Happy Monday! How is your summer going? Have you been to holiday already? What was the best food and/or drink you had recently?
As someone who grew up in restaurants (my dad is a chef), I've learned a lot about food and drinks. Sadly, I'm not the best cook, but to compensate for that, I have quite a lot of insights on the industry. Today's post is all about content marketing tips, which will help restaurants, cafes and other food & drink related establishments to promote their businesses more effectively.
1. Know where to be
Your main platforms for digital content will be your blog and social media. Successful marketing strategies for this industry include a healthy combination of written and visual (images and videos) content. You need to have a blog on your website and update it regularly - at least once a week. Then promote the blog on social media. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are great for this. Save the really great imagery content for Snapchat and Instagram and utilise the most relevant hashtags to get you as many likes and followers as possible. A Pinterest board is also a brilliant idea, especially if you are after higher class customers.
2. Share Food Recipes
Now that you know where you should distribute the content, it's time to create it. What should you be posting? Start with popular recipes on your blog or even under an image you've posted on Instagram if you still haven't got the resources for regular blogging. Make sure the recipes are compatible with the cuisine your restaurant offers. If you are a cafe, you can share recipes for desserts, pastries or quick fixes. The solution for bars would be cocktail mixes. Don't forget to make the execution sound like a piece of cake and encourage your readers to share their results after trying the method.
More in that direction, you could feed your social media followers with tips on healthy food and dietary habits. Some of the most viewed and used hashtags on Instagram include #healthyeating #healthylifestyle and #healthyliving. They truly get the likes rolling.
Once a month you can post a recipe, uniquely created by the head chef of your restaurant or cafe. It boosts the exclusivity of your brand and makes your customers feel special, while it strengthens their bond with your business.
3. What's Going on Behind the Scenes
The more personal you are in your content, the more customers will trust you. To increase the transparency of your establishment and hype the consumers, share some pictures or short videos showing what's happening behind the scenes. This means food preparation, cocktail mixing or table setting. Describe with a few words what a day at work looks like for the staff at the venue.
4. Introduce the Staff
More personal content. Introduce "Meet the staff" sessions on one (or many) of your social media channels. Dedicate a day of the week when you will be posting a picture of a member of staff - a chef, a mixologist, a host, a waiter, a manager. In a couple of sentences tell your audience who those people are and what they do to make the dining experience exceptional at the place. A more creative idea would be to share a fun fact about each of them to get your customers really familiar with the people who may be serving them.
5. Integrate Competitions
To keep your social media growing, you must make it fun to follow and look at. What a better way than having competitions with prizes? People love incentives and would do pretty much anything you ask them for if they think you are offering enough value. And after all, you are not asking for much - just a few likes, shares and follows. Here are 3 good ideas for social media competitions:
- Post your take on this week's recipe
You can create a special hashtag if you are holding the competition on Instagram and ask everyone who wants to participate to use that hashtag in their post. It will make it easier for you to browse the published photos and find the winner. Who's the winner? Of course, the meal, that has the most likes - simple social media rule. The prize? It's up to you really, but 25% discount would do fine.
- Guess the ingredients in the cocktail
It's self explanatory. Post a picture of a cocktail, preferably made in house, which contains ingredients that are not obvious at a quick glance. The first 3 people who guess all that's in the mix can get 2 for 1 cocktails at their next visit.
- Follow today and win a dinner for two
This is a great way to increase the number of your followers. Make the post live for only 24 hours and enter all the people who have followed during that period into a draw. Announce the winner the next day and send them their special voucher over an email, which you can request in a private message.
6. Keep the Conversation Going and Growing
Apart from competitions, include in your campaign posts that encourage conversation between you and your followers or them and their friends who can become future customers. Three more examples below: