Tourists and local customers are often on the lookout for their new favorite local restaurant. For this reason, it is important for any food and hospitality business to have a strong restaurant marketing strategy. There are a number of ways to market a restaurant, but not all methods are created equal.

What is the best digital marketing strategy for a restaurant?

There are many different types of online marketing campaigns that can target customers who are nearby. Here are five restaurant marketing strategies that are sure to help your business and website stand out from the competition and attract new customers.

  1. Optimizing your Google Business Profile for potential customers who search for [food type near me]
  2. Reaching an audience with Facebook or Instagram ads that show off your best-looking food and restaurant brand. You should utilize internet marketing to promote your restaurant if you want it to be successful.
  3. Email automation with customer loyalty and VIP programs can be very effective when leveraged with customer data.
  4. Monitoring social media platforms for online reviews to manage your restaurant’s online reputation is critical to generate new customers.
  5. Engaging your restaurant customer online and encouraging them to promote their experience with hashtags, photo contests, or social media reviews

Local SEO for restaurants

Some restaurant marketing agencies suggest that is essential for any restaurant is to get listed on online restaurant directories. These platforms are often the first-place potential customers will look when searching for a new restaurant, so it is important to make sure your business is visible. Make sure your restaurant’s website is also optimized for local SEO so that you can appear in relevant search results.

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Facebook ads for restaurants

Offering a free meal or use of food apps and delivery services can help attract local customers and tourists alike through organic Facebook posts.  However, when this is combined with retargeting Facebook ads for a customer loyalty program, that goes to a whole new level.

Email marketing strategy and VIP programs

Using email marketing and automation to manage a customer loyalty program might be very successful restaurant marketing plan. For instance, if you have consumer data like birthdays and anniversaries, you may attract repeat business by automatically sending out an email the week before a client’s special occasion with a free dessert or free dining experience if they submit a QR code in the email.

Email marketing can also help promote local events where you may have a food truck or catering exhibit taht your existing customers would be interested in attending.

Restaurant owners Monitoring online reviews

reviewing a restaurant

User generated content found in online reviews and food bloggers social media pages can be very effective in driving traffic. This is especially true of positive reviews from local food bloggers and loyal customers.

A restaurant owner should reach out to local food bloggers and food critics and offer them a complimentary meal in exchange for an honest review of your restaurant. This is a type of influencer marketing. If they post a positive review, make sure to share it on your own social media pages and website. You can also encourage customers to leave reviews by offering a discount or other incentive.

It’s important to monitor what people are saying and to reach out to customers who leave negative reviews and offer to make it right. This is an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a restaurant evangelist.

Restaurant marketing ideas that engage a social media audience

Nowadays, food porn is common and social media sites are flooded with images of meals that would make the most frugal individuals spend a little extra money. If you want your restaurant’s orders to come in, you must take advantage of social networking tools to advertise it online.

Attract customers with online marketing

Digital marketing for restaurants can be very effective in driving traffic and sales as well as generating more customers. By using a combination of local SEO, paid Facebook and Google ads, email marketing with comprehensive customer data, and influencer marketing, you can reach your target market and establishing a lasting impression

Learn more about our restaurant marketing strategy

If you would like to learn more about restaurant online advertising you can download our free restaurant marketing guide here, or contact Bistro SEO in our Southwest Florida office at (941) 662-4889.