Restaurants can take advantage of many communication and experiential efforts to better serve your customers, including outreach initiatives, blog articles, and text marketing. Each one serves a unique purpose, helping drive prospects to your restaurant.
Restaurants can work with micro-influencers, such as food bloggers and restaurant reviewers, to boost their reach on social media, but we don’t recommend this tactic for new restaurants or restaurants that are overhauling their digital advertising efforts. Working with influencers in the restaurant business can be messy and possibly harm your credibility if not done appropriately, so if you do want to begin an influencer program, we recommend partnering with a marketing agency or professional to help you manage the process.
However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t use the influencer tactic for your new restaurant. Connect with a local band, DJ, or local club to offer music night, karaoke night, or BINGO night. Work out a mutually-beneficial agreement and focus on entertaining your customers. This provides your visitor with a venue and your customers with an incentive to visit you during a slow season.
To develop an effective content strategy, you first need to have refined messaging guidelines, as these are the base of your content strategy. This is because your content strategy should focus on meeting the needs of (and answering questions for) each audience segment. By creating content for customers and prospects at every stage in the buying cycle, you are helping attract leads, convert leads into paying customers, and retain those paying customers. When you know what questions you need to answer, it’s easier to develop a content strategy and calendar. The how is the strategy; the when is the calendar.
Before creating content, develop a list of questions you want to answer for each audience segment. Then create a plan to address each of these questions over the next few months. This is the beginning of your content calendar.
In your content calendar, be sure to include the types of content you’ll create and where you will distribute them. Your two top distribution platforms will be your email marketing program and Pinterest.
Tip: You can also use Instagram in your content distribution efforts by using the #linkinbio hashtag in post content since you cannot add a clickable link to each post. Then, add your latest blog article link as your link in your profile. Or use one of these tools to list multiple links.
Tip: Content should primarily be used to supplement lead nurturing efforts to create a better customer experience and aid in the buying decision. The content itself will also play a strong role in generating relevant traffic via on-page SEO efforts.
For restaurants, blog articles are the best format to share content for your business. They not only help improve your website SEO, but they also help inform your prospects before they choose to go to your restaurant. However, you don’t necessarily have to just write content. Video content and infographics can be used in place of or alongside written blog content on your website.
Through your blog content, answer common questions your customers have; share recipes, cooking tips, and stories about your restaurant’s history; and feature your employees and local events.
You can also come up with content ideas on social media and in your email inbox. Monitor your hashtags, comments, DMs, and customer service emails for common questions. Answer those questions personally and then create a blog or video on it, too, to answer future customer questions.
Tip: For every hour you spend writing, editing, and publishing content, spend an equal amount distributing that content via social media, email, and other outlets.
Tip: Create blog titles that answer questions to your audience’s problems
For some restaurants, text marketing may be more efficient than email marketing. The content is much shorter than email marketing, but it performs very well and can either replace or augment an email marketing program.
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