Prior to the advent of social media networks, e-commerce websites, and mobile devices, getting your food business noticed meant relying on the word-of-mouth, print media reviews, and walk-in traffic recommendations. It meant creating an unforgettable brick and mortar experience in a desirable location with busy foot traffic, as this is what equaled a constant flow of customers.
Nowadays, ambitious specialized bakeries operating out of home kitchens and unheard of start-ups can find success because the digital age has ushered in things like visual content, loyalty programs, geo-targeted ads, and online branded business identities. In this article, we will take a look at 30 promising digital marketing ideas you can use to take your food business digital so that you can reach your audience and compete with the best.
- Enable Online Ordering: Regardless of whether you sell packaged food or full-on meals that are prepped fresh in store, having an e-commerce website that allows individuals to buy online has huge potential leveraging on demand food ordering platform development. Not only do they get to skip the line, but they may also pop in to grab their food if they are nearby.
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- Publish Dynamic Online Content: Content is the King. Publishing helpful, original and value-laden content for your audience will help you in establishing authority, rank higher on Google and keep your target audience interested in what you have to say.
- Be Active on Niche Food Communities: If you are a small food company looking to get brand exposure, consider being active on niche food communities beyond Pinterest. Instagram is a must but there are also ones like FoodNiche & BakeSpace.
- Pin Yourself to Success on Pinterest: The food category is one of the most browsed and popular niche on the social media platform and is the one that gets pinned the most. Pinterest is also easier for smaller businesses to find new audiences on.
- Jump onto the Bandwagon With Foodie Photos: “Food porn” is very much alive and well and is one of the best ways to promote your restaurant or small town bakery. High-quality, drool-inducing photography draws in hungry eyes and produces new customers.
- Partner with Loyalty Programs: If you are running a restaurant, consider partnering with online food apps and customer loyalty programs that reward visitors to check out your restaurant. Incentives can be free purchases or discounts after a certain amount of items are bought.
- Invest in Getting Yelp Reviews: Even if you do not have a Yelp account, visitors will still review you on the platform. Yelp has tremendous backing power in the food industry because of how accredited and legitimate the website is. So, set up an account and make sure that the Yelp is working in your favor. Add details like photos, store hours, location, menu, price range, and whether you have WiFi, free parking, and outdoor seating.
- Set Up a Google Account and Get Google My Business: When individuals search up your business using Google, it’ll pop up to the right of the search results. This encourages users to visit your website, read reviews, and it gives them quick and easy access to your contact information. Best of all, it’s free.
- Promote User-Generated Content: When you promote and use content that is generated by your audience, not only are you showing them that you appreciate them but you get free brand exposure from their followers, friends, and family.
- Start Up a Blog: Having a consistent way to communicate and engage your community while building it simultaneously is what a blog offers. Not only do you get to create your business’ voice and personality, but you get to share your struggles and successes with your customers.
- Share Blog Posts to Social Media Platforms: Get paid traffic driven to your blog by using advertising campaigns through social media platforms like Facebook. This can help you build buzz around the content you create and drive more traffic to your website.
- Consider Asking Food Bloggers to Promote Your Products: Get in touch with food bloggers and ask them to promote your food products. Just make sure you choose a few to write to that have built up an excellent rapport with their audience first.
- Publish Photos and Videos in Real Time: Use Instagram stories and Snapchat to create ephemeral content, which is content that disappears after a short period of time and is filmed or created in real-time. Consumers love behind the scenes content because it builds authenticity.
- Utilize the Power of Live Video or Streaming: A lot of consumers prefer to be able to watch their brands live as this puts them in touch with you on a more intimate level.
- Use Chatbots to Personalize Marketing Funnels: Leverage AI based conversational and custom chatbot development for your restaurant and allow it to answer customer queries, generate leads, and analyze the feedback you get on your website and social media pages. Chatbots are good for having communication channels live 24/7.
- Use Location-based Marketing or Geofencing: If you are a restaurant with a mobile app, use location-based marketing to target your audience. Location-based marketing will trigger a response such as a push notification to pop up on your audience’s smartphones whenever they are near your restaurant.
- Get an Alexa Skill Up on Amazon: Jump into the voice control market and create an Alexa Skill App for your restaurant. This will allow your audience to listen to your menu through their Amazon device, make it easier to order on the go, or get information from your website.
- Use iBeacons to Market to Customers: Use Apple’s iBeacon technology to broadcast your restaurant’s advertisements through self-contained packets of data to smartphone devices in the area. You can deliver these advertisements through push notifications, app actions, and prompts.
- Use High-Quality Content Marketing: Create informative and relevant content for your restaurant through how-to guides that inform and educate, blog posts that outline menu recipes and fun infographics that detail out your restaurant’s selling points.
- Use Influencer Marketing: Working with food influencers is one of the best digital strategies you can use for your restaurant. This is especially true of Instagram media influencers who love to share photos about the type of foods they are eating. You can go about this a few ways: partner with the food influencer, ask them to write a review or host an event with them.
- Don’t Forget Seasonal Offers Through Ads: Pull out special offers for unique seasons and promote them using Facebook Ads. One of the best ways to get people to buy your products is by using Facebook’s “claim coupon” which allows your audience to claim a food product or discount.
- Promote Customer Review Videos Through Ads: Keep your audience engaged by promoting your company through the review videos you get. Although these should be up on your website, promoting them through Facebook and Google Ads helps spread them to a wider audience. Consumers who see these videos are going to feel more confident in purchasing from you.
- Create an Infographic for Your Popular Foods: An infographic is a great way to make a meaningful impact as it uses a combination of data, graphic design, and valuable content. Plus, these tend to get shared a lot on social media platforms.
- Run an Instagram or Facebook Contest: One of the easiest and most popular ways to increase your exposure and audience at the same time is by running contests that require your audience to engage with your social media profiles. This could be liking or sharing your page, commenting on a photograph, or creating a caption on an image.
- Consider Hosting an Event at Your Restaurant: Hosting an open-house event, a wine tasting, or even a dish tasting at your restaurant is sure to bring in prospective customers. As always, you can promote this event on social media platforms, through blogs and through press releases.
- Create a Mobile Application: This could be as simple as having a menu application to as complicated as ordering for delivery. Depending on what type of restaurant you own, you can even mesh these two together. Having a mobile application that is responsive and user-friendly with excellent reviews, will garner you exposure on the mobile market.
- Consider Using Press Releases: If your restaurant just won a big award, has a grand new opening coming up, or is choosing to expand, use press releases to announce it to the public. You can then use SEO to optimize it and build natural backlinks from external sources.
- Include Customer Reviews on Your Website and Social Media Profiles: If you are running a restaurant that has its hand in e-commerce, do not underestimate the value that customer reviews can have. Individuals want to read the feedback left and the more positive feedback that you receive, the better your reputation online will be.
- Have a Website That is Engaging and Interesting: Make sure that you are using colors that pop, designs that tell a story and images that are crisp, clear, and delicious looking. Include links to your popular dishes, food products, and drinks, and always make sure that promotions and deals are easily accessible. You want your customers to explore the website and stay on it as long as possible. If you are not shipping out food items and are running a restaurant, add on a reservation booking option.
- Always Use Social Media Platforms that Suit Your Product: Harness the power of social media marketing platforms by pairing up with the one that best suits what you are trying to sell. For food businesses and restaurants, visual platforms are often the best, as they allow you to show off your food in an aesthetically pleasing way.
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