This article is a recap of a presentation given by Upserve’s SEO Manager, Seth Steinman, at the Wisconsin Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Symposium in December 2018.
There are over one million restaurants in the United States. How are you going to make yours stand out?
The answer: effective digital marketing. Your menu, staff, and hospitality make your restaurant special. Your online presence is what will set your restaurant apart.
You already know that marketing is the most important ingredient in finding and retaining customers. But did you know just how important digital marketing is to modern restaurant success?
If you search your restaurant’s name, what shows up? How about, “best restaurant in <your city here>” in Google? Does your restaurant show up? You might not be getting the results you hoped for, but have no fear. We have a six step plan that will help improve your website and get it to the top of those search engine rankings:
Have you visited your website in the past two weeks? Don’t worry—this is a judgement free zone. If your website is looking less than stellar, these five features will make any hungry diner want to eat at your restaurant.
When you open a restaurant, chances are that SEO is pretty close to the bottom of the list of things that you’d consider to be important. However, there are a few quick and easy things you can do that will help validate your business on the internet and help drive more people into your doors.
TIP: Use Google Search Console to learn what people are searching to find your website. This will help you tailor your website’s content to make sure that people are finding you online.
Find the holes in your marketing strategy and learn how to improve your digital presnece with help from our Restaurant Marketing Grader.
While some restaurant owners believe that ignorance is bliss when it comes to customer reviews, they are critical to the success of a business.
The numbers don’t lie. If you want to ensure that potential customers will find and fall in love with your restaurant, there are two ways to drive and maintain reviews.
TIP: Use an aggregator, like Upserve’s reputation management tracking, to keep reviews all in one place.
If you’re already sending email, great. If you’re not, you should probably start. Contrary to popular belief, email isn’t dying and you have an opportunity to do it right.
Try sending the email at a different time, testing different subject lines, or including an emoji in the subject line.
Be personal, use photos, and use website analytics to determine which content on your site is most popular with your audience.
DID YOU KNOW? Loyal repeat customers account for 1/3 of revenues, but are only 15 percent of total customers in your restaurant. Email marketing is a great way to get those valuable customers to come back.
Speaking of customer value, focusing on the lifetime value of a customer is key to the success of your business. Owning your audience is key to boosting the lifetime value of a customer, and there are three ways to do it.
SUCCESS STORY: West End, a Chicago restaurant, identified a drop in business from repeat customers by using Upserve’s New vs. Repeat report. They implemented marketing programs to focus on regulars, and increased revenue by $72,000 in just three months.
There’s no real way to know if a marketing strategy works unless you have a way to measure its success. Everything you spend time or money on should be measurable, which is why you should always track how much you’re spending on promotions. Once the promotion is complete, you will be able to measure the return on investment (ROI) and figure out how much money you actually made versus how much you spent.
The best way to make goals is to make sure they’re SMART:
When it comes to getting found online, rising in search engine rankings is only half of the battle. With 68 percent of adults using Facebook and 35 percent using Google regularly, having a presence on social media is key to digitally validating your business. Lucky for you, we have five things that will help ensure that your restaurant gets found on social media.
It’s important that your restaurant is recognizable and easy to find on Instagram and Facebook. Choose a username that is direct and include relevant keywords in your profile. Once you get to posting, be sure to use relevant hashtags so curious guests will find you.
Every photo you share on social media has the potential to be reshared to hundreds of millions users. Keep this in mind when you post: Make sure your images are well composed and your captions are concise.
As with your in-house guest engagement, it’s important to remember that social media is just another way to interact with your guests. You can learn a lot about a person from what they like on Instagram. Try asking your customers for cocktail name ideas or ask them to tell you what their favorite dish is at your restaurant.
TIP: Can’t decide between two dishes for your new menu? Ask your followers in a poll.
Above and beyond anything else, it’s important to always make food photos desirable. Here are a few ways to do that:
Just as you want to interact with your guests on social media, you also want to build a sense of exclusivity for those loyal followers who promote you regularly. How can you do that? Use Facebook and Instagram as a way to share promotions, coupons, contests, and secret menu items with your fans.
TIP: Our Instagram Marketing Guide is filled with tips to help establish your restaurant’s presence on the industry’s most-loved social media platform.
Every restaurant owner knows that consistency is key. From the meals you prepare in the kitchen to the drinks that are mixed behind the bar, the most memorable restaurants are those that deliver reliable hospitality every time a customer walks through the door. This is also true with digital marketing: Maintaining a digital presence that aligns with the overall look, feel, and values of your business is key to creating a cohesive experience that wows customers every time. From your customer emails to your social media posts, digital marketing gives your business another opportunity to set your business apart from the competition.
Our free Restaurant Marketing Grader will show you how you can quickly give your digital marketing a boost and improve your online presence. Simply enter your restaurant’s name to find out how your Google, Yelp, and Facebook profiles stack up.TRY IT NOW
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