If your restaurant has a website, you’re halfway to creating a blog. Blogging is an effective way to reach hungry consumers in your area and build an audience. By publishing helpful and relevant content, your restaurant can increase its local influence and reach new customers and regulars alike.
Blogs are a great way to take advantage of free real estate on your website. From your platform, you can share the story of how your restaurant came to life, what continues to inspire you every day, and how the people in your area can take advantage of your phenomenal food and atmosphere.
Customers love a strong, personal story and will quickly consume any “behind the scenes” content your restaurant has to offer.
What is Restaurant Content Marketing?
Today, many businesses rely on something called “content marketing.” Content marketing allows businesses to engage with their customers by sharing helpful tips, resources, or promotion information through articles. Almost every national food chain invests in content marketing today because it’s a safe, easy way to reach out to customers in the pandemic.
One of the main reasons national chains use content marketing is because it allows them to keep their online presence active. Every time they share a recipe or user-friendly guide, they get to update their website.
In doing so, their website stays “up to date” by Google’s standards and is more likely to appear on the first page of search results. This is great for large companies because they can test how many people are coming to their website and what content led them there.
While keeping your online presence active is extremely important for small businesses, you may have difficulty competing in rank with large, national franchises. How many times does your website get clicked on after someone searches “Chinese Food in Los Angeles”? But never fear! Local restaurant owners have a few invaluable tools of their own.
Write For The Locals
National chains may come off strong in broad, generalized Google searches, but only you know what really moves your community. Creating content around local festivals, events, or holidays is smart to ensure your restaurant is taking control of a niche market.
For example, if your small town’s biggest event is a community arts festival, you want to make sure you’re taking advantage of that festival as a “search term.” Walmart and Target are not going to create an article called “The Peter Anderson Festival,” but locals will search for it. When they search for the food vendors that will appear at the event, or where exactly it’s being held, your blog post will show up in the mix.
On the one hand, if you share a helpful guide or awesome recipe inspired by the event, users might click on your content and give it a read. On the other, even if most searchers miss your article, they’re going to see your business’s name listed in the results. That split second is an invaluable moment of advertising for any local business, and the more content you create, the more “impressions” you’ll gain.
Partner with Local Influencers & Food Bloggers
Remember a few years ago when everyone and their mom had a food blog? Well, today, the tables have turned, and more and more restaurants are joining the game. By partnering with a well-known food blogger or influencer to promote your content, you can get more exposure faster, and it’s a great hack for when you’re just starting.
Think of it this way, while it may take a few months for you to build credibility through your brand-new restaurant blog, one post on an influencer’s page means immediate access to all of their followers. It’s like running an ad on your local news station vs. securing an ad slot during the Super Bowl.
That being said, it’s important to choose someone who is entwined in your community. You’re going to be building off the trust and recognition that your partners already have with their followers. If those people don’t live close enough to eat at your restaurant, then you might get some new fans but no new customers.
Moreover, partnering with local influencers will advance your standing in your community and mean great hyper-local promotion.
Offer Readers Additional Value through Coupons
Getting exposure by working with an influencer is great for your restaurant, but what will your readers get out of it? Often, restaurants will give the influencer or partner a coupon code to promote. That way, when they share their post about your restaurant, readers have an opportunity to redeem the code for a special deal. No matter what you write or publish, your restaurant blog should always give readers more value than just words on a screen.
A strong call to action entices consumers to immediately head to your restaurant’s website right after viewing the post. It also allows you to gauge how effective that particular individual’s post was.
For example, if you have a unique discount code offered through a local bakery, you can evaluate how effective your partnership is by counting the number of times that specific coupon code was used compared to your other promotions.
Of course, you can always run a coupon advertisement on your site and create your own call to action. When you’re just starting out and don’t have a lot of user traffic, it may be helpful to look into unconventional print advertising as well.
You can take the same coupon or create a print version that includes a coupon code, your blog’s URL, and your logo and look into different advertising mediums.
Pair Your Blog With Unconventional Print
With the pandemic, many restaurants have turned to grocery store advertising to ensure they get their message to local shoppers no matter what. In doing so, they can rest assure that their supermarket advertisement will reach thousands of locals, especially through coupon receipt advertising. There, your restaurant’s unique coupon offer gets printed on the back of every shopper’s receipt, resulting in thousands of impressions every hour.
Grocery store advertising also ensures hyper-local advertising because supermarkets often pull their customers in from a three-mile radius of the store. This ensures the most important part of any small business advertising campaign: locality.
By reaching the people who live closest to your restaurant, both through online blogging and grocery store advertising, you’re sure to bring in new customers.