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Digital Marketing Ideas for Restaurants That Attract Customers

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Ivanna Shepetyuk
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It is no secret that part of our activity on the Internet is the search for new restaurants, writing reviews about various establishments, viewing menus, booking tables and the like. Marketing a restaurant has never been easy, as it is very dependent on the reaction of visitors. In the digital world, it has become even more complicated. After all, information is now much more and easier to find.

To promote your restaurant, you need creative ideas. The more interesting the offer, the more customers you can attract. And a permanent online presence is one of the best ways to talk about this offer.

In doubt? Imagine: Sunday morning, you wake up and crave a pleasant breakfast, but there is no desire to cook. The first thing you do in this case is to open a browser and look for something interesting in your area.

Now people, as never before, go to the Internet to first of all learn about new restaurants and their quality. If this information about your establishment is not available, the potential client will definitely choose something else.

Before diving into ideas

You are definitely promoting your restaurant. The first confirmation is that you were looking for a similar article. But before you dive into creative ideas for digital marketing, you need to determine who your target audience is? After all, your approaches will depend on this.

Who are they? Millennials? Generation Z? Older generation? Families with children? Think it over. This step is crucial in analyzing ideas that have already worked out and in finding completely new ones. Without analysis of the target audience, you definitely cannot create a creative and attractive advertising campaign.

Digital Marketing Ideas content

How to create relevant content. Source of the image

In the end, the more accurately you define your own audience, the easier it will be to create content. But don’t you want to come up with something interesting as quickly as possible so that the influx of customers does not keep you waiting?

Engage in social networks

First of all, be prepared that 80% of potential customers will doubtfully accept a restaurant that does not have a page on social networks (especially Instagram). Previously, these were people 18-30 years old. Today, this range has expanded. Very often, people under the age of 40 go to Instagram to check the restaurant’s page and evaluate the visitor’s reviews.

First: create an account

If there is no page, urgently get it. Provide active subscribers, create content, make your account active. First of all, fruitful work on your Instagram account puts it in the top offers on the social network itself. Thus, as soon as a person speaks with someone about restaurants or begins to search for them on the Internet, Instagram will already add your institution to the list of “Interesting” for such a user.

Second: hashtags

Understand how hashtags work. This is a great tool for creating creative ideas in restaurant marketing. They can increase brand awareness and attract new visitors.

It is important to remember that now many users (especially girls) very often mark posts that they visited. And they do it with hashtags.

Digital Marketing Ideas hashtags

The power of hashtags. Source of the image

If your restaurant will use a unique hashtag (trivially - the name of the institution), this will encourage visitors to also indicate it in the comments. Firstly, it increases interest. Secondly, it creates a community of customers. Once the hashtag has become popular, your customer base will instantly increase.

Hint: use niche hashtags in combination with popular ones. If you use only popular ones, your post will be lost in hundreds of others. But if you add local hashtags, or pick up something unique based on your services, you can stay in the top.

Important: control the number of tags in each post. Too much is annoying for the user. Too little - inefficient in terms of social network.

Third: content from the user

Of course, you need to engage in the generation of content for your page (photos, signatures, stories, etc.). In this case, user content really helps. In general, it will make your life much easier, save time and money.

92% of people trust the recommendations of other visitors. At the same time, visitors are much less likely to trust commercial content from marketers. Use it for your own benefit.

To maintain the visual elegance of the page, give priority to your own developments. But in “Stories” you need to publish as many photos or videos as possible that your visitors have added to their page.

Digital Marketing Ideas Benefits

Custom Content Benefits. Source of the image

Firstly, you will show all people that your visitor likes your place and that he is ready to talk about it online. Secondly, you will show to the client who has already arrived that you react to his feedback. Accordingly, in a few tapes on the touch screen, you will create excellent feedback.

The best part is that custom content can be used for free. As a restaurant, you will have a lot of images and videos from visitors, because today people are almost obsessed with photographing their dishes or the interior of some institution.

Custom content is usually an indicator of trust and reliability. If other people promote your brand when you don’t even ask for it, this gives the best rating.

SEO focusing

Local SEO is crucial for restaurants. If your restaurant does not appear on the user's screen when he is looking for some restaurant in his region, you will not be able to count on big profits.

Your goal should be to rank first in search results. It’s especially important to work on the “local package”, which is also known as the “first three places on the Google map”. The three sites Google displays first on the map receive the most traffic and the most visitors.

A few SEO tips for restaurants:

  1. Stimulate to leave reviews. The more good reviews users leave about your restaurant through Google services, the faster you get to the top. Encourage people for good reviews with discounts, gifts, or at least a simple answer.
  2. Set up Google alerts. As soon as your restaurant is mentioned on the network, you will immediately know about it. Accordingly, you can give feedback. This is especially important with bad reviews (after all, everyone will not like it). Be sure to reply to all messages.
  3. Google My Business. This service will show customers when you are open, where you are, contact information, photos and reviews. Set up My Business in local listings and post it on Yelp, Foursquare or any other local site. This will increase the chances of appearing in local search.
  4. Your contact information should be the same on all platforms, from Instagram to local listings. Even the slightest change can confuse customers and search engines.

Take care of the site

Is it possible to create a website? Then why is it still not exist? This is the best way to provide the user with maximum information about your establishment. A potential visitor will definitely find you on the net if you have done the previous points. And if you have a website, then the likelihood of this increases.

What should a restaurant client take care of? Opening hours, address, phone number, menu, interior and available services. Where to find this data? In reviews. But does the review give the full amount? No. The visitor will tell only about personal experience. And on the site you will post everything you need to know before visiting the institution.

It is important to understand that in this case, you do not need a trendy, animated site with vivid images, lots of animations and background music. This is all unnecessary, because in any case, the user will not stay here for long. He wants to get the necessary information as quickly as possible. Motion design and background music will only slow down page loading.

Therefore, you need a simple and intuitive website that contains consistent information:

  • menu;
  • working hours;
  • the possibility and methods of reservation;
  • photos of halls;
  • services (banquet, buffet, live music, animators, etc.);
  • unique offers (for example, a menu for animals);
  • address and optimal routes;
  • phone number.

The background of the restaurant, the life of your team and other similar moments are rarely of interest to users. If they want to find out, they will ask already in the institution. But they certainly won’t read all these texts on the About Us page.

Create a blog

To my great surprise, blogs today have begun to gain even more popularity than before. But interesting content is needed. This is a great way to keep your customers up to date.

Why is a blog an important part of digital marketing?

  • strengthens your authority as a restaurant;
  • allows you to talk about all the news of the institution;
  • conveys unique reasons why people need to order from you;
  • provides a platform for communication with visitors;
  • helps keep brand fresh in mind.

Don't make mistakes while blogging.

Very often, only news is published on a blog. This may be interesting in the case of a cryptocurrency project or, for example, a car manufacturer. On the restaurant website, it is necessary to develop thematic content:

  • recipes;
  • the benefits and harms of certain foods;
  • interesting facts about world cuisines;
  • discussion of seasonal trends;
  • interesting stories about the appearance of a dish.

There can be many examples. The more diverse the content, the more willing the user will be to read it. Thus, your restaurant will become not only a good institution for lunch (dinner), but also a “supplier” of interesting information that visitors can share in any company.

When people read your blog, they spend time on the site. This tells search engines that your site is relevant and useful. This leads to an increase in the ranking of the website itself as well as the restaurant in the search results.

Develop application

Like a website, a food or table reservation application is an important part of an income strategy. Mobile phones take over our lives more and more. In just a few years it will be really impossible to leave home without a telephone (while there is still such a chance).

Dominos owes much to its stunning growth in recent years, namely application development. Through it, the brand increased the number of orders, and was also able to realize significantly more attractive ideas for the client (discounts, gifts, etc.).

The online ordering application will help:

  • increase the number of orders;
  • develop a brand;
  • retain customers.

Using your application, visitors can in just one click find out if there are free tables and what dishes they buy most today.

It is also a great opportunity to provide a new user experience. For example, a client can order food and come to a restaurant in half an hour, and by this moment the order will be already on the table.

How to eliminate the risk that the client will not come? Prepayment of the order. Having paid the bill, a person will not come only in case of real force majeure.

Influencer marketing

This move is gaining momentum and there is no unequivocal opinion about whether it is part of digital marketing. But given the ways of its implementation, we can safely say that “influence marketing” is a modern idea and is close to digital advertising.

Find popular bloggers (regardless of the platform - Twitter, Instagram, YouTube). Ask them to post photos from your restaurant or thoughts about your establishment. The best move is if such a person learns about your establishment himself and leaves a good review of his own free will.

Digital Marketing Ideas Influence

Benefits of Influence Marketing. Source of the image

Netizens tend to trust and follow popular personalities. Therefore, "influence marketing" today is becoming part of advertising strategies in almost any industry.

For example, Atladventurer is an Instagram account in which a blogger talks about different restaurants and dishes. Mostly, he visits places of Atlanta, but sometimes he posts about restaurants in other cities and countries.

If you can attract such an influential person, you can get a huge number of his subscribers as your visitors. By the way, Atladventurer has 58 thousand subscribers today. Accordingly, the restaurants about which he wrote automatically go to a new level of recognition.

Make sure you can be recommended

Customers often want to share their experiences. The easier it is to leave a review, the more your brand will develop. Here are some tips for optimizing your review process:
  • add the corresponding button on the site to send users to Google My Business;
  • create a QR-code in the menu, check or directly on the table, by scanning which you can leave a review;
  • be active on social networks so that the user wants to leave comments under your posts.

In general, give visitors the opportunity to keep in touch with your restaurant through the channel that you control the most. This helps in maintaining feedback and even negative reviews will not be directed to social networks or review platforms. Thus, the client will be able to report the problem personally to you (or the manager), and not to the public. Accordingly, the number of negative reviews on the network will significantly decrease.

Most important idea

One of the most effective ideas we can give you is to stay flexible. Remember that not all tactics are working. Even those approaches that turned out to be good for other restaurants may not suit you. But this does not mean that you have no chance.

Never focus on one idea. If something doesn’t work, just make a change. For restaurant marketing, you can come up with an unlimited number of ideas. The more you try, the faster you will find your approach and you will be able to develop.


Digital Marketing Ideas for Restaurants That Attract Customers key takeaways:

#1. Before diving into ideas
#2. Engage in social networks
#3. First: create an account
#4. Second: hashtags
#5. Third: content from the user
#6. SEO focusing
#7. Take care of the site
#8. Create a blog
#9. Develop application
#10. Influencer marketing
#11. Make sure you can be recommended
#12. Most important idea

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Ivanna Shepetyuk
Author of the post
Merehead is a leading marketing agency. Talk to our experts.

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