In the past, I have consulted with several different restaurant groups, having worked with so many; I have come to the conclusion that most of them, if not all, needed help with their marketing strategy.
Many of the owners at the individually owned restaurants said they didn’t have a spare minute in the day to do what I suggested. The big restaurant groups had a long approval process. Whether you are a small business or large restaurant group there needs to be a marketing strategy in place.
The marketing strategy is designed to help you fuel your business. As a result, you will have more loyal customers who will recommend your business than your competitors. Do you want to know how you can get ahead of the game? Here is what you need to know:
I categorize my objectives into three different levels so I am able to have long-term and short-term objectives. For example, the short-term objectives can be generating traffic to the restaurant blog where you post the best recipes.
Other goals may be to get targeted fans, not just any ol' fan. For example, when I was marketing a French cuisine restaurant up in Woodbury, NY, I had to search for their target audience all over Twitter and Facebook. Our plan was to reach out to people who loved fine dining. People who were from France, but currently live in New York. Then there were people who just loved French cuisine in general. We reached out to all the demographics near Woodbury, NY. Then we built relationships with them and collected their email addresses for an additional 15% off their bill. This helped us reach another objective: triple our email list.
Our mid-term objectives were to engage with our potential and loyal customers to build a community. We wanted all our customers to feel like they are a part of our brand. Then our long-term objectives included: increasing awareness, building a strong foundation for our brand, and getting publicity.
Social Networks Checklist:
WordPress – In order to reach our goals we needed to have a set of tools we were going to use. For the blog, we used WordPress because it is easy to use and great for SEO. Then we installed the Yoast SEO Plug-in so we can enhance our results in the search.
YouTube/Vimeo/TubeMogul (now OneLoad) – We wanted to have a video strategy to engage with our customers. We can’t describe everything so we filmed what was difficult to describe and demonstrate. For example, Thirsty Thursday drink recipes.
Instagram/Pinterest – Images speak more than 1,000 words or more. We wanted to take photos of all our dishes and have the audience decide if it was a Hot or Not for them. We would then reward a free entree for the most participation during the week.
Podbean – We wanted to make sure we were utilizing all the possible ways to communicate with our potential customers or loyal customers. However, we used audio to address negative reviews because a human voice reveals sentiment. Text does not reveal sentiment. We would message them a message saying: "We are trying to understand your feelings of what had happened. We would love to make it up to you. Please reach us soon. Done!"
All-In-One SEO Pack Plug-in – We used this to optimize the blog posts for the search engine and to receive more Google Juice (indexed pages in search).
Search Engine Keywords/Quick Meta keywords – This was a quick way for us to optimize each article for the search.
Social Sharing – We didn’t forget the social sharing buttons, and the Forward To A Friend button on the blog post.
Yet Another Related Post Plugin – This is an easy way for your blog to search through previous posts and add the ones that relate. This is great for link-building and on-site SEO as well.
Tactics (Activities to carry out the objective)
What a great list of tools right? Now all we have to do is put them together and create a strategy. Before you do this, please answer the questions: who? , what?, when?, where?, and why? This will be required as a part of your objectives. The who can be your audience. The why is your passion and unique selling point. The what, well what are you selling? Where are you going to sell it? When is this event happening?
We already discussed the plug-ins, and the fact that we are going to use a wordpress blog. Keep in mind, we will be posting twice a week. The first post will be about a to-go recipe for those 9-to-5 workers. The second post will be about new customer service promotions or programs.
We always want the second post to be customer-related. Either we are rewarding the customer or we are telling them about a great promotion. They want to be in-the-know! Our customers wanted information, to know things that they didn’t know before, and they wanted to know what was in it for them. We created content based on those needs. Always leave room for your audience to respond or comment by ending in a question.
Next, we wanted to optimize the website and the blog for all local keywords that were related to French cuisine and fine dining in Woodbury, New York. We then used the videos and other social networks and optimized them as well.
We used our social networks as vehicle to drive traffic to our blog. After we built up our fans and followers by engaging on the networks, we were able to build up our content on other sites as well. When the social networks were used as tools to create connections, it became more feasible for us to blog on other high-trafficked websites related to fine dining. It was Google Juice galore!
Did I miss anything in this strategy? Please leave a comment and let me know what I missed!
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