Derived from "2016 Restaurant Marketing Trends" for www.brokaw.com
Get smart about digital (like, smart phone smart), and think of this marketing medium differently than you would about regular restaurant marketing. Start with your website. Did you know that sixty-eight percent of US adults own smart phones today compared to only 35% just 5 year ago? So, if your site isn't mobile friendly, is slow to load, or is difficult to read with amateur food photography, you could be losing customers before they even enter your restaurant. But before people visit your website, they have to find it.
In the digital world, location isn't everything: location-based marketing is. According to eMarketer, only 27% of restaurants in the US use location-based marketing, but 71% of consumers say they'd be receptive to location-based marketing. This means, if you spend advertising dollars online, target those ads locally to get the best return on your investment. Also, consider building a partnership with local online ordering and delivery services. These sites like GrubHub and UberEATS could help build your brand awareness and put your products in front of new customers in a convenient at home dining experience.
Finally, get social and get visual. You want to embrace the foodie bloggers and Instagramers that walk into your restaurant. According to a recent infographic, offers shared by trusted influencers convert at rates 3-10 times higher than offers sent by brands themselves. This makes having a content marketing influence strategy pivotal to your digital marketing strategy.
Of course, you want to build your own social presence for those influencers to connect to. Restaurants of all sizes leverage social channels like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to use mouth-watering visuals that instantly engage. Don't be afraid to branch into something new, like videos, animated GIFs or Snapcat. Social media in all its form can help you raise awarenes and form an emotional connection with your audience to surprise, delight and tell a quick story.
Over the past couple of years, we've seen the rise of Sriracha all across menus and restaurant concepts. Expect to see the rise of more ethnic condiments and menu items, as well as more emerging hot, flavorful seasonings, dressings, and sauces. Branching into these new flavors will not only help you to attract millennials (who are always looking to try something new), but will help you to attract different demographics and expand your customer base as well.
"Local." "fresh," and "natural" are magic buzzwords that aren't going away anytime soon. According to the National Restaurant Association, 69% of consumers said they are more likely to visit a restaurant that offers healthful options. Truth is, more and more consumers demand food that is "fresh," "local" and free of artificial ingredients and additives.
But while Millennials search for more premium, organic and healthier menu options, Generation Z (consumers 21 and younger) crave taste and convenience over quality. According to a recent study by Technomic, 33% of consumers 21 and younger care more about taste than fresh, locally-produced, natural or non-processed foods.
So, in terms of taste, it is crucial for you to develop a robust menu that offers a variety of options in order to continue to attract new customers in the future.
We'll have the rest of the 4 T's of Restaurant Marketing for you next week! And for more digital ideas, download your copy of "Your Digital Identity"!