your restaurant and kick off your YouTube presence. Then create some series. You could even do it on your iPhone. A monthly cooking session with the head chef. A monthly wine tasting session with the head bartender. Keep them short and well produced and you’ll start to gain a following, and you’ll start to gain more customers.
Here’s one we produced for a client of ours.
So, what are you waiting for? Start marketing the heck out of your restaurant and watch the results pour in.