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Home /Blog /Creating Your Restaurant Digital Marketing Plan

Creating Your Restaurant Digital Marketing Plan

Mari MelikyanMari Melikyan I take great pride in helping restaurant businesses create an online voice that speaks to their customers and helps them achieve their goals.
43 articles
10 min read
A waiter is looking at the customers.

As a restaurateur, you know that your success depends on your ability to draw in and keep customers. In this competitive age, it’s more important than ever to have a strong digital marketing strategy to bring in potential customers and keep them coming back.

There are so many ways to market your restaurant online, and the right approach will vary depending on your business and its goals. But some general tips include creating a strong social media presence, using search engine optimization techniques to make your website rank higher in search results, and running targeted ads.

If you’re not sure where to start, or you need help putting together a comprehensive marketing plan, you can consider working with a digital marketing agency. These professionals can help you develop a strategy that will reach your target audience and bring in more business.

Keep reading for a guide to digital restaurant marketing, including tips on how to get started.

What is digital marketing, and why do you need it for your restaurant business 

You may have a great restaurant concept, the best location, and an incredible menu, but if you don’t have a good digital marketing strategy, your business will not be as successful as it could be.

In today’s rapidly growing world, more and more people are using the internet to find information about various businesses, including restaurants. If potential customers cannot find your business online, they may very well choose to eat at one of your competitor’s establishments. 

A digital marketing strategy for a restaurant should include various elements such as a website, social media accounts, online reviews, and directories. Your website should be clear and easy to navigate, with all of your pertinent information, such as your menu, hours of operation, or contact information, readily available.

Optimizing your website for search engines allows potential customers to easily find you online.

With a strong presence online, you should also make sure that you are actively managing your restaurant’s reputation. Many people will read online reviews about companies before choosing a place to eat, so it is important to monitor what is being told about your business.

You can do this by setting up Google Alerts or doing regular searches on review sites. If you see any negative reviews, reach out to the customer and try to resolve the issue. 

Overall, online marketing strategies are essential for any restaurant that wants to be successful in today’s world. By investing in a good website and actively managing your online presence, you can make sure potential customers can easily find out and learn about your business. This will help you attract new customers and keep existing ones coming back for more.

Here are some good tips for having effective digital marketing strategies for your restaurant’s digital marketing plan.

1. Keep your audience in mind at all times

Who are you trying to reach with your digital marketing strategy? Your content, tone, and overall approach should always be focused on this target group.

2. Ensure your restaurant website is optimized for search engine ranking

This will ensure that people searching for terms related to your business are able to find you easily. Use relevant keywords and make sure your site is easy to navigate.

3. Use social media to your advantage

Social media platforms are a great way to reach out to potential and existing customers. Post informative and engaging content, and make sure to respond to any queries or comments promptly.

4. Analyse your results regularly

It’s important to keep track of how effective your digital marketing strategy is. Regularly check things like website traffic, social media engagement, and sales figures. This will give you a good idea of what’s working well and what might need some improvement.

5. Be prepared to change things up

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different aspects of your digital marketing strategy. Try new tactics, alter your approach, and see what works best for you and your business.

6. Use strong personalization

When people feel like you are speaking directly to them, they are more likely to engage with your content. Use personalization techniques such as using customer names or targeted messages to make your audience feel special.

7. Pay attention to the details

Even small things can make a big difference when it comes to digital marketing. Ensure your website is up to date, your social media profiles are professional, and your content is error-free.

The different channels of digital marketing and how to use them 

In the past, restaurants could get by by using just a few traditional marketing channels to reach their target audiences. However, in today’s digital age, there is a multitude of different channels that restaurants can use to reach potential customers.

While it can be too overwhelming to try to keep up with all of the latest digital marketing trends, it is essential for restaurants to have a presence on as many channels as possible. This is a brief overview of some of the most common digital marketing channels for restaurants and how to use them effectively:

One of the most vital channels for promoting your restaurant is your website. Your website should be mobile-friendly and easy to navigate, with clear calls to action that encourage visitors to make a reservation or order online. In addition, your website should be regularly updated with fresh content, such as blog posts about your latest menu items or promotions.

Social media is another important channel for promoting your restaurant. Platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give you a way to connect with potential customers and create a community around your brand. When using social media, it is important to post engaging content that will encourage users to follow your restaurant’s account. You should also ensure to respond quickly to any comments or questions from customers.

Another effective digital marketing channel for restaurants is email marketing. Email newsletters are a perfect way to keep customers informed about new menu items, special offers, and events at your restaurant. When crafting your emails, be sure to personalize them and include a strong call to action that encourages recipients to take advantage of your offer.

And don’t forget about good old-fashioned word-of-mouth advertising. Motivate satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on popular platforms like Yelp and Google Maps, and make sure to respond promptly to any negative reviews. You can also encourage customers to spread the word about your restaurant by offering loyalty rewards or discounts for customers who refer their friends.

By utilizing all of these digital marketing channels effectively, you can ensure that potential customers are aware of your restaurant and tempted to try it out the next time they’re looking for a great meal.

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Creating goals and objectives for your restaurant’s digital marketing campaign 

In the restaurant business, this is especially important because of the ever-changing landscape of the industry. With new technologies and platforms evolving all the time, it can be difficult to know where to start.

However, by creating a clear plan with specific goals and objectives, you can ensure that your restaurant’s digital marketing campaign is a success. Here are some good examples of goals and objectives that you may want to consider for your own campaign:

Increase brand awareness and reach:

With so much competition, it’s essential that your restaurant is visible to as many people as possible. There are many ways to do this, including SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and PPC advertising. 

Drive traffic to your website:

Another key goal of your digital marketing campaign should be to drive traffic to your restaurant’s website. Once visitors are on your site, it’s essential to keep them there by offering relevant and engaging content. 

Increase online bookings:

For many restaurants, one of the ultimate goals of their digital marketing campaign is to increase online bookings. This can be done by optimizing your restaurant website for conversion or running targeted ads on booking platforms like OpenTable or Resy. 

Boost sales:

In the restaurant industry specifically, this could mean driving more traffic during slow periods or increasing average order value. There are many good strategies that can be employed to achieve this goal, including discounts and promotions, upselling and cross-selling techniques, and loyalty programs. 

By setting specific goals and objectives for your restaurant’s digital marketing campaign, you can ensure that you are making the most effective use of your time and budget. By taking the time to develop a plan with measurable targets, you can make sure that your campaigns are always driving toward success.

Tactics to increase website traffic and convert visitors into customers 

Any restaurateur knows that one of the keys to success is a steady stream of customers. But in today’s digital world, simply having a website is not enough to attract diners. You need to go above and beyond all the time to make sure your website is visible and engaging. Here are some new and fresh tactics to increase your restaurant website traffic and convert visitors into customers:

Optimize your website for search engines. 

Ensure your website is properly registered with Google and other search engines and that your menus and other content are keyword-rich and search-engine friendly.

Try social media to drive traffic to your site. 

Post links to your website on all of your social media accounts and encourages your followers to share your content.

Get listed in online directories. 

Many diners use online directories like Yelp and TripAdvisor when looking for new restaurants. Make sure you’re listed in as many relevant directories as possible.

Use pop-ups wisely. 

Pop-ups can be annoying but used sparingly; they can be an effective way to capture email addresses or promote special offers. Just be sure not to overdo it!

Make it easy to book a reservation. 

Include a prominently placed reservation form on your website, or integrate it with an online booking service like OpenTable.

Offer online ordering. 

If you offer delivery or takeout, make it easy for customers to order online directly from your website.

Implement Google Ads. 

Google Ads can help you reach potential customers who are actively searching for restaurants like yours.

Measuring the success of your restaurant’s digital marketing plan

Here are a few key metrics to measure the success of your restaurant’s digital marketing plan: 

The number of website visitors: This is a good indicator of how well your website is ranking in search engines and how much traffic you’re getting from your other digital marketing channels. Try using Google Analytics to track the number of visitors to your website. 

The number of leads: A lead is someone who has shown interest in your restaurant by subscribing to your email list or filling out a contact form on your website. Use a lead tracking tool like HubSpot to track the number of leads you’re generating from your digital marketing efforts. 

Conversion rate: it is the percentage of leads who take action, such as making a reservation or ordering takeout. Use Google Analytics for tracking conversions on your website. 

Customer lifetime value: The customer lifetime value (CLV) is the estimated revenue that a customer will bring in over the course of their relationship with your restaurant. Use a CLV calculator to estimate the CLV for each customer acquired through your digital marketing efforts. 

By tracking these types of metrics, you can get a good sense of whether your digital marketing plan is working and whether it’s worth continuing to invest in it.

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