Do you run a small, quaint restaurant or cafe? Locals may know the name of your restaurant through word-of-mouth reviews and musings, but marketing your venue online will help to spread your name to out-of-town visitors and to those who haven’t heard the chatter highlighting the wonders of your service, coffee, and food!
For example, one restaurant, according to Dish Works, saw a 78.8% increase in web traffic after three months of content marketing, and “during one particular month, the restaurant’s traffic was up to 11,669 pageviews. This is a 104% increase from the 5,706 average in the three months prior to having great content!” When owners or managers implement blog writing strategies for restaurants and cafes, their traffic, interest, and popularity will grow.
Are you unsure of where to start? The online world can be daunting, especially for restaurant marketing, but we are happy to help you with these blog writing strategies for restaurants and cafes:
1. Plan out your blog
At the start of your online restaurant marketing journey, you will need to take the time to develop a strategy that aligns with the culture of your venue.
Firstly, you will want to choose the right tone-of-voice. For example, a restaurant that promotes a fun and upbeat culture should translate these vibes into their blog posts, and mellow, hipster cafes should write in a tone-of-voice that best emphasises their brand.
Secondly, it is beneficial to choose a day or two of the week to release blog posts (or however many you believe is best for your business) and to stay consistent with these days. Thursdays could be the day that you share a recipe and a “secret” ingredient, and on Mondays, you could discuss unique cooking tips or your servers could unravel a hilarious encounter they had with a customer.
Either way, it should be consistent, enthralling, with witty anecdotes, advice, recipes, or something that showcases your culture in an entertaining way that will benefit the reader. Keep in mind that a returning reader may develop into a consistent customer!
2. Set your goals
Here are two questions to consider when you are setting your online restaurant marketing goals:
• What do I want to focus on the most? “[Lead] generation, raising awareness, driving conversions”?
• Which audience do I want to target? Millennials? Baby Boomers? Children? Teenagers? Knowing your target audience will help you to strategise your short-term and long-term goals better. If you are hoping to reach out to baby boomers, you may want to set your target goals lower, and it would be beneficial to use email marketing as a way to guide people to your webpage. Whereas, with millennials, your goal of how many people click on your site should be higher because you can share your blog links through Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and via other social media avenues.
If your goals are high, videos that expose recipes to delicious, savoury dishes, or clips that travel around your venue, or short videos of any sort will help to generate higher clicks to your page, and images will also attract readers to your blog. Forbes reveals “In fact, articles with an image featured every 100 words or so, received more than double the social media shares of articles with fewer images.”
Forbes declares that even an image of a simple hand-drawing will bring traffic to your blog, but before you lazily sandwich a pixelated photo between your content, you may want to consider what people are more likely to share on social media? A childish-looking hand-drawn hamburger? A mouthwatering picture with an emphasis on juicy meat and melted cheese? Or no image at all?
3. Take advantage of search engine optimisation
We understand that ‘search engine optimisation’ is a very technical term with layers of meanings, but knowing how it works will hopefully boost your website from page 14 on Google to page one.
You may be asking yourself, ‘I will likely generate most interest via social media, so why would I care about where I stand with my SEO score?’ Well, when people want to look up something fast like, ‘best restaurants in Oxford’, where will they go? Google. It is essential to include keywords in your blog posts to help increase the number of visits on your page.
When you are dreaming up keywords, use relevant and specific ones related to your business. If you don't know where to begin, you can check out Google Keyword Planner.
Jayson DeMers writes “To some extent, blogging also levels the playing field with big brands, giving small businesses the unprecedented opportunity to compete with big businesses with big budgets.” Creating a blog is the perfect way for local venues to kickstart their journey into online restaurant marketing!