Even at the best of times it’s can be difficult enough for the Food and Beverage industry, but during apocalyptic trading conditions such as a global lockdown, the hammer really goes to the nail. Getting your brand name and product offering out to the people, whether it’s your local community or the wider public will be integral to the survival of many players within the F&B sector, but at the same time, you don’t want to spend that precious marketing budget haphazardly. How can you produce a creative strategy that is both effective and cost-efficient for your business within the F&B side?
The best marketing strategy for a restaurant, hotel or pub is defined, well-rounded, and with clear goals and objectives. Of course, perhaps this is easier said than done, but at the same time, we’ve identified six key ways in which you can ensure your outreach plan is as optimized as it can be, so that your business is set towards the upward trajectory it deserves.
1) Define Your Marketing Scope and Target Demographic
The very first question you need to ask yourself is: what customers are we looking to serve, which section of the population are we looking to attract? Countless businesses have gone under when they try to be all things to all people. You look to please everyone, and you end up pleasing none. Of course we would all love our businesses to attract all and sundry, but the reality is when you first set your business up, you most definitely had a target customer in mind. Sit down and really take the time to identify who that person is and how you can look to reach them. Are they local or out-of-towners? Casual or upmarket? Young or old? Using this as the launch-platform of your marketing strategy will help define what it is looking to achieve and in so doing, provide clarity of message, both to the strategy and the customer base you’re looking to attract.
2) Social Media
The days of print advertising and highway billboards have been overshadowed by the unparalleled access social media has into your target demographic’s lives. Crafting an original and authentic advertising campaign that tells a genuine story and displays your establishment with professionalism and excellence can do wonders in creating a buzz that brings the people to your doors. At the same time, whilst it’s great to have such a direct way of connecting to the customer base you want, be sure to tread carefully. A powerful weapon in bad hands can lead to disaster - yes you have wide reach, but as we’ve all read about, an initially “edgy” marketing strategy can turn things south fast. Asses your campaign from objective perspective, and don’t leap before looking.
3) Quality Video Marketing
There’s video production and then there’s Video Production. When you show yourself to the world, whether it be on YouTube, using Google Adsense, or advertising on Facebook or Instagram, you want to deliver a highly-polished product. Sure, you could save some money putting a video together yourself, but the point is you’ve only got one first impression to make to the person who views your video ad. More of a cost-outlay in the first instance, using a quality Video Production company will more than pay itself back in the footfall driven to your door. When done right, and with a production company that takes the time to understand your vision and align their finished product with your desired result, you’ll see in an instant why this beats the amateur approach every time.
4) A Flawless Website
A website is more than just a sticky-note on the cyberspace notice board that tells the people of your existence. It embodies your brand and what it represents. This extends to more than just the content and the images. These are important of course. The tone of your website’s content, its aesthetics in font and theme, together with the photos of the establishment tell the customer what they can expect in terms of atmosphere, service and offering. Equally however, you need to make sure it the website runs perfectly. Dead links that don’t go anywhere, a booking system that doesn’t work, or an out of date security certificate. All these things take the shine off your marketing strategy - inversely, a flawless website sets your customers up with a sense of confidence and assuredness to make that reservation for that catch up with mates, work-night, or special occasion.
5) Improving your SEO
We mentioned the flawless website, but there’s another marketing strategy that whilst linked, certainly deserves an entry all on its own. If you have a restaurant or pub that isn’t perhaps as niche as it might be, then optimising your SEO words can really pump your way up the search rankings. This means:
Encourage customers to leave reviews (preferably good ones…!) online, as google prioritises frequently well-reviewed businesses
Keeping all your establishment’s information (contact details, opening times, address) up to date,
Optimizing your meta title and description (the bits of html code in the header of your webpage) so that they are as specific to you as possible by including your speciality offering, target location, and keywords.
6) Engagement with Online Reviews
There’s no question about it, online reviews can be the difference between the life and death of many a brand. Of course there are times when negative reviews happen - it’s almost inevitable in the lifetime of any business. But it’s how you engage that can make the difference. Having a good online presence that is outwardly receptive and responsive to reviews whether positive or negative is a powerful tool in any restaurant’s marketing strategy. Customers understand that bad reviews happen, and taking the time to respond to the negatives, by either accepting the feedback and explaining your side of the story portrays you in a good light, showing that you are always looking to improve standards and aren’t scared to shy away from customer feedback. Being appreciative for positive reviews also shows you off as being grateful to your clients for their visits from when they come through the door, all the way through to when they’re back home writing a favorable review for you.
Film Haus is a UK-based video production company whose mission is to create professional branded video content with the best production value for our clients. If you’re a restaurant, hotel or pub looking for a branding, marketing, web and social media specialist, call Film Haus today for professional-grade video content that brings new customers to your door.