So you’ve created an amazing menu, with to-die-for food and a super unique atmosphere, but you’re still wondering how to help people discover your restaurant. Well, wonder no more! Follow these digital marketing tips to help people discover, visit, and applaud your local eatery.
Create a Great Website
Before you start doing any real marketing, you want to make sure your website is on point. This means creating a website that tells the customer (within 5 seconds) exactly what kind of eatery you are. It’s also important to write some great content that not only embodies your brand but speaks to your ideal clientele. The site should also be visually appealing and (most important) display your address and contact information clearly. Having a great website will increase your credibility as a business and also strengthen your brand. Don’t forget you’re making your site friendly for mobile users! As mobile usage has just recently overcome desktop usage.
Achieving the perfect site
Creating a new site can be a daunting task, but thanks to user-friendly content management systems like WordPress and Squarespace, you can build your own site with little to no coding knowledge. If you want to go above and beyond though, you could always hire a local professional web design company to create a unique, professional-looking site.
Creating Quality Content
Once your website is up and running it is now time to focus on creating amazing content. A great way to do this is simply adding a blog to your website. A blog is a great way to make sure you’re getting the full benefits of search engine traffic and it can help you rank for a whole bunch of “long-tail” phrases. (“Long-tail phrases are what we call search terms that are 3+ words long, such as: where to get the best sushi in south edmonton). After writing awesome posts for your blog it is time to start sharing on all social media channels. You can also start doing some paid advertising, such as through Facebook, to get more people reading your stuff.
What do you blog about?
As a restaurant you probably want the majority of your post’s to be about your food. However, once you’ve covered the most obvious topics, don’t be afraid to branch out and explore new content ideas within your topic, such as: experimental menu concepts, “secret recipe” giveaways, how to cook the perfect pasta, or the best way to store your veggies, etc.
Look at who your target market is, what their interests are, and then go from there. If you notice that a large segment of your customers are into the show “Scandal”, why not write a post about all the delicious wines they drink and what to pair it with? Your blog is a place to connect with your audience and create that lasting relationship with them. So have some fun and be different!
Integrating Google Maps Business View
Does your restaurant boast an extraordinary ambiance or experience? Why not promote this selling point with Google Maps Business View. This Google service enables you to upload virtual tours and photos of your restaurant directly to your Google Places page, so people can check out your place as they decide where to go for dinner.
An added bonus? Adding this rich content to your Google Places page is a great way to stand out from the competition online in Google Search results.
Getting Google Maps Business View
In order to get Google Maps Business View you will have to hire a Google Trusted Photographer to come to photograph your business. The photographer will then stitch all the photos together to create a virtual tour. In Edmonton we recommend contacting our friends at FotoFoto for this service.
Sourcing Local Food Bloggers
Reaching out to local food bloggers is a great way to expand your reach and get in front of new customers. Since word of mouth is such an important marketing tool for restaurants and food bloggers are always looking for interesting blog fodder, why not invite some established, local food writers to your restaurant’s special event? This event could be your opening night, an annual customer appreciation event, or even a private tasting party to get their opinion on brand new menu items.
How do I find food bloggers?
Start by doing a simple Google search for bloggers in your area. A query like “food bloggers edmonton” should reveal a good number of the city’s top food bloggers. If you need a more extensive list, check out Food Bloggers of Canada to start, they have a ton of really awesome bloggers that are more than willing to work with businesses.
Pro tip: Once you’ve found some bloggers to contact, make sure you read their content before reaching out to them. It will make them more receptive to what you are offering if they feel like you have taken the time to read their work.
Reviews, Reviews, Reviews
Once you have an established website, posted amazing content, integrated Google Business View, and contacted some local foodies, it is now time to get people talking about your business. Seeing reviews either on your website or on Google reassures potential customers that eating at your restaurant is likely to be a good choice because people tend to trust peer reviews more than they trust advertising.
Where should I get reviews?
Customers should be able to write reviews easily and as a business it is your responsibility to make that happen. Sign up for sites such as OpenTable, UrbanSpoon and TripAdvisor so people can easily write and read reviews. To get more customers on the review bandwagon make it simple for them by providing direct links to where you want reviews or consider solutions like GetFiveStars.com.
Got more restaurant-related digital marketing questions? Serve them up! Ask a question in the comments section or contact us directly via the website.