A Picture Says 1000 Words – How Your Restaurant Can Benefit
Storytelling has been around since ancient times in many forms.
Yet, the art of storytelling has never had such prominence in the marketing arena as it does today.
When it comes to content marketing, email marketing, social media and your restaurant, storytelling has the power to drive your business and enhance your brand.
As we look at storytelling, we find that yes indeed, a picture says 1000 words. In this article, we discuss how your restaurant can benefit from using pictures in your marketing strategy.
Your restaurant can benefit from the art of visual storytelling using pictures with Instagram, email and content marketing.
Instagram is the social media platform of pictures. More than 95 million photos are shared on Instagram every day.
This means it’s a great place for your restaurant, and it means you’ve got to take great photos to stand out in a crowded arena.
When it comes to Instagram photos, your restaurant can benefit most by crafting a story with your photos. You want one brand feel for your images that viewers associate with your restaurant.
Is your restaurant a dark, intimate affair, or do you own a brightly lit, colorful café? Your photos should reflect your restaurant and your menu.
Here are some tips for taking the best photographs for your restaurant:
- Focus on the lighting. Your goal is to take the most tantalizing, visually appealing photos of your menu items. This is why you exist, so your pictures must be amazing. Take your photos near soft light sources.
- Accessorize your food. Use pretty linens. Make it interesting – think lifestyle images. Instead of a plain bowl of soup, casually rest a spoon on the bowl. Highlight a glass of wine with the bottle and the cork. Incorporate a waiter’s hand doing the pouring. Be creative and tell a story that resonates with your viewers.
- Garnish your photos. Add green garnishes to savory dishes and berries to sweet ones. Swirl some sour cream atop your chili. Again, get creative and make your viewers want your dishes.
- Incorporate your brand into your images with filters. Add frames or outlines, create collages, enhance the mood…the options are endless.
- Don’t forget the photos of people. Lifestyle images of your restaurant tell the complete story. Snap photos of your guests as well as your staff.
Finally, as you take your photos for Instagram, or your other marketing, stick with the rule of thirds.
For example, break your photo into thirds both vertically and horizontally – you now have nine parts. Highlight interesting points in your picture at the intersection points of the lines. This might mean highlighting your dish in the lower left corner.
Email newsletters again allow you to capture your audience and build relationships through storytelling, and your pictures are the centerpiece.
Imagine getting a boring email that’s all text and no photos. Sounds like work, right? Your email newsletter should feature your best and brightest photos to encourage your customer to read on.
If the picture is done right, you might not even need very many words, because as the old adage goes, “A picture is worth 1000 words.”
Email images sell your restaurant. They make your readers hungry and give them a reason to stop in for a meal.
While images are vital to your email marketing, we do have one important tip: don’t send an email that is one big image. (tweet this)
If you do this, you run the risk of your email not getting opened at all. For example, if your customer has images turned off, or their data isn’t strong, they won’t see anything at all.
Single images are also larger and take longer to open.
We also don’t recommend using one big image, slicing it and putting into an HTML table.
You run into the same problems as with one big image. When using images, you want to assign them some accompanying text and always fill out the alt tag for your images to give readers an idea of what the image is if they can’t see it at first.
So, when sending your emails, use text and images together to tell your story and market your restaurant.
Content Marketing Photos
Content marketing includes your visual storytelling as well as your textual story.
Think of your photos as the hook that grabs your readers and draws them in. To help you capitalize on the power of pictures in your content marketing, here are some tips:
- Stock photos are so last year as are ultra-canned shots. Plan your photo shoots and keep them realistic. Show your visitor that they too can experience your restaurant the same way your photos depict it.
- Think about the types of photos that will appeal to your buyer personas and your customer base.
- Use photography to really tell your story. Keep your brand in mind as your photos draw readers in and tell them what your restaurant is all about.
- Use the 360-degree brand rule. This means incorporating real life into your pictures. Consider how your brand looks, what your staff will wear, and how you’ll frame your shots.
- Show people. Often times in restaurant photography, the people are left out. We encourage you to include photos of your staff and customers to give a face to your restaurant.
- Use your photos to teach. For example, if you are sharing a recipe on your blog, feature photos of the step-by-step process.
- Invite others to share your photos as well as their own photos.
Visual storytelling is a large part of you restaurant’s brand storytelling. Photos help broadcast and extend your restaurant’s story by connecting your customers and your restaurant through your photos. (tweet this)
Always ask yourself, “How will my pictures appeal to my audience?”
Keep these things in mind as you use pictures in your content marketing.
Your restaurant can benefit from a picture that says 1000 words.
If your photos are custom, professional and consistent with your brand, they’ll help your restaurant increase customer engagement.
You’ll also build a solid brand foundation for your restaurant while utilizing exceptional photography in all of your marketing .
Keep your photos real and take a look at them through the eyes of your customer. Ask yourself if they portray your brand in a positive light, further your story and engage the customer.
If you can answer yes to all of those questions, you’re well on the way to helping your restaurant benefit from great pictures.
At Restaurant Engine, we build responsive, mobile-friendly restaurant websites that incorporate photography to intrigue and tantalize your customer.
Contact us today for your free website consultation. We’d are here to help you stand out in the crowd and stay ahead of your competition with your restaurant website.