Are you the owner of a restaurant or responsible for promoting it on the internet? In this vast world where each company tries to develop its brand image and attract the attention of its target audience, it is not always easy to find original strategies!
In the past, restaurants relied heavily on newspaper reviews and word-of-mouth to promote themselves. Nowadays, it is a lot of fashion effects, as well as the presence on social networks that attract people to establishments. So what tactics should you adopt to present your restaurant and establish a loyal clientele?
In this article, we will introduce you to 8 proven techniques that are suitable for different target audiences. Next, we’ll share examples of restaurants that have stand-out marketing strategies, so you can fuel your own brainstorm.
1) Find your target audience
First and foremost, if you haven’t already, you’ll need to figure out who you’re targeting and what kind of audience you want to attract to your restaurant. Most restaurants will say they want to attract as many people as possible, but realistically, there are still certain segments of the population that are more affected than others.
For example, a brewery will target more young professionals between the ages of 25 and 40, who have a certain salary and more free time. Marketing strategies will be adapted according to the target audiences, among other things with regard to vocabulary, population segments targeted by advertisements, color palettes, image content and so on.
For other food for thought, see our articleHow to identify your target audience and why.
2) Define your goals
Once you’ve decided who you’re talking to, you’ll need to try to define your goals. You can create several levels of goals, realistic, optimistic, dream goals, etc. As a goal, for example, you could aim to reach 10,000 followers on Instagram by the end of the year. You might also want your restaurant to appear on the first page when people type in “vegetarian restaurant in Bromont”. Here are some examples of goals you could set for yourself to further develop your restaurant’s presence on the internet.
3) Optimize local SEO
Local SEO is an optimization technique that emerged when Google decided to take geolocation into account in its search results. For example, when you write “bathroom renovation”, the search engine wants to present to the person renovation contractors or stores that are located in his area. So, if the person writes a very simple query like “bathroom renovation”, even without specifying their city, Google will want to present them with suitable results. In order to show relevant information, the algorithms will use user data and data from pages that have taken the time to optimize their websites, profiles and social media accounts.
Here are some techniques to optimize your local SEO:
Optimize your profile on Google My Business (which appears when people type your name);
List your restaurant in online directories and directories (Yelp, Yellow Pages, RestoMontreal, etc.);
Optimize your website to clarify where you are located and what you offer;
Encourage user reviews.
Find more tips in our article10 tips to improve your local SEO
4) Social networks
Nowadays, it is almost unthinkable not to develop a presence on social networks. Afterwards, it is not necessary to create accounts on each social media, but at least to put efforts where our target audience is. As you will have already determined who you want to talk to, you will be able to choose the social network where this audience is. In Canada, the biggest networks are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and SnapChat. For a restaurant, Facebook and Instagram are the networks that offer the most potential.
5)How to use it?
Instagram is a social network that is heavily focused on image and less on written content. It’s time to show off some tantalizing photos of your dishes and pretty images of your decor and employees. Create a certain aesthetic that matches the brand image you want to put forward, for example, by choosing a sepia tone for the photos, or putting forward a color that matches the logo. Another idea: put text in the images.
Encourage people to comment on your images and make sure you use the right hashtags to reach more people. You can also encourage people to share their own photos taken in your restaurant, to then share them on your account (by tagging them). This will have the effect of creating a sense of belonging.
6) Creating a website for a restaurant
Creating a website can be very useful for a web marketing strategy. For a restaurant, this is a great way to bring out the atmosphere, the type of menu and the personality of the establishment. In most cases, it is not necessary to design a very complex site, containing several pages.
7) Promotions for fast food restaurants
As mentioned earlier in the article, some strategies are better suited for fast food restaurants and would not necessarily suit the tone associated with other types of restaurants. One example is the strategy of asking people to report their presence in the restaurant to win a free meal or some other such prize.
It is a very effective and interesting technique for fast food, as it helps to attract “likes” and visibility on social networks. On the other hand, for more upscale restaurants, as a general rule, this type of practice does not really fit with the brand image.
For specific ideas of promotions and strategies for fast food restaurants, we invite you to consult the articles presented further down in the article.
8) Work with a marketing agency to promote your restaurant
As a restaurateur, you may be creative, but you won’t necessarily have the time or the knowledge to initiate and execute marketing strategies. Therefore, it is strongly advised to use the services of an agency specializing in web marketing.