3 Ways to Build A Strong Online Presence for Your Restaurant
We live in a mobile age and so should your restaurant. People get the information they need to conduct their daily lives from the internet — typically from a mobile device. In fact, a recent study showed that 64 percent of consumers prefer to buy from businesses they can contact online, and 72 percent of mobile searches for restaurants are initiated on a mobile device.
For your business to be visible, particularly in the restaurant industry, it’s crucial to build a thriving online presence that works for the mobile user. Here are a few ways your business can achieve a strong web presence.
A Website That Works for Mobile
A website is a must for the restaurant industry. Websites provide quick access to key information that people need in order to use your services. A professional website also increases your credibility and encourages the trust of potential customers. Verisign found that over 90 percent of consumers said they would prefer to get information from a business’s website rather than a social media page.
However, the desktop version of your website might be difficult to view and use on a mobile device. For example the user might struggle to pinch or zoom a page to read the content. This is annoying, and potential customers may abandon your site in search of a less frustrating experience. It is vital to make your site mobile-friendly.
Another important aspect of a web presence for your restaurant is choosing your domain name. According to Verisign, you should consider your target audience and what domain name might resonate with them. For instance, is slang appropriate for your type of business? It’s also important to watch out for trademark issues before you commit to a domain.
Video for Social Media
Social media is still a powerful tool. In case you hadn’t noticed, video and live streaming are dominating the mobile social media ecosystem. Cisco predicts that by 2020, 75 percent of mobile data traffic will be video. People love live visuals and connecting on devices. Chipotle and many other big brands have used YouTube as a marketing channel, and there are marketing companies that offer video-creation services specifically for restaurants.
According to Wordstream.com, video drives a 157 percent increase in organic traffic from search engine results pages, and video on a landing page can increase conversions by 80 percent or more.
There’s really no limit to when it comes to the types of content you share. Make sure to share that content on popular sites such as Instagram or Twitter. Use hashtags to maximize exposure and chatter to further build your online presence and restaurant brand.
For instance, you could try filming and posting cooking demonstrations or a wine presentation by the sommelier. You could also film a behind-the-scenes video tour of the back-of-house, or film staff introductions to increase familiarity, lend intimacy and boost authenticity. Feature your regulars, local farmers and suppliers.
A Branded Email Newsletter
A monthly email newsletter builds brand awareness. Email marketing remains one of the most effective ways to reach your customers; in fact, it outperforms social media as a marketing tool.
According to Optinmonster, email marketing ROI is 28.5 percent better than ROI for direct mail, and one dollar spent on email provides $38 in return. Again, any content sent to potential patrons will most likely be read on a mobile device. Add links to videos and to your website. From your email, customers can go straight to your website and plug in the address to a GPS to navigate to your location.
Use a branded email address. Three-quarters of consumers surveyed said they would trust a company-branded email address more than a free email address — firstname.lastname@example.org appears much more businesslike than Kencooks@gmail.com.
Today, everyone is going mobile. Build your online presence with a mobile-oriented website, interesting videos on social media and an email campaign that links to your site. Marketing software with analytics will measure the success of your email marketing campaigns. That way, you can ditch what isn’t working and focus on what does.