Content Marketing Strategy For Restaurants

Content Marketing Strategy

Content marketing cultivates relationships.

The purpose of content marketing is to attract, acquire, engage and thus, keep restaurant customers. (tweet this) Content marketing is the process through which you create and distribute relevant and valuable information to your restaurant’s current and potential diners.

Content marketing done correctly engages your audience and provides them with something of value so later on they’ll remember you for it.

Content marketing is brand marketing. When you develop a content marketing strategy you support your restaurant brand’s message by creating and sharing relevant content. In 2014, more than 93% of marketers used content marketing in their marketing strategy. If you don’t have a content marketing strategy, it’s time to develop one.

Why Should You Invest in Content Marketing?

  • According to a study, content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about three times as many leads. You can’t afford not to invest in it.
  • You’ll create a connection with current and potential customers.
  • Content humanizes your brand and makes you approachable.
  • It is easily shareable.
  • You can re-use and re-purpose marketing materials and images.
  • It is the future of marketing in the digital age.

With content marketing, you cultivate relationships with your guests and become a trusted resource. (tweet this) This inspires their loyalty. Your restaurant then becomes more than a logo and some emailed coupons. In this post, we’ll discuss a content marketing strategy for restaurants. Follow this easy plan, and you’ll inspire customer loyalty all year long.

Step 1: Define Your Strategy and Goals

Your strategy is to build relationships with your guests by being a resource for them. You want to drive traffic to your restaurant and your website. Identify your target audience and write for them.

Step 2: Build a Calendar

If this sounds daunting, start small and build your calendar one month at a time. Design your content around holidays, the seasons and events. Make sure to share the calendar with your restaurant staff so they are in the loop. Set up your calendar so the information is spread across your blog, website, email news and social media.

Step 3: Make Content Outlines

On your calendar, outline your content. You’ll want to cross-promote across your various avenues. Create a unified look so your brand is easily recognizable. Consider adding your restaurant’s logo to your images.

Step 4: Define your Voice

Be authentic and exciting. Use a combination of text, images and video. Boring content isn’t captivating, so be creative.

Step 5: Re-Purpose Marketing Content

You don’t have to “recreate the wheel” for each avenue. Use television commercials on YouTube. Link to your blog content on social media and through your email news. Spruce up old images by adding them to new content.

Step 6: Optimize Your Content

Use important keywords. If you are linking back to your website, use the same keywords in your content as you do on your webpage. Be consistent.

Make sure you optimize your images by always including alt tags. Alt tags serve as alternate text to describe the image when the image is not available to be displayed. You’ll also want to optimize your title tag. These tags are imbedded in your image source code. Reduce your image file size for fast-loading web pages.

Step 7: Put Someone in Charge

You don’t have to create all your content, but you should oversee it at least in the beginning. What’s most important is assigning a person the task of content management and giving them ownership. If you don’t, you risk not seeing your content marketing strategy through. Be consistent and maintain a regular schedule.

Step 8: Track and Measure

Ensure your content marketing is trackable. Get feedback from your audience. Consistently monitor your progress. Adjust your tactics. Give your strategies time to work, and be realistic in your expectations.

Now that we’ve talked about how to set up your content marketing strategy, let’s discuss some exciting ways to spread your content and increase your restaurant’s business.

Blog for Content

Blogs provide the foundation for your content marketing.

Begin a Blog on Your Restaurant’s Website

Your restaurant’s blog is the cornerstone of your content marketing strategy. If you have a website with a blog that’s sitting dormant, decide today that you’ll start filling it up. If you don’t have a blog, get one – today.

You can cross promote and link to all of your photos, videos and content on your blog, website and social media accounts. All of those links to and from your website bode well for you in Google search.

What can you blog about? The ideas are endless, but here are a few to get you started:

  • The Gluten craze
  • Diet specific dishes such as the Paleo diet
  • Eating low-fat
  • Recipe sharing
  • Intro your chefs and talk about their local interests
  • Talk about special events
  • Interview local farmers
  • Tips for Pairing Wines with Food (consider a video, too)

Dive into the World of Video

Several years ago this meant hiring a videographer. Today this means pulling out your smartphone or tablet and getting creative. Post your videos on your website, social media and YouTube – the third largest search engine in the world. Plus, Google values YouTube content. Cross promotion is key.

Need some video ideas?

  • Do a mini cooking show. Highlight one of your favorite recipes and show how it’s done. At the end, encourage people to visit your restaurant for the “real” version of your recipe.
  • Do a gardening video. Suppose one of your menu features is pizza. Highlight your own backyard “pizza” garden full of basil, tomatoes and peppers.
  • Show a short video of a recent event at your restaurant. Make it funny and entertaining.
  • Do a monthly “chef’s tips” video. Feature his/her favorite kitchen gadgets and ingredients. Show tips on food preparation, keeping an orderly, clean kitchen and preparing multiple dishes at once. You can even create a Pinterest board dedicated to your chef’s favorite things.
  • Try a dating tips video. Showcase first-date etiquette and feature a “real couple” in your restaurant. Showcase an anniversary date or father/daughter date – again, be creative.

Pick a Day and Do the Same Type of Post

Using your blog, Facebook, Instagram and even Pinterest, do your own spin on TBT (Throw Back Thursday). How about a “This Week at…” post. Here you can use images or video and text to highlight a featured weekend menu item every Friday. Use music and give the menu item its own voice. Creativity is key.

This one might sound difficult, but once you’ve done one, you can use the same format each week.

Feature Your Employees

Pick an employee to feature on a regular basis. Showcase their hidden talents, do a Q/A on your blog and add fun pictures. How about a 15-second Instagram video?

You could also dedicate a Pinterest board to your employees and feature their favorite foods, recipes, etc. Cross promote on your blog and other social media.

Your content marketing strategy isn’t about posting the same content all over the web. It’s about building relationships and using appropriate content in each medium. Consider the gardening video mentioned above:

  • The video can be posted on Facebook.
  • You can write a blog post about a particular gardening success or failure.
  • You might start a Pinterest board with pictures of your garden from dirt, to planting, to harvesting.
  • On Facebook and Twitter, you can post short gardening tips.

You’ve now used each of your marketing channels in a relevant way to engage with each of your unique audiences with the same general theme.

If you don’t have a blog on your restaurant’s website, we’d love to help. Contact us for your complimentary consultation, and we can set up your website and blog to help you begin your content marketing strategy today.

Images: Christian Schnettelker and Mark Kens

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