Here, I will explain to you the principles and how to have a good command of the art of content marketing for restaurants.
If you are searching for effective web marketing to increase restaurant revenue, you have definitely understood that you have to mean it. It’s an entrepreneurial growth path indeed.
Smart forketers (marketing-oriented restaurant managers) understand that traditional marketing – or not doing marketing at all – is becoming increasingly ineffective in the F&B field. Instead, they stay abreast with the times and exploit the boundless power of digital marketing to attract people to the business.
At the heart of web marketing there is content marketing, which is useful for promoting your restaurant online through social networks, and your website and blog. Therefore, take a moment to understand the principles of content marketing for restaurants, as it is important whether you are creating your online image by yourself and also to ensure if the web agency you hired is working well.
Content is king. Bill Gates
But what exactly is content marketing?
To put it crudely, it is what’s inside your website, blog or social platforms. In the case of a restaurant business, content will be words, images and video. Most restaurateurs commissioned the creation of their website to IT technicians, programmers, or, worse yet, nephews thinking that putting up a successful website is only about informatics. But if you are here, it means that you are smart enough to understand that it is more complicated, but if exploited can hook many potential customers.
Content marketing is a marketing strategy focused on the creation and distribution of relevant and valuable content to attract, engage, acquire and retain the target audience – actual and potential.
It is not about creating advertisements and spreading commercial offers, but rather offering valuable information to engage your prospects. Content marketing provides numerous benefits for your business as it allows you to generate more traffic to your website, strengthen your brand, differentiate yourself from the competition, etc.
However, you cannot forget that the ultimate goal of the content marketing strategy is to increase sales, get new customers and generate new business opportunities.
Like any other marketing tool, it should be tailored to your target and distribution channels. Speaking to teenagers on Facebook is different to explaining a recipe to middle-aged housewives.
To organize the content, I propose you a pattern to apply to your eatery. It is divided into 3 steps.
Step 1. Content marketing strategy
Every successful result has a successful strategy behind it. If you see that your direct competitor is doing great, it is not because of the goddess Fortune. They have just deployed a good strategy, trust me. Even if it is not visible to your eyes, it’s there.
When you purchase the restaurant’s supplies, you follow a strategy, don’t you? The quantity of goods that you stock in the warehouse certainly adheres to a predetermined thought process. In the same way, what you publish on the internet related to your restaurant follows a certain logic. McDonald’s on its Facebook page doesn’t dash off posts about sandwiches. Instead, they follow a clear and effective business strategy.
Don’t fill the pages of your website and blog with random words. Always act according to a well-defined strategy. Don’t lose sight of your final goals. If you have doubts ask yourself these question: ”Why do I need this? What objectives does it aim to achieve?”
If you don’t find any answer, rule out your intentions for the moment. You will have time to resume it. At this step, you should be clear on the following:
- Target. Who to talk to, what language and tone to use, frequency of publication, in which way to engage restaurant prospects.
- Tools. Editorial plan (arrange and schedule content publication), images and videos production, text editor, project management tools.
- Tactics. Events and tastings, involve influencers, contests, viral marketing ideas, email collection, and so on.
- Media. Have an effective website, blog, social profiles, other web portals to be involved, and so on.
Step 2. Content Creation
Before diving into the content creation, clear up the concept of the five Ws and apply it to your project:
- Who am I talking to? Target.
- What am I saying? Message.
- When do I publish it? Time and frequency.
- Where do I publish it? Website, social media, external platforms.
- Why am I doing it? Objectives.
Here, the secret ingredient is thinking before acting. The danger of being carried away by personal tastes, producing content that nobody cares is just around the corner. Ask yourself if what you’re about to create will grab the attention of your target and if it’s the right moment to say it. Think it over, and find out if it will fit your prospects’ tastes.
Once you have found your way regarding the content, you move on to the content creation, namely images, texts, videos, podcasts and so on. Regardless of the type of content you are creating, the key is returning several times at different days to work on the piece. This is because after some time, you are not able to detect errors. Also, in this way it will be easier to note if visual design, communication, style, layout and so on are consistent and in line with the objectives.
Storytelling: the art of engaging people
The best way to engage your target is through the art of the storytelling. It is a fundamental part of content marketing for restaurants and plays a crucial role in content creation. Tell your story, give precious information and resolve the problems of your niche – but not in a boring and soulless way, as many companies continue to do.
The key is figuring out how to write and share that story in a way that fits the needs and desires of actual and potential customers. However, it’s not just about writing and sharing the story. It’s about making it so compelling that it enhances the perception that prospects have about your restaurant and stimulates the engagement process.
I know what you are thinking – give me an example. What is the best way to do it? On Forketers, we have repeated many times that every project has its own story and there is no universal strategy. Something that has worked well for one person is not guaranteed to do the same for others. However, I can give some tips that are good for everyone:
Always tell the truth, even you have to lay yourself bare. It is better not to create false expectations, as they can result in disappointment, negative word-of-mouth and online reviews, and loss of customers.
The communication object is your restaurant, but enlarge your vision by discussing the territory’s events and traditions. You might reach tourists or passing people.
Publish with a certain frequency and spend as much time as you can on social networks. You can learn more by observing what people share. Actively participate in discussions and try to figure out what users want. You may use online software to analyze your target audience on social platforms.
Think outside the box
You have to be unique and original, so never copy/paste from others. If you have to write about pancake recipe, don’t Google it and copy the first one that comes up. If you say what has already been said by someone else, you won’t go anywhere.
Involve your chef, and write about your own special recipe while also relating the feelings besides the ingredients. Be creative, not a copycat.
Photographs, infographics, images… the world of visual storytelling is vast indeed. The visual contents are a pivotal and inescapable element of the web.
A long time ago, when writers and journalists started their adventure as bloggers, the web pages were full of long descriptive texts, where everyone was taking their own experiences, turning them into serial novels. Images were not contemplated as the 56kb connection did not allow for them.
With the advent of Facebook text is being gradually decreased up to the 140 characters of Twitter. What’s going on then?
Images are taking a more central role as they communicate effectively in a short time. Think about Pinterest and Instagram for example; they perform storytelling using only pictures, and nothing more.
On October 2012, a study conducted by HubSpot on Facebook revealed that posts with images and links received 84% more clicks compared to ones containing only text and links. Also, pictures received 53% more likes and 104% more comments.
Tips for perfect visual storytelling
- Add graphics and pictures to your content that give the idea of what you want to communicate. Rather than using generic photos, like one downloaded from some stock photo website, shoot pictures by yourself. Here is a guide to taking great food pictures.
- Tell potential customers about your restaurant through your images. Do not use images of models with dazzling smiles while pretending to cook or stand behind a counter. Photograph your staff and your real customers.
- Make your messages sexy. If you have to talk about your business, numbers create nice and attractive infographics.
- Get straight to the point. Show what you want to tell and add some words that complete the meaning of the image.
- Your site needs an exciting picture gallery. Most of the non-text will be read, if not in the second measure, after having caught the user’s attention with the right atmosphere.
- Show your face. Ride the wave of selfies in social environments. Your customers will be much more likely to come into your restaurant if you have already met virtually.
It’s not a surprise: video content is already widespread on the net. As you will have already noticed, there are videos and tutorials for everything – even for a kind of “personal diary”, or to give an opinion, to speak of an experience, and to provide a review of a product.
The reasons are obvious:
– YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
– Videos are more likely to show up on the 1st page of search results.
– Videos can increase conversions by up to 300%.
– They offer fast and clear communication.
– They are simple to shoot and edit (with the appropriate tools or professional services).
Video marketing is becoming a business tool, both for big companies and small restaurants. Indeed, it is becoming increasingly clear how powerful and effective it can be as a strategy.
As part of an overall marketing strategy, it has been proven that video marketing is indeed of enormous value.
Do you need some video ideas?
– Tutorial of recipes
– Chef interviews
– Customer interviews
– Events at your restaurant
– Mini cooking shows
– Food preparation
Start a blog on your restaurant’s website
The blog is the mainstay of the content marketing strategy of your restaurant. It is very important to create dynamic content where you can show your human side and create a loyal community of followers.
It’s a great source of content for Facebook and other social profiles and also a way to attract traffic to your website.
Touch your potential customers with your compelling content to establish a long-term relationship.
What you can blog about?
– Vegan and vegetarian food
– Interview your chefs
– Events in your territory
– Wine tips
Step 3. Track and Measure
Once you have created and scheduled your content, you should move on to the monitor phase. It is important to monitor its performance and moderate negative or positive comments and reviews in real time.
Also, use an analytics tool to measure the impact of your actions both on social media and your website. If you launch a campaign, contest or hire an influencer, try to find out exactly what impact these actions have on your website and social platforms.
Are you attracting your potential diners though a good content marketing strategy? Comment below and share your experience with us.