Restaurant Content Marketing Tips for COVID-19
The hospitality industry is extremely competitive, but the COVID-19 pandemic has made it even more cutthroat, forcing entire franchises to fight for bare survival. According to the report, restaurants laid off 91% of their hourly workforce and 70% of salaried employees due to coronavirus-related closures. Another study shows that the year-over-year decline of seated diners in restaurants worldwide was a staggering 32%.
The only way for a restaurant to get out of this mess alive is to innovate, and one way to stand apart is with an exceptional restaurant content marketing strategy. We can’t give you a tailored restaurant content marketing concept in this article because your concept will depend on your cuisine and brand identity. Still, we can show you 13 content techniques that will help every restaurant in the Coronavirus age. Let’s check them out!
1. Keep your Website Fresh and Up to Date
Internet usage is booming in the lockdown period, so it’s natural for regular customers to visit your website more than ever before. In such circumstances, it’s vital to keep your restaurant website fresh and up-to-date. How can you do it? Here are a few tips:
- Publish important news about your restaurant promptly, and keep your guests informed of these changes through social media, Email, and whichever marketing channels you use.
- Create Coronavirus-related content posts supported by official recommendations, like WHO.
- Remember to perform search engine optimization (SEO) on each page to ensure you rank higher for guests searching for restaurants and COVID-centric terms.
2. Enable Online Food Orders
Do you know that over 40% of customers are likely to order food online in case of a lockdown? It’s a logical response to the quarantine environment. If you’re not offering off-premise dining in your restaurant, you’re behind the curve! Online ordering helps you achieve two goals:
- You can keep your loyal customers.
- You can market to new guests through search engines.
Of course, you can promote your off-premise features via your social media channels as well.
3. Promote Family Meals
Another marketing tip that can work well for restaurants is to promote family meals. Offering these incentives helps restaurants focus on the most popular dishes while maximizing order quantities. You can also pair the offer with discounts for regular customers or one-time deals for new consumers. It’s a simple way to build relationships with people and grow the number of recurring clients.
4. Send “Thank You” Notes to Your Customers
You should acknowledge and celebrate those who purchase your food. One surefire way to give thanks is to send each customer a special “Thank You” note to express gratitude for doing business in these difficult times. Although it may seem like a minor gesture, and not a move traditionally associated with restaurant content marketing, these actions go far in the long run.
5. Engage on Social Networks
You probably don’t need us to tell you how important social media platforms are for restaurants in 2020, but keep in mind that people are spending more time online than they used to before COVID-19. This shift practically forces you to invest additional efforts in restaurant content marketing on social media to create content that’s guaranteed to attract your target audience.
Don’t limit yourself either! You can create Pinterest and Twitter accounts and a host of other popular social media platforms.
6. Take Advantage of Other Online Communication Channels
You can already see that we’re concentrating on digital communication in particular, but it’s not a surprise given that people live online these days. Our tip is to take advantage of other online communication channels to expand your reach to the maximum:
- Email newsletters can help with relationship-building.
- You can update your account on Google My Business, according to the new work hours.
- Create an account on food forums and Q and A websites.
- Publish guests posts to attract new visitors to the website.
7. Go Live on Instagram and Facebook.
Do you know that some project live-streaming to be a $70.5 billion industry by 2021? The popularity of live videos is snowballing, and you should jump on the bandwagon to promote your restaurant.
The idea is simple: live streaming on Instagram, and Facebook allows you to show how the place works behind the scenes and invite viewers to post questions in the comments. That creates a two-way interaction and helps you keep in touch with diners.
8. Share Recipes with Your Customers
Though restaurants generally don’t like sharing their cooking secrets with anyone, we live in an extraordinary moment in history when hearts are a little softer, and the “old way” is no longer the “best way.” You can share the recipes of your more popular dishes and give customers instructions on preparing their favorite meals at home.
Don’t worry about any negative impact on your business either! Even if your guests can perfectly replicate one of your meals, it’s the ambiance and service that keep them coming to your restaurant.
9. Organize Online Cooking Classes
While they can’t interact with their target demographic in person, many chefs have organized online cooking classes to stay visible. You can do the same thing! It doesn’t take too much time, and these classes can have a tremendous effect on your business.
Jake Gardner, a blogger at the finance assignment help agency, adds that this strategy also serves as an additional income source for some restaurants because they can charge people for attending their online classes.
10. Don’t Run Away from Digital Advertising
Sometimes you simply can’t generate enough interest in your website or social media accounts organically. In this case, you might turn to digital advertising to promote your restaurant.
Digital platforms such as Facebook Ads or Google Ads have granular targeting abilities, so it’s relatively easy to identify local customers and utilize ultra-precise targeting based on their interests, age, buying habits, and other demographics.
11. Promote Safe Behavior In and Out of Your Restaurant
Another unique content idea is to promote safe behavior in and out of your restaurant. What do we mean by that?
First of all, you should create posts about your restaurant’s safety measures to prevent people from getting infected in your diner. Secondly, you can contribute to the more significant cause by helping people learn how to act responsibly and fend off coronavirus. Showcasing how you’re working to prevent viral spread will ease the minds of potentially anxious guests.
12. Donate meals
Speaking of a greater cause, one more way to contribute and prove social responsibility is through donations. Since you’re running a restaurant, the only natural solution is to donate food or meals to local healthcare workers and food banks. It’s not a costly investment for your restaurant, and it makes a massive impact on your reputation. Of course, it should also make you feel better about contributing to the local community. Remember that these posts’ tone should be in the spirit of raising awareness and encouraging others to donate to similar causes (and you already know this). Don’t post with a self-congratulatory tone — it will turn off potential diners.
13. Stay positive
The last thing you need to remember is to stay positive in your posts. Everyone, regardless of industry and demographic, has grown weary of the “doom and gloom.” The last thing they need is to see cynical or pessimistic content from their favorite restaurant, too. You can look at your job as two-fold: keep customers happy with your meals and your online content.
Restaurant Content Ideas — The Bottom Line
A well-designed restaurant content marketing strategy is essential for every restaurant globally, but it becomes fundamental during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you don’t want to lose customers for good, you can retain them through digital marketing’s universal principles.
We showed you 13 practical ways to do it effectively, but now it is up to you and your team to implement the strategy and make the most of your business and keep it alive in the long run! We wish you well in the coming months. Sound off in the comments below if you’ve seen any other restaurant content ideas that have worked for you!
How has the pandemic altered your course? Click the link below for our page containing helpful restaurant resources for the COVID-19 outbreak.
About the Author
Charlie Svensson is a digital marketer and a part-time blogger at the assignment writing service. He is mostly interested in content creation, marketing automation tools, online advertising, and search engine optimization. Apart from writing, Charlie enjoys traveling and long-distance running.