Digital Marketing for Restaurants is already a trend for quite some time now. And now that we’re facing a pandemic crisis where we’re required to practice social and physical distancing, it is no surprise that this branch of Restaurant Marketing is taking a lot of spotlight.
In this feature, we’ve accumulated the most basic steps every restaurateur can practice in order to have a good transition with Digital Marketing. From setting an achievable and attainable goal, utilizing your assets, and to growing your source of revenue – this article will provide you guidance along the way.
Digital Marketing and 6 useful steps to make it work :
- Determine what to offer.
It is important, especially those who are just starting their restaurant business, to identify what they would offer to their customers. There’s a great competition within the Restaurant Industry and adapting Digital Marketing has just raised this competition even more. Customers will be given and offered lots of choices and options, and it is your responsibility as a restaurateur to make sure you’re offering the best for your customers.
First, you must brainstorm with your team what are the potential offerings you can make digitally. Make sure to take this opportunity as well to expand your service to other industries. Like, if you decide to offer catering service or events, you can make your mark in the Hospitality Industry. And with your goal to expand through Digital Marketing, you can offer digital education/courses, workshops, and you can also conduct consultations that are relative and significant with your restaurant brand. All of these could be sold online and will add up to your profit.
This way you’re already starting to build a community digitally, and involving your target market in the process will help you gain their trust with this expansion..
Tip : Be creative with your offering, don’t limit yourself into the usual and conventional. This is the time to innovate, take advantage of the technology and use Digital Marketing as a step to grow your business. Explore what could be your money-making machine aside from the basics that you’re already offering.
- Create an Action Plan
As cliché as it may sound, having an action plan is one of the most crucial points in the Restaurant Industry. Now that you’re done checking the options on what else your restaurant can offer through Digital Marketing, it is time for you to choose one and work with it.
As a restaurateur starting to expand, you may get excited from the brainstorming and want to offer all things at once, this is a common mistake that everyone must start to avoid. A restaurant owner should have a clear vision on what he wants for his restaurant business, and should understand the importance of process. In order to achieve great things in the future, you should first establish one solid offer and make sure it delivers the quality that you want to your customers.
It’ll be hard for you to operate a restaurant, then monitor 5 other offerings. This will lead to the downfall of the idea of your expansion and will compromise your growth with Digital Marketing. Keep in mind that it is better to focus with 1 offer first and do it extraordinarily, rather than doing 5 things and fail to deliver it.
You have to check the situation of the current market and if there’s enough demand for your new offer with Digital Marketing. Do a dry-run and see what works for you and what are the things you need to work out. Document all your observations and keep a record of everything to provide consistency to your new product and for your customers.
It is also included in this step to identify an outcome from your customer’s point of view. If you’re offering a workshop on how to make your best selling dish, you have to know what’s the set end point for your customer after taking your workshop. Wear your customer’s shoes and think about what they would want to achieve out of your digital workshop.
And lastly, from the record and documentation you’ve done, gather and organize the steps on how you’ll start to share your new offer through Digital Marketing.
- Provide proof of concept
Sharing and disseminating information to gain interest for your new offering is one way to prove your new Digital Marketing Concept. Make use of the dry-run process that you’ve launched and start putting customers to the process.
From here, take note and ask for their feedback about your new product. For example, if you’re offering a digital workshop, record all the comments and reviews from your selected market that participated in the dry-run. Convert these records and notes as assets which you can use in the next step. You can also utilize these notes as a guide for you to stick to a solid process and prevent you from getting lost along the process of building this new offer.
Tip : You can also conduct surveys with your customers to see what could be improved with your new offer, don’t assume that you know what would work for your customers and keep on reaching out to them.
- Make a website
Websites are one of the fundamentals for Digital Marketing. There’s no Digital Marketing if we opted not to use this type of technology to advance and improve. Expanding with your website, it doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated and extra. It is in Digital Marketing 101 that a website should be simple, easy to navigate, and contains your information and new offers. It is basically a new platform on which you can sell your new products and services.
In Digital Marketing, you’re reaching out to a broader and larger audience. It is important to give them the opportunity to build a connection with your restaurant brand. Put your story on your website, show them your vision and values, and help them understand your offer deeper.
Use the testimonials you’ve collected from your dry-run and post it to your website. It is human nature to care and trust more what other people are saying about your offer and not about what you’re saying about your own product. Avoid showing too forceful with your customers.
Lastly, take advantage of the information you can get from your customers. Digital Marketing usually uses email as a basic platform to update the market you’ve captured. This step lets restaurateurs establish and protect the community they’ve been building from the start.
Tip : For easier targeting and retargeting, use pixel tracking on your website. This allows you to track and monitor existing and potential customers.
- Give incentives
It may seem too early to give something out, but with Digital Marketing, it is possible to give something of value without hurting your restaurant business. Also known as lead magnet, these incentives are things that embody value and represent your restaurant brand that are handed out to your existing and potential customers in exchange for their information.
This can come in many forms, may it be through free templates, vouchers, coupons, information, or anything that your customers can see valuable. It is something valuable that your customers will be willing to provide their information in exchange for it.
Tip : Make sure that before you choose what lead magnet to use, you’re seeing this from the perspective of your customers and not yours as a restaurateur.
- Make your customers feel valued
It’s a huge challenge for Digital Marketing to establish and build a connection to customers, and since there’s minimal to no physical interaction, customers find it hard that they’re being valued as part of a business.
That’s why it is important to seek ways, digitally, on how you can align with your captured market. Give them the impression that they’re being valued.
You can do so by sharing information from your restaurant business. Information that could nurture them. Keep them updated with your existing and upcoming offers. Reach out to them through different channels and platforms. Make sure you do these things without giving the impression that they’re being promoted and sold something.
And after all these steps, when you’re starting to reap what you sow, you may begin to offer a little bit more or a bonus for your customers. A certification is one way to do it. This validates your offer and adds huge value to both your customers and your new offer. Use Digital Marketing to provide your customers a sense of prestige, and make them feel good and satisfied from purchasing your new offer.
Our present times makes running a restaurant business more challenging, but restaurateurs should keep moving forward and see this as an opportunity to expand their restaurant business to a different level and also give chance to customers to gain something new out of their restaurant business.
Be it as an easy-to-follow recipe or a digital culinary course, providing something that could help uplift one another is what this crisis asks from us.