5 Digital Marketing Strategies Every F&B Business Should Know
The restaurant industry is among the most brutal and competitive ones you can enter. Even with good food, pricing, and location, success is far from guaranteed. With rent, labour, and ingredient prices on the rise in Hong Kong, the overall cost of running a restaurant can be extremely high.
But why is a digital marketing strategy so essential?
Increasing covers, driving revenue
Digital marketing often helps restaurants increase the number of covers during low-peak periods. This is because online ads on social media sites like Meta (Facebook & Instagram) can be run continuously, driving awareness and interest.
You’ll be able to market attractive promotions, encourage customers to make reservations, or offer special menus during low-peak periods to increase your number of covers.
Adding online order and delivery options to your digital marketing strategy is also a way to make up for the lack in revenue during non-peak hours.
Keep up with the shifting consumer landscape
Another reason to have a digital marketing strategy for restaurants is due to the rapid onset of digitalisation, exacerbated by the global pandemic and changing mindsets. Consumers are more likely to adopt hybrid working arrangements in today’s world, and this means that most of their interactions with restaurants happen online.
As such, digital marketing for restaurants has become a need rather than a luxury. One of the many benefits of marketing on digital channels, however, is the lack of geographical and physical boundaries. You’ll be able to reach your customers, wherever they are on the island, and even outside of traditional working hours, as your online ads and social media posts are ‘always on’.
This gives you the potential of a much wider reach, allowing you to interact with more customers than ever before.
Digital Marketing Strategies for Restaurants to Increase Awareness & Drive Profitability
1. Social media marketing
Social media spaces are some of the best venues for restaurant marketing. Think of platforms like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and so on.
Most restaurants use social media for customer engagement. They invite customers to interact with them and react to their post to increase the number of impressions.
Video marketing is especially good for restaurants, as it offers opportunities for showing off the visual appeal of dishes.
2. Creating a ‘Google My Business’ listing
Listing your restaurant on Google is a must for restaurants. As the largest search engine in the world, Google is one of the best ways to guarantee visibility when someone looks for restaurants in their area.
Besides, getting a GMB listing also allows you to collect Google Reviews from your customers. Encouraging them to do this gives potential customers the impetus to make their purchase or visit, and comes at no cost to you!
3. Email marketing
Email marketing is yet another digital marketing strategy you can try in the restaurant business. Commonly called an Electronic Direct Mail (EDM), they’re sent out to customers who have signed up to be on your digital mailing list, and is a space for you to share the latest news about your business, along with promos you’re running.
Why is this so effective? Because it allows you to remind them about your business regularly, for one thing. Sending out EDMs on a regular schedule also helps keep your brand top-of-mind when it comes to products associated with your brand.
It’s also a useful way to re-engage customers that might have lost interest. You can offer these lapsed customers bigger discounts as a ‘hook’ to encourage them to visit your store or purchase from you again.
4. Creating a business website
Having an online presence in the form of a website is arguably the first step most restaurants take in digital marketing. It’s also the core of search engine marketing (SEM).
This means that when people search for your restaurant with a search engine like Google, you’ll be able to engage them immediately with information about your restaurant, encourage them to make reservations, explore your restaurant menu, and more.
5. Boosting traffic with SEO
One of the most important steps in a digital marketing strategy for restaurants is to use search engine optimisation (SEO).
With this, you can increase the chances of your key online assets (website, social media accounts, e-Shop etc.) showing up on the first page of major search engines. It also makes your brand more likely to appear in search results of relevant searches, e.g. if consumers search up “Best Pizza in Hong Kong”, your Pizza restaurant is more likely to pop up if your websites and online assets are SEO-optimised.
Some ways to increase SEO include making your website mobile-friendly and to focus on digital content creation. As far as the latter goes, you can create content on your site about seasonal dishes, publish relevant blog posts, share recipes, etc.
In Summary: Restaurant Marketing
There are a lot of reasons to employ a digital marketing strategy for restaurants. It can help you drive customers continuously to your business as well as keep current customers interested in your offerings. It can also help you reach more customers than ever before, thanks to the increase in consumers going online to search for food recommendations.
If you’re looking to go online and offer both delivery and takeaways with your own e-Shop, Oddle provides a fully-customisable, SEO-optimised platform for you, so you don’t have to start from scratch. And instead of navigating the complex world of digital marketing through trial and error, Oddle provides value-added managed marketing services at zero cost.