Reputation is everything
More than in almost any other industry, reputation can make or break a restaurant’s success. Before online platforms such as Yelp, Facebook, and Google+ were common, written reviews from trusted sources, such as the Wall Street Journal’s Food & Wine section or Zagat, were the most accessible way for consumers to glean information about a restaurant. Due to the niche distribution and content constraints of printed reviews, restaurants could be overlooked entirely or not given the credit they deserve.
Today, foodies have an abundance of digital tools to connect directly with each other and share their experiences. This is a wonderful opportunity for restaurants to engage their consumer base and get the word out about their venue. Ask your customers where they look at reviews and incentivize them to share their opinions by offering a free drink or appetizer in exchange.
More reviews will help normalize your rating and provide insight into where you can improve. And if you think reviews don’t matter: think again. In a recent study, the Huffington Post found that a half star difference on Yelp can influence a restaurant’s revenue by 27%.
Make it easy for customers to find you
Don’t rely on foot traffic to bring guests to your door. More than 97% of diners look online to find local businesses. Of which, 60% cross-reference their restaurant selections with review sites, according to BrightLocal. This means, your restaurant needs to carefully orchestrate geo-targeted ads, as well as listings across major local map and review platforms so your customers can easily find you.
Consistency across channels helps your customers make the jump from searching for a place to eat on their tablet, to entering your location into their GPS, and leaving a positive review on their laptop after the meal.
Additionally, a seamless multi-channel presence signals to consumers that you are a reputable business that understands their needs and is able to provide the information they want, when and where they want it. Learn more about the importance of utilizing multi-channel marketing within your restaurant marketing from our team.
Pictures really are worth 1,000 clicks
When promoting the quality of your restaurant and food, pictures are the easiest way to engage consumers. While an online reviewer may share different tastes or expectations than the reader, a picture provides clear insight into what someone can expect at your venue. We recommend investing in professional photography to showcase your menu and establishment, combined with a curated social media presence.
As an example, Instagram – the quintessential photo sharing platform – is slated to hit over one billion active users in 2018. If you can only pick one platform to invest in, this is your best bet. Over 80% of their users happily engage with brands already according to SproutSocial, and the photo-centric nature of this platform makes it an ideal place to showcase creative restaurant promotions alongside mouth-watering visual appetizers.
Whether you need assistance finding a food photographer, setting up your local listings, or boosting your reputation, our top Florida digital marketing agency can help. Reach out today for a free consultation with the BIGEYE team.