From the way we work, to the way we shop, eat and socialise, COVID-19 has had an impact on every aspect of our lives. The ongoing restrictions we face have caused major upheaval in the hospitality industry in particular, with restaurants needing to adapt in order to continue to attract customers.
Digital marketing may have once been optional to restaurants, with many able to capitalise purely on passing custom from lunchtime office workers and after-work socialisers. However, in recent months, innovative digital marketing strategies have become essential to helping restaurants stay connected with customers, and attract new ones during these challenging times.
Here are just a few ways restaurants can use digital marketing to stay ahead during COVID-19.
Social media advertising
With many of us staying at home more often, social media usage is reported to have increased by 72%, this presents a huge opportunity to get in front of your potential customers whilst they are scrolling through their social channels.
With social media ads, not only can you deliver a highly personalised message to potential customers, but you can also use sophisticated targeting so that your ads target the right people at the right time.
In order to reach your audience, ad targeting options include demographics, location and interest categories. Your messaging can reinforce the steps your venue is taking to ensure customer safety, such as hygiene measures, distancing or even contactless pick up and delivery options.
As always, make sure high-quality imagery is used in your ads to really show off your food! Also consider offering a discount code or other incentive to drive bookings.
If you have a mailing list (and if you don’t, why not? Get building one!), use it to reassure your audience that you’re open and safe.
Email marketing is also a great way to keep in touch with customers past and present. Why not send an email to highlight new menu items, provide discounts / offers, or share recipes and other special insights into your restaurant.
This keeps your restaurant in the forefront of your customers mind, as well as providing reassurance and incentives to visit during these challenging times.
Create compelling content
Creating compelling content helps to boost your brand and attract your audience’s attention, so get creative and start creating!
So what content should you create? When it comes to restaurants, there are endless possibilities.
Show your audience what happens behind the scenes, show them the busy kitchen and let them get to know your team. Share recipes, or why not try a live cooking show? Showing your audience what goes into making some of your delicious meals could help build trust in your brand, as well as a desire to visit your restaurant to try your dishes.
These are just a few ways your restaurant can continue to attract new customers, whilst also reassuring guests during this new era of eating out.
The hospitality industry has been hit hard by COVID, but by adapting and introducing new digital marketing strategies, your restaurant can continue to attract and connect with customers. If you’d like some help with digital marketing, get in touch, we’d love to talk!