As a restaurant owner, digital marketing can be a daunting task that consumes valuable time, energy, and resources. The daily demands, along with all the FOH and BOH chores, can be simply too overwhelming for many small restaurant owners. Most simply don’t have the time to research digital marketing strategies, let alone implement them. Creating and delivering engaging content, maintaining customer communications, establishing an online presence, reviewing data-driven analytics, setting up paid advertising initiatives… all of these important steps take time. This often means that marketing and advertising efforts are done on the fly or just 86.
However, having a strategic and effective digital marketing plan allows local restaurants to attract new customers and retain existing ones. While traditional advertising can be effective (about 30 percent of restaurant owners say they still pay for newspaper and magazine ads), having an online and social media presence in today’s digital world is essential to keep the doors open, especially considering that 90 percent of guests research a restaurant online and more than half visit a restaurant’s website before selecting where to dine.
Think for a moment about your restaurant’s current online presence. Can customers find it? Can you see your menu online? Can they read about the weekly specials or see photos of your most popular dishes? With the pandemic revolutionizing the restaurant industry in every way, 53 percent of adults now say that shopping for takeout or home delivery is essential to their daily lifestyle. Customers want the ability to order online, set up delivery, view seats, and reserve tables through the convenience of a mobile phone. This is a trend that is sure to continue even after the pandemic has finally left behind. Not having great online visibility and mobile-friendly options could likely mean you’re losing diners to the competitor in town that does.
The good news is that an effective digital marketing strategy can be designed and implemented to fit almost any marketing budget. Here are five additional benefits of outsourcing your restaurant’s digital marketing activities:
Cost savingsRather than hiring an in-house digital or social media manager, outsourcing marketing efforts to an agency will ultimately be the best investment. Doing so will free up more money for your restaurant to spend elsewhere: interior and exterior repairs and renovations, staff bonuses, community and team sponsorships, and more.
Time to do what you do best: Restaurant owners mired in marketing efforts can lose focus on what is most important to them: delivering delicious, high-quality food to customers and their families. Outsourcing digital marketing efforts ensures that owners can stay focused on what they are most passionate about.
Expert team: A digital team of experts can create personalized marketing campaigns that are unique to your restaurant and your local customer base. Experts know how to engage customers and create communications that emphasize your restaurant’s unique offerings, such as specials and new menu items, loyalty programs, community engagement, and more.
Increase: Outsource digital marketing restaurant management to focus on growing your restaurant, without stressing yourself out from marketing efforts. The job of a digital marketing agency is to deliver timely and engaging campaigns that help grow your customer base and increase restaurant profits. Double win!
Results: Digital marketers provide data-driven marketing insights and metrics that deliver meaningful results. It is important to recognize and share when digital marketing has worked, as well as to indicate areas where there is room for improvement.
Most digital marketing agencies offer many important solutions for small and medium-sized restaurants, including:
- Website design, monitoring and maintenance
- Website SEO – Make sure your website ranks higher in search engines and can be found by your customers.
- Google and Google My Business rankings
- Customer communications: email and text
- Establish, monitor, publish and maintain social media accounts such as Instagram and Facebook.
- Reputation management – This includes anything from addressing a review left online to requesting reviews from previous customers.
- Options for mobile devices: online menus, reviews, orders, reservation options, etc.
- Paid advertising on social media that targets your local audience directly.
All of these digital marketing services allow restaurant owners to have better control over their online presence, build their restaurant’s reputation locally, and increase their restaurants’ rankings on numerous search engines. With more than a million restaurants nationwide, ensuring your restaurant reaches the right customers is critical to turning things around, and most importantly, keeping the doors open.