Digital Marketing has taken the whole world by storm and the restaurant business is no exception. It is important, than ever to have a strong digital presence.

People google before they go out.

In a report by Google, 70% of UK customers do online research before deciding where to spend their money. If your restaurant isn’t online, then it’s not being found.

Not only this, 94% of users searching online use reviews to make their decision. So along with having a digital presence, your business should have a positive stronghold.

Lets see how it can be done using digital marketing.

Make a tasty website!

Out of all the digital platform such as social media, review portals, paid ad space, etc; your website is the most customizable one, make it a beautiful one.

Your website is the virtual ambiance of your restaurant, it is going to be judged, so make a good impression.

If you’re a small business then you don’t have to spend a ton of money on hiring a professional designer to create a good restaurant website. There is a myriad of tools available, such as Wix, Weebly, Blogger, WordPress, and many others.

They are easy to use, and get the work done.

And just in case if you have tons of money stashed up, it is never a bad idea to hire a professional 😛

Importantly, no matter how you get your website done, make sure it is 100% working. By working I mean, the option to reserve should be seamless, the location of the restaurant should be accurate on maps, the contact number must be correct and clickable.

Here is a short checklist I have prepared.

Checklist for good Digital Marketing
The Digital Marketing checklist for Restaurants

If you tick off every item on the list then Congrats! your website is ready to Rock!

Make your website Mobile Ready!

A majority of people accessing your website will be mobile users, optimize your website for all screen sizes, make it Responsive!

Responsive websites adjusts according to the size on which they are being viewed on.

Making a mobile ready website ensures that your customer can seamlessly use your website from anywhere, anytime.

Responsive website- A single website viewed on different devices.

How do you make your website mobile ready?

Making a responsive website was a daunting task, even for a seasoned web developer. But with a series of development in web development community has made it easier than ever.

If you are using WordPress or Blogger to host your website then you have to just sit back and relax because your website is already responsive.

If you have built your website up from scratch using HTML/CSS then you can refer to this simple 15 minute tutorial on w3schools. or you may use bootstrap to make it even simpler.

Social Media

There is a high chance that you’re already using social media to promote your restaurant.

High Five! 🙏

You’re doing a great job in digitally marketing your restaurant!

Social media is the backbone of digital marketing, and you should definitely use it to connect with your existing customers and reach new ones.

How to engage better on social media?

Be Relevant, if you are an Italian restaurant, don’t post about Kardashians or the super bowl. Stick with pictures of pasta, or share a recipe or post about the new dish you’re going to serve this weekend.

Be Regular, post with regular frequency, don’t post too much, not too less. Ideally, a restaurant page should post content twice a week and if you’re wondering when is the best time: Wednesday, 5 pm is the best time to post on Instagram.

Be Creative, engage with your audience with various digital marketing strategies such as contests, giveaways, shootouts, testimonials, etc.

Here is a crazy contest by OnestaLove, a food chain based in Bangalore, India.

A very creative food contest by OnestaLove

Make your posts Pun-Tastic!

Everyone loves witty humor, and that is why brands around the globe are using memes and puns to engage better.

Imagine after a tiring day of work, you come home and start browsing social media, what will you like to see, a plain post asking for attention or a funny post that makes you smile?

Right! So charge up your creative juices and start making your audience smile.

Two thing you should take care of is, not overdoing with these posts. Keep a balance, don’t forget that your main motive is to market your brand. Seconly, keep a check on your theme, it may be tempting to keep up with trends but stay relevant.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, I suggest following Zomato India, they have super fantastic posts, you will be a fan!

View this post on Instagram

#FathersDay

A post shared by Zomato (@zomato) on

Creative Enough?

Optimize for Review websites

Now comes the part where you have minimal control. The reviews websites such as Yelp, TripAdvisor and Google reviews rely on user input to give you a rating.

New customers rely heavily on reviews to make their decision, therefore, the more stars the better it is.

Check out this review

Now you know, why I said “Minimal Control”.

The reviews are posted by the users and apart from satisfying your customers, there is nothing much you can do, or can you? 😉

No, I am not talking about using fake ids to post 5-star reviews. That is severely unethical, and you don’t really want to get into it.

What you can do?

Remind your “happy” guests to review your business, if your guest is really happy with their experience, they will rate you.

Respond to your reviews: If you have positive reviews, drop some thanks. If you have a bad one, acknowledge it and work on solving the cause of it.

Create a first impression. The review websites give you the ability to add a bio, pictures, menu, social media handles. Optimize on this opportunity.

Share your thoughts

Digital Marketing is all about using the right principles with creative strategies, there is not just one definite way to ensure a rocking online presence.

The information which I have shared in this post should act as a general checklist for your business, apart from this you should always strive to add the element of creativity in your marketing strategies.

I hope you enjoyed reading the post, please share it with your friends and drop a comment if you have any questions or suggestions.

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