Digital Marketing Strategy for Restaurants in 2019
Well, the first and foremost thing that you should know about digital marketing in 2019 is that it still is the most effective way of promoting your restaurant, whether you like it or not.
However, the number of tools and platforms in digital marketing is so wide that it’s very important to know which areas should be covered in the first place next year. That’s why we prepared this article and hope that it will help you to boost your business in 2019.
Own website is a must have
Hopefully, this comes as no surprise to you. Websites have been a business’ main weapon in marketing since the dawn of the Internet and they still are. However, nowadays the competition is as intense as ever, customers prefer only the best, so make sure that your website is:
- Simple and fast (loading a page takes less than 3 sec)
Regarding “functional”, make sure your website contains table reservation and online ordering options as they are incredibly helpful for your customers and may lead tons of people to your restaurant. For this and other purposes, your website should be connected to a restaurant POS system.
Social Media Marketing
This is probably the most fast-changing marketing field that each year gets more complicated on one hand, and more popular on the other hand, thus making all business owners cope with new challenges.
So, here’s what you should know about restaurant strategies to attract customers with a help of social media in 2019:
- It’s not enough just to open an Instagram or Facebook account and post pics of food there anymore. People seek for brand authenticity and consistent voice. This means that you should use the same style of photos, same fond and tone of voice on all your social accounts, website, logo, and advertisements. Thus, people will be able to recognize your restaurant at a glance and it will become more than just a place to have food at, but something more than that. People just love places like that.
- Reward your subscribers for following your social media accounts – this is one of the best ways to attract new customers and show your appreciation to the loyal ones at the same time. You can arrange some contests or just give exclusive offers to followers.
- Turn your customers into your brand ambassadors by sharing their content in your social media accounts. How? Create a special hashtag (almost every network has them now), let your followers and visitors know that they can take photos at your place, post them on their personal accounts using the special hashtag and the best photos will be reposted to your restaurant’s account. Why is it useful for you? First, it creates social proof for the brand, second – it gives you a great deal of social media content, and what’s most important – it’s free marketing, baby!
Online Listings and Review sites
It’s awesome when you can find your customers online, but what’s even better is when customers can find you online too. That’s why you should make sure that your restaurant is present on as many online listings and reviews sites as possible.
The most popular online listings platforms for restaurants are Yelp, Tripadvisor, Zomato, Yellow pages, OpenTable and Superpages, but don’t stop on these ones only – register your location everywhere you can. By the way, many platforms combine listings and reviews, which is important for our next recommendation.
When your restaurant is present in the reviews sites, it is very important to react to any feedback, both positive and negative. First of all, because it shows customers that you care. Secondly, this way you can make a public attempt to improve upon your flaws and mitigate a negative aftertaste for the customer who wrote the bad review.
Did you know that one-third of all mobile searches are related to the location according to Google? This means that local advertising is still a massively popular and effective way of promoting your restaurant. But what exactly are the advertising channels that you could use in 2019 for the best results? Here they here are:
- Ads on Maps and Navigation Apps (Google My Business)
Undoubtedly, maps and navigation apps are immensely popular now. About 67% of smartphone owners use them at least once a month. That’s a pretty impressive statistics, huh? However, despite the diversity of different apps, it would be enough to focus on the one and only – Google Maps. It has a number of different formats, like Local Search Ads (i.e. “restaurants nearby”), Place Page Ads (units from location listings on Google.com and Google Maps), Promoted Places (units, which appear when a user is just using the map). Google Maps is becoming more a place for discovery than navigation, so hop on this train ASAP.
- Deals and Coupons Websites, Local Events Listings
You know that people love “free riding”, right? Then it’s a good reason to use deals and coupon sites to attract new customers. Even if part of them visit your restaurant only once, they might spread a good word about your place. Besides, just being present on the coupon sites will do a great job for your brand awareness.
The same goes for local events listings – invite a band, arrange a party or a workshop, whatever suits the atmosphere of your restaurant – to get to the listing of local events and let people know about your place.
- Hyper-Local and Local PPC Ads
In case you’ve been eliminating paid advertising because of its cost and targeting, it’s time to give it a try in 2019, because this marketing channel is perfect for restaurants. Why? The answer is local and hyperlocal targeting! In Bing Ads and Google AdWords, you can even use zip codes to target locations nearby or choose a radius from your Google MyBusiness location (in AdWords only). Any person in this area will see your restaurant’s ad when googles anything, what do you think are the chances that sooner or later they will want to have dinner there?
As you can see, 2019 is going to be another big year for websites and social media, but the rules of the game are changing to a better quality of your accounts and web interface and functionality. Besides, don’t forget to pay attention to local advertising and coupon sites to cover all marketing fields and make your restaurant incredibly popular in 2019.