Today we are going to talk about online advertising for restaurants. While having an impressive menu and the right design hold significant importance for a better ROI, following the right restaurant marketing campaign and advertising policies are equally important, if not more.
Restaurant online advertising serves to be a dynamic platform for hotel and restaurant owners to showcase their services and uniqueness to their targeted audience.
So, let’s find out answers to these questions:
- How to advertise a restaurant online?
- How do you attract customers to your restaurant online?
- How do you market a restaurant online?
- How do restaurants do digital marketing?
- How To Run Restaurant Ads Online?
Online advertising, as the name indicates, is a pathway for advertising through the internet. Unlike conventional modes of advertisements such as TV broadcasting or signboards, online advertising steps up the communication process and cost-effectively engages your targeted audience.
Yes, that is right, you may not know, but an average radio commercial can charge you from $200 to $5,000 a week, depending on location, length of the commercial length, airtime and editing, etc.
In contrast, you can get a “virtual” ad published somewhere, let’s say on Google Ads, for a much lower investment. This will then pop up on the screens of thousands of targeted audiences sitting in their homes searching on Google.
Online restaurant advertising acts like skywriting in the virtual world for your intended clientèle. It's like putting up a huge banner on the side of a highway where only your preferred audience happens to drive.
How Can You Do Online Advertising for Restaurants?
You can do digital marketing for restaurants (and hotels) in multiple ways and on multiple platforms to improve client engagement with your business website. There are many restaurant marketing tips that we can give you.
If you’re already running a hotel or restaurant, or if you’re thinking about starting one, online advertising can be done using for example:
Social Media Advertising
Keeping the hype aside, everyone knows how conducive having an active social media presence is for a business, especially in the hospitality industry, where customer engagement is the core of increased profitability.
According to a report, 79% of Americans use some form of social media, which means 8 out every 10 people are on social media in America.
Same goes for many, many other countries in the world. So, you need to reach them. Here is how you can engage customers on social media platforms:
- Facebook: Build up and maintain Facebook pages with engaging content and update regularly. Use animation videos and Facebook’s feature of adding a highlighted post to the top of the page where you expect maximum engagement.
- Instagram: Post photographs with instagrammable quality to your business account. Don’t forget to add regular stories and saving them to the Saved Highlights category on your profile. You can also segregate the highlights according to the content in the stories. A good idea to step up the level of your restaurant Instagram marketing.
- Pinterest: If you want to make your photos speak more than any other resource, you can build up a blog page on Pinterest by using just pictures. You can add hashtags to get your posts more popular in the forum. Make sure the posts link back to your website. This helps your SEO.
- LinkedIn: Build a proper and sophisticated professional portfolio on LinkedIn with all your restaurant details. You can also post blogs to let people know more about how your business works and what responsibilities your staff is accustomed to providing to their customers, especially in restaurants and hotels. Show some behind-the-scenes, how you onboard new staff or how you’re tackling difficult situations (pandemic and post-pandemic safety measures, for example).
Paid online restaurant marketing on these platforms will put you in front of a huge majority of customers in the country. In our experience, paid advertising has an incredible ROI for hospitality. You maybe didn’t know, but Facebook alone has over 2.6 billion monthly active users, out of which 190 million are from the USA.
- Trip Advisor: Although not a social media site (but one of the best restaurant review sites), this platform is intended best for showcasing your hospitality business. Your goal should be to get positive reviews from your guests. These will definitely help to draw more people to your restaurant.
Collab With Social Media Influencers
Social media influencers are all the rage nowadays. While it benefits them monetarily, you can grab this opportunity to maximize your reach and create more engagement on your own platforms.
For every $1 spent, influencer marketing brings a revenue return of $6.50, according to a survey by the influencer marketplace, Tomoson. Moreover, 34% of daily American Instagram users were found to have bought something because a blogger or influencer recommended it in 2019.
There are tons of restaurant review blogs, but you might need to make a well-thought plan to do a collaboration with social media influencers. You want to get the most for your penny. You can do so by:
- Offering influencers to eat at your restaurant free of cost
- Offer them a night to spend at your hotel free of cost (if possible)
- Provide them with special services or products available at your hotel/restaurant
- Create and deliver PR packages for enlisted influencers containing your products (cocktail kit, coffee beans, olive oil, cook books)
- Offer them a discount voucher.
- Invite them to an inaugural or a special event hosted by your hotel/restaurant
These are some ways you can take your online advertising for restaurant to the next level by engaging through and with influencers. You can also apply this PR technique to aspiring artists and professionals in the industry who come with a considerable fan following.
I recommend you try to work primarily with influencers active in the hospitality industry such as food bloggers. But don’t be afraid to branch out and see if collabs with artists can benefit you, too. What about a small exposition, or live music?
Design Online Restaurant Sponsored Giveaways
Once you think you have reached a considerable online customer engagement and want to level up things to a wider scale, you can think about some extras. Such as giving sponsored giveaways online. It is one of the best restaurant promotion ideas.
- The best way to start this giveaway is to give your audience an incentive regarding your services or products with no cost associated. For giveaways, you should be having a goal linked to your business.
- If you want more customers to visit your hotel or restaurant, you can start a sponsorship campaign requiring your clients to engage with the post through sharing or tagging. This is just an example of how you can do sponsorship giveaways, and it does not mean you are restricted to it.
All you need to do is to make sure the goal you're aiming to achieve through organizing the activity is being satisfied. For example: more engaged followers, more brand recognition (getting the name of your restaurant out there), or creating new associations to your brand. After all, you want to be top-of-mind: the first restaurant people think about when they hear your location’s name or think of a certain category of restaurants.
How To Advertise For Restaurants? Get Your Website Linked Through Blogs
You can request/pay different bloggers to write content relating to hotels, restaurants, and other services in the hospitality industry and add external links to your website. This is called back linking in easier terms, and it's a way through which you can get your website (and your business) get into the top results in Google and other search engine results.
Back linking is how Google spiders find new web pages.
- Try making a contact list of local food bloggers or health/nutrition writers if you have a restaurant aimed at attracting local customers.
- The back linking will lead local customers who are reading and searching other types of blogs to find out stuff they want.
- Make sure you request writers to add links naturally, making it look more engaging and informative than commercial. This is how the reader will be able to trust you more with your services.
Place Ads In Popular Platforms (Paid Online Advertising for Restaurants)
You can use different platforms on the internet to place your restaurant ads besides social media. Google (2+ trillion searches per year) and YouTube are some of the most widely used platforms for getting intended results.
- For example, you can place one in Google search engine and optimize it with keywords such as “top restaurants in the area” and others. Google Ads are pretty expensive though, so if you start with Google Ads, then make sure you can track results so you can figure out the Return On Investment (ROI).
- You can also use geostationary location points to help potential buyers find your restaurant when they are searching for them. The top ads appearing in the Google search results will help your site get on the top of the search results, giving you a competitive edge. Or try to get many reviews on Google: this will help you to come into the top results, too.
- YouTube also gives you the chance to put your business idea to millions of people streaming a video there. Some companies add long ads, but it's a better idea to produce a video that goes on for a few seconds and actively conveys your point through engaging visuals.
You can show your best cuisines and dishes clicked professionally and make an engaging flash video. You can also add some pumping beats to amplify the interest of the viewer. Leave something for the viewers that will arouse curiosity for better conversions.
Organize Membership/Subscription Services
This is one of the best ways where you can come one-on-one with the client on a personal level and must be a part of your online restaurant marketing plan.
We’re talking about two things here: e-mail marketing and social media marketing. With Facebook Pixel, you can target people who’ve visited your website before and show specific ads solemnly to these people.
With e-mail marketing (and sales funnel software) you can directly e-mail previous guests. Tell them about your new menu, safety measures, introduce new staff, and so on. If possible, add the receiver’s first name in the e-mail. Of course, you’re now going to e-mail everyone on a one-on-one basis. Use e-mail software!
Optimize Your Content With Restaurant SEO
SEO is undoubtedly a key element in online restaurant advertising. SEO = Search Engine Optimization. The truth is, only 2.8% of people click on paid ads in all US searches, while 90.88% of web pages do not receive any organic traffic in Google.
Why? Because of poor to no SEO. More than 65% of search engine users click on one of the top 5 suggestions presented the search engine results pages (SERPS).
So, adding high-value, low competition keywords using SEO software is a must to appear prominent in Google restaurant searches. Now, how to improve SEO?
- Search up for keywords used by your intended audience and add those keywords (naturally) in your content. You can use SEO tools such as Ahrefs, which is paid or Ubersuggest, a free keyword tool. SEO quake offers free SEO analysis. Also, use proper hashtags and trending search terms, so your hotel or restaurant stands out in the competition.
- Intend for keywords used for local searches for restaurants (known as local SEO for restaurants), and expand your range if your hospitality service is intended for customers sitting across borders.
You may be wondering what keywords to look for. Here’s my tip: what would YOU type in if you were looking for a restaurant while in a different town or on holiday? Exactly. Use those same keywords, but with your own location. For example: ‘restaurant [town]’, ‘Mexican restaurant [town]’, ‘coffee cake [town]’, etc.
I highly recommend you use these free SEO tools to make your online restaurant advertising meaningful and easier.
How Can I Promote My Restaurant Online?
So, now you know how to effectively advertise your restaurant online. These were some of the most effective digital marketing strategies for restaurants. The best thing you get from online restaurant ads is access to a multitude of people. Use these methods to market a restaurant and make your business known to millions of people.
You can have a lot of control over the kind of audience you show your content to, eventually, get through the door.
You can spend as little as a dime of your revenue on restaurant ads and expect your business to get shown to an intended audience in all the best ways. All these marketing ideas and online marketing tips for your restaurants add value to your hotel or restaurant business. They also increase credibility from your side – an important factor in building sustainable customer and business relationships in the hospitality business.