It can take more than a year for a restaurateur to see a profit, and in that year, more restaurants are cropping up on every corner, increasing competition. For your restaurant to thrive in this crowded and unpredictable market, you need to source more than the best ingredients. You need to source the best customers: customers who will return often and tell all their friends. Digital marketing is the tool savvy restaurant owners use to help these ideal customers find their restaurant, boost revenue, and stay ahead of the competition.
Digital Marketing in a Nutshell
Effective digital marketing begins with a clear understanding of your target market. A search-optimized website, satisfied customer reviews, and loyalty reward programs are the most common ingredients used to reach that market. Once you’ve launched your digital marketing strategy, you measure the results to identify areas where you can improve your efforts to achieve maximum ROI.
6 Strategies to Help Customers Find Your Restaurant
Identify your target market
The first step in building a better digital marketing strategy is understanding who you’re trying to reach. Different diners use different tools for choosing a restaurant and respond to different types of messaging. Knowing how your ideal customers want to be contacted and what they want to hear from you is critical to connecting with them. At Morgan & Co, we use advanced analytics to precisely target those patrons who will have the highest lifetime value and understand the most effective ways to reach them.
Optimize your website
Modern customers do most of their searching by smart phone, so be sure your site looks and functions beautifully on any size device. That includes your menus, which should be easy to access and read. List important information like your hours, and use a click-to-call phone number to simplify first contact.
Invest in SEO
Your website does more than display menus. It communicates with search engine crawlers, offering the important details about your restaurant that customers are searching for. However, SEO doesn’t end at your website. You should also optimize directory listings such as Google Business and Facebook business, taking time to verify your NAP data across all platforms.
You’re not the only person capable of improving your restaurant’s online discoverability. Your patrons also play a role in search engine optimization. Positive customer reviews confirm for web crawlers that your restaurant is trustworthy, so encourage your patrons to leave reviews on your Google Business page, where they’ll deliver the greatest impact. Assign someone on staff to check reviews daily and respond briefly to customers’ reviews – both positive and negative – to demonstrate your commitment to the satisfaction of your patrons.
Reward your patrons
A digital rewards program transforms customers into members, which can be a profitable distinction. Members have a vested interest in returning frequently. However, your patrons aren’t the only people who benefit from a loyalty program. You’ll gain insights into your customers’ online behavior: what do they order most? how often do they stop in? what keeps them coming back for more? You’ll also have a growing contact list for reaching out to wayward patrons and entice them back with perks and discounts.
The only way to know if a marketing strategy is truly effective is to measure it consistently. Tracking your campaigns allows you to see what’s working and what’s not, and it empowers you to make changes that improve your odds in a crowded market. At Morgan & Co, we establish measurement benchmarks before launching your campaign and use those data points to track performance and correlate your marketing efforts with your business goals. This ensures an accurate picture of your digital marketing strategy’s actual ROI.
With a successful digital marketing strategy in place, you’ll be set to source the ideal customers for your restaurant, giving you an advantage over the competition and ensuring customers can always find your restaurant online. Get in touch today to learn how we work with restaurant owners to increase traffic, boost revenue, and stay ahead of the competition.