We eat with our eyes, this well-known saying has never been more relevant than it is today, and this is great news for restaurant owners, especially those who are thinking of promoting online.
Due to the increasing popularity of social media platforms such as Instagram, promoting a restaurant, especially one that’s instagrammable, has never been easier.
As with cooking, there is, of course, a recipe for success when it comes to promoting your business online. Your campaign should flow like a good menu, easy to read, with a selection of well-chosen dishes (online platforms) that complement one another.
By using high-quality videos and images, regular and relevant content that viewers can easily digest, your restaurant’s online promotion can quickly become a recipe for success.
Below are some steps that can help you get it right.
No matter which online promotional channels you choose to use, your campaigns must be visually appealing. Restaurant logos are a great way of showcasing the vibe of your restaurant, and by choosing a versatile one, you can use it throughout your promotional campaigns.
Connecting with online communities is the bread and butter of your campaign. If you design a logo that looks good not only on your shopfront and website but also on your social media avatar, then they can share and recommend you to friends within the community, this is a helpful way of creating brand awareness.
A website plays an integral part in boosting your online presence, and it’s a way for potential customers to learn more about you. Keep it clean and straightforward with high-quality pictures that capture the essence of your food. Use it to tell your story, let your audience know who you are, what you’re offering and why they should dine with you, and make sure you put all the ways that potential customers can contact you, phone numbers, email, Facebook, Instagram etc.
Get your restaurant image friendly with lighting and décor
Serving great food is, of course, the main priority but having a restaurant that looks great in photos is just as crucial to your online, and there are many ways you can go about making your restaurant a snap-happy place that looks great when shared online.
You can choose a design theme that catches attention and gets people talking, one that creates an atmosphere and encourages photography. Other steps you can take are having quirky dining sets, beautiful cutlery, small things that make your table settings stand out. Another proven strategy to encourage customers to take photos and then share them is by having a unique backdrop on a wall that’s accessible, with a funky sign or mural with your restaurant’s name or logo in it.
Lighting plays an essential for setting the right mood and ensuring that any images taken are online-ready. Restaurants that have natural light are great for photographs. But if you need to use artificial lighting to create beautiful Instagram images, just make sure that they don’t portray a false image of your restaurant, as this can disappoint diners who come based on the photos they see online.
Create visual feasts with Videos
A great way of boosting your promotional campaign is by posting high-quality two-minute videos that show viewers the personal side of your restaurant. They help you tell your story, introduce your staff, and explain what goes on behind the scenes to produce the fabulous food that has everyone talking. You can also provide cooking tips and recipes, anything that’s valuable to your community.
You can shoot these videos on your phone, or if you want to go a step further you can outsource for a local expert who can add that extra bit of quality, they might even do it for a free meal!
Next, post them on your website, Instagram account (more on Instagram next), Facebook page and that business YouTube channel that you’re going to make.
Use social media to spread the word
There are a lot of platforms that you can use, but we’re going to focus on Instagram because it is driven by images, and has ten times the amount of engagements than Facebook, fifty-four times that of Pinterest, and eighty-four times that of Twitter.
Your Instagram platform is where you get that chance to use everything you’ve achieved up to now, and create communities that will follow your restaurant, share your videos, images and posts. Approach Instagram by knowing your purpose, your end goal, and then craft everything you post around it.
Instagram enables you to view your competitor’s analysis so you can view what they’re posting, you can search for profiles and posts that are related to your business and see which have the highest engagement percentages.
You can also check out popular events and interest Hashtags that are related to your business, giving you invaluable information on what to post and when to post it. Use it for your videos, images and posts, and the Instagram click-through will link back to your website, which is excellent for advertising.
Use your local online advertising
As you’re a brick and motor store, it makes sense to advertise locally, and you can create a powerful online presence by using local listings, Google My Business and Google maps.
Google My Business is free, and you can show your contact information and opening times, your Google reviews and even photos of your restaurant.
Keywords drive Google Maps, and it can be very beneficial for business, especially if you’re in a location that gets a lot of passing trade, as tourists will use it to find the food they want, so if you serve great burgers, put that in your listing.
Using food influencers is an excellent way of increasing your restaurant’s online presence. Search for locally based influencers and invite them for a free meal; in return, you can ask them to promote your restaurant across their social media platforms. If your budget allows, you can also offer discounted promotions to their followers.
Another way of using this approach to your advantage is by looking for locally based people who have a large social media following. It could be a famous local artist or designer, just as long as they have a large online audience. You can entice them by offering a free lunch and in return they can post about it.