Restaurant Content Marketing: How to improve on it.
If you own a restaurant, you’re in the business of turning food into magic. But what if you could channel a different kind of magic to ensure even more people enjoy your delicious dishes? We’re talking about restaurant content marketing: this unicorn of the marketing world that more restauranteurs should focus on to boost sales and increase loyalty.
In the guide below, we explain what content marketing is, we tell you how to formulate a restaurant content marketing strategy, and we share 10 content ideas to use at your restaurant.
What Is Content Marketing?
In its most basic sense, content marketing is the creation and sharing of material (text, images, video, etc.) Typically, content marketing is not promotional (it does not overtly promote a brand). However, it is meant to draw people in and entice them to check out a product or a service.
Content marketing aims to provide people with useful information and answers to questions they might ask.
By establishing yourself as an authority that offers information, practical ideas, or even entertaining content, customers will naturally be drawn to you. By pestering them with overly-promotional content, you might get the opposite effect and irritate them.
The bottom line is: you need to promote your restaurant without actually promoting it.
How to Formulate a Restaurant Content Marketing Strategy
1. Define your goals
Before you start creating content for your restaurant, figure out what you want to achieve by drafting a food marketing strategy. Are you looking for more social media engagement? Do you want more people to order from you online? Do you want to rank higher on Google? The answer will inform your future content strategy.
For example, if it’s social media you’re targeting, you should focus more on visual content like photos and videos because that’s what creates engagement on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
If you want to boost your online orders, make sure you talk about that feature and offer promo codes and discounts. Finally, if you want Google to see you as an authority, put out SEO optimized quality content.
2. Create a content calendar
Based on what you’re trying to achieve, it’s time to create an organized content calendar that you and your team can follow. Here’s what it should contain:
How often you will post.
On what channels you will post.
What your target audience is (this will dictate your content’s tone).
What type of content will you focus on (informational, photos, videos, recipes, etc.)
A list of content ideas targeted at holidays, special events, and different seasons.
What tools you will need for editing, publishing, and promoting the content.
3. Make the material your own
Authenticity is crucial if you want your content to stand out. You have to find your brand’s voice and stick to it on all media platforms. Furthermore, the quality of the content is vital, so consider hiring a talented restaurant content creator who understands your vision and can share it with the world.
For the content to be exciting, you can’t just rely on text. Use images and videos too. In terms of images, it’s always better to make your own than to use stock photos. For example, if you post blog articles, create featured images that contain your logo, just like we did for this article.
4. Optimize the content
Especially if you post on a blog and address topical issues in the restaurant industry, you need to optimize your content for SEO. That is if you want to rank high on search engines. Use a free keyword research tool to find keywords that people are searching for and are related to the industry or food in general. Target these keywords in your article.
Optimization goes beyond text. You should also optimize your images by adding alt tags. They make them readable when the image fails to display. Also, reduce the images’ size, so they load faster.
5. Promote your work
You will, of course, want to share your content on all social media platforms and possibly get in touch with industry leaders via email to share some of your articles that you think might interest them.
If you don’t have time to post on social media religiously, you can use Buffer or Hootsuite to automate the process.
The excellent news about evergreen and quality content is that you can repurpose it by sprucing it up a little. Turn a popular article into a video and post it on your YouTube channel. Add some fresh images to an old article and send it in an email newsletter.
6. Keep track of your progress
Instead of coming up with new content all the time and never looking back, you should monitor how your content is doing. Has it indeed helped you get closer to the goal you set at the beginning? No restaurant content marketing plan should skip this step.
Objectively analyzing its performance will help you figure out what’s working, what customers love, what you need to change, and more. Plus, you might have already gotten feedback from clients that you can implement in your future content strategy.
10 Restaurant Content Ideas to Get You Started
1. Start a blog
One of the first steps you should take towards introducing content into your restaurant marketing strategy is starting a blog. 53% of marketers prioritize blogging as a content marketing strategy. Moreover, most of the content for a restaurant’s website revolves around its blog.
Now, you may wonder, what does a restaurant blog look like? What could you possibly write about as a restaurant owner? Here are some restaurant blog topics you could approach:
Recipes: 15 Fall Recipes You Should Try When the Leaves Start Falling; How to Make Our Famous Lotus Biscoff Cheesecake.
Personal stories: Conversation with our Chef, [Chef Name]: On Cooking, Passion, and Art; Meet [Owner Name], [Restaurant Name] ’s Owner and Learn About the History of Our Restaurant.
Informational articles: How to Cook Asparagus Properly: A Chef Advises; The Basic Kitchen Tools You Need to Start Cooking Like Your Favorite Chef.
2. Showcase your staff
People love learning about the faces behind their favorite restaurants. Plus, your devoted employees should get the recognition they deserve. Featuring them online either in a series of interviews on your blog or some posts on social media.
For example, you could do a series on Instagram featuring an employee each week holding their favorite dish.
3. Give video content a try
Video marketing hasn’t been around for as long as traditional marketing, but it’s gaining more ground. As a restaurant, you fit right into it because many people watch food-related videos. Just think of how popular the Facebook Tasty channel is.
The best part is that you don’t have to hire a professional to do cute recipe videos. You just need a smartphone and some inspiration. Read this article for tips on how to shoot Tasty-style videos.
Video content for restaurants shouldn’t limit itself only to recipe videos, of course. You can shoot behind the scenes clips, film staff interviews, client testimonials, or create a series in which your chef shares a cooking tip every week.
4. Share recipes
Going back to recipes, if you think shooting videos is too much work for a beginner, you can share your recipes with the world in whichever shape you like.
You can post them on social media accompanied by mouthwatering photos or include them in blog posts. Regardless of the medium, this is one of the most straightforward restaurant content marketing tips you can implement.
5. Leverage the power of Instagram
Photos are the basis of food marketing on social media. In particular, Instagram is all about the pictures, and food photos are high on the list of images people want to look at on this platform.
What better way to entice customers to place an order or visit your restaurant than to post photos of your dishes? A steaming plate of cheesy pasta, a colorful salad overflowing with fresh ingredients, or a chocolaty cake with a gooey caramel center. Yum!
6. Highlight safety and hygiene measures
Mainly because we’re in the middle of a pandemic, but a good idea no matter the circumstances, sharing with customers your safety and hygiene measures will increase their trust and put their minds at ease.
This is an effort you should share on all platforms, including your website, blog, and social media. Show customers how the staff prepares food safely and how you disinfect and sanitize all surfaces.
7. Promote your menu and new services
Even though you should aim for most restaurant content marketing to be non-promotional, feel free to sometimes promote your menu and services.
For instance, if you’ve just released a new summer menu or a menu item, share the news everywhere. The same goes for any new functionality you’ve added. Let’s say you just started accepting online orders. People will be interested in finding out about that.
8. Organize contests and giveaways
Everyone loves a good contest or giveaway. The prospect of winning free stuff is enticing, no matter the industry. Contests are great because you can foster the power of user-generated content to gain more followers and have things to post on social media.
Organize a contest on Instagram in which followers have to recreate one of your recipes. Urge them to tag you in the post and create a unique hashtag for the contest that people have to use. With their permission, you can repost the content on your page.
Giveaways work similarly. Ask followers to tag a friend they would share a meal with at your restaurant in the comments section of the giveaway picture. The winner can visit the restaurant with their friend, and they will both get a free meal.
9. Respond to people’s queries
As we’ve mentioned before, restaurant content marketing relies heavily on informational content. Use Quora to find out what people are asking that’s related to your industry and create posts that answer that question.
You can accomplish something similar by using a keyword research tool. Content writing for restaurants doesn’t have to be complicated. Even the most basic queries like “How long does it take to boil potatoes?” should be of interest to you.
10. Organize or attend events
Whether you have the time and money required to pull off a culinary event or just look for industry events in your area, attending can give your restaurant content marketing a boost.
Why? Because great content can come out of it. Whether you take pictures at the event, do a vlog, or even interview one of the guests for your blog, sharing glimpses of your restaurant in the community is always a good idea.
Restaurant content marketing doesn’t have to give you a headache. If done correctly, even the simplest of tactics can blossom into new business for your restaurant. Remember that content marketing for restaurants relies mainly on blog posts and social media entries featuring varied media content like images and videos.