You’ve got great food but it’s time to attract the people who will appreciate it.
Marketing a restaurant is just another reality of owning and running it. However, not all marketing is equally cost-effective. Some methods simply perform better than others, even with a significantly smaller budget.
In that respect, one of the best methods you can use today is restaurant content marketing.
In this post, we’ll explain the basics you need to know and show you 5 ways to attract more visitors immediately.
Let’s dive in!
What Is Content Marketing?
Content marketing is a marketing method that attracts new customers by understanding their interests/problems and creating relevant content.
Typically, content comes in some of the following formats:
- Blog posts and articles
- Social media content (tweets, Facebook updates, etc.)
If you look up content marketing online, you’ll see that it’s often connected to search engine optimization (SEO).
This is because content marketing doesn’t just include the content. It also includes distribution and promotion channels.
Promoting your content through search engines means you’ll have access to billions of people who turn to search engines when looking for restaurant recommendations or other food-related topics.
But in addition to Google Search, where over 1.17 billion people conduct 3.5 billion searches daily, there are also other search engines (Bing, DuckDuckGo, etc.) and platforms you wouldn’t think are search engines (YouTube, Amazon).
The other option for content promotion is social media since various social networks are used by 2.7 billion people as of 2019.
That’s a lot of potential foot traffic to your restaurant!
Is restaurant content marketing effective?
As long as your customers are willing to consume content related to the food industry, yes. Your content will be effective.
And when you consider that content marketing costs 62% less than other methods (e.g. ads) and brings in 3 times as many potential visitors, you can see why everyone’s using it to reach more customers.
So what can you do as a restaurant owner or manager to make sure you’re reaching all the right people with your content?
1. Restaurant Content Marketing Means Understanding Your Customers
Content marketing is more than just talking about your restaurant on your blog (although we’ll see how that comes into play later on).
It starts with your customers.
Your goal is to reverse-engineer the process by starting with the people who are already enjoying your restaurant and then finding more people like them through restaurant content marketing.
Who are the people visiting your restaurant?
Are they nearby office workers, families, teens?
Once you understand that, ask them more questions:
- What are their food-related issues?
- Do they want to lose weight?
- Do they want to try a specific diet like gluten-free?
- Do they want to learn how to prepare food at home and make it (almost) as delicious as the meals in your restaurant?
- Where do they go for information on the topics they’re interested in?
This will help you create the so-called buyer personas which are incredibly important for successful content marketing. And it’ll also give you handy ideas on the content topics they’ll enjoy.
Knowing what your customers are like and what they’re struggling with won’t just help you attract new customers.
It’ll also help you retain the existing ones and make sure you’re keeping in touch with their needs.
2. Plan the Content
Once you know what your existing customers are like, it’ll be much easier to attract like-minded people to your restaurant.
Let’s say a lot of your customers said they’d be interested in learning more about gluten-free food (and even seeing it on the menu).
This gives you a great place to start your keyword research.
Simply use a keyword planner and find keywords related to that topic.
You’ll see keywords such as:
- gluten-free benefits
- gluten-free recipes
- gluten-free food list
- gluten-free diet plan
Make a list and see how you can turn them into content topics.
Maybe you’ll have a blog post titled: “All the Benefits of Gluten-Free Food.” Maybe you’ll make a video showing a few simple gluten-free recipes prepared in your restaurant.
The sky is the limit, really, as long as you know what people are interested in.
Ideally, you want to have a few topic ideas so you can publish at least 4-8 posts a month.
Of course, this takes time so it’s a good idea to outsource the work to freelance writers.
You can get high-quality content at ContentFly for just $0.06/word.
It’s written by professionals (and foodies) who are going to make your potential customers want to grab a bite at your restaurant right after reading!
3. Target Visitors in Your Location
Since you’re in a physical location, you also want to integrate the area into your content. If your restaurant is in New York, your goal is to attract New Yorkers.
A great way of doing this is by using regional expressions.
For example, a submarine sandwich is called Po’Boy in New Orleans and Hoagie in Pennsylvania. So by using that kind of words in your content, you’ll automatically double down on the people you’re trying to attract.
Another way of targeting visitors in your location is by choosing how you’ll promote your content.
If you’re promoting your content with ads, you can always select the area.
However, if you want to go for organic methods – especially on social media – you can use geo-targeting features.
Simply add a location tag or the hashtags used for your locale. The narrower you can go, the better.
You can also use restaurant content marketing to target visitors near you by setting up a Google My Business profile and cross-posting your content to the “Posts” section.
Finally, don’t forget about local resources.
If we’re going with the gluten-free theme as our example, you can make listicles like “10 restaurants with the best gluten-free food in New York” or similar resources that mention the name of the area.
You can even blog about interesting local events!
4. Know Their Type
Just because restaurant content marketing is highly visual doesn’t mean you only have to post images.
Going to a restaurant is an experience that’s not just connected to food, but to people, atmosphere and life choices, as well.
And this is where blogs can be a great content type to promote your restaurant.
However, you should consider videos. They’re engaging, fun, and a great way to show your personality and the atmosphere of your restaurant.
You don’t have to share trade secrets, but you can share information your (potential) customers are going to find useful:
- Videos from special events (and customer testimonials)
- Q&A food prep sessions
You can also use employee advocacy.
Ask your employees to share your content on their social media or create their own content about your restaurant.
After all, messages shared by employees reach 561% more people.
5. Invite New Visitors to Join in on the Fun
Chances are, you’re probably already using social media to promote your restaurant.
However, pay more attention to the content you post. Add more behind-the-scenes images, share your favorite tips and tools, and truly treat your restaurant as a brand.
You can also use user-generated content.
Simply ask your customers to tag you in the restaurant food pics they publish on Instagram or Facebook, and then reshare them (with their permission).
Don’t be afraid to get close and personal, or post funny images.
After all, content is all about value and nothing is worth more than laughter.
Even getting a chuckle out of someone can draw them in and make them love every bite.