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10 Effective Restaurant Digital Marketing Strategies: Attract More Customers and Increase Sales

If you have to name one thing about the Restaurant Industry that is both easy and efficient, restaurant digital marketing should come first in your mind. It is a type of restaurant marketing that focuses on different types of digital marketing strategies that can be utilized and implemented by restaurant owners to increase their average check size, retain customer loyalty, and attract potential customers.

Digital Marketing illustration

As the Restaurant Industry continues to push through to digitization, it provided different digital marketing strategies for different types of restaurants. With all different types of restaurant marketing strategies, restaurant digital marketing strategies are seen to be the most effective and cost-efficient. Especially if you’ll consider the new health protocols and physical distancing that’s being observed. 

This feature aims to provide information about the different effective restaurant digital marketing strategies which can be helpful for your restaurant business. These are simple steps yet still effective for any type of restaurant business. 

10 Effective Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants

If you’re used to the traditional restaurant marketing strategies, it may be a bit intimidating for you to produce restaurant marketing ideas which you can use to transition into restaurant digital marketing. But worry not, for here are some restaurant marketing strategies that you can check out for your restaurant business.

Social Media Marketing

In early 2021, 53% of the global population were active social media users. Can you imagine the amount of loss for your restaurant business if you’re still not starting up with your social media marketing? And take note, consumers are not just depending on the leading social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, they already started searching for a social media platform that specifically meets their needs and preferences. 

Social Media Connection Global Communication Concept

Advanced technology has made restaurant digital marketing easier for you, restaurant owners. With the emergence of different niche social media platforms, you can now promote your restaurant to potential customers of your choice.

Facebook remains to be the most used social media platform, but you should not underestimate the greatness that Instagram and Twitter bring for your restaurant marketing. Though restaurant digital marketing is considered an easy one, it is still important for you to have a restaurant marketing plan before you start anything, and this is applicable for all types of restaurant marketing strategies. Keep in mind that having a guide keeps you on track and a waste of money, effort, and time can be avoided through it. 

Starting campaigns for social media marketing is easy, but for you to make the most out of this type of restaurant digital marketing, you must know how to use their targeting and marketing tools to promote your restaurant properly. 

Here are some marketing ideas you can implement to ensure the success of your social media marketing campaigns.

  • Create a consistent tone when reaching out to your customers (responding to their comments, etc.)
  • Try to integrate UGC or User Generated Content
  • Run different types of social media contests and games
  • Utilize their targeting features properly (especially geo-targeting)
  • Provide engaging photos, videos, and contents on your social media profiles

Email Marketing

Another effective restaurant digital marketing is email marketing. You may be wondering why, with all the social media platforms being developed and easily available, email marketing remains effective for restaurant marketing because it covers a wide demographic (which is mostly the main goal for restaurant marketing, to reach a huge number of customers).

Advertisement Social Media Internet Letter Concept

If you want your restaurant marketing ideas and marketing strategies to reach the population of early computer-users, baby boomers and the digital-driven millennials, and Gen Z, then it is time to fire up your email marketing strategies. 

Through email marketing, you can communicate better to your customers and start building a good relationship between your customers and your restaurant business. As a restaurant owner, you always opt for tools that are budget-friendly yet serve their purpose. For email marketing, launching email campaigns and other helpful tools are most easily available at a friendly price

Still, thinking if this type of restaurant digital marketing strategy is worth a shot? There are 3.9 billion active email users worldwide, if you manage to monopolize the email marketing game for your local community or just within your target customers, then you’re off to a good start. 

Just make sure you follow the following email marketing ideas to make the most out of this type of restaurant digital marketing strategy.

  • Capture email addresses through your POS or EPOS system
  • Be consistent with your email campaigns, promotions, and advertising for your restaurant
  • Make sure to add a CTA button (share button) to your newsletter
  • Identify the email marketing tools that suit your restaurant operations
  • Maximize the potential of your email marketing, add an online ordering and reservation option to your newsletter

SEO Marketing

Restaurant owners are often not familiar with SEO or Search Engine Optimization, and quickly ask a restaurant marketing agency for help. While it’s a smart choice, because it is a different level of restaurant digital marketing, you may also opt to train within your existing restaurant staff and save that additional cost. 

Searching Engine Optimizing SEO Browsing Concept

Working on your SEO as part of your restaurant marketing strategies allows you to build up visibility online. Especially in this era, an online presence is everything. A study showed that posts that ranked second on Google results get an average of 3x more clicks than those that rank lower. SEO will be a huge help in advertising for restaurants and is a great marketing idea for restaurants.

Start working on your website, blog, and content to make this restaurant’s digital marketing strategy work for your restaurant business. Potential customers are just searching continuously for a restaurant that suits their preference for some time, make sure you close the deal by focusing on your SEO. 

Online Rating and Review Monitoring

This restaurant’s digital marketing strategy allows you to give value to your customers. If you’re constantly tracking and monitoring your ratings online, plus you’re responding to them on time, it enables you to increase customer engagement and loyalty. Now, why is that?

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People always trust people. It doesn’t matter whether they know the author of a review or a rating, they tend to connect easily to them compared to your restaurant’s brand. And with all the changes in the buying decision of potential customers, the trait that checks the online review and rating first before they decide whether to go to a particular restaurant or not, it is better to showcase that your customer service is not confined by the walls of your restaurant, rather you aim to build a relationship with your customers even if they’re not inside your restaurant. 

Also, you can take this as a learning opportunity. If there’s a bad review, learn to acknowledge and show customers empathy from your end. Make sure that you show authenticity and don’t make them feel that this is just another restaurant marketing idea or stint to make them feel better. Customers can engage better if they feel that you’re genuine in what you do, even if it’s just responding to their reviews. 

After all, a fresh perspective might be the one you needed to improve on your restaurant business. 

For online rates and reviews, you may rely on the following trusted platforms. 

  • Yelp
  • Facebook
  • Google (Google My Business)
  • OpenTable
  • TripAdvisor
  • Zomato

Google My Business Listing

You may think that with all the different digital marketing strategies for restaurants this is the most ineffective as it only covers a single platform, Google. But exerting efforts for your Google My Business listing can boost customer visits up to 70%. Google may just be a single platform, it is the world’s largest search engine and most of the customers trust Google with their decision-making process. 

GMB is a free tool launched by Google to assist with their restaurant digital marketing through a business listing. It improves the local SEO of a business’ website and promotes their restaurant’s business profile and restaurant website on Google Search and Google Maps. It also provides an insight into the online behavior of your customers on how they interact with your restaurant through Google. 

The competition in the Restaurant Industry is now digital, the rankings and SEO are everything for restaurant businesses, if you want to stay at the top, you have to make sure that you’re working with your restaurant digital marketing strategy by completing your GMB profile. 

Here’s a helpful and easy guide for you if you want to start learning more about Google My Business. 

Restaurant Website Managing

If there’s one basic tool that you need for your restaurant’s digital marketing strategy, it should be your very own restaurant website. An updated, coherent, and easy-to-navigate restaurant website. This is where your potential customers will rely upon should they want to contact you or know more about your restaurant, that’s why the information on your website should always be updated and comprehensible. 

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Navigating through your restaurant website is already considered part of the customer experience, make sure to provide your customers a great and satisfactory experience by keeping your restaurant website easy to understand and engaging for them.

And since this is the restaurant digital marketing era, there are plenty of guides for you if you want to build your restaurant website. While seeking an expert’s guide would be the best choice, there are templates available that may work for your restaurant’s website. 

Here are the main elements you need to work out to make this restaurant’s digital marketing strategy work for your restaurant.

  • Concept and theme that’s aligned with your branding
  • Updated menu page
  • High-quality photos
  • Social proof (testimonials, reviews)
  • Story (About Us section)
  • Essential information about your restaurant (operating hours, contact details, location, and the like)
  • Website analytics

Now if it’s still too much for you, a professional or restaurant website developer can help you launch this type of restaurant digital marketing strategy. Just make sure you’ll communicate and be clear on how you want it to be done to avoid misunderstandings.

Remember that customers don’t need a complicated-designed restaurant website, you can still achieve an eye-catching restaurant website by keeping it simple, responsive, user-friendly, and aligned with the brand it represents. 

Influencer Marketing

This type of restaurant digital marketing strategy is a bit connected with social media marketing. Influencer marketing is a type of restaurant digital marketing strategy that involves local and international influencers working with your restaurant business. The service of the influencers will depend on what type of arrangement you’ll decide. 

Woman taking a photo of the sunset

You can hire them directly and require them to produce quality content for your restaurants, or it could be collaborative work between your restaurant business and the influencer. Knowing how the influencer culture works, they would probably choose the latter. 

But regardless of how the arrangement will be, influencer marketing is still a great digital marketing idea for restaurants. Through this type of restaurant digital marketing, the restaurant brand will be exposed to a new set of customers plus the benefit of brand recognition and retention from existing customers. 

If you work with the right influencers, you can easily grow your customer reach through their followers. You just have to reach out to the influencers that have an impact on your target demographic. If you’re just starting with influencer marketing, try to talk with the influencers within your local community first and see how collaboration will work for both of you. 

SMS Marketing

This should not be a surprise for you, as a restaurant owner if you’re still not launching a digital marketing strategy for SMS marketing, then you better start now, and start fast. With 3.5 billion mobile phone users, pivoting your restaurant marketing strategies into SMS marketing the most rational thing to do. 

white and green remote control

It has an open rate 4x higher than email marketing, helps boost foot traffic into your restaurant, and increases customer engagement with your restaurant business. If there’s one thing that hinders you in working your way through this restaurant’s digital marketing strategy, then you must get rid of it now. SMS marketing is part of the future of restaurant marketing and it is here to stay.

There are different campaigns of SMS marketing should you wish to try out this type of restaurant digital marketing strategy. 

  • Bulk SMS campaign
  • Conversational messaging campaign
  • Opt-in campaign

Utilize the tools available in your area and see how this will work wonders for your restaurant marketing strategies. Here are some of the tested and proven tools for restaurant SMS marketing campaigns.

  • Twilio
  • Messente
  • Routee
  • Dexatel
  • Zingle

Content Marketing

Blogging is the main source of content marketing. This type of restaurant digital marketing strategy allows you to convey a message to your customers, express your thoughts about a particular topic, or provide help and assistance for others in the industry. 

The content you’ll produce must be informative, truthful, and engaging. Customers are constantly curious about something, they’re always trying to know the answer about different topics and this is an opportunity for you to start customer loyalty right away. 

Online Strategy Media Marketing Icons

Once that you start providing the answers about what they’re trying to know, it builds a sense of connection with your restaurant brand. Before they know it, your customers are more engaged and connected with your brand and since there are brand recognition and retention, your restaurant will always be their priority. 

Here are some of the topics that can be helpful for your restaurant blog.

Now, this type of restaurant digital marketing strategy is not just about blogging. Content marketing also starts with your social media posts and even UGC. UGC or User Generated Content are types of content from your customers. These are the photos or videos that are tagged on your restaurant. You can use these posts to show the authenticity of your restaurant. 

Just make sure to ask for their permission first before you post their content, and give them proper credit for their content. 

Ads, Promotion, and Online Campaigns

Advertising for restaurants is not a new game for restaurant owners. Through the following restaurant digital marketing strategy, promotion for restaurants becomes easier yet more competitive at the same time. But this doesn’t mean that you can’t keep up with the fierce competition in the Restaurant Industry.

Again, this type of restaurant digital marketing strategy is connected with SMS marketing. The ads, promotions, and targeting tools of the leading social media platforms namely Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter plus the largest search engine, Google, make it possible for restaurant owners to promote their restaurant business to a large number of customers with a small price to pay. 

Most of these tools are easy to use and are proven to be effective by different digital marketing agencies. Through this advanced restaurant digital marketing strategy, you can now easily target your customers according to their gender, preferences, age, etc. thus improving the effectiveness of your ads and promotions.

For online campaigns, these are usually represented through games and contests done across your different social media platforms. Just make sure that the mechanics and prizes are engaging enough for your customers to join.