We live in a world where information and contacts are found on the internet. Most people use their mobile device to search for products they want to buy and services they want to try. Businesses are reaching out to their target market across the globe virtually. If you’re one of those who’s trying to grow your business, then you must join in and do digital marketing right along with them.
What is Digital Marketing?
It is simply the promotion of your products and services using a digital medium. This includes setting up a website, sending newsletters through email, and creating social media accounts for your business to reach your audience and influence them to buy your products and services.
Do Restaurants Need Digital Marketing?
The food service industry is one of the most competitive business fields out there. Restaurants face many challenges especially when making sure they’re the top-of-mind choice of the customers. Knowing that 75% of the customers go online to access information such as location, price, menu, and reviews, then it’s safe to say that investing in digital marketing is a must for most restaurants. Here are more reasons to consider digital marketing:
1. Your Customers Are Looking For You
If most people are doing billions of searches a day and your restaurant isn’t there, then you just said goodbye to 5 billion opportunities of growing your business. It’s important to have a strong online presence because it means more chances to connect with potential customers.
There are a lot of websites and social media pages that rank and compile information about restaurants for easier search. These sites also become the basis of most customers searching for a perfect place to eat.
2. It’s Cheaper Than Traditional Marketing
Advertisements, whether they’re in newspapers, TV, or radio are expensive! Digital marketing costs less than that even when you pay for Facebook or Instagram ads and other applications you may need to use. Plus, the printed copies of coupons sent through mail cost thousands. It’s definitely much cheaper to send them through email instead.
3. You Create Relationships with Customers
Unlike traditional marketing where conversations are one-sided, with digital marketing, you get responses and feedback from your customers. May this be in your websites, or social media pages, customers, both potential and existing, are free to ask you questions, give suggestions, and most importantly provide feedback. While other feedback may not be positive, it’s necessary if you want to improve your service.
The more you communicate through digital media, the more you engage customers. This creates a sort of relationship between your business and your audience. As long as you keep them engaged, they become loyal customers! And that’s what every restaurant wants – repeating customers.
How Do You Utilize Digital Marketing?
Restaurants need to use digital marketing and utilize the tools available to reach a greater number of online customers. Here are some of the ways how!
Build Your Identity and Share Consistently
If you’re just starting, people must know what kind of business you have. So share your story. Let them know what makes you stand out from other restaurants. What kind of food and services do you provide? Can you cater to small or big groups? Do you accept orders online or through phone calls?
Share photos of your menu, your interiors, and the people who dine in your restaurant. This way, you are building your identity and people will easily distinguish you, your food, and the experience they will get from your restaurant.
Give your audience, especially the loyal ones, first dibs to the promotions you currently have by keeping them updated through your website, their email, or your social media pages. Think about exciting promos like a discount code or a free dish to visitors who subscribe to your website, leave positive reviews, or dine in for the 2nd or 3rd time! These kinds of incentives help build your audience and encourage repeat sales.
Get Listed on Review Sites
New customers rely on other people’s feedback and reviews. They want to know if the majority of the customers had a great dining experience. Aside from allowing people to leave reviews on your Facebook page, it’s also important that you get listed on review sites like Google, Yelp, and Tripadvisor. These sites are a good lead generation tool to direct new customers to your restaurant. The reviews are also a great way to have an idea of how customers perceive your food and services.
Accept Food Orders Online
The ultimate goal for any kind of marketing is to generate sales. So if you can attract customers to place their orders online, then your informational site will also function as a sales channel for your restaurant. Isn’t that great?
In conclusion, restaurants need digital marketing to help their business grow. So, if you take advantage of the different features each digital medium offers, you’ll be able to increase your market and reap higher sales!