If you are a restaurant owner, you know about the power of digital marketing. But are you using that power in the most effective way to help your restaurant succeed? To help, here are some digital marketing tips our pros recommend.
Note: These tips will show you how to integrate your digital marketing strategies/channels. You should use this article as a template for any digital marketing campaign.
Let’s say you’re hosting a special event for Valentine’s Day. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Announce your event with a blog post.
This gives all the information people need about your event in one place. Here’s what your post should include:
- When (date, start time, end time)
- Where (street address, link to Google maps, and any important landmarks or other information people can use to find your restaurant/event)
- Hit the highlights: This is your chance to tell everyone why your event will be amazing— and what they will get from it (giveaways, free glass of champagne, box of chocolates, etc.)
- Call to Action (CTA): Let people know what they need to do to make sure they’re able to participate in the event (make a reservation, register, etc.).
- The easier you make it for them to follow your call of action, the more likely they will be to do so.
- It’s best to only include one call to action in the blog posts.
- You can include different types of calls action in future digital marketing efforts related to the event.
- Make sure that your following the best SEO for restaurants.
2. Let them push your buttons.
At the bottom of your blog post, include social share buttons for all social media websites on which you have a presence, a follow button for your blog, and a subscribe button for your email list. This widens your reach by allowing people to share the details of your Valentine’s Day event with their friends. It’s also the first step to integrating your digital marketing strategy for your restaurant. Nice job!
3. Create and schedule posts about your event on social media.
You’ve just crafted content for people to share. So now it’s time for you to kick things off. Many cheap-or-free tools out there allow you to create and schedule social media posts on one dashboard. HootSuite has a great free version that’s easy to use. Don’t forget:
- Share your blog promoting the event
- Create unique posts about your event (pictures, videos, appropriate links, etc.)
- Share more visual content on FB/Instagram/Pinterest
- Share the short and sweet stuff on Twitter.
- Link everything back to that first blog. That increases your blog traffic, plus you don’t have to include every detail in every post. [Our Valentine’s Day Dinner is going to wow him. More info here: <Link to Blog>].
- Use a link-shortening tool like BitLy to keep your character count low.
- Don’t be afraid to post frequently. Just do a little digging about how often and when people post on each channel and make sure your posts are evenly spaced.
- Feel free to plan the post as far in advance as you want, this will save you time down the line, and leave you free to serve customers and answer more specific questions as the event gets closer.
4. Update your website with event information and calls to action.
If possible, give the event its own landing page with photos, the same information from your blog (with different wording), registration/reservation link, and so on.
Ok— now your event promotion is running itself. Let’s make sure your email system is doing the same. Gather your email addresses from those business cards in the “free lunch drawing” fishbowl, and put them on your email list (we recommend using a tool like MailChimp if you’re new to automation).
You can set up emails using templates, and schedule them to deliver automatically. If you already have an email newsletter, make sure promotional content for your event is scheduled using your email tool, and that interactive content is in your existing emails that promote your event (a link to your blog about the event, a registration link/image, etc.) And make sure your email content has those sharing buttons, too. You can also automate messages for your opt-in SMS list, just make sure you’re sending them out at a time that makes sense to your audience and your event (since those are most often used for immediate action.)
6. Pay for Digital Marketing.
Don’t be scared to pay to promote your event, it’s an investment in your success. Here are some ways you can do that:
- Google Ads campaigns
- Paid ads on social media platforms
- Working with a marketing team
Depending on the scale of your event, and how important it is to your bottom line, any of these options will help.
- Google AdWords helps connect you with people that are searching for things specific to your event on Google (your restaurant, Valentine’s Day, etc.).
- Social platforms have unique ad features unique to what/who you want to focus your advertising on, and your budget.
- An awesome marketing team can make sure you don’t waste a single dollar on your digital marketing— so it works like a well-oiled machine for every event.
This simple strategy makes every event at your restaurant awesome— and give you a tasty digital marketing strategy that puts you ahead of the curve.